Author Topic: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White  (Read 5899 times)

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Offline pokepal148

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Pokepal148 (just cleared the second gym)
Steefasaurous (just started)

Pokémon Black and White is the first attempt by Gamefreak to really shake up the Pokémon series. With a newfound focus on a fairly strong narrative themed around conflict, and a new region based on New York City populated almost exclusively by the roster of 156 new Pokémon along with several other changes to the core Pokémon formula these games have plenty to set themselves apart from other games in the series.

It may not have made as many drastic changes as Sun and Moon did but I strongly believe that Pokémon Black and White are the most ambitious games in the series since Pokémon Red and Blue. The problem is that a lot of that ambition either didn't go far enough as far as changing the Series's formula goes or simply falls flat on it's face. This results in some of the most divisive games in the Pokémon series, and in my opinion some of the best.

I hope to see some of you take on this journey with me. My desire to see some kind of discussion of these games led to me going through with this whole forumwide playthrough idea (which is why I kind of rigged it so they'd be the first one). If you want to play along just post in the thread that you're playing along and I'll add you to the list.

One thing: if you get stuck with something post about it in the thread. Try to avoid going to an FAQ or something. The days of beating games by trading secrets on the playground may be long since over but let's try to recreate them right here and now. Besides, I'm way more charming than some FAQ.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 01:50:16 PM by pokepal148 »
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Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2019, 06:59:33 PM »
Oh nice, I got Autumn for the current season. I know the season depends on the date on your DS/3DS and it changes at the end of the month but I don't know if it will be autumn for everyone who starts this game or if everyone will get different seasons even if they have the date set the same as me. Anyways I started out with Tepig. Last I checked Tepig and Oshawatt can't walk on walls and Snivy doesn't even have footprints to leave behind so I have no idea what happened to my room. ;)
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 08:32:24 PM by pokepal148 »
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Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2019, 08:58:06 PM »
All right I'll join on this, I'm pretty sure I can borrow one of these games. Are Black/White 1&2 very different, or are Black2/White2 the 'better' versions like Yellow/Emerald?

I think I'll try going in blind with some Nuzlocke ruleset for myself to make it a bit more interesting. Anyone got a good theme to base the names for my team around? I might go for hiphop artists/rappers, unless someone has a better suggestion? EDIT: Never mind I'm already sold on this idea, it's gonna be great.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2019, 09:10:14 PM by Steefosaurus »

Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2019, 09:04:05 PM »
Black 2 and White 2 are this bizarre romhack sequel thing to Black and White. They're excellent but they're completely different games that don't share much with the originals.

Oh and the button combination to reset your save is up, select, and B at the title screen.

Fair warning, this game has some really mean moments as far as nuzlocking is concerned.

Anyways, I believe pokemon Black and White are the first games in the series to just let you be able to catch Pokémon the first time you enter a route. Before this you usually had to run some errand before they give you your pokeballs.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 12:26:53 AM by pokepal148 »
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2019, 03:35:59 AM »
as I said in discord, I've already been playing BW2 just for grins, and Pokepal is absolutely right so far on a lot of things. it does make me sad to play and see how many features are just broken or destitute from the death of Nintendo WFC.

Playing this has reminded me of so many small QoL changes that Black and White made that got dropped like a bad habit for X and Y and had me angry at the time of playing that game. little things like very smartly placed Doctor/Nurse trainers that offer your trainer their services to refresh your team without having to take a trek back to town if you are able to best them, or BW's own abolishment of the HM involving making them strictly for optional goodies rather than roadblocks for the main path. this left Gym badges to strictly be the obedience threshold for non-OT pokemon.


Dungeon design is brilliant non-linear affairs sometimes that will only give you a peek at some of it's goodies, as dungeon and route layouts can end up changing with the new seasonal system, along with the wild pokemon table and such.

Some of the gyms are the most brilliant things that they ever had in the series. I still hold and maintain that Cilan/Chili/Cress of Striaton Gym is one of the most brilliant opening gyms to a pokemon game ever, and offers a tight set of tutorialization opportunities WITHOUT doing things like feeding the player free pokemon or new exp share or such.

Some of my favorite pokemon designs overall belong to the 5th gen alumni. as a matter of fact, I feel I should point out at this point that since my BW2 run is pretty casual and such, I decided I wanted an alternative starter and Pokegen'd myself a larvesta, because I thought it'd be amusing to have a starter that has no chance to evolve until well into the post-game of my journey. also, Volcarona has rapidly become one of my favorite pokemon. Pokegen will also be used if I need a trade evo or want to mess around with a pokemon that has it's dream world ability, such as Shed Skin Scrafty.

I'm currently at Nimbasa city. I remember in BW1 that some pretty important character development for Bianca happens at Nimbasa, and that struck me as being something bold and WAY Different for a pokemon game to be doing at the time.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 03:37:42 AM by ClexYoshi »

Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2019, 08:32:10 AM »
All right I can borrow Pokémon White Version for sure, so that's great. I'll pick a different starter than Pokepal to keep things fresh. I recognise the grass starter from Pokkén Tournament, but I don't like the final evolution phase of that line, so I'm a bit torn still between going for Snivy and stopping them from evolving after phase 2, or doing the same but for the water type. Don't like any of the 3 final forms to be honest. Does this game one of those stop-evolution-stone items?

Maybe I'll drop the Nuzlocke idea if it's so difficult, we'll see how it goes.


Offline lolmonade

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2019, 08:41:01 AM »
So...my experience with the series is Blue/Red, and then dabbling in X/Y before dropping it.  Sounds like B&W2 are what the majority are playing here, so I'll look-out for a cheap copy near me and see if I can scoop it up.
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2019, 08:54:28 AM »
it's kinda tough...

Samurott is a water type with equally decent attacking stats, but no bulk nor speed to back them up.

Emboar is all right, but feels like he's just blaziken with a thicker body thanks to the type combo and distribution of his stats. I have a soft spot for him.

Serperior is actually pretty bad without it's dream world ability, which you can't access without a website that went defunct even before Nintendo pulled the plug on Nintendo WFC. that being said, nowdays in modern pokemon games where you have access to Contrary, Serperior is used pretty widely because of how dumb the Leaf Storm nonsense is.

Gen 5 I think was the first generation where I actually boxed my starter after getting Samurott for the Pokedex. My plan was to use Jellicent anyway, and Unova has plenty of wonderful pokemon to chose from.



Actually, one of the joys I've had with playing BW2 is seeing the way they've distributed encounters. This seems to be the first game where they adopted the mentality of making various areas of the game very densely occupied by wild pokemon, which struck me when I played X/Y for the first time as a good move; in that game's blatant Viridian Forest paralell, they specifically packed in just about every early bug-type line that you could ever want along with some other goodies new and old. Seeing early game Koffing, Grimer, Riolu, Mareep, Magby, and Elekid sprinkled in with your BW early game staples like Pidove, Lilipup, Patrat, and trubbish made me genuinely smile. (I'm the sort that in Sun/Moon ended up trying to SOS chain me the early game salamence)


So...my experience with the series is Blue/Red, and then dabbling in X/Y before dropping it.  Sounds like B&W2 are what the majority are playing here, so I'll look-out for a cheap copy near me and see if I can scoop it up.

I'd take Pokepal's advice; play BW1. the big thing is that BW2 is so heavily remixed it's almost like a different game. VERY different narrative, completely different early game, refers to plot elements of BW1, etc. You even play as a different trainer and have a different rival.

also, the thing about BW1 is that they very tightly keep the Unova Ecosystem shut in. you will not see a Pikachu or any recognizable pokemon until after you have bested the endgame of Pokemon Black and Pokemon White, whereas BW2 is less concerned about that.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 08:57:58 AM by ClexYoshi »

Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2019, 12:48:25 PM »
Quote
Some of the gyms are the most brilliant things that they ever had in the series. I still hold and maintain that Cilan/Chili/Cress of Striaton Gym is one of the most brilliant opening gyms to a pokemon game ever, and offers a tight set of tutorialization opportunities WITHOUT doing things like feeding the player free pokemon or new exp share or such.

Oh we're going to have some fun here. The Striaton City gym is a massive missed opportunity in my opinion. The setup of having the first gym leader just counterpick your starter Pokémon is absolutely brilliant but the thing is the game intentionally holds back pokemon that could be used to counter that gym. Since I started out with Tepig the gym becomes a water type gym and that's absolutely brilliant. It forces me to go out and track down a Pokémon like Joltik and Emolga who has a type advantage against the gym's water pokemon.

The only way they could **** this one up is to make it so there's only one Pokémon available at this point in the game who can beat the gym's respective type, that pokemon is given to you rather than you having to go out and find it, and because they only have one pokemon available who can counter the gym available at this point the gym in turn is arbitrarily limited to only having one pokemon of it's respective type and is basically a glorified normal type gym.

So guess how they screwed this one up?
« Last Edit: March 04, 2019, 01:10:11 PM by pokepal148 »
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2019, 02:45:25 PM »
... thinking back, I did play this game with Oshawott originally, which meant I got milage out of Pidove at this point in the game and probably didn't notice that AS badly.


I'm not going to pretend Gen 5 is perfect, because it isn't. there's a lot of stuff where they try an idea and half-heart it, like... rare encounter spots... the shaking grass, clouds of dirt, shadows in the water, and shadows cast on the bridge are all gigantic missed oppertunities, as with the shaking grass, 99.99999% of the time you can expect to see Audino. Drillbur with the dust, Ducklett/Swana with the shadows, and Jellicent/MAYBE the ooposite color of Basculin that's native to your version of the game.


Although dream world and the entralink are dead features, the Dream World Website was actually kinda terrible and I disliked every time I had to navigate that website that felt like it was a product of the AOL Fun and Games gate.


there is a LOT of ansulary bloat that I had honestly spaced out of my mind until I saw it, like the Pokemon Musical. BW2's Pokestar studios falls under this too, but at least Pokestar studios has a bit of a puzzle element to it that makes it... I dunno, kinda neat? I wish it had more immediate and tangible rewards. could be a fun feature to bring back in one of the Pokemon games that has trainer cosmetics.the 3DS Dream Radar App that was released with BW2 also falls into this category. and Entralink missions in general, but that's a criticism of all pokemon I can make post Gen 3. there's just a LOT of it in Gen 5. Black City/White Forest. there's another example.

Triples and Rotation battles are fun formats they thought up and then consequently dropped them for future releases because they were both under supported in the games themselves and also caused the poor 3DS performance to start chugging like it's Turok 2: Seeds of Evil.

I also feel like the Unova League in Black/White 1 kinda takes a massive back seat in relevance because of the sharp, nearly blinding spotlight put on Team Plasma. I don't think even Team Rocket over the course of two games has ever felt so monolitic as Team Plasma does, and it actively serves to choke out some other elements of the adventure when so much of the game is Team Plasma, Team Plasma, Team Plasma.

Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2019, 05:04:41 PM »
... thinking back, I did play this game with Oshawott originally, which meant I got milage out of Pidove at this point in the game and probably didn't notice that AS badly.
The encounters are rigged so that Pidove won't appear before you beat the first gym.
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2019, 05:19:51 PM »
... thinking back, I did play this game with Oshawott originally, which meant I got milage out of Pidove at this point in the game and probably didn't notice that AS badly.
The encounters are rigged so that Pidove won't appear before you beat the first gym.

Wow, really?!? I thought I remembered Pidove being available in Dreamyard, but I guess maybe that's Pinwheel forest I was thinking of? that's a good example of my memory failing me pretty hardcore, I guess. like I said, I totally forgot the Pokemon Musical was a thing until the guy handed me the prop case in BW2.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2019, 06:07:46 PM »
PokéStar Studios was the best thing to ever come out of any of the games, I'd gladly take a full spinoff game like that.

That is all.

Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2019, 06:33:08 PM »
PokéStar Studios was the best thing to ever come out of any of the games, I'd gladly take a full spinoff game like that.

That is all.

That'd actually be awesome. it's an idea that could ACTUALLY be fleshed out into something amazing. especially with a Super Mario Maker-esque scripting component to it. sadly, that's an idea too awesome for Gamefreak. better call Genius Sonority up on the phone.

Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2019, 01:05:59 AM »
Here's a fun thing about this gen 5: Surf has no gym badges required to use it. If someone trades you a Pokémon that knows surf you can use it right then and there.

Also apparently I can surf on my little tadpole thingy. That has to be illegal somewhere.

Wild pokemon you find while surfing are usually about the same level as the ones in the tall grass but you do occasionally run into high level trainers though who will curbstomp you.
« Last Edit: March 05, 2019, 01:12:14 AM by pokepal148 »
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #15 on: March 05, 2019, 03:52:28 AM »
yeah, as I said, the badges only level gate traded pokemon's obedience. HMs are a tool of sidequesting and sequence breaking, which makes them feel less tedious as they did in the past, as rather than progress gates, they serve as bonus incentive if you bring your HM Specialists into the unexplored depths of a cave.

Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2019, 06:51:02 PM »
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2019, 07:58:19 PM »
Made it to chargestone cave, wherein my hunt for a tynamo has been a tecious one. Eelektross is a pokemon that fascinates me because on paper it should be amazing but in practice it kinda is mediocre. if it had like... a leaky battery eel look and was Electric/Poison with Levitate? it'd be brilliant and might actually see play as a superb walling pokemon instead of just existing. oh well. still seems neat to be this pokemon with no weakness but just doesn't have the stats or diverse movepool to take advantage of this fact.



Can I take a moment to gush about the soundtracks here? something went VERY wrong with the way pokemon games are scored after Gen 5. I don't know if it's that they were no longer limited by sample-based sequencing, Junichi Masuda finally broke, or what, but the Gen 6 pokemon music with few exceptions sound like the sorts of compositions that are trying to parody what your standard Masuda composition for pokemon sounds like, or are really annoying sounding and forgettable EDM.

BW's soundtrack I feel has it all. memorable battle tracks, catchy and chill town themes, route themes that inspire grandeur or in the case of the BRILLIANT Route 10 theme, finality. BW2 only gets BETTER about this. I've been grinning ear to ear as I get to each gym and hear it play it's own remix of the Pokemon gym theme. the music at the world tournament is incredible. Hugh's musical themes get me boppin' my head, Colress' theme is amazing, and then there's stuff like Virbank City, which is so chill that I've just been listening to it while I do art. I've been taken aback by how much has immediately struck with me. I also love the idea of the Critical HP music theme, using the traditional 'you left your car door ajar' style alarm as an actual instrument, and think that it's a crying shame that this wasn't adopted into Gen 6 or Gen 7's soundtracks and expanded upon; I'm thinking compositions that are Panel De Pon style critical themes for each major battle theme.


I feel like the instrument choice is superb as well, which is why there's a whole youtube cottage industry of people who make remixes of songs using the BW/BW2 sample library to recreate tracks and do their own thing. this phenominon does exist with the other pokemon games (particularly Gen 3 and it's trumpet-heavy samples), but I feel it's most prevalent with the Gen 5 stuff.




Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2019, 10:21:24 PM »
So I used a DNS server hack trick thingy to get a bunch of the event mons and stuff. Along with the liberty pass which I'll talk about when the time comes, one of the events I got was for an egg. Let's find out what's inside. I legit have no clue what it is.

Edit: it was an Axew. Welcome aboard buddy.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 03:55:45 PM by pokepal148 »
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #19 on: March 07, 2019, 07:47:21 AM »
Sorry, one more, because I found it and it really craps all over USUM's rendition of this song.


Offline lolmonade

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #20 on: March 07, 2019, 09:35:58 AM »
I went to one used store last night and it was $25, which seemed steep.  Now I check amazon, and they want $65(!), nuts. 

I got one more spot to check, but you'd think with how iterative the series is that it wouldn't still command such a high price used.
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Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #21 on: March 07, 2019, 01:49:10 PM »
a lot of first party DS games in general have held on to their value for the most part. $25 is actually pretty good.

Heart Gold and Soul Silver are incredibly pricey.

I forgot how mean the second gym is. There's this one specific trick I remembered that I was able to work around but that gym certainly lives up to the fact that normal type gyms are generally pretty challenging. Even with Axew just blasting through everything with Dragon Rage (having a fixed 40 damage move when I still am dealing with Pokémon with less than 40 hp is fun.) I still barely scraped by with that one.

Also I love the more dynamic battle music that they started to introduce with certain tracks that play for certain situations. I wish that had actually gone somewhere with it in later games instead of just dropping it like a hot potato.


I like how outside of the first gym, the gym leaders actually do things outside of waiting around for challengers in the context of the game's story. On top of that they generally have their own lives outside of their respective gyms. Lenora runs a museum, Burgh has a local art exhibit, this is the kind of development for these characters that normally only appears in the anime and it's nice to see it come to the main games. Black 2 and White 2 took this a step further by having individual remixes of the general gym  theme for each of the gym leaders. I wish they would have continued with this in X and Y. You kind of got some of this with some of the Trial Captains and Island Kahunas in Sun and Moon though which is nice.


I actually got a good deal on Black 2 recently so I'll probably talk about that in this thread after I finish White.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2019, 02:15:08 PM by pokepal148 »
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Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2019, 10:12:59 PM »
So fun tip: the EXP share is in the battle company building in Castillia city. You have to beat up the Janitor for it.

So I have a full team now. I have Pignite, Axew, Zorua, Palpitoad, Simisage, and Braviary.

Pignite has basically been the Torchic line but not ridiculously OP, which is nice.

Simisage has been a fun asset, with leftovers and leech seed giving it some passive recovery while it dishes out a decent amount of damage. He's probably the best of the monkey trio


Palpitoad has been getting by with surf and just recently evolved. it's a water/ground type so it doesn't have any weaknesses besides grass. Overall it's a nice mon. I like it.


Axew is a little dragon thing i got from an egg. right now it has Dragon Rage which is still some nice fixed damage. it has other attacks but pretty much everything gets 2hko'd by Dragon Rage right now so they aren't worth talking about.

Braviary is a refugee of sorts from a White 2 playthrough i probably won't finish. He's a stupid powerful giant bird and he has the ability Defiant which means if you try to debuff him he'll just raise his attack two stages like a good boy. He normally doesn't evolve from rufflet until level 45 but in white 2 there's one just hanging out in route 4 at level 25 that you can catch and that's where this one came from. I wound up giving him the Retaliate TM which coming off of it's ridiculous attack stat will likely leave a mark on anything.

Zorua is an interesting story. There's an event Zororak in Lostlorn Forest that I was able to battle and catch because of the DNS trick i used to get event pokemon stuff. I than bred that Zororak with my Lucario (again from the aborted White 2 playthrough) so i can get a Zororak that knows dark pulse because for whatever reason even though Zororak is a special attacking dark type pokemon it barely learns any special attacks. Zorua will evolve at level 30 but until than it's been pulling some decent damage for me with Grass Knot and Dark Pulse. It also has the ability illusion which lets it disguise itself as another pokemon in my party which is kind of useless in single player.

So I just got to the infamous Ferris Wheel scene, which I'm going to keep quiet about because Steef probably doesn't know what I'm talking about but the fact that i'm playing as the female character makes the creepy undertones for almost all of the scenes from here on involving      N        so much worse.
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Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #23 on: March 08, 2019, 09:43:36 PM »
All right I've made it past the first town of note. There's a guy mesmerised by reading the news ticker, my mom has been stalking me, and I think I accidentally attended a revolutionary political rally.

I'm assuming Team Plasma will turn out to be the villains(?) at some point, but if their ideology is indeed to end the forced slavery of Pokémon by humans... That's... Something I would probably side with? It's interesting they're acknowledging this uncomfortable implication the series has always carried (catch animals, make 'em fight for money).
If it turns out they're just trying to make everyone release their Pokémon, only to capture them all for World Domination, that'd be a bummer.

I'm playing as the girl character too, and named her Missy E - because Missy Elliot is the producer on my hip-hop crew to be. Members so far include 2 Patrats respectively called 50 Cent and The Game because they have a manufactured rivalry for relevance, and an Oshawott I've named after Mike Shinoda because it turns out I'm VERY ignorant when it comes to knowing Asian or Asian-American rappers, but his design feels distinctly Japanese.
Feel free to suggest future names! Btw this N guy, wasn't someone from Death Note called N too? He nearly ended my run early, glad I'd already bought potions - although I liked the mart being a separate building in previous games better.

Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2019, 11:28:39 PM »
I'm betting big money that you'll manage to scrape by until you reach the second gym leader and than you'll get nuked hard.
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Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #25 on: March 10, 2019, 09:42:00 PM »
clay wiped me hard the first time. I decided to stick with a bad matchup instead of switching on Excadrill and it wound up just sweeping me after setting up hone claws one or two times.

Also is Bianca just ripping illegal HM copies now?
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2019, 04:01:21 AM »
I took a really bad spill on friday and haven't had much motivation to play pokemon over the weekend, but I'm heading to celestial tower. although Chandalure is a favorite pokemon of mine, I don't want to double up on fire types, so I'm interested to see if we have something fun lurking within like Duskull or Misdreavus or the like. it's been fun to see what they've mixed into the unova dex to spruce it up from BW. I'm also starting to FINALLy see some evolutions in my party, which is nice considering one of my main critiques of BW.


for some reason, weather it was a balancing choice made based on the way the EXP calculation scales or what, someone at gamefreak decided almost every Unovan Pokemon is an INCREDIBLY late bloomer.

Sure, some of your weaker varieties like the likes of lilipup, Pidove, and the starters are still relatively early, but even the early bug types are late bloomers. Sewaddle is your early game quickly evolving bug type that has low potential for a final evolution is 20 for Swadloon and Friendship for Leavanny. Venipede similarly is 22 for Whirlipede and 30 for Scoilopede.

these are the sort of numbers that most normal pokemon from earlier generations would hit their Evo at.

that's not even getting into the likes of Deino, who's stuck in it's base form all the way to 50 to get to Zweilous and 64 for Heidreigon. I'm of course using Larvesta, which doesn't get to become Volcarona all the way until LEVEL 70!!!

there's other ones like it too, such as Mienfoo at level 50 to Mienshao, 54 for Rufflet/Vullaby into Braviary/Mandibuzz, 52 for Pawniward into Bisharp, etc.!

if I have any big tip for you folks playing, it's that the trade evo and stone evo stuff in Gen 5 is very good because it's available so relatively early in comparison to everything else. in BW, I remember half of my team being the likes of Whimsicott, Conkeldurr, and Accelgor for that reason.

Offline lolmonade

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2019, 09:38:03 AM »
a lot of first party DS games in general have held on to their value for the most part. $25 is actually pretty good.

Heart Gold and Soul Silver are incredibly pricey.


Looks like you're right on $25 being the decent fetching price for Black/White.  I'll probably dip in this week. 

There was another DS set of Pokemon games that had a sticker price of $50-60 on the shelf too.  Forget if it was Sapphire or something else?  Just the sticker shock still taking me aback.  Man, they should really offer these older ones digitally if just to make them available for something other than bloated prices.
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Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2019, 12:21:34 AM »
$50-60 would probably be HeartGold and Soulsilver. Gotta dig into that gen 1 nostalgia somehow.
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2019, 12:28:39 AM »
a lot of first party DS games in general have held on to their value for the most part. $25 is actually pretty good.

Heart Gold and Soul Silver are incredibly pricey.


Looks like you're right on $25 being the decent fetching price for Black/White.  I'll probably dip in this week. 

There was another DS set of Pokemon games that had a sticker price of $50-60 on the shelf too.  Forget if it was Sapphire or something else?  Just the sticker shock still taking me aback.  Man, they should really offer these older ones digitally if just to make them available for something other than bloated prices.

the DS's lifespan encapsulated (at least as far as core games go, becuase I'm not going to list off every pokemon dash, mystery dungeon, conquest, torzei, typing tutor, and ranger game here.)...

Pokemon Diamond
Pokemon Pearl
Pokemon Heart Gold
Pokemon Soul Silver
Pokemon Platinum
Pokemon Black
Pokemon White
Pokemon Black 2
Pokemon White 2


I imagine between Nintendo never really discounting pokemon games, the reason these games retain their value so much is because of how interconnected their eco systems are. I remember at the realization that Diamond/Pearl/Platinum HM fodder 'defog' got a very strong buff to make it a competitive viable move that people scrambled to breed up viable pokemon in the gen 4 environment and then jump through the various hoops to get them transferred up.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 08:18:34 PM by ClexYoshi »

Offline Shaymin

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2019, 08:29:29 AM »
Larvesta finally pops its evo at L59, and you can actually catch a L35 Volcarona in BW2 though it doesn't learn its best move until 59 anyway (Quiver Dance).
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Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2019, 06:53:41 PM »
I actually used Larvesta in Ultra Moon. Between the EXP share, it's absurd attack stat, and the fact that the evolite is a thing, it's actually really solid and you can reasonably evolve it before you reach Ultra Necrozma so your overpowered hell moth can help you with that, the last trial, Victory Road, and the Elite 4.

Anyways I'm exploring some side content right now. People complain about Black and White being painfully linear but there is a lot of side areas you can explore and things to do.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 06:59:50 PM by pokepal148 »
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Offline ClexYoshi

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2019, 04:39:05 AM »
I actually used Larvesta in Ultra Moon. Between the EXP share, it's absurd attack stat, and the fact that the evolite is a thing, it's actually really solid and you can reasonably evolve it before you reach Ultra Necrozma so your overpowered hell moth can help you with that, the last trial, Victory Road, and the Elite 4.

Anyways I'm exploring some side content right now. People complain about Black and White being painfully linear but there is a lot of side areas you can explore and things to do.

yeeeeeeeeah, mine is Timid. :I still usin' Evolite on it, though. that's a really stupidly good hold item.

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #33 on: March 18, 2019, 07:26:13 PM »
We've hit our first loss everyone, The Game was sadly less relevant than 50 Cent. :( Someone did give me a Pansear though, but annoyingly they did so in a new location so I couldn't catch another critter there. Could've nabbed me a Purrloin, that would've been useful!

Anyway the first gym was a pushover since the game just up and gives you a Pokémon to counter whatever type the gym is running. Somewhat defeats the purpose of having the gym leader oppose your starting type...

Now I'm after Team Plasma, because their "setting Pokémon free" agenda has already given way to a cheap ploy to steal the 'mons of others. I hope this isn't how they side-step their central agenda for the rest of the game - frankly I'd be curious to see them write themselves out of this hole, but it looks like we're just outright ignoring it so far. Bummer.

Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2019, 07:33:38 PM »
Double post, sorry, but I got a few questions.
- Does poison no longer affect your 'mons outside of battle now?
- What's the deal with the big mossy rock in Pinwheel Forest, or just nothing?
- Are Pokémon harder to catch in this Version? I wasted like 10 Great Balls on catching a Throh and had to keep healing myself between attempts, really quite a drain on resources.

GameFreak seem really proud of the Brooklyn Bridge they built, yeesh. And there's nothing to do there, perfect.
Thanks for the heads-up regarding leveling though, I spent a while grinding up 'Mons and while I think I came in slightly overleveled to the second gym, it's easy to see how that evolved Patrat could hypnosis your whole team asleep easily.

Currently I have a hella overpowered thunderzebra (dark, fire & lightning attacks, seriously?), and judo dude Throh as the main pillars of my team. Roggenrola is a third one, but he's not as speedy and powerful, and does often take big hits so I'm a bit worried with him going forward...
Pansear is already feeling useless, and I kinda wish I had either a grass or bug type at this stage. Woobats are cute too, but I didn't run into one yet, since I caught the Roggenrola in Wellspring Cave. Nuzlocke rules mean the entire Pinwheel Forest area just landed me the single Throh, that could've been a good area to catch a Petilil or one of the two bug types I've seen so far. Alas.

Offline Shaymin

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2019, 09:44:38 PM »
Double post, sorry, but I got a few questions.
- Does poison no longer affect your 'mons outside of battle now?
- What's the deal with the big mossy rock in Pinwheel Forest, or just nothing?
- Are Pokémon harder to catch in this Version? I wasted like 10 Great Balls on catching a Throh and had to keep healing myself between attempts, really quite a drain on resources.

- Black and White is where poison stopped inflicting damage out of battle, yes. (I think the Diamond/Pearl method of stopping at 1HP was better, but whatever.)

- Used to evolve Eevee to Leafeon once you can get a hold of one in the postgame

- Since Throh is a single stage Pokémon, it's got lower odds of catching than other things you might've ran into in that area.
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Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2019, 11:25:27 PM »
Ispent a while grinding up 'Mons and while I think I came in slightly overleveled to the second gym, it's easy to see how that evolved Patrat could hypnosis your whole team asleep easily.
Lenora's gym is set up to go like this: Herdier goes on a suicide run spams take down to punch holes in your team specifically so that Watchog can come in and lead with retaliate (which becomes a 140 base power move when used immediately after another pokemon in that same party faints) to murder whatever pokemon you decided to have out at the time and than use hypnosis to pick away what's left. If your pokemon is low on health and you decide to keep it in for whatever reason than it'll use quick attack to finish it off since that move is guaranteed to go first unless your opponent is also using a priority move.

Her gym is just absolutely merciless and I love it for that. It's honestly one of the best designed trainer battles in the entire series, marred only by the fact that the AI isn't guaranteed to use retaliate which kind of defeats the entire point of Herdier just going on a suicide run and intentionally killing itself off with Take Down's recoil damage.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 11:30:11 PM by pokepal148 »
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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2019, 10:07:57 AM »
- Black and White is where poison stopped inflicting damage out of battle, yes. (I think the Diamond/Pearl method of stopping at 1HP was better, but whatever.)

- Used to evolve Eevee to Leafeon once you can get a hold of one in the postgame

- Since Throh is a single stage Pokémon, it's got lower odds of catching than other things you might've ran into in that area.

Ah okay cool, thanks! Bummer that Throh won't evolve, but that makes more sense then. I thought he was the Machop/Machoke/Machamp equivalent of Black/White but I guess he's closer to Hitmonchan?

Her gym is just absolutely merciless and I love it for that. It's honestly one of the best designed trainer battles in the entire series, marred only by the fact that the AI isn't guaranteed to use retaliate which kind of defeats the entire point of Herdier just going on a suicide run and intentionally killing itself off with Take Down's recoil damage.

That's pretty nifty yeah, luckily I took down Herdier with a rock smash and vital throw so he only got a single take down in. Throh was really useful in this fight, although I had to swap him out with some damage and hypnotised for Roggenrola and then again for my starter.

Offline Evan_B

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #38 on: March 21, 2019, 09:53:37 PM »
You'll not escape my wrath.

Black and White were one of the biggest disappointments to me as a Pokemon fan, and started my gradual departure from being a rabid fan. The post game attempt in this game was decent, but the narrative is awful and the world design suffers so greatly from its attempts at being a visual "spectacle." The game is only redeemed by its fabulous Pokemon designs, which suffer from being not as good as other gens, which would make the game harder in theory, except EXP scaling in this game is hot garbage. So yeah, it has a number of issues that Sun and Moon also share.

Have fun playing!
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Offline Shaymin

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #39 on: March 22, 2019, 09:19:56 PM »

Ah okay cool, thanks! Bummer that Throh won't evolve, but that makes more sense then. I thought he was the Machop/Machoke/Machamp equivalent of Black/White but I guess he's closer to Hitmonchan?


Basically, with Sawk serving as the Hitmonlee. The Timburr family is your Machop analogue.
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Offline Armak88

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2019, 01:01:55 AM »
I'm too busy and riddled with children to replay this along with you all, but I wish I could.

I'll share this story instead.

Pokemon Red and Blue came out when I was 10 years old. Pretty much the perfect age to be obsessed with it for the next 10 years.

Pokemon Black and White came out a few months before I got married. I had 7 groomsmen, since we had all grown up playing Pokemon together I thought it would be cool if I got each of them a version of Black or White as a gift for being in my wedding party.

Some of the guys were lapsed gamers, or not really into handheld games anymore, so they didn't have a DS of their own... So I scoured some local online classifieds and bought 3 used DS Lites on the cheap (in good condition) as well as 8 copies of Pokemon Black and White. A month before the wedding we were all together and I gave them all their copies of Black and White. Everybody was excited, and the three guys who didn't have DS's were happy but were saying, "now we need to pick up a DS so we can play with you guys!" Then I pulled out 3 DS's and gave them to those guys and they lost their mind. I had a lot of fun giving these to my friends.

All next month we were a Pokemon cult. We played and traded each other every chance we got, and on the wedding day, we all had our DS's in our suit jackets all day. There is a lot of waiting around while you get ready, prepare for the ceremony, take pictures and wait for the reception, so any downtime we all popped out Pokemon and played together.

Not everyone stuck with the game all the way to the end, but most of them did, and in the very least the first couple of months were a pretty special experience. I hadn't been that invested in a Pokemon game since Gold and Silver and had a great time with it. I always appreciated the bold move of going with all new Pokemon at the beginning of the game. It really lets you bond with the new Pokemon instead of relying on the old familiars.

Reading through some of the posts in this thread has reminded me of some of the things I love about this game and brought me back to that experience around what was already a really special time when I got married, so thanks!
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Offline Order.RSS

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #41 on: March 29, 2019, 10:58:17 AM »
Everybody was excited, and the three guys who didn't have DS's were happy but were saying, "now we need to pick up a DS so we can play with you guys!" Then I pulled out 3 DS's and gave them to those guys and they lost their mind. I had a lot of fun giving these to my friends.

Great moment right there haha! That sounds super fun, probably the best way you could play Pokémon when no longer a kid with a playground full of potential trade/battle partners and a line for the one kid with a Link Cable.

I really wish I could trade with someone on this run, just found out that the Boldore I have is basically locked from evolving without a trade, like Graveller or Kadabra. I'm really liking this pretty much blind run so far, I caught a Darumaka on Route 4 a few days ago. No idea if it will evolve or learn anything useful of course. The Sandile I encountered on the same route later probably is much more useful, but oh well.
Really reminds me of that time with Gold/Silver when my friend found a Delibird who we called Santa and for a week or two we were convinced he'd suddenly become mega powerful. We drew our own mock-ups for evolutions, speculated on what cool moves he could get.
(Of course Delibird did neither evolve nor learn anything remotely useful besides Fly HM, but the fun is in speculation.)

Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #42 on: March 29, 2019, 01:57:15 PM »
Darumaka is stupidly useful but he's also dangerously frail. I don't know how well he'll work for a nuzlocke run but I recommend keeping him on the EXP share until he evolves so hustle gets replaced with Sheer Force.
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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #43 on: April 08, 2019, 01:59:00 PM »
So getting back to this mess I got to the flying gym now. I just went through this game's graveyard area and can we just talk about how bizarre it is that there is a graveyard area in pretty much every Pokémon game? Like it's so weird because most western media that's marketed towards children avoids the subject of death like the plague but Pokémon is consistently willing to remind you that death is a thing in this universe.
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Offline nickmitch

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #44 on: April 08, 2019, 04:41:57 PM »
Gotta have some place for you to catch ghosts though.
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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2019, 08:51:13 AM »
All right I've made some progress again, out of the desert, rode a ferris wheel with a guy I should've swiped left on, had another fancy bridge cinematic to gawk at, and demolished the electric gym with ease - Zebstrika's pursuit just wrecks their volt switch strategy. Right now I'll need to do some grinding before taking on the Driftveil Gym unfortunately because...

Darumaka is stupidly useful but he's also dangerously frail. I don't know how well he'll work for a nuzlocke run but I recommend keeping him on the EXP share until he evolves so hustle gets replaced with Sheer Force.

...You weren't wrong here. Had an ill-fated run-in with some stupid biker called Charles who keeps buying out the local shops, and he knocked out not just Darumaka but my starter too.

Team's a bit in shambles at the moment, since I'm basically reduced back to Throh/Zebstrika/Boldore. Throh is stupidly overpowered in this game, by the way. Fighting moves are super effective against basically everything so far, just cleared out the local Plasma freezer without any effort.
Assuming the Driftveil Gym is ice types I'm not too worried since, again, those are weak to fighting and I have Zebstrika with lightning/fire moves too. But I would like to get a bit more coverage on the squad, right now I don't have any psychic/ghost/bug/grass/ice/water/flying/or steel moves.

What I have in the box that seems useful: Vanillite, Trubbish, Yamask. I think I'll start by training up Trubbish, because I like his design the best and I don't usually go for poison types. Yamask looks kinda cool too. In general I'm kinda low-key loving the designs of most of the new Pokémon here, they're such a step up from the last one I played (Platinum, wasn't a fan). I don't think I've seen any non-Gen 5 ones so far? Vanillite looks cuter than I thought he would, too, but I feel like I've seen his second form somewhere before and it's a really goofy Wheezing-but-ice-cream thing so not huge on training him up.

Offline Mop it up

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2019, 12:48:16 PM »
The Vanillite line is easily the best Mon from Gen 5.

The Route 10 tune is the best music to ever come out of the series.

That is all.

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #47 on: May 10, 2019, 04:39:03 PM »
So getting back to this mess I got to the flying gym now. I just went through this game's graveyard area and can we just talk about how bizarre it is that there is a graveyard area in pretty much every Pokémon game? Like it's so weird because most western media that's marketed towards children avoids the subject of death like the plague but Pokémon is consistently willing to remind you that death is a thing in this universe.

So I'm almost caught up to this part now. Really having a tough time working my way through the graveyard tower thing though. I basically have nothing useful against Ghosts except for Foongus who has a single Dark attack, but is weak to every Litwick out there. Zebstrika is pretty underleveled, but he has Pursuit so maybe that's a better option.

Been training a Klink in anticipation of the flying type gym, but just realised he's a Steel type instead of Lightning as I had assumed... Gotta say there's a lot of weird/interesting type combinations in this game.

Here's my team as it stands: Throh, Foongus, Boldore, Zebstrika, Trubbish, Klink. Only Throh is really good at the moment since he's basically carried me through the game, while the Exp Share has been dividing points over the others. Foongus is the second highest leveled.
Kinda wanna drop Zebstrika for a Litwick I just caught, because I really liked Chandelure in Pokkén Tournament. But with a Flying gym ahead and all these Ghosts, it's probably best to grind for a while with Zebstrika instead. Boldore is kinda limited in uses too I find, but maybe I'm not using him right?

EDIT UPDATE:
Well, the flying gym was the first one to give me a good challenge. Lost the Zebstrika there, and I didn't anticipate Swanna having water moves which wrecked my Boldore too. Klink was nearly lost to Swanna too, I thought Steel would resist Water but guess not... Narrowly eked out a victory with Trubbish, who evolved into a monstrosity afterwards, love it.
Past this gym though, it was smooth sailing for Throh & the rest once again. A cave with rock and ice monsters? Byeeeeee. Ice Gym was yet another one weak to every single fighting move. Seriously this whole game is really poorly optimised against Fighting moves.

After the Ice Gym though it's suddenly like the game remembers it wanted a bigger plot too. Basically out of nowhere they send you up another Tower, this time with a bunch of Plasma grunts (no points for guessing all their 'mons are weak to fighting too). Guess I'm chasing a Dragon now, ugh.
Really not loving this part of the plot; frankly it makes me wonder why Pokémon games insist on having Team Evil at all, when every normal trainer is already an adversary. Much preferred this game when you were just casually trying to work your way through the Gyms towards a League Pass. Every time they attempt drama, whether it's Cheren's about-to-turn-evil, or N's half-assed ideology, or now suddenly the entire world being in peril, it just completely falls flat for me.

Current team: MVP Throh, Amoongus, Garbodor, and then Klink, Litwick and Palpitoad are the weaker ones rounding out the squad. I won a second Exp Share in a Quiz Show though so I'm sure I can pull those up to par quickly.
I will say I'm really liking most of the Pokémon designs in this generation. Keep meeting new strange ones, like Mienfoo, Gotharita and Golett which I'd literally never seen before. There's not many Water types in this gen though, are there? Granted I've not surfed anywhere, nor do I have a fishing rod. Do you even need HMs in this game? I've used Strength maybe twice, nothing else.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2019, 08:27:01 AM by Steefosaurus »

Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #48 on: May 19, 2019, 03:23:36 PM »
HMs are pretty much unnecessary outside of that one time you need cut.

But Ice is just a terrible type. You only get to resist other ice type moves and you get like eight weaknesses. It's surprising that ice is usually the 7th or 8th gym when it's such a terrible type.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 03:47:36 PM by pokepal148 »
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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #49 on: May 20, 2019, 01:16:51 PM »
All right, wrapped up the main story and I think I'm done here. I wanna thank everyone in this thread who helped me with advice and questions, it's been so much more fun to figure stuff out or ask others than to consult GameFaqs. Great first Retrospective suggestion, Pokepal.
Final thoughts below (full spoilers, natch).

Context: Used to be a big fan of the first 2 Pokémon generations, as well as FireRed/LeafGreen, but I fell off the wagon pretty hard after Emerald and Platinum, both of which were very underwhelming to me. Black/White feels like a return to form in many ways, and although they're not perfect, they manage to pretty much hit all the beats I want out of Pokémon.

Positives:
- Really like that there's no previous generations during the entire main story. They've designed enough new ones to keep things surprising, even in the final fight with Ghetsis I saw 3 monsters I hadn't seen before (Zoroark, Eelektross, and a sort of sea turtle).

- The new designs are mostly inspired too. Sure there's duds like Patrat, and while I initially liked seeing Zebstrika, his design became an eyesore after a while. And a few just skew too much towards the Digimon realm of being overdesigned (both legendary dragons, the Golurk line and the legendary dogs I never met).
But there's loads I liked too. Trubbish is funny, I like Amoongus, the whole KlinKlang line, the Chandelure line, those crocodiles with sunglasses, and I even grew to like Scraggy and my MVP Throh even though I'm not huge on Pokémon wearing 'human' outfits.

- Semi-separating Black/White from the rest of the Pokémon games must have been a tough sell, but it's a great move I think. There's some very cursory mentions of other games, and of course a lot of mechanics are legacy stuff from previous games. But if this came out as the first Pokémon entry, you wouldn't be super lost I don't think. It also helps to project a feeling of confidence from the creators, in that they're adamant this game can stand on its own.
I'm sure the post-game brings in every single previous Pokémon, reference, etc., but the main story is spared those interruptions.

- The general feel of discovery. Travelling from place to place, finding new creatures, new gyms with weird gimmicks felt fresh again here. Might just be me, having not played Pokémon for a few years and going into this one mostly blind, but hey. I think this really demonstrated to me that Pokémon is a more-or-less perfect formula, and while some minor adjustments are always needed to keep things fresh, the foundation is rock solid.

Negatives:
- They go for a lot of visual flourishes in random places. Bridges lowering, ferris wheels spinning, castles rising up from the ground, dragons arriving. Every time these cutscenes just kinda clash with the souped up GBA aesthetic the rest of the game has. Not a fan.

- The game doesn't rrrreally force you to rotate your team a lot if you have a single fighting Pokémon. Fighting moves just steamroll over like half the gyms, everything Team Plasma ever brings to the table, and one of the Elite Four.
My final team had some very obvious flaws (no psychic, ice, rock, bug, flying moves at all, lots of uncovered weaknesses, and a massive reliance on Toxic), but this was almost never a problem save for maybe 3 areas. And if you don't play it Nuzlocke style you can be a lot more careless going into battles too.

- I feel like the inventory system has regressed a bit? Didn't FireRed/LeafGreen automatically sort everything into separate categories? Here they do so for key items, TMs, medicine and berries, but held items and regular items are chucked into one category together with all your various Pokéballs. If you're gonna give us 10 types of Pokéballs and mountains of 'rock gem/bug gem/etc gems', give us better sorting options than doing it manually one by one. Also, Rare Candy and stat-boosting stuff like Calcium shouldn't be in amongst medicines at all.

- The world map is pretty boring. It's just a circle! And you can almost never deviate from the path. The only instance where I did is when I cleared out the Desert before the story brings you there much later. In Blue/Red you can, with some creativity, almost completely decide the order of gyms 4-7 by yourself (although Koga must always occur before Blaine).
Now I didn't hate the linear progression here, since I have less time now then the 100 hours I sank into Blue back in the day, but it'd be nice to have options. Black/White give you the weakest excuses too, some guard literally says "there's something blocking the path ahead".
Maybe the field HMs become useful in the post-game, but I think I used Surf, Strength and Cut just once each. Just eliminate them entirely as field moves entirely then.

- The story is mostly just a nuisance disturbing any fun you were having. It's really annoying to constantly be on your toes in new areas in case you get blindsided by "N" or one of your stupid rivals demanding a battle. Then the entire Team Plasma storyline just goes nowhere, is utterly predictable from square one, and even the resolution isn't great.

The real bummer here is that everything starts out promising. Does GameFreak finally address one of the core complaints about the series? They seem aware that the 'this is cartoon hen fighting' criticism exists, but just have no clue how to address it. The Pokémon can't ever express their opinion except through the unreliable interpreter "N", and the human's arguments all revolve around selfish desires.
"Without Pokémon I'll be lonely!", "humans and Pokémon feel connected". Defending the status quo for no reason but emotionally charged arguments and "because things have always been this way I guess?" is a really poor choice here.

How I would do it: show that people are getting persuaded by Team Plasma. Make it so you occassionally bump into distraught trainers who released their 'mons. Team those up with your player character, encounter their released ones ('Ace Trainer's Ducklett appeared... it looks lost and lonely...'), you weaken them and the NPC re-catches their old Pokémon again.
Sure it'd be annoying and scripted, but I think if you do this 3 times max over various areas the point is clear enough. Of course the developers are never going to actually set free all the Pokémon from you Box like they allude to, but if you're not going to follow through on a 'threat', at least still try to make it tangible.

- About the story finale, it's this really weird Final Fantasy esque mess. Castle rises up from nowhere, suddenly stairs fly in from everywhere. In general from the Elite Four onwards they suddenly hit you with a lot of borderline supernatural stuff which I'm not sure fits so well the relatively grounded rest of the game. Ghetsis is a weird final boss too, I had most trouble with his Eelektross who took out two of my 'mons, but to end on a legendary(?) Hydreigon who goes down in one hit from Throh felt anti-climactic.

In conclusion:
While I've mostly complained here, I think that's more because there's a strong core game here with a lot of missed opportunities kinda weighing it down. Pokémon Black/White seem like great entry points for newcomers, and they're good for lapsed fans like me. Beyond working as very solid singular entries in the franchise, I also think they're subtly different enough from previous games to really stand out. Overall I'm very pleased to have played this, it's really shown me that Pokémon is still a good series - I just played a few bad instalments in a row. Maybe I'll try to borrow another DS cart from my friend.
Final rating: 4/5, this is one I'd recommend.

Stats
Pokémon seen: 136
Pokémon caught: 34
Pokémon lost: 9 (2 in the final battle).
Final team: Chandelure (lv 58), Throh (lv 54), Seismitoad (lv 53), Garbodor (lv 52), Amoongus (lv 51), KlinKlang (lv 50).

Offline pokepal148

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Re: Forum Retrospective Playthrough #1: Pokémon Black and White
« Reply #50 on: May 20, 2019, 01:32:28 PM »
It's worth getting to Village Bridge which I believe is one of the first post game areas, because there's a cool gimmick there that's worth checking out.
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