Pokemon White for the DS review, I choose you! Pokemon White, like most Pokemon games is an RPG game set in the wonderful world of Pokemon. Your goal? To become the Pokemon Master by capturing and training your Pokemon companions to become the best they can be through Pokemon battles. If you lived under a rock for the last twenty five years and you do not know what a Pokemon is then I will explain. A Pokemon is a creature that is powered by some type of element whether it’d be fire, water, psychic, dark powers etc. People who catch these Pokemon are called trainers and they usually capture Pokemon to be their companions for life, like pets, except some of these “pets” have the power to level towns. Pokemon White was developed by Game Freak and published by the Pokemon Company and Nintendo.
In Pokemon White, as in all Pokemon games, you play a generic teenager who is about to set out on their own journey throughout the region of Unova, one of the many regions in the Pokemon world. During their journey they will capture, train and form friendships with their new Pokemon. Luckily for them, they aren’t starting out alone as their friends Bianca and Cheren will go on the journey with them, though they go their own way and show up at various points in the story. The main antagonist is a man simply named N, who leads a group called Team Plasma. Team Plasma’s goal apart from world domination are to separate the Pokemon from their trainers as they believe that humanity enslaves Pokemon. N, believes he is the hero that will lead humanity into a new golden age.
During the game while collecting Pokemon and battling Pokemon gym leaders, basically boss battles, the player will come across N and other variants of Team Plasma. The player eventually beats all the gym leaders and takes out the Elite four, basically stronger boss battles. The player encounters N who has captured a legendary Pokemon. N and the player have an epic battle after which N is defeated. N starts to question if he was right about everything until another man named Ghetsis who has been lurking around the whole time, rears his ugly head and tells N that he was using him to separate people from their Pokemon so he can eventually take control of Team Plasma and then the world. The player beats Ghetsis and in turn Ghetsis is arrested. N and the player leave on good terms and all is right with the world again. THE END.
So lets get into what I thought about it:
The nice thing about the Pokemon main series games is that once you’ve played one, you have played them all. Well it is nice and not so nice, I mean in one hand I can pick up any Pokemon main series game and I know exactly how it is going to play out and I know what to do in the game which has a sense of comfort to it, you know what to expect. On the other hand, the formula hasn’t changed since the release of Pokemon Red/Blue back in 1996 on the Gameboy. The gameplay is your pretty traditional Japanese turned based RPG similar to the likes of Final Fantasy, except you have a roster of over 150 different Pokemon of varying elements and powers. The Pokemon battles themselves can be quite tactical as you have to know what element is weak/strong against another, when to use certain attacks and should you spend your turn to attack and try and take out the other Pokemon or heal your Pokemon so it can live another round.
Going into a new area was always very exciting to me because I wanted to see what wondrous Pokemon were on offer in each area. This is the closest I ever got to having Pokemon in real life! The battles themselves are pretty good and as I said they keep you interested because you never know what the other trainers will have at their disposal. An extremely fun and varied game, though at this point the Pokemon games are basically paint by numbers.
In terms of the graphics on the DS? Superb, honestly I never thought a game could look so good on a DS. The graphics and images are vibrant, colourful and engaging and it really makes the region of Unova pop as you are walking around it. I love when the game tried to go into a sort of 3-D setting, it really stood out for me just how pretty everything was. The character models were on point and the Pokemon went from looking cute to ferocious. The battle animations were absolutely amazing and it made the battles very exciting to participate in, especially when you got to the higher level attacks that could really pack a punch.
In terms of the sounds and music of the game. The sounds of the world were fine, doors opening and closing, rocks falling that type of stuff, everything was good. In terms of the Pokemon sounds, they were amazing! Every Pokemon has their own distinct sound and you could tell that throughout the game. Along with the battle animations, the sounds really added to the overall epic effect the battles were having on me. The soundtrack was phenomenal, definitely one of my favourite Pokemon soundtracks. The game had its nice ambient soundtracks to epic battle music. Two of my favourite tracks were the Elite four theme and N theme, I really felt the heavy pounding and influences from Electronic Dance Music really helped with how epic the battle music was.
The story of the game was decent. I do have to say it was fresh seeing an “evil” Pokemon trainer having goals other than taking over the world. It was interesting that it brought up the points of: Should Pokemon be free to do their own thing and live their own lives? I thought it was an interesting discussion to be had within the game as it brought up both points of the argument. Other than that it was your standard Pokemon story, get Pokemon, win badges, be the best.
So now onto my scoring:
Graphics: Amazing, especially on a DS. Beautiful, vibrant, colourful and engaging. 10/10
Sound/Soundtrack: The Pokemon were on point and the overall soundtrack was fantastic, I can’t fault it. 10/10
Gameplay: The gameplay was fairly paint by numbers in terms of J-RPGs, though very fun. Like most RPG games, prepare to put in a lot of time to level up your Pokemon. 8/10
Worth: Yes! For Pokemon fans or for J-RPG fans, a very fun game. 8/10
Story: The story was different, but only for one aspect, Team Plasma and N. Other than that, typical Pokemon story as in there isn’t really one. 6/10
Total: 84/100 B-
I hope you enjoyed my review and as always, thanks for reading!