Pokemon Black Version First Look

We didn't catch them all, but we did meet a few new faces in the upcoming Pokemon game.

You may have already caught them all, but that doesn't really matter in Pokemon Black and White. Legendary pokemon Reshiram and Zekrom are the mascots in the Black version and White version, respectively. And to level the playing field, Game Freak has decided that you can't import your previous-generation pokemon into the game--not until you've completed it at least. This encourages (well, forces) players to become acquainted with the 150-plus fresh new faces and gives newcomers a chance to play with experienced pokemon trainers without too much of a disadvantage. Everyone's going to have to try to track them all down and learn their new abilities, as well as find out how they evolve. We recently went over to Nintendo's office in Redwood City to see what the game has to offer.

New pokemon to play with.

Our demo was the Black version the core gameplay mechanic remains the same as you wander the Unova region in search of exotic pokemon. In Pokemon Black and White, the main antagonist is Team Plasma, a group of Pokemon trainers that seeks to liberate the pokemon from captivity (by using pokemon of its own.) Regardless of how you feel about the state of pokemon, there are several new features added to the game to enhance the overall experience. One of the major changes is that seasons now come into play. Each calendar month represents a new season, so you'll be able to access certain areas and encounter different pokemon depending on the season. In the winter, snow drifts will cover certain parts of the town where you'll be able to climb over and explore new areas. The once-inaccessible pond will also become ice, so you can slide across to see what's on the other side.

Fans of the series will notice a huge improvement when they head to the flagship city of Castelia. While this is not the case with all areas of the game, as you're walking around Castelia, the dynamic camera pans out to give you the feeling that you're walking through a bustling 3D city. There are plenty of happy little people milling about to give you a sense that you're in the big city. The high-rises tower over you so that you feel like you're lost in Manhattan. Even as you cross the Skyarrow Bridge, the camera pushes back to give you a nice view of the skyline. It makes the metropolitan area feel and look much bigger, giving you some variety as you head from town to town.

You'll become acquainted with the new pokemon as time goes on, but you begin your adventure with the reptilian grass-type Snivy, the water-otter Oshawott, and the fire-pig Tepig as your starters. One thing you'll notice is that the pokemon are now lightly animated in battle, so they're no longer static images. Turn-based combat remains the same, but Black and White introduces a system called triple battle. You can now have three pokemon out, but they can only attack an opponent that is directly across and one over from them. This means that you'll need to stick your buffest pokemon in the center because it can take a beating from all three enemies. The other two on the side are good for support.

On your touch screen below, you have access to your new C-gear. The C-gear lets you easily access your wireless, Wi-Fi, and infrared features immediately. Menus have been streamlined and friend codes can be exchanged via infrared so you don't have to punch in your friend code manually. Another new addition is the ability to have random battles over Wi-Fi with anyone in the world. Your info is synced with the Pokemon Global Link website (which will launch when the game ships) that will give you access to minigames and items, as well as let you earn worldwide ratings. You can even enter the Pokemon Dream world online that lets you customize your pokemon's home and befriend other pokemon. It looks like this version is focused on getting the community to band together to share and play. If you have a DSi, there's also the ability to do a video chat with up to four players locally and with another player via Wi-Fi. If you don't have a DSi, it will be audio-only, but you can record messages and send them to your friends.

Check out that view!

While you're playing locally, you can seek out other players in the area and see what they are doing. If you want to give them a helping hand, there is the ability to give your friends a boost in experience or heal their pokemon. In tag mode, you can share info with other pokemon players that will unlock new items for you in game. Like previous games, the two versions come with their own unique pokemon so you will need to work with others to trade if you want to collect them all. In the Black and White versions, however, there are areas that don't exist in the other version. For example, White Forest is only in the White version, and Black City is only in the Black version. You will need to buy both versions if you want to experience all the new areas.

There's more to Pokemon Black and White, but that was all that was revealed to us in our demo. In the meantime, stay tuned to GameSpot for more updates leading up to the game's release on March 6.

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226 comments
packtop
packtop

Hmm i can guess already the next pokemon will be a single version that will go with the current Black and White version maybe Gray version. Anyway after that it's most likely they will release the next pokemon game on the 3DS i would bet it will be a remake of ruby,saphire what i'm wondering about though is will they finally make a 3D pokemon game i mean a real pokemon game not something like Pokemon XD or at least a big improvement in graphic i don't think it will be really good to still have pixelated graphic like that on a 3DS. They need to upgrade from 2D already after 15 years...

lilrobda1
lilrobda1

Gamespot gave Black/White a 7.5. Anybody agree with Gamespot?

eliebaz
eliebaz

This game looks sick cant wait, my friends make fun of me for playing pokemon but secretly iam laughing at them cause there the people missing out :D been playing since yellow hooked ever since :) and can say that from all the games ive played nothing is as rewarding as pokemon with the levelling system

KirbyKing
KirbyKing

Ive been playing since the day I got Blue for the Game boy colour. I can easily vouch for Pokemon to be the best JRPG ever. Its deep, easily accessible, and has probably the best fight mechanics in any game. I know people are calling for change, but imo they are wrong. Why fix something which inst broken, and is in fact brilliant?

Kaelith1
Kaelith1

I just turned 22 and I've been playing Pokemon since 2000 (With some big breaks in between) but I can't wait for this game. I love all the online features it makes it almost seem like an MMO (Which is a genre I've been avidly playing since 04). I think the Pokemon games are by far the best on the DS. Oh, and at least we're proving that kids aren't the only ones who like these games!

neo_nerd
neo_nerd

I'm 18, been playing since silver (Lugia is the besterest!!!) anyway already preordered white and now I am just waiting......

CapnSparklyPJs
CapnSparklyPJs

16 years old and just pre-order Pokemon White. Awe Yeeee.

Roanark
Roanark

I've been playing ever since I had blue, of course I'm only seventeen and that means I never actually beat the game.... But the point is, the game may be aimed enjoyable for kids but in reality it is for older people! How many kids do you know that can solve all those puzzles and get everything by themselves? The design they are using in these two isn't very good and about half of them look like they are based off older pokemon.... But the rest of the game seems to have improved so I'm going to buy it.

Wolflink001
Wolflink001

What makes the game fun to me is pawning the kids. Get ready to give me your money!

DS-man
DS-man

@robnol4351 Agreed, I love pokemon games, Been playing since Pokemon Red, Im 22 and i dont care if its for kids.

robnol4351
robnol4351

Pokemon games may look 'kiddy' but that doesnt take away from the fact that they are always solid enjoyable games. Im well into my 20s and ill be picking this up just like i did since Red :) Theres always more than meets the eye.

eerie921
eerie921

@Vampiro I understand your frustration over this but your arguement is abit biased. Some people like to see changes while the rest wants it to be kept original. The "we aint kids anymore" is quite confusing. How exactly can the pokemon go from childish to more mature oriented? Lets all wait for the 3DS to come out first and I really hope it's mass multiplayer this time.

Vampiro_HuntT3R
Vampiro_HuntT3R

@eerie9921 Thanks :P @gusconstantine I do realize that. But why not? We love pokemon. But we aint kids anymore. Its time to give us something better. Whats with this "Original Nintendo franchise" stupidity? These corporations just dont do anything for "US" and for what "WE" want. They care more about their money and their franchises. I even wrote a complete GDD for a mmo pokemon game and sent it to Nintendo and they said "We have contract (or something) with (someone) and this game will remain as it is for the rest of its life. We cannot make any changes to it as you have mentioned. We are extremely sorry" Something like that. I understand. But still. Its not that my idea is invaluable that made me say those words. Its my love for pokemon that wants to cling to it but in a better way as like I said, I'm not a kid anymore. And dont tell me to go those other games that are made for adults or whatever. Whats so bad in wanting something you love to be presented to you in a more fun and entertaining way? And guys! One of these days. When I become the game designer, I will make you a 3D Pokemon game that wont have cute little dots moving here and there. Rather, it will have some awesome characters and stuff. :D Wish me luck!

eerie921
eerie921

@Vampiro They DO have pokemon in 3Ds since Nintendo 64.

gusconstantine
gusconstantine

@Vampiro_HuntT3R You do realize Pokémon is an original Nintendo franchise, so it pretty much will never be in any of those platforms right? Thanks for your comment though. The repeated use of the word "fail" without proper setup gave us a good idea of how valuable your opinions are.

Vampiro_HuntT3R
Vampiro_HuntT3R

Fail. Same things in new clothing. Fail. Sorry. I wont touch Pokemon till they make one for PS3/XBox360/PC with all 3D and stuff like that.

mumui10
mumui10

wow looks good i think im going to switch to 3ds because i give so many chance to psp but non of their games really give me a reason to stay ,even if their psp2 is powerful i think 3ds dont need enough power to overpassed the ngp.

linkman3
linkman3

this is so gonna be the best pokemon game ever

Atomic1977
Atomic1977

This is going to be the most uber DS game yet.

agunemon589
agunemon589

I am really looking forward to this game, cant wait to buy it

jgirl20
jgirl20

Not too hot on the new Pokemon, but the more I hear about these new areas and features, the more tempting it is...

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

@drag00nknight Thats a little disappointing. Guess I should start saving for the 3DS...

Drag00nknight
Drag00nknight

Unfortunately you can't walk with your pokémon. There have been rumors of enhanced features for the 3DS but they remain largely unconfirmed. Also, this game is setting the standard for all new pokémon games. Everything after black and white will only be on 3DS. So I look forward to this game and anything that follows in its footsteps. The main thing I'm looking forward to is the full 3D environment the entire way through the game. I also like the new styles of battle and battle graphics. I already have both paid-off and waiting pick-up on the 6th.

Awsome1ne
Awsome1ne

@KingGIR That sounds like a fantastic idea, I think I will follow in both of your footsteps!

KingGIR
KingGIR

@StJimmy15 damn you are doing the exact same thing as i am XD bulletstorm then pokemon and then brink! kleklekleklekleklekleklekleklekle XD

k2theswiss
k2theswiss

@Kingdom_fighter like soul silver? yes seen it in video

Scipher
Scipher

@victoremilioflo Hahahahahaha. What?

linkman3
linkman3

i totally want to get this game it seems just as good as pokemon diamond

Strike079
Strike079

I'm suprised this isnt being made for the 3DS

Fallen0nMyHead0
Fallen0nMyHead0

@StJimmy15 That only gives you 2 weeks for real bulletstorm action :( I want both SOOO bad, but I'm 14 so I'm not swimming in money right now lol. I'm getting Pokemon, the game I've known and loved since I was a kid. Bulletstorm looks great, but it can wait. Pokemon is the king of nintendo games. Well...some:3

StJimmy15
StJimmy15

Lets see, Bulletstorm the 22nd, thatll hold me til Pokemon, which will then hold me til Brink in May. Great line-up this year.

fon1988
fon1988

I can't wait for this game. Less than a month away now!

Wolflink001
Wolflink001

Pokemon has officially come to take over Gamespot! Only 27 days remain!

brow3458
brow3458

i cant decide which version to get.

chainsawscourge
chainsawscourge

@victoremilioflo nintendo wont go bancrupt and even if they will pockemon wont be on the xbox or ps because its a nintendo franchise (and because if nintendo will go bankrupt that means no one gives a damn about pockemon or zelda or dk or mario wich are all the reason for the companys sucsess) and no im not another nintendo fanboy like the outhers commenting to that i wont give a flying f*ck about nintendo going bankrupt...

chainsawscourge
chainsawscourge

wait i thougt that the intire idea behind your enemys (team rocket team magma/aqua and that last one i cant remember) was that they wanted to use pockemons as wepons so now instead of these you fight PETA? i dont know about that...

Nitro702
Nitro702

@victoremilioflo Please make sense out of that statement.

560cool
560cool

I'm so happy Europe gets this before America... finally, a bit of love after the 3 months of waiting for Platinum. (:

Neil112
Neil112

CANT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!

Strike079
Strike079

@yuukko Well, yeah, I meant an actual, RPG, adventure pokemon game I agree, making a game just stadium fighting is a terrible idea

tommygun6644
tommygun6644

So Team Plasma is pretty much ALF, lol. Strange the DS is capable of all this stuff, and it took all this time to finally get it. The battles look way better than Diamond, Soulsilver, etc.

yuukko
yuukko

@Strike079 they tried at NGC and Wii. in my opinion, horrible games. i like pokemon becouse it's an rpg, but if they want to use this strategy in other consoles, please, PLEASE, make an RPG for it, not another Stadium (i hated it) or XD/can't-remember. i didn't liked the characters and the double battle (im more x1). also, catch your oponents pokemon? go to the grass catch your own! its my opinion, any1 can like those games. i jost dont fell any good playing it.

Strike079
Strike079

Might wait for the full version, but still, this looks awesome. I think they should look int another pokemon console game

Strike079
Strike079

@victoremilioflo Okay, fist of all, pokemon's a nintendo first-party

Guu345
Guu345

@victormiloflo Please use your brain before posting another ridiculous commet like that.