Pokemon Black/White bring numerous changes to the Pokemon universe, but fear not: The magic and imagination cultivated by the long-lived series is still present, and then some. The question is, do you have the time and energy for another journey?
ESRB Rating: E
THE BASICS: Catch 'Em All, Fight 'Em All, Breed 'Em All
As dictated by Poke-tradition, the two "versions" of the game--"Black" and "White"--contain minute differences, such as types of Pokemon you can find, and the informative text that's registered in your PokeDex. In this particular outing, the version of the game you have also determines if you'll visit "White Forest" or "Black City."
Whether battling wild Pokemon or another trainer's Pokemon, the key is to take note of the opponent's "type." The Pokemon games utilize a battle system that's not unlike Rock, Paper, Scissors: A fire-type Pokemon is effective against a grass-type, which in turn is effective against a water-type, etc.
Pokemon games are typically thin on story, but Pokemon Black/White has an intriguing plot involving Team Plasma, a Pokemon liberation group that seeks to "free" Pokemon by separating them from their trainers. Along the way, you'll meet a few interesting ladies and gentlemen.
The Graphics Have Been Updated - Pokemon battles have been criticized over the years for being rather lifeless, but the Pokemon in Black/White all have unique standstill animations that add a lot of characters to the little monsters. You won't see your Pokemon lunge for your opponent's throat, but the mere twitching of ears and stomping of hooves is still fun to behold.
A Whole New Pokemon Roster - On your first playthrough of Pokemon Black/White, you'll only be able to access entirely new Pokemon. This can be seen as a major drawback for some; no more foraging for a trusty Pikachu as your go-to electric Pokemon. But starting over feels refreshing and liberating. You can give your undivided attention to the new Pokemon and form fresh battle strategies.
Great Environments - The cities and towns in Pokemon Black/White utilize 3D structures, which really makes them pop. Metropolises are imposing, and villages are peaceful. These modern backgrounds compliment the simpler, nostalgic foreground graphics.
Lots of Wi-Fi/Trading Options - Between battling friends worldwide over a wireless internet connection and utilizing the Global Trade System to garner rare Pokemon from across the sea, it's hard to believe we once traded Pokemon over Game Boy link cables.