Nintendo, what have you become. Pokemon Black and White Version TWWOOOOO! I thought you were better than that. And a DS game? Get real. This is 2012 where the 3DS reigns supreme. You might as well grow a ponytail and strut around in a full denim body suit.
Now, I know Nintendo want to wait until the Generation 6 Pokemon are unveiled to jump to the 3DS, but that could be a painful two year wait. I would have much preferred to see the same Pokemon on new hardware. Then again, Pokemon lost me after the demise of the first generation. The real generation.
Nintendo have always released Pokemon games in threes -- two at launch, followed by the “enhanced” version. They are near-as-makes-no-difference the same game to the average player, and yet Nintendo suck us into buying more than one copy.
Then again, the Pokemon games have hardly changed since the Red and Blue days, and yet, they still captivate millions of players.
That’s not really a problem. My concern is that Nintendo has looked to diversify with a numerical sequel, rather than a different colour or shiny rock. That’s not the Pokemon way. Furthermore, what is “Version 2?” What does that mean exactly?
Presumably Nintendo has numbered them to make it clear that they are bonafide sequels using the same generation, not just a rehash of the games we played in 2011. That’s all well and good, but it doesn’t excuse the DS choice.
The first six months of the 3DS’s life were abysmal. Frankly, Nintendo owe us big time. All that -- the lack of games, nothing but ports, no eShop at launch, the premature price cut debacle -- could be forgotten with a Pokemon game. It’s absolutely astounding that they’ve decided against it.
A Pokemon game would secure the 3DS as the leader in handhelds this generation. It’s starting to break sales records, a year later than Nintendo would have anticipated, and the PS Vita hasn’t faired as well as Sony may have liked. If history repeats itself, the Vita will become a serious contender in 6 to 12 months. Imagine the difference a Pokemon game would make before the end of that period.
I would have preferred Pokemon Grey: A 3DS enhanced version of Black and White. Sure, there’s merit in a new game, but will it really be that new? It will include the same Pokemon and maybe a minor tweak on the story, which will still resolve around training Pokemon as you travel the world as an 11-year-old (seriously guys, was Ash actually meant to be 11?) on your way to becoming a Pokemon Master.
Unless they mix it up and change the tried and tested formula of rookie to master, it won’t be that different to what Pokemon Grey could have been.
Sure, B&WV2 will be compatible with the 3DS, but it’s not the same as a new game developed for the hardware. Nintendo has missed a huge opportunity to take our relationship with the 3DS to the next level. Talking about backwards compatibility, why isn’t here a Pokemon game on the eShop yet? Nintendo could make millions. What gives?
I’ll buy and enjoy Pokemon Black and White Version 2, but I can’t help but feel disappointed.
By Ben Salter