Pokémon Black & White 2: Diary 1 – A New Journey With Familiar Faces

By Laura . June 27, 2012 . 5:02pm

Welcome to our in-depth coverage of Pokémon Black 2, kicking off with this first diary entry. The purpose of this ongoing series of articles is to provide a well-rounded account of what you can expect from Black/White 2 without spoiling the actual experience for readers, regardless of whether you’re new to the series or a veteran Pokémon trainer. We hope you enjoy it!

 

My first day on a Pokémon journey through the world of Pokémon Black 2. The first few minutes passed by in a whirl, kind of like when you cram all the packing you have to do into a single day before you’re shipped off to college.

 

Starter Pokémon? Check. (I chose Snivy.)

Pokédex, Livecaster, Town Map? Check.

Running Shoes? Check.

 

Potions and Pokéballs? Check, and check. (This actually felt more like having relatives shove food and snacks into your arms just as you’re heading out the door even though you could’ve bought them outside your dorm with just a five minute walk. You get so much from so many different people!)

 

And then comes the obligatory “This is how you catch Pokémon” and “This is the town,” although many of the other tutorials and explanations come with the option to skip them. All in all, my first steps outside Aspertia City came very quickly and smoothly.

 

Aspertia City is actually very large for a starting city. It contains its own Center and Shop, as well as the first gym (that is closed at the start of the game). When I received the Town Map, I opened it and checked for its location. It’s actually southwest of what I’ll call mainland Unova to denote the setting of the first game. It seems like ship travel will be a major focus in this game, since that’s the only way you can reach the rest of Unova. There are also lines drawn over a river and mountain, which may be alternate paths that you can travel down in the future.

 

Exploring the city may take a while, especially with the size of the city and without your Running Shoes, so I decide to head over to Belle the first moment I could to start on my journey. It’s kind of refreshing, not getting your Pokémon from a professor in the beginning of the game, and Belle definitely has more personality. On a side note, I think the animation when she gives you the Pokémon is impressive.

 

Incidentally, your future rival and best friend (default name: Hiyuu) is very excited to get started on his journey, too. He isn’t originally set to travel, but after some convincing, Hiyuu convinces everyone that he’s ready to journey as well. He has a rather forceful, aggressive personality, but he definitely cares for his Pokémon (almost to the point of obsession). I can’t wait to see what his role in the game will be.

 

My first steps outside town are rather lackluster. Patrat and Purrloins make up the population of Route 19—standard beginner fare. However, not much time passes before I reach another town and the farm beyond it.

 

I really like the farm. For some reason, the swaying lavender(?) makes it seem very idyllic, and then there’s the little Mareep running around. Yes, Mareep. Seeing them, I get excited about old Pokémon appearing again and about training a completely different team than I’ve done before (in Black and White and in other previous generations).

 

Lo and behold, the first Pokémon I find is Azurill, followed closely by Mareep and Sunkern. In the original Pokemon Black, I had purposely held off from training any Pokémon that wasn’t introduced in the current generation because it felt like they were “intruding” on the world of Unova.

 

However, in this game, it feels more like care was taken to introduce Pokémon such that they match with their surroundings and the culture of the areas. They feel more integrated. I’m not sure if this will be consistent going forward, but it was a nice feeling.

 

Hiyuu and you team up to find a lost Herdier in the farm, but in doing so you immediately meet one of the remnants of Team Plasma…this time dressed in black rather than white. Laughably, she tosses you a TM to distract you as she makes her escape. (But I only wanted to thank her!)

 

It looks like there will be a lot more interaction between Hiyuu and you, and there were already a few incidents when he follows you around, so maybe there will be double battles with him in the future? Either way, after your first encounter with the antagonists of the game, you receive news that the gym leader back in the starting city has arrived. Back we go! The backtracking isn’t bad, and ledges make it so that the return trip has minimal random encounters.

 

Speaking of battles, I really like how even the ordinary Trainer battle starts off with character animation. The animations aren’t even a second long, but it makes them feel more alive (before, only important trainers got the special treatment, like N or the Gym Leaders).

 

The gym leader for Aspertia City is a rookie and new to his job (perhaps that’s why his AI was pretty bad? I am allowed wishful thinking, haha), but he’s a familiar and welcome face. The first battle isn’t hard at all, given the right strategies, although I can see how the battle could have immediately turned south had I acted differently. (I’m glad I raised my Azurill!)

 

With my first Badge, I’m ready to continue on my journey to Route 20 and Virbank City, where it looks like there’ll be a new Gym and a boat to take me to Castelia.

 

Food for Thought:

1. You’re given a Medal Box where you can store medals that you get from reaching certain achievements and for playing through the game. There are 200 in all.

 

2. Hiyuu and the main character’s interaction reminds me of Green and Red’s, but with slight but very important differences. I wonder if it’s just a coincidence (or my imagination)?

 

3. Cheren, the poor guy, was handed a whole new set of Pokémon to begin his Gym career with. I bet he misses his old team.

 

Note that we’re playing the Japanese version of Black 2, so the English names for some cities and characters aren’t available yet. We’ll use English names wherever possible, but in other places, we’ll have to use the original Japanese names.


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  • riceisnice

    Wasn’t there a rule somewhere that said you couldn’t compete in the Gym from your home town?

    • Christopher Nunes

      Where was that stated? If mean, sure it’s the starting home town but other characters (or trainers) come from those cities so it’s not an absolute rule.

      Anyway it’s a nice change of pace to have the first Gym located in your home town and the old Pokemon appearing in spots where it fits their appearance, type, and culture and such is really great to hear!

    • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

       I don’t remember this rule stated, anywhere to be honest.  Do you have a source?

    • SirTeffy

       I’d argue that since there’s no rule against competing against your own PARENT, there would logically be no rule about one’s HOMETOWN either.

  • Suicunesol

    So far, would you say it’s a worthy buy? I usually abstain from buying Pokemon games that don’t have completely new Pokemon in them.

    What about the music? Is the music recycled from BW1 or is it remixed or new?

    • http://ggftw.com/forum/ Monkey_T

      There is both remixed and new music.

      • Suicunesol

         Thank you. New music is a good sign.

  • SirRichard

    “And then comes the obligatory “This is how you catch Pokémon” and “This is the town,” although many of the other tutorials and explanations come with the option to skip them.”

    Taking little steps forward wherever they can, game by game, eh? Maybe next time around, HM moves will be replaced with items!

    I’m honestly looking forward to it. While they weren’t radically different, Black & White were a nice breath of fresh air that the series desperately needed, especially after the slog that was Platinum (you even moved slower in that game than in others, nearly drove me mad, that) and if nothing else, Unova’s still a much nicer place than Sinnoh’s dreary swamps!

  • Christopher Nunes

    Sounds awesome! Having the first Gym in your home town is really cool and having to travel to the mainland of Unova by boat is interesting… I wonder if our original Protagonist from the first game appear or both?

    And the new Rival sounds more friendly than Blue (I prefer Blue instead of Green because it sounds cooler for him and more of a boy’s name) and seems to be a real go-getter of a guy. Hiyuu, huh? I wonder what his English name will be? Also teaming up with him sounds cool! I’m curious if you pick White 2 version will the Plasma Grunt be in white instead of black?

    Great to hear which Pokemon appear early on and having Mareep and Azurill make an appearance and they fit to the area’s culture and such. Really cool to hear, especially normal Trainer animation… it was a matter of time they did that.

    Poor Cheren, kinda sucks you have to change Pokemon Team for the new job as Gym Leader to make it fair (like, us, the Players always having to start with new Pokemon each new Pokemon game) but your old team would’ve been too much to face as the first Gym!

    I plan to get both Black 2 and White 2 at once instead of originally getting White first and then  Black down the road, so pre-order time! ^_^

    I can’t wait to get these games when they come out in the US! By the way, Laura can you read Japanese? You seem very knowledge in that field with describing character name and the name of the city (Virbank City) and such.

    • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

       The rival is actually a friend of the protagonist and not just a “I want to beat your face into the ground” character to constantly face.

      I … honestly don’t know the answer to the question about White 2 ^^;  Sorry.

      I felt bad for Cheren…  I found it kind of funny that it almost seemed like he didn’t know how to use them because he kept using Work Up the whole time, but I suppose that also has to do with the sheer lack of moves level 13 Pokemon have…

      Yeah, I can read Japanese.  The English names, though, are from another site.  For example, the starting city is named Hiougi in Japanese and Aspertia in English.

      • Christopher Nunes

        Good to know about the rival!

        And I wasn’t expecting an answer for the White 2 question regarding the Plasma, I was just throwing that out there since you pointed at the Plasma’s outfit in Black 2.

        Heh, indeed Cheren gets the short end of the stick but consider the Pokemon he has and the moves they have plus he’s a new Gym Leader so he has to help trainers starting out to gain some experience.

        And cool, I’ve taken a Japanese Language class in College to learn Japanese better… kinda forgot as I haven’t been checking my notes every now and again but I understand a few things still in Japanese thanks to my lessons and playing Japanese games.

        Hiougi and Aspertia, hmmm… what does Hiougi mean? And do you think Aspertia will retain its original Japanese name for the US version? Seems plausible.

        • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

           I didn’t translate “Hiougi” to Aspertia.  That seems to be the official name.

          Hiougi…  If I were to go Tales on this … Mystic Arte? ^^;

          • Christopher Nunes

            Huh? I didn’t say Hiougi and Aspertia were the same thing or translated from. I was stated the name of the two cities in the game. Sorry to confuse you. ^^:

            I was just wondering if Aspertia would be the same in the English seeing it looks easy to pronounce in English.

            And Hiougi… oh my lord, I didn’t even realize it until you mentioned it! That’s very funny! XD

          • http://terracannon876.livejournal.com Laura

             Hmm … I think there’s some confusion.  Hiougi = Aspertia.  It’s the starting town.

          • Christopher Nunes

            Really? My bad then, I thought Hiougi and Aspertia were for the names of two separate towns. ^^;

    • http://twitter.com/ifarah12 Gren

      I have White 2 and the Neo-plasma grunts are still in black, the UI is white instead of black though.

      • Christopher Nunes

        Interesting… thank you very much!

  • http://blackstar2661.deviantart.com/ SilverSpades

    So, what’s this new core mechanic I heard would be introduced in BW2?

    • http://ggftw.com/forum/ Monkey_T

      As far as I know, there aren’t any.

  • Herok♞

    sounds like it will be the most interesting pokemon game yet.

  • MrRobbyM

    “In the original Pokemon Black, I had purposely held off from
    training any Pokémon that wasn’t introduced in the current generation
    because it felt like they were “intruding” on the world of Unova.”

    Ha! I immediately traded some pokemon from HG as soon as I could. I liked Samurott though.

  • WingsOfEternity

    I’m up to the 4th gym, I’ve noticed something a lot different, you barely have any battles with your rival.

  • kupomogli

    Pokemon Black and White 2.  Same graphics.  Same gameplay.  Pretty much the same story as every other Pokemon ever released.

    Pokemon. It prints money.

    • MrRobbyM

      Pokemon. Gotta catch all dem monies.

    • Nanashrew

      nah, big difference. sure the “become a pokemon champion” thing is there, but there’s a lot of story in these new games compared to previous titles and a lot of memorable scenes as well. i felt myself growing attached to some characters, many have fallen in love with N and are happy to see his return and with what’s going to happen between the two team plasma factions.

    • Renaldi Saputra

      start in a house in a town with only mother, you get a starter, then you fight your rival whose pokemon is your pokemon’s disadvantage.. then after it you got a running shoes, 5 pokeballs, and town map.. yea it’s really same just like before

  • CirnoLakes

    Aspertia having its own Pokemon center and Gym is definitely interesting.

    Like, you don’t really see starter towns have Pokecenters. Like the theme is always “small kid in small town that doesn’t have anything becomes Pokemon master”.

    It’s nice, though. It’s one of those many little things about Pokemon Black and White 2 that make it interesting and exciting to get for me. Plus it is nice to see a Pokemon game with an actual sequel for once. And Pokemon Black and White definitely have in my opinion the most interesting actual plot in all of the Pokemon games. I mean, with N and all. You don’t normally see something like that in the Pokemon games.

    It’s realistic. I mean, it was just too coincidental that in all of the other games it was about a kid from a super rural village. A little bit of diversity goes a long way.

  • http://twitter.com/ifarah12 Gren

    Beat the game and now I’m working on post-game stuff.

    New songs are great.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhTn8dTbU34

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002868112952 Blaine Frisbey

    Yeah, I too am wondering what happened to Cheren’s old team.  He just dump them in a box and start over?

    • TheSquishyTanker

       Actually, (according to Serebii), if you use the Memory Link feature, you fight him with his old team on Route 5. It takes data from your Black/White, so He’ll have the same starter/monkey that he had on your save file.

  • Marik78

    Why don’t they let this serie rest in peace?
    It should have died with Diamond/Pearl/Platinium.

    • TheSquishyTanker

      I have to disagree, Black/White were great and I have high hopes for these ones.
      Also, it’s a long going series that makes a lot of money. There’s no reason to let it die out.

      • Renaldi Saputra

        maybe I think he was asking about the anime, not the game.. hmmm

      • Juan Manuel M. Suárez

        If Black / White would have been the first or second installment of the series I’d have considered it one of the best games of our generation. But you know what? It’s not, and after more than a decade of doing the exact same thing it baffles me that this franchise is hyped as the end-all-be-all, selling 1.5M on its week of launch~.

        Pokemon is the CoD of the handheld market. Sure, it’s fun but are you doing anything you weren’t doing in Pokemon Red/Blue/Yellow? New side activities have been added, new Pokemon types were added, new Pokemon generations (which esentially are more of the same but with different..nowadays wierder looks) have been added but at the end of the day you are still a clean slate trainer who wants to become the best Pokemon trainer ever and along the road has to battle against some sinister organization. Even more aggravating is that there’s a lot that it could be done with the franchise; imagine playing as one of the antagonists or perhaps just one of the non obsessed with championship inhabitants of the Pokemon World. But no, you are still repeating the same formula from the GB days ad infinitum~.

        And it gets hailed as a sleeper hit selling millions and scoring perfect scores~.

        • Renaldi Saputra

          yeah, the ‘becoming the best trainer ever’ is kinda silly for me.. yet most of pokemon games aren’t really challenging (except the mystery dungeon series, i admit it). I guess the reason why it got sold greatly is bcos many kids play it, kids play a game regardless of what it is, at least it’s amusing..

          Starting game in a house which lies in a small town, only live with a mother. Then you got a notice to get your starter pokemon alongside your rival and after you get your starter, you fight with your rival who has a pokemon which is a disadvantage in type of your pokemon. You win by resulting critical hit on last hit. Then you’re given 5 pokeballs, running shoes, town map, and some tools. At the first route you’ll found a 4 legs normal type pokemon and a small bird.. blablabla….

          well, yes it’s the same

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/4QCVPSAU53N4LR6OFPKTRGPJHY Jaeson

          Yea, I wouldn’t understand if I bought every game, and apparently some people do. However, for me it’s simply a matter of buying a game every once-in-a-while and it’s fun to revisit them with all the new side activities.

          I played:
          Gen1 – Yellow 1999
          Gen3 – FireRed 2004
          Gen4 – SoulSilver 2010

          Given significant breaks I don’t mind revisiting the same base formula with many added elements. 5-6 years between games is a pretty decent period of time to make me want to come back to them. I just hope they release another remake with the original 150 (well, up to 300 is okay, after that the new pokemon really start to deteriorate) around 2014-2015.

    • Renaldi Saputra

      I agree.. with those characters who didn’t grow up (especially ash who’s still 10 yrs old) and that pikachu which should have surprassed lv 100 but becoming very weak ridiculously in there, and without an apparent plot also with monotone and repetitive story and only resulting ash lose in the end after spending hundreds of episodes, I think it should stop its production..

      • http://twitter.com/Zephyrsword Jessica

         You speak as if the anime is on par with the games.

        • Renaldi Saputra

          sorry i misread it.. i thought the word ‘serie’ that he said was about the anime..

  • Renaldi Saputra

    u chose a snivy?? oh god, why?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/4QCVPSAU53N4LR6OFPKTRGPJHY Jaeson

    Ew all these new pokemon =/ I just want an Ultra Fire Red and Mega Leaf Green already…

    • Chiupon

       you know what series this is; if you want the older ones, play the older games.

      • GBGamer

        I agree. I’m thinking about getting a DS just to play this. For old games I have Blue and a Gameboy Advanced.

    • TheSquishyTanker

      We’ve gone to Kanto 4 times already in the series (RBY,GSC,FRLG,HGSS), I don’t think they’re going to do it again so soon.
      And, IMO every Pokemon has it’s pros and cons, so I don’t mind the new Pokemon, and I’ve been playing since Red and Blue.

      • http://www.sunrisingblog.wordpress.com/ Michael Vincent

        Agreed! You know what, I think most of the people that are complaining are those who haven’t played Black and White. That game is, imo, a reboot of the series. Why? Perhaps because everything is new, and you wont encounter old Pokemon until very late in the game. Seriously guys, (for people who havent played Black and White) play it.

  • http://www.sunrisingblog.wordpress.com/ Michael Vincent

    Yeah. I feel bad about Cheren too. Jesus. I think he should have been given his old Pokemon team and perhaps be a stronger opponent (gym leader) the way Silver and Gold treated Gary (I mean, Blue, but I still prefer to call him that way.) But that’s my only gripe. I’m excited for Black and White 2! I am now immersed with Pokemon Conquest though since it’s really good too.

    On the other hand, from what I remember, Gym leaders in the original Black and White don’t have character animation too. I can’t honestly say for sure since it’s been a long time since I battled them (last year.) >.<

  • https://twitter.com/#!/JadenPrinceton C.Guzman

    Rival’s name is Hiyuu? I read it as Hue (who-e/Hugh)
    I remember when I went to the Mareep farm, I thought the lavender was a new type of wild grass haha….oh boy was I wrong :(

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