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How does the first numbered sequel in the Pokemon franchise hold up? Read my quick review to find out!

Many people may say Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 are the first set of sequels in the franchise. However, that is incorrect. Gold, Silver, and Crystal were the first sequels to any Pokemon game. Even though it didn’t have the same protagonist, the story made many references to the first generation of Pokemon (Red and Blue/Green). Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 goes even further in terms of story. Not only is the story improved upon, but the entire region undergoes quite a few changes!

Story

The Story of Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 is set two years after the events of the first Black and White. Just like Gold, Silver, and Crystal, Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 do not have the same protagonist as the original set. Even without the original heroes, the story is still an obvious sequel to the first Black and White with many returning characters and the continuation of the main story line. Even more sub-story lines can be unlocked if the new Memory Link function is used to connect the first game’s data with the sequel’s. These story lines are select events from the two-year gap that involve various characters throughout Unova.

Without giving any spoilers, Black 2 and White 2’s story is about as good as the first Black and Whites. The Pokemon series has come pretty far in terms of story over these past five generations. There are even a few cut scenes here and there. I can’t say the story was fully wrapped up, but who knows, they may release a Black 3 and White 3 because of that.

Gameplay

The Gameplay of Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 is even better than the first Black and White. Some people may not have enjoyed the first stint in Unova, but the second tour is definitely worth a try. Unlike the first game, the second game allows you to pick up many different Pokemon from all five generations without having to beat the Pokemon League! The Unova Dex now boasts 301 different Pokemon, only four of them being Legendary Pokemon from special Events. Defeat the Pokemon League to get the National Dex where all 649 Pokemon will be listed.

Just like all other Pokemon games, you go around the region collecting eight Gym Badges. After collecting the badges, you challenge the Pokemon League. That objective has stayed the same since the beginning of Pokemon, but a few new things have been added to extend the life of the game.

Several new features have been added since the last Black and White. There are small changes like using a repel instantly after the last repel faded, adding a free space bag, and a few new breeding mechanics. Then there are bigger changes like altered move sets for select Pokemon, new locations in Unova, and the new Key System. Like always, there are two sets of games with differences between the two. Originally, the differences between the two versions were specifically for trading Pokemon. These days, the two versions have many changes between them, including different trainers, items, and even map variations.

the two versions have many changes between them, including different trainers, items, and even map variations

If you haven’t heard about the Key System, let me fill you in. After completing a certain objective in the game, you will unlock a Key for your game. You can then transfer this key over to other Black 2 and White 2 games via infrared or wireless communications, meaning the other person must be in the same room as you. These keys will unlock Black City or White Forest for opposite colored games, unlock a chamber for regi Pokemon, and unlock an Easy or Hard difficulty for the game!

In additional to the Key System and Memory Link, there’s another new function which has been added to the main menu. This function is a connection between Black 2 / White 2 and the Pokemon Dream Radar App. This App allows you to use your 3DS to capture select Pokemon and transfer them to your Black 2 and White 2 game! If you’re discouraged about buying another item to work with your Pokemon game, don’t worry, it’s only $3!

As mentioned earlier, there are new locations in Unova. One new location is the Pokestar Studios (Called Pokewood in the Japanese Version). As you may be able to guess by its name, this is where movies are created with Pokemon. It’s a place like the Pokemon Musicals — but not as lame — where you can have fun with Pokemon without the same old battling system. This area is found directly after the second badge, and one movie is mandatory before progressing with the story.

In the first Black and White, if you wanted to keep the game lasting in terms of battling, you could visit the Battle Subway. In Black 2 and White 2, you can still use the Battle Subway, but two new Battle Facilities have been added, as well. The first Battle Facility you will notice, and many people have already noticed, is called the Pokemon World Tournament. The Pokemon World Tournament allows you to battle three trainers in a row using the same rules and rewards as the Battle Subway. At first, the PWT only has four battling options. Only five Gym Leaders will take part in the tournaments, and the Battle Points are pretty slim. After defeating the Pokemon League, however, Gym Leaders from all past games start coming into the tournament, and the BP and difficulty steadily increase! Some would say this is for nostalgia purposes, but these battles are extremely tough! I still haven’t defeated the Champions tournament one time!

The second new battle facility is version exclusive in a way, but the layout and rules are exactly the same. These facilities are found in Black City or White Forest and are called Black Tower and White Treehollow. Unlike all the other battle facilities, these allow you to use any and up to six Pokemon! All other battle facilities do not give you EXP as you battle, but Black Tower and White Treehollow allow you to level up and earn EVs just like regular Pokemon Battles. The objective in these battle facilities is to find a Gate Trainer to open up a gate somewhere in the area. Beyond the gate is the Boss Trainer. The Boss Trainer will be the toughest trainer in the area. Defeat the Boss Trainer to clear the area and earn a small prize. Defeat all ten areas to defeat the facility, and win a shiny dragon Pokemon!

Conclusion

Many people didn’t enjoy Black and White as much as the past generations for one reason or another, but I strongly recommend picking up Black 2 and White 2. Not only does the story seem interesting for the fans of the first Black and White, but all the new features, wide selection of Pokemon, and changes from the first set puts these sequels in a whole league of their own.

If you want to know more about Pokemon Black 2 and White 2, or simply need a guide to help get you through the game, check out my guide HERE at IGN.com

Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 Review
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