The main series of Pokémon games seem to have an appeal that none of the spin-offs can possibly match. This appeal is almost certainly down to the unchanging format that the game is based on that has us catching, training, and assembling a Pokémon team of our own choosing to see us through our wild battles, trainer encounters, gym fights, and the fight against the evils of the Pokémon world.
Pokémon White Version 2 is a direct sequel to Pokémon White Version, and is paired with Pokémon Black Version 2. These sequels offer what is by some considered to be the most impressive embodiment of Pokémon yet, and after playing through Pokémon White Version 2, it is easy to see why this opinion is held widely amongst critics.
After five generations and a bunch of hacked desktop games, Pokémon still remains true to the incredibly successful format. The game begins with the usual choosing of three starter Pokémon of opposing types, and your tumultuous relationship with your rival is forged almost immediately. Your aim is simply to become the most formidable Pokémon trainer in all of the Unova Region, using your starter Pokémon as a basis for building the ultimate, well-rounded Pokémon team that could take on anyone. You will spend the game doing the usual thing of catching wild Pokémon, battling other trainers, and taking on several gyms and eventually the elite 4 whilst fending off the pesky evils of Team Plasma whose activities form the basis of the storyline that runs parallel with the action.
The turn-based gameplay is as visually pleasing as ever, and the refinement of the battle screens makes use of the dual-screen capability of the DS. In terms of gameplay, things are pretty much standard Pokémon procedure, with the battle, capture, and general training of your Pokémon still relying on gaining experience points through your encounters.
Fresh new Pokémon have obviously been added since the fourth generation, but there are no new additions since Pokémon Black/White Version since we are still in the same generation as the predecessors to this game. New features since the game’s predecessor include the Unova link, challenge and easy modes, hidden grottoes, and the memory link, which allows you to experience flashbacks of events that precede the game.
The game has a number of additional features that allow you to take a break from the main gameplay such as attaining medals for achievements in the game, entering into the Pokémon World Tournament, Pokéstar Studios, and also the Battle Subway. All of these features run in parallel to the main gameplay, so you can choose to dip in and out of these at your leisure.
Though many of the features in Pokémon White Version 2 are similar to its predecessor, there is enough variation and innovation to justify the game’s ‘direct sequel’ distinction and possibly even to warrant IGN’s 9.6 rating for PWV2. The aesthetic changes, storyline re-vamping, and introduction of new characters keeps things fresh, whilst the loyalty to the tried-and-tested Pokémon format keeps the Pokémon magic flowing more strongly than ever before.