From Speed to Saving: Pokemon Black and White Offer New Pokemon, Gameplay, Old Fun and Style, and Drastic New Changes
Pokemon Black and White are the newest additions to the Pokemon series. They are also the first in the series to offer fixes and modifications to what veteran gamers know as minor nuisances.
The one thing you do more than battling. Walking or jogging…. running? Veteran gamers cringe at the thought of the old style Pokemon games which required you to very slowly walk for the first portion of the game. The bicycle served as a fix, but only after proceeding through a sizable chunk of the game (yes you remember).
After suffering one-too-many a slow Pokemon game, Nintendo introduced the running shoes, in addition to the bicycle. As most gamers agree, these provided some feeling of speed that was as fast as our desire to get to the other side of town. But one could not help but feeling that these shoes as well as the bicycle were still lacking some element that we desired, but couldn’t explain.
Then Pokemon Black and White.
What a relief it was to see that from practically the beginning you are given the ability to run as fast as you feel you should. The shoes are given very shortly after the game begins, similar to Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, but these are different. You can run smoothly, and much faster than in the previous versions. For the first time, you are able to run at the speed that is satisfying, in a way that only a veteran player can understand.
But it wasn’t just about the shoes. Nintendo also capitalizes on a sense of humor throughout the game, with the reciept of the shoes an example. Nintendo has your mom call on the phone wondering where you are shortly into the journey, just to appear behind you shortly after in a random/funny scene.
But the speed does not stop when the footsteps do. Nintendo finally improved the battle scenes, by speeding up the rate at which the Pokemon exit from their Poke-Balls to the speed of the attacks. I was pleasantly surprised to see that after I selected an attack, it was immediately and speedily executed by the Pokemon, without a usual delay. We as impatient gamers tend to watch the battle scene while rapidly pressing A in the thought that maybe we could speed it up (I’m as guilty as you are). I felt, that though I still did that, I did it less, as the battles proved much quicker and without hassle.
Not walking or battling? Odds are that you’re talking. And yes, it IS faster. As a fast reader, normally once I start a new Pokemon game I go to the Options and set the text speed to “fast”, which is indeed fast, though sometimes one can’t help but wish that all the text can be displayed a little faster.
I was very pleasantly shocked to see that as I turned on the game, the text was already at a semi-acceptable speed. My now I know that by default it is set to medium, so I quickly change it to fast as usual, and for the very first time, that one option lived up to its name…. it was fast!
These iterations have caught up with the times, and you can tell.
If you aren’t walking, battling, or reading text that someone is saying, then there’s only one thing you could be doing: saving.
“There is already a saved file. Is it OK to overwrite it?” The symbol of Nintendo’s mistakes are seen in this iconic sentence. My thoughts would always be “If I clicked the save button, then odds are that I want to overwrite it.” Apparently Nintendo thought differently… until now. Nintendo has finally heard public opinion and, for the first time in the history of a Pokemon game, gotten rid of that question that everyone faces.
But it’s not just about that one question. This is only one example. The changes are usually very little things, but things that mean a lot when playing a game.
Aside from these changes, there is the most obvious addition of 156 new Pokemon. Unlike other games though, These 156 Pokemon are the only Pokemon available until after you beat the Elite 4. In previous versions, new and old Pokemon would be mixed, and people (myself included) would tend to catch the old Pokemon that we are used to, wheras in this version you have no choice. In the long run, this actually proved very rewarding because I got to know all the Pokemon.
Another change that I feel should be expressed is the TM situation. For the first time, in Pokemon Black and White, they allowed you to teach Pokemon TM’s as many times as you want without it going away. This proved very useful, and proves as an example of how Nintendo was willing to “shake things up” (and in case anyone was wondering, TM stands for Technical Machine).
Overall, Nintendo has really hit the nail on the head with Pokemon Black and White by combining the changes that an evolving scope of gamers want with the classic feel that everyone knows and loves.