Pokemon White 2 – The Review

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Launch Trailer: Pokemon White 2

Introduction
The first direct sequel in the series, Pokemon White 2 takes place 2 years after the previous game. It follows a new character, exploring the landscape in similar fashion to its predecessor.

Visuals
Graphical Issues – As far a the game itself goes, there aren’t any graphical issues that are of a noteworthy nature. The game still maintains a near 8-bit appearance that has defined the series since it’s debut with Pokemon Red and Blue/Green.
Aesthetically Pleasing – Although the pixelated appearance may be appealing for some, eventually after awhile it does become increasingly inferior with greater improvements in handheld graphical engines.
User Interface – Like all Pokemon games, the user interface is aimed towards catering to its main audience, children. So naturally the interface is easy to navigate and very user friendly.
Art Style – Pokemon as a handheld game has continued in its own trend of maintaining its near 8-bit pixelated appearance even on advancing systems. After a while, this has evidently become the trademark of the series and has appropriately used through the series.

Controls
Appropriate – For a game that is a top down experience, the navigational controls and contextual menu controls are appropriate for this style of play.
Easy to Learn – With my experience in the game, once you’ve learned how to manoeuvre the character and use the targeting system, everything else comes naturally.
Dynamic – Cohesively, the controls work dynamically very well together. Whether this is my intrinsic knowledge of the game series dating back to the originals or it’s apparent in the game itself is another questionable point.
Changeable – With most games, it seems in this age that games are tested before release to the point that they rarely allow changeable controls due to focus group testing. This isn’t always necessarily a bad thing as it gives the game a solid basis to work from instead of being a changeable state. However, as people may be discomforted in modern times with preset controls, this is unfortunately present in Pokemon White 2.

Game-play
Fluidity – Like all Pokemon games the game-play is renowned for fluidity, except for random encounters that is. We’ve all been there walking through a seemingly empty cave trying to make our way through and have to struggle against hordes of wild Pokemon that relentlessly desire our attention. Other than this, navigation and in-game combat are as fluid as they possibly can be on the Nintendo DS.
Replay ability – Pokemon games generally suffer heavily with a lack of replay-ability  It’s not that the post game experience isn’t at all fun, it’s just that eventually you’ll grow tired of endlessly trying to “Catch ’em All” in the realization that it’s generally impossible to do so nowadays.
Interesting – Game-play wise the series has always offered intriguing combat scenarios that entice the player to keep leveling up their Pokemon.
Addictive – Pokemon White 2 unfortunately suffers from Sequel Syndrome. The adverse affect of sequels that offer the same experience, but with a new coating. Sure for newer players trying out the series may have a greater desire to become addicted to the game, but personally I had no inclination whatsoever trying to soldier through this.

Score
Does it have a score? – Yes, a score is present in the game.
Appropriate – I had a chance to play through segments of the game with and without audio and surprisingly it’s far more enjoyable without the audio. I specifically played a segment in the game that brought a returning character back into the fold and experiencing this with and without audio, it just didn’t seem appropriate for this type of occasion.
Mood Change – Taking into account the previous statement, the mood change at that particular scene contributed to it’s lack of appropriated score. Instead of feeling joyous at this characters return, I personally felt like the audio gave a different tone to what is was meant to do.
Voice Acting Under Shadow – As there is no voice acting present, it’s by default not over or under shadowing anything.

Narrative/Story
Does it have a Narrative/Story – The story of Pokemon White 2, is effectively the same structure as all Pokemon games and intertwines the task of gym battles with the underlining plot-line.
Structure – As the story is intertwined with the gym story arc, it’s appropriately structured accordingly.
Captivating – I didn’t find myself compelled enough by the story to classify it as ‘captivating’ personally I thought it was far too predictable and reiterates the point of suffering from Sequel Syndrome.
Plot Twist – Whether it’s down to the inherent predictability factor that’s present within the game or a lack there of, I didn’t see any compelling evidence of a sufficient plot twist.

Rating

FullDisc FullDisc FullDisc

(A score of 3 out of 5 Discs)

For an overview of the reviews and the marking criteria, click the link

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