My esteemed colleague ShinyVictini recently posted an article of 5 Reasons You Should Look Forward to Pokemon Black/White 2. In the interest of both offering a balanced viewpoint on the upcoming Pokemon games and sharing my own views on the upcoming Pokemon sequels, I present you with 5 reasons not to look forward to Pokemon Black/White 2. I, of course, invite you to peruse both of our articles and form your own opinion on the matter, but here’s why I’m not excited for yet another DS iteration of Pokemon:
#1 – A True Sequel
The Pokemon series has always been mildly tarnished by Game Freak/Nintendo’s penchant for releasing “1.5″ edition sequels to their already binary series in the forms of games like Pokemon Yellow/Crystal/Emerald/Platinum. Instead of going the usual route of forced obsolescence, this time they thought “Hey, let’s make our full-price expansion game have two versions this time too!” An obvious money-grab if there ever was one, Game Freak is able to force another whole set of DS Pokemon games on the world by adding some small uninspired modicum of content to the game and branding it as a “direct sequel” instead of what it actually is, “Pokemon Black/White 1.75 (P.S. It’s still for the DS)”. While there may not be much hope left, I’m still hoping that this will be a one-time occurrence instead of a sign that the core Pokemon series has moved into full-blown New Super Mario Bros. territory where it’s considered acceptable to release two sequels using primarily recycled assets at once.
#2 – Not on the 3DS
It is inarguable that Game Freak could make a better Pokemon game on the 3DS than it could on the DS. Aside from the obvious 3D functionality, the 3DS offers much higher processing specs, better integration with the Internet, SpotPass and StreetPass, 3D and 2D cameras, and the circle pad. If even half of the new features of the 3DS were utilized in a new main-line Pokemon game, it would easily blow its entire ancestry out of the water. Of course there are several reasons that Pokemon Black/White 2 didn’t make it to the 3DS, but they all boil down to money instead of the quality of the game that’s being offered. It was a lot cheaper for all concerned just to recycle most of the assets and code from the games’ predecessors, add onto that the larger install base of the DS (and therefore potential for more sales) and Nintendo/Game Freak are laughing all the way to the bank.
#3 – It Makes the Wait for Gen. 6 Longer, Not Shorter
Game Freak, instead of starting work on a Pokemon game for a system that launched more than a year ago, had to spend another year of its time and effort adding new bells and whistles onto their last game to produce Pokemon Black/White 2. You could argue that the wait will feel shorter because you’ll be busy being forced to re-catch all of your old Pokemon for the umpteenth time, but the wait would be actually shorter if Game Freak just sucked it up and started to rethink how they have Pokemon set-up so that it will work in practice on the 3DS.
#4 – Same Old Pokemon
Pokemon Black/White 2 is the same old Pokemon in many respects. Firstly, of course, it literally contains all of the same old 650-some Pokemon you’ve been catching over the past 14 years. It’s not just the Pokemon themselves that are old, though, by and large in Pokemon Black/White 2 you’re “exploring” the same area that you did barely a year ago with the exact same graphics/sprites, the same old items and menus, and the same old system that you probably otherwise wouldn’t be using as much anymore. There’s something to be said for retro games, but when a supposedly new game is inadvertently retro before it even comes out you know that there’s something wrong with it.
#5 – Waste of Resources
I mentioned before that just making Pokemon Black/White 2 was a waste of time for Game Freak, but that’s not the only thing it’s wasting. It’s wasting Game Freak’s creative powers which are much needed to both avoid more Trubbish Pokemon and to perhaps produce a proper full-3D core Pokemon game for the 3DS. It’s wasting gamers’ time and money which could be better spent saving-up for the Wii U or catching up on the video game backlogs that basically every gamer has. It’s wasting my time by making me write this article about a game that shouldn’t even exist and it’s wasting your time making you have to read about it.
So, that’s my two cents on the upcoming Pokemon sequels. Of course, they could still surprise me by being a revolution in Pokemon gaming, but judging from the screens and videos that are floating about the Internet, that’s about as likely as a catching a shiny Genesect.