I debated, honestly, whether or not to even write about my experiences with Pokémon Black. It is the newest installment in the franchise, and I am playing it never having finished last year’s installment SoulSilver. Part of why I am even able to talk about Black is that this is honestly the only game I am playing at the moment, while everyone else enjoys their copies of Mortal Kombat and Portal 2. Truthfully, I am not even here to discuss the game in full. I have invested an estimated 35 non-consecutive hours to this game, capturing close to 70 Pokémon species, training six of them like mad, and fighting for seven of the eight gym badges that I need to take on the elite trainers in the next phase of this journey.
I am enjoying the game far more than I expected. Although, in its core, it feels like yet another coat of paint, I applaud the developers’ attempts to make the game’s world feel lively. From my own experiences and memories, most towns were small suburbs and quiet villages. Here they are bustling, busy cities, fast-moving villages, each with their own theme and motif (Icirrus City, home to the gym leader specializing in ice type Pokémon, is practically a Christmas village without Santa Claus). The season changes are an interesting addition, although I’m not sure I want to experience a virtual winter in this April humidity and rain. The design feels straightforward this time. Maybe I finally have the right team this time. I actually really like every single Pokémon I’ve used in my party, and they’re all equally trained, but if it weren’t for the Lucky Egg and Experience Share items, I would probably have found the process a bit grueling as grinding in RPGs tends to be. I love unlocking new moves, watching their evolution processes, and whatever else helps my party feel stronger.
Despite how much I am enjoying Pokémon Black, however:
- Fuck you, Elesa, and your Emolga that spams Double Team and Volt Switch.
-I still hate any move that makes my Pokémon confused. I know I’ll end up hitting myself during battles 90% of the time, but should I use the move, all opponents snap out of it in a turn of two.
-Horn Drill. Fuck that shit.
-The encounter rate is through the roof. Literally one step after a battle, you will enter a new battle in the wild. I’ve spent so much money on Super Repels, it’s ridiculous.
-Your character’s buddies/rivals. Bianca and Cheren? Most annoying characters in a videogame since Herbert Moon from Red Dead Redemption.
So far, so good.