Before I go any further, I should say that my ENTIRE CHILDHOOD was Pokémon. I had Pokémon bed sheets, Pokémon DVDs, Pokémon figures, cards, and most importantly at least one game in each generation the day they released. My immediate bias aside, Pokémon Black and White turns ten this year, yet remains an incredible pokemon experience to this day; standing head and shoulders above even the newest releases in the franchise.
As far as main-series Pokémon games go, Black and White didn’t venture too far from the classic enslave-tiny-creatures-and-force-them-to-fight-to-the-death gameplay loop we had come to know and love, but one incredibly significant feature was now present…
Pokémon now move…
Yes, gone were the years of static sprites throwing fire at each other. We were now in the age of fully functioning, moving magic electric rats. As a child, this was mind-blowing. As an ‘adult’, this is still mind-blowing. Seriously, watch a ten-hour video of a Lillipup moving and tell me this wasn’t ground-shaking innovation.
Other (less important) new features include 156 brand new Pokémon to imprison, ranging from sentient ice cream to little goth girls; a season cycle, which changes the appearance of some Pokémon, as well as which Pokémon are even available in certain regions; special encounter mechanics that introduced rarer Pokémon to the Braviary-eyed player; and new battle types like triple-battles and rotation battles.
Black and White may now be approaching Ash Ketchum’s age, but that doesn’t make it any less worth a revisit, or a first-time experience in 2021. Go dig out that old DS Lite, fire up Black or White, and experience the gripping story of the Unova region for yourself. Just don’t pick Tepig as your starter because my Oshawott will absolutely annihilate it.
Watch the trailer and relive the pixilated nostalgia of Pokemon Black and White below: