Status : Main game cleared, Time – 52:42
Final Team : Braviary (55) Reuniclus (50) Zekrom (50) Chandelure (56) Scolipede (50) Seismitoad (50)
Pokemon removed from my final team but still get an honorable mention : Zebstrika, Simisage, Emboar (Thought Zekrom was mandatory, otherwise, he’d have been on the final team)
If you want to see my initial impressions of Pokemon White, look at my article comparing and contrasting that and Okamiden where I gush about how awesome it is. Do those original feelings remain, or did the second half of the game ruin the magic?
Around the time you reach the 5th gym, the pacing of the entire game changes drastically. From the start, you are thrust into the game. No stupid errands at the beginning of the game, barely any wasted time except for the mandatory tutorial, and you basically fight from one town to another crossing bridges, enjoying the sights and kicking ass. Separating the next couple of towns are a cluster of dungeons, most of which you have to traverse to continue the journey which wouldn’t be so painful if it weren’t for what seems to be an increased encounter rate. In all honesty, the encounter rate might be the exact same, but in these caves and mountains the battles really wore me out to the point of using repels to just run through the damn places (with the exception of Dragonspiral Tower which I thought was well constructed and fun.
The other thing I realized around the 5th gym is that from the start they pull out their big guns. That is to say that all the best visuals, the most interesting locations and the fastest pacing are all used in the first half of the game. From the midpoint to the Elite Four, the adventure really seems to drag on. The battles from the Elite Four to the final boss bring back the intensity, but a good portion of my time playing was spent getting my pokemon strong enough for the big fights (I had to make some cuts to bring in pokemon that could take hits).
Post-game content looks overwhelming to say the least. A whole new sub-plot opens up, along with the towns and dungeons you could not previously access. The Elite Four are also supposed to get an upgrade, but I will probably get to that some other time. Either way, the amount of content in Pokemon White/Black is impressive, and should satisfy those who like extended RPG’s such as this (I would love to do the sidequests in a lot of them myself, but often end up pressed for time)
As for the pokemon themselves, I’ve been in a few good arguments, and have come to the conclusion that they’re interesting for the most part (I haven’t found a single person who uses the trashbag pokemon or likes it for that matter, but he’s a special case). They range from the animal based to the absurd (a vanilla ice cream pokemon for example).
The battles seem to be more fast paced, and that might be because most pokemon can learn moves that counter their weakness : for example, fighting types that learn rock moves which destroy flying types that would otherwise have the advantage for example. It existed in the earlier games, but this feature is implemented much more in this generation’s set of pokemon. Combination types also seem to have a greater frequency, and the combinations used can lead to a deadly surprise in a trainer battle (happened to me all the time). Unless there’s healing involved, a pokemon usually drops in 1 – 3 turns. Maybe it’s my hazy memory, but I kinda remember some fights where our pokemon would go at it for a while before someone would go down.
Regardless, my time with Pokemon White was a pleasant experience for the most part. Sure it dragged on in the later stages, but what RPG doesn’t? I love the genre, and can admit that it can get monotonous at times. This is one of the good ones where that period is neither very long nor very profound… unless the post game content really fucks it up, but that’s an update away!
Next Update : The Post-Game content!