Want to know everything about the upcoming sequels? Alex has you covered.
Update (4/24 at 6 PM EST): Thanks to Serebii Joe for improving details on characters, Pokémon, and the new Kyurem forms!
Pokémon Black Version 2 and White Version 2 are the direct sequels to last year's Pokémon Black and White—a first for the series. Other than a handful of drip-fed glances at the games, not much information has been spelled out officially. However, we can make a few educated guesses and safe assumptions from the available material. In preparation for the game's release this year, we'll have a series of three monthly installments comprising everything we know: one now, one next month, and a third after the Japanese launch in June.
First off, let's talk about what Nintendo has shown. The new version mascots, Black Kyurem and White Kyurem, are brand new Pokémon forms (contrary to them actually being "new Pokémon", as commonly believed). Interestingly, Black Kyurem is paired with Black 2 and White Kyurem is paired with White 2. (In last year's games, the black legendary, Zekrom, whom Black Kyurem is based on, was paired with the White version game, and vice versa.) Since N captured the non-mascot legendary in last year's game, I presume the Pokémon N captured will likely be responsible for Kyurem changing form. These two Pokémon also have special moves—White Kyurem will know Ice Burn, and Black Kyurem will know Freeze Shock. Lastly, in the Pokédex 3D Pro reveal on Nintendo Direct, White Kyurem and Black Kyurem made appearances in the updated Pokédex. The quick image shown confirmed suspicion that the new forms will be ice and dragon type (like regular Kyurem), and will carry the same National Pokédex number (646) as Kyurem.
As far as other Pokémon, the regional Unova Pokédex will increase significantly to include older Pokemon alongside the newer 155 (making the Regional Pokédex expand to about 300, making it the largest yet). One early route shows Lillipup and Azurill as wild fodder, with other examples including Metagross, Lapras, and Mareep. Either fortunately or unfortunately, Tepig, Oshawott, and Snivy reprise their roles as starter Pokémon in the sequels.
From a plot perspective, Black and White 2 take place two years after the first games, and feature a completely new story and pair of protagonists. Though not yet named, the male and female look similar to the protagonists of Black and White, if not slightly younger. In addition, the games feature a new rival, though the extent of his role is currently unknown. A new researcher named Akuroma, who researches Pokémon strength, is also involved.
Now, we can get to the fun stuff: changes in Unova. Let's take a look at Hiougi City, the starting city in the game. Located in southwest Unova, the city appears quite expansive. Hiougi City features a Pokémon Center, which you can use instead of going to a machine or your mother for healing. Next to that is a training school, which seems to tie into the plot somehow. North of the city is a lookout, which allows the player to see the surrounding mountains and routes. Hiougi is not the only new location, as multiple (albeit unnamed) towns and cities, including a tropical town with a beach, have already been revealed.
Aside from towns, it seems a lot has changed in the region in just two years. A good portion of the region is completely covered in ice (including the starting location, most of the post-game area, and a few of the gyms), though any causes or effects of it are unknown. Other major changes are immediately apparent as well: construction on the Route 4 desert is totally complete, and Driftveil City has changed considerably. To make things easier, I've circled all of the changes I see between the old map and the new one.
Since neither Game Freak nor Nintendo would likely ever release a Pokémon game involving massive death, I assume the frozen areas would not be thick enough to encase parts of the region, but simply cover the ground, keeping the people safe and alive. I don't really see enough room on the map for eight gyms (or an Elite Four) as is, so I'll also predict the games will utilize travel of some kind (like the new underwater tunnel system briefly mentioned in pre-release information), and possibly the unfreezing of parts of the region altogether as the story progresses. I've got a strong feeling that some part of that frozen area will be post-game content.
Speaking of gyms, at least two new gym leaders are joining the fray or replacing old ones. One of them, Shizui, is a water-type leader residing in the aforementioned beach town. In his gym, lily pads are used to move around the area. Another, Homika, is a poison-type gym leader whose gym is a music club (where she and her band play). Homika will make an appearance in the Pokémon anime in June.
Finally, let's talk about some of the stuff we see in the trailer. The first really interesting thing is the song used, which has a heavy focus on midi trumpet, not unlike Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald. At the 0:37 mark, what appear to be new antagonists are shown, wearing black outfits reminiscent of Team Rocket but also having the same hair color as Team Plasma. Right after, Akuroma steps onto a stage in front of a crowd, though the purpose is unknown. At the 0:50 mark, the filming of some kind of movie occurs, with the involvement of a metallic Pokémon (identified as Tyranitar, thanks to the Nintendo Direct trailer), though the purpose is unknown. At the 1:00 mark, the male protagonist enters a forested area with what appears to be a Pokémon (or doll) inside. This may refer to the return of secret bases or, more likely, a new event of some kind. The 1:15 mark shows something you may have missed: all trainers—even common ones— now seem to have animations. Maybe it's not big, but it's certainly new.
Pokémon Black and White 2 release on June 23 in Japan, and later this fall everywhere else.
Note: The purpose of this is article is to cover information as it was at the time of the writing. Of course, as news becomes available, we will report on it to keep you updated, and you should expect to see an updated analysis next month.