In case you’ve just arrived from the outer reaches of the Universe and have yet to grasp the concept of Earthen advertising or missed the legions of salivating people amassing outside game stores across the country, I have news for you: There is a new generation of Pokemon, and it arrives in the U.S. marketplace on March 6.
For those who’ve lost count, this is the fifth generation of the Pokemon series. What started as “Pokemon Red Version” and “Pokemon Blue Version” (or “Green Version” if you live in the anime-styled cybernetic wonderland I’ve been taught to call Japan) back in 1996 has grown into a phenomenon that will surely outlast us all. “Pokemon Black Version” and “Pokemon White Version” are the latest franchise entries set to make sure your feverish need to “catch ‘em all” is well satisfied.
I’d imagine one who lives a life bound by the laws of logic and reason would find no fault in asking, “How could this series have lasted so long? And what could they possibly keep doing to make people buy what is essentially the same game over and over again?” Well, Mr. imaginary person who’s seemingly left-field questions actually make for a great paragraph transition, I’ll tell you. First, the “intro to RPG’s” style of Pokemon makes it a great game for all ages so it stands the test of time as a fun and addictively rewarding experience. Second, the addition of 156 brand new Pokemon to capture is just Nintendo’s way off teasing the fans to “come get some.” (A challenge they will undoubtedly rise to.)
Features wise, these new games offer enough unique experiences to keep the series from going stale. A new battle system, including 3-on-3 battles and “Rotation Battles” which play out as 1-on-1 fights where the player can switch out between the 3 selected Pokemon without costing a turn, will add yet another layer of depth and strategy to the combat. Nintendo DSi features will add video chatting and smoother wireless connectivity than ever before. Improved graphics, speech bubbles to replace text boxes and a more cinematic approach to battles will make “Black” and “White” the most visually-appealing generation yet. Finally, the all-important starter Pokemon, with whom no wannabe hero could venture without, will be able to perform “Combination Moves” with one another. These are character-specific special attacks that can combine during team battles to devastate opponents with status effects and raw power. Those starters: Snivy, Tepig and Oshawott will keep the tradition of being Grass-Type, Fire-Type and Water-Type, respectively.
Combining these features with a new storyline and the brand new region of Unova ensures that long-time fans and newcomers alike will get to enjoy all of what these new versions have to offer. Releasing March 6, “Pokemon Black Version” and “Pokemon White Version” will be available at retailers nationwide for $34.99. As Ash Ketchum would say, “Enjoy your last few moments of freedom, Pidgey, ’cause you’re mine!” In other words, get ready to explore a whole new world of Pokemon.
Check out the official trailer!