In some ways, White Version 2/Black Version 2 plays more like Pokemon White/Black Version 2: All the Stuff We Couldn’t Fit Into the Game the First Time Around. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since Pokemon White and Pokemon Black are excellent additions to the Pokemon saga. If you liked White and Black, you should have no trouble falling in love with the reams of extra content that Pokemon White Version 2/Black Version 2 offers up. If, however, you’re not in the mood for another trip into the Black/White universe or you just don’t care for Pokemon in general, then keep rambling down the path, young trainer.
Developer: Game Freak
Genre: Role-Playing (RPG)
ESRB Rating: E
Compatible With: Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
GOOD: Looks good, sound good, solid gameplay, tons to do.
BAD: Retreads a lot of content we’ve already seen in Pokemon Black/White.
GAMEPLAY: One More Time
Much of Pokemon Black/White’s cast makes the jump to the new game too, though some of the characters have different roles. Bianca, the female rival from the first game, now works as an assistant to Professor Juniper, and Cheren, the male rival, is the first Gym leader that you can challenge for a Badge.
Otherwise, basic Pokemon lore applies with Black/White 2. You fight Pokemon using RPG-style commands. You catch them in Pokeballs, you raise them, train them, and take on Gym leaders that own stables of formidable creatures. You also need to go toe-to-toe with Team Plasma, the corrupt Pokemon liberation organization that made big trouble for you in the first game. Yes, Team Plasma is back, and it’s ready to get up in your face.
Luckily, you can take your time saving the entire Pokemon species since Pokemon Black/White 2 has about a million things you can do with your Pokemon whenever you feel the need to take a break. You can act in a movie, participate in a musical, and fight against veteran trainers from past games in the Pokemon World Tournament.
Pokemon White/Black 2’s single-player game is absolutely packed, and will keep you busy for hours. When you consider that you can also battle trainers from around the world via Wi-Fi or just spar with your friends through a local connection, it’s admirable how much content you get for the price you pay. The only problem is that you really do feel like you’re treading familiar ground—and frankly, you often do.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND: What’s Old is New Again
The soundtrack likewise manages to add rich layers to the early games’ simple but compelling audio roots. If it’s possible, play Pokemon Black/White 2 with a good pair of headphones.