The long-awaited fifth generation of Pokemon games begin with Pokemon Black and Pokemon White. There are 156 brand new Pokemon, including 13 new legendaries, taking the total to 649!
|Japan||September 18, 2010|
|Europe||March 4, 2011|
|America||March 6, 2011|
Your mentor, who gives you your first pokemon and helps you along your way, is a woman this time. Her name is Professor Araragi. The three starters follow the tried-and-tested pattern of Grass, Fire, Water types. They are Snivy, Tepig and Oshawott as shown to the right.
As usual the graphics get an update, especially the 3D aspect. The images/video released so far show a full 3D engine at work as the backgrounds move, although the characters and pokemon still appear to be 2D sprites.
The battle scenes include some interesting changes — the pokemon continually move during battle, instead of staying static. The camera will also move and zoom in/out during attacks. The background of the battle screen is differs depending on whether you are in fields, the city, etc.
Like Ruby/Sapphire, the local pokedex in Black & White consists only of Pokemon from this generation, not a mix of different generations. None of the pokemon are evolutions or prevolutions of older Pokemon. As usual, you later unlock the National Dex to catch the rest of the Pokemon.
The game takes place in a new region called Unova (previously known as Isshu in the Japanese version), which appears to be quite industrious and includes several large towns with skyscrapers. It is based on New York City, with Castelia City in the south being modeled after Manhattan.
There are also two regions that are exclusive to each game: Black City and White Forest, in the version of the same name. There will be 8 gym leaders/badges just like previous games.
Pokemon Black & White will allow pokemon battles with 3 pokemon on one team. Some new rules & tactics come into play - each of the three pokemon target different pokemon: The middle one can target all pokemon, but the one on each side can only target the pokemon opposite and middle. It is also possible to rotate your team to switch which pokemon are where.
The Miracle Shooter is a new option that will allow you to use items in multiplayer battles. However, you won't be able to use any item you own; instead you earn items as the battle progresses via a points system.
TMs will not disappear after one use, they can be used again like HMs.
A new time mechanic based on Seasons is added.
The games will have a new version of contests, called Pokemon Musical, in which you dress up pokemon and play music.
A new version of the Battle Tower appears, called Battle Subway.
There is an item similar to the Pokétch from Diamond/Pearl/Platinum, called the C Gear. It can be set up to be on constant lookout for nearby players over infrared or Wi-Fi.
The PokeShifter is Black & White's equivalent of the Pal Park, which allows you to migrate pokemon from Diamond/Pearl/Platinum or HeartGold/SoulSilver. Instead of simply running around to find your pokemon, in the PokeShifter there is a mini-game where you fire PokeBalls at your pokemon with a bow & arrow.
Here are some of the in-game screenshots released so far. They show various locations, battle scenes and the improved graphics.
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