Visiting Pokémon Black/White’s On-the-Go Pokémon Centers

By Laura . January 17, 2011 . 1:27pm

Welcome to a mini-chapter of our Pokémon Diary series, part of our in-depth coverage of Pokémon Black/White. This isn’t a full-blown entry — more of a place to mention a few interesting details that we couldn’t fit anywhere else in our past chapters.


Pokémon Black/White have what I call on-the-go Pokémon Centers. No, they aren’t inflatable Pokémon Center tents. They’re nurses and doctors who, after you battle and win against them, will heal your Pokémon if you talk to them again at any time. One of them, a nurse, is posted before Yaguruma Forest, which is the first “dungeon” you enter.


Once I gave it some thought, I realized she was positioned very strategically, given that she’s standing right outside the grass with the tough wild Nageki and Dageki, who will certainly give your team a run for their money.


If you’ve been keeping up with our coverage, you’ll know that Black/White are very much designed around convenience and streamlining, and appealing to players that have gone through the motions of a Pokémon game many, many times. This carries over to breeding as well. The Breeding Center is located right after the second city, which makes it feel like the game is putting the breeding and raising tools into the player’s hands as soon as it possibly can.


I acquired the C-Gear, too, after a simple side quest. The C-Gear is Pokémon Black/White’s customizable communication interface. It looks for a local wireless or Wi-Fi or even infrared connections constantly, for you to communicate with; although you can turn this feature off.


The C-Gear takes up the entire Nintendo DS bottom screen. However, you can also use the Y button on the DS to assign shortcuts to multiple items that would normally be accessed via the tapping the bottom screen. The Y-button can be assigned to four different tools, such that when you press Y, a menu pops up for you to select which item you’d like to use.


One of these tools, the Dowsing Machine (yes, got that too) is one of the most handy items in the game. It’s a radar that looks like two dowsing rods that points in the direction of nearby items. I can officially say it’s my favorite item in Black/White thus far, and I find that it works better than similar items in previous Pokémon games.


If you missed previous entries in our Pokémon Black/White Diary, you can catch up on them below:

Diary Entry 1: Embarking On A New Journey

Diary Entry 2: Tweaks To Wild Pokémon And The Battle System

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  • Streamlining? It seems more like they are making it extremely easy for players. They should have just let players be able to buy healing items or not done it at all. Whatever happened to the challenge of going through these “dungeons”? I dont know, doctors on the field just seems strange..

    Though Im curious what in battle sprites theyve given them, male and female doctors Im guessing?

    • Actually, it really is more streamlining, at least for the first doctor found. The forest itself– and the area below, is just a ball’s toss away from the town, relatively. Even if there wasn’t a doctor there, people would just go ahead and head back to town to heal instead of bothering with stocking up on healing items.

      It’s streamlining in that it basically understands what the player is going to do anyway, so might as well get rid of the extra backtracking that will inevitably happen.

    • Ren

      Females are nurses and males are doctors, wich bases my theory that female doctors and male nurses must be extremely rare in Japan. Kinda strange for me, since where I live, there’re much more female doctors and male nurses than their opposites.

      EDIT: Wait, YOU are complaining they are making a game easier(even if it doesn’t really make it any easier, just less annoying)? Oh, the sweet, sweet hypocrisy. Seriously, you just amuze me too much. I would just say ‘don’t ever change’, but then I remember how you act.

      • Darn they dont have vice cersa, thats not being cognizant of the medical environment demographics. They should hire some, hm statistical so they can accurately portray the male to female ratio of both professions in the game.

        • Ren

          Give them some leverage, they are a woman discriminant nation. And nurses are a fetish, even though I find it a very idiotic one. Female doctors are nice fetishs too, but I prefer the male ones, like police. Maid is the only fetish I think is both ridiculous, impratical and awsome, but I’m the kind of guy who complains about skirt lenght… Wow, where the hell I started ranting?

    • PersonaBull

      I’ve played a little bit of Black (don’t ask shhhh) and I can say it’s most certainly not being made easy. In the first “dungeon” I was genuinely scared for the first time since Red (I was 8 years old) that all my pokemon would faint before I made it out. Trainers and strong wild pokemon were everywhere and, playing like I have for every previous game, I was almost overwhelmed.

      Also, the doctors aren’t on the field so much as right outside the “dungeons.” It’s basically saving you the trip between the “dungeon” entrance and the closest town, which is generally a completely safe trip. I’d certainly call that streamlining.

      I don’t really remember what their sprites looked like, though. I’m pretty sure one looked like a nurse, at least. I’m basically waiting for more…”full” experience of the game to play further into it.

    • … Do you see the irony in the fact you want a harder game, yet you take steps to make things easier for yourself, such as trading over Pokemon from a more “experienced” file?

      • [The Hunter] Doomrider

        … I thought TS was making progress =(

      • If it were harder, than my efforts would be essential for getting through the game. My efforts make the game more enjoyable and harder. You try training dragon pokemon from lvl 5 starting out in the beginning of the game. You see just how hard it is. No moves to benefit types, late level evolutions, lengthy growth; that in my book means its harder.

        • You said you give them high powered moves straight from the beginning though. That just let’s them curb-stomp every battle from the beginning to mid-game at the very least. Also, by wanting the damage formula against you to be higher and wishing for Gym leaders with higher level Pokemon, which is something you said in the last diary entry, you’re actually acknowledging the fact that you’ve made the games too easy for yourself through your “efforts”. About your “concerns of overleveling”, you should be glad that the new system offsets that for you by giving less EXP to your overleveled Pokemon even though the formula has been tweaked to give you more when they’re not.

          • The new EXP system sounds intriguing thought, Id just be spending more time listening to my musics while grinding. Perhaps Im just making the games too easy.

    • Caligula

      But Pokemon dungeons were never challenging in the first place…

      Although I really like the idea of doctors, I don’t think you have much to be fear about a change in difficulty–the doctors really don’t make much of a difference in gameplay. You’re pretty much your own doctor in the other games by bringing along revives and potions, so the only thing they’re really doing for you is saving you money.

  • LastFootnote

    It’s funny to me that they’re streamlining the Pokemon training process so much in-game, only to then force you to go online and play countless Dream World mini-games in order to get Pokemon with the moves and abilities you want. One step forward, two steps back.

    • PersonaBull

      Well I’d say that’s generalizing a bit. I sure don’t feel forced to do anything, including playing the game in the first place. This may be more of an issue for the more hardcore EV trainers, but my pokemon had plenty of their own personalities and were plenty customized to my liking. I guess this is just a case of me being too casual of a gamer, though.

      Sorry, that seems a little snarky of me to say, I just don’t get how extra mini-game features limited to one hour per day are such a detriment to your experience :/

    • Caligula

      I think the Dream World idea is actually kind of interesting. I find the games tend to be more interesting and engaging when you’re interacting with other players instead of a completely solo deal, but then again, that’s just me.

  • Zero_Destiny

    I’m torn with this, sounds like they’re makin’ it a bit easier with all these new func’s but at the same time I know just how monotonous some of these things can get. I’d really like to see a more rewarding breading system in Pokemon thou. Maybe give us stats and moves from both parents and give us unique Pokemon we can’t get otherwise (I know there’s some but most are just baby Pokemon that aren’t that great unless you really like said Pokemon). Still lookin’ to be a great game thou.

    • For moves, while I agree it would have been better in older generations that the baby should have gotten the mother’s TM moves, that idea is rendered moot anyways since the TMs are unlimited starting this generation. The idea that she give egg moves to her baby is a little redundant though, since the baby will always be her species.

      What do you mean by inheriting stats though?

      • PersonaBull

        Wow, that was a horrifying thought. If breeding pokemon worked like “rebirth” stats in an MMO (such as Lunia, because it’s my only real experience with MMORPG’s) where they inherited base stats plus bonus stats for each generation.

        That could get outta hand rather quickly I’d say. So much for online competition if things worked like that *shudder*

        • Well, inheriting stats the way you thought of, that’s actually stepping into Monster Rancher territory… I think. I doubt Gamefreak and the Pokemon Company would even consider changing the system to become that way for that very reason.

          • Zero_Destiny

            Hhmm never played Monster Rancher. I know in Dragon Quest Monster when you mate your monsters they disappear and you get a baby. But I still think the tolerance bar would be a good addition.

      • Zero_Destiny

        Well I kind of meant like mixing and matching PERSONA demons or something. Sometimes the moves from the mixed demons will become the moves the new demon has and it might inherit there attributes and weaknesses. So like combining two completely different Pokemon and getting a third [different] Pokemon. But just letting you keep moves in normal Pokemon breading would of been cool too. Plus attributes boost and maybe a scale to measure a Pokemon’s tolerance to weakness (through mating you can create Pokemon that are more and more tolerant to their weakness) Still think it would be cool to mate a Fire and water Pokemon and create a Pokemon baby that could use attacks from both elements (then again it does seem like cheating when I think about it).

  • When I first heard about this from my brother, my first reaction was “Oh yeah, I remember when they did that in Dragon Warrior Monsters!” Of course, in DWM the appearance of the Priests who’d heal your party were completely random. Far as I can tell Pokemon doesn’t do completely random outside of Mystery Dungeon games.

  • NeoTechni

    “If you’ve been keeping up with our coverage, you’ll know that Black/White are very much designed around convenience and streamlining”

    So, can you trade with previous versions of the game before beating the game and thus defeating a big point of it?

  • Raidou

    These segments have been making my day everytime I read them! Too much WANT. Playing SS right now to take the edge off. Going to have to try my best to stick to an all new Pokémon team. And I only just discovered the wonders of Crobat… :[

  • The dowsing machine’s nice, and is actually the first time that I actually felt like searching around for a hidden item. The Dream World was a mix of good and bad.

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