Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Portable Loser #1


So Tigersclaw, my resident artist, has decided to step up and do some portable game reviews. To start this new section off he does Pokemon Black/White. I added a few of my own comments in, but this is all T.C. Enjoy!

Pokemon Black & White Review

Brought to you by Loser’s Guide to Life

Well here we are with another Loser’s Guide to Life video game review. I’ll start off by pointing out this is not S. F. This is tigersclaw69, tigersclaw91, or drewid whatever you want to call me. Ok let’s get started.

Just to note, for now, my format will be similar to S.F’s.

Pokemon Black & White

Now more than likely if you’re a gamer you’ve at least heard of a Pokémon game. No you say? Well as surprising as that is you’re in luck, because today I’m going to do a rundown review of the newest generation of the Pokémon games with a look back at some of the previous titles.

First off for those of us who don’t know Pokemon Black & White are the sister titles of the fifth generation of the Pokémon games. Every generation before has always had two sister titles and usually a special version and some spinoffs with it, but enough about the good ol’ days. Oh they were good… (S.F. Comment: That they were…)

Like the games before, Black and White are virtually the same games with minute differences. Each has certain Pokémon only available to each game, as well as an entire town/city/ (forest?) exclusive to the title. Pokemon Black is home to Black City and allows the player to capture the legendary Pokémon Reshiram while Pokemon White lets you get lost in White Forest and capture Zekrom.

The big selling point for this game to me was that the story is far more engaging than in previous titles. As you travel from city to city you actively interact with the Gym Leaders and battle against Team Plasma (S.F.: Comment: Team Rocket, Magma, Galactic, Aqua, and now Plasma…at least the bad guy’s keep their names original.) on a regular basis, but more on that aspect later.


Pokemon Black & White*

Published by Nintendo

Developed by Game Freak

Available for any DS, Dsi, and 3DS

Definitely a Role Playing Game

US release date was March 6th, 2011

*Though the games are virtually the same I’ll be specifically be pointing out elements of Pokemon Black.

Story: You play a teenager, girl or boy your choice, that is given a monumental task to record information on every Pokémon in existence, but that’s probably too technical. You and your friends are given your first Pokémon as a gift from Pokémon expert Professor Juniper (S.F. Comment: Oak, Elm, Birch hey we have pattern here don’t we). Hey it’s just like every other Pokémon game! Anyways she also gives you a Pokedex that lets you record information on new species of Pokémon you encounter. Pretty standard Pokémon stuff, but what makes it different is this time you have two rivals; Cheren, the kind of a dusch bag rival, and Bianca the airhead. Cheren will always choose the Pokémon with the stronger type then you, Bianca will take the type weaker than yours.

So without trying to spoil much I’ll just give a quick summary of the actual story before delving into the actual gameplay and features that everyone cares about. You have eight gym leaders to fight just like every other Pokémon game. Once you have beaten them all you can challenge the elite four and the champion. Along the way you run into Team Plasma who seems like a Pokémon version of PETA. Although Team Plasma is rather hypocritical, they are trying to force trainers to release their Pokémon, yet they use their own Pokémon to do this. Oh well if you play it you’ll learn more.

Pokemon Black tries to mix it up from the previous games. The first gym leader is three people. The one you challenge depends on your starter; if you choose the fire starter you get to fight the water gym leader… sounds hard right? No not really, if you follow the games advice and go to the Dreamyard east of the town a girl will give you a special monkey Pokémon. The monkey Pokémon is one of three Pokémon either a fire, water, or grass monkey. The one you get is the weaker type from your starter, which is a stronger type than the gym leader and your rival (S.F. Comment: So they hand you the Pokemon that will trump all opposition for the first city in the game…oversimplification go!). Just level the monkey a little and you can smash the gym leader and be on your way. The elite four is structured differently this time around. Instead of fighting each one in a specific order you can choose which of the four to fight in any order you wish.

Something to note about this game unlike the previous titles is that during the main story there is no use of any of the previous generations of Pokemon. But once you’ve completed the main story and start to challenge the new trainers they start throwing nearly everything at you. One of the faults I found after completing the main story though was that there is about a 15 level gap between what you need to beat the league and the trainers of the new areas. Unless you have a strong party from previous games like Pearl/Diamond/Platinum/HeartGold/SoulSilver, which you can now transfer over, you’re in for a grind to catch up.

Once this gap has been cleared you’ll find there is a plethora of end game content with plenty of ways to level up your Pokemon and challenge the now stronger elite four. Daily events like the sports arenas, cruise ship, challenging the riches family, and giving your rival his daily ass kicking make it very easy to level up your Pokemon. The sports arenas have anywhere from 6 to 10 trainers and always two double battles each. The cruise ship will have 3 to 7 trainers depending on the day. All the Pokemon from these events are between level 62 and 67. Though I wish they still had the gym leader rematch system from Heartgold and Soulsilver but these new systems do the job well enough.

With over 600 Pokemon to capture, and train if you please, the games have plenty of ways to eat away the days of your life. I’m sitting at around 55 hours now with the elite four beaten the second time and there is still plenty I want to do.


Playability: 9/10

The controls are smooth and easy to learn. The touch screen is integrated nicely without being a requirement to use. I recommend using the stylus when doing any kind of sorting in your Pokemon boxes.

Graphics: 7/10

For a Pokemon game they’re these are the best graphics yet. New three dimensional aspects make some areas very interesting. But frankly I’ve seen several games with better graphics than these games. Personally this doesn’t bother me but hey I’m doing a review so I need to be critical. One neat thing that was a big plus is that when a Pokemon is asleep their eyes actually close. They also move around during battles making them feel more alive and animated.

Length/Replability: 10/10

The main story feels long enough and keeps you engaged while playing. After beating the main game the scope only gets larger with hundreds of hours’ worth of things to do.

Sound: 7/10

Many Pokemon still make annoying noises and many areas still have annoying background and battle music. On the other side of the coin many of the exciting story battles and gym leaders have very good music behind them. I still hate bicycle music! (S.F. Comment: You and me both brother!)

Overall: 9/10

This game has proven Pokemon games are only getting better as time goes on. Amazing depth, gameplay, and surprisingly good balance keep the Pokemon craze alive around the world. If you’re into roleplaying games, fun multiplayer aspects, and collecting destructive monsters these are your games. Buy one or both the choice is yours; both offer a great game at a great price.


  1. Only a 7/10 for sound? I guess that makes sense, although I really was digging the music in this game. Nice review.

  2. Looks like a fun game. I need to get me a handheld. I wonder if the new vita is going to be good.