POKEMON BLACK 2 & WHITE 2 (2012) – GAME FREAK
I wasn’t the only one who felt surprised when it was announced that Pokemon Black & White (which I reviewed at the end of last year) were to be given direct sequels. The franchise has never really bought into the idea of ‘continuing storylines’, preferring instead to release and enhanced editions of games (Yellow, Crystal, Emerald and Platinum) before moving onto the next generation, so fans began to question whether it was a wise move. Black & White 2 (hereafter called BW2) adds a hefty amount of new content to the mix, but does it do enough to warrant earning your cash, especially if you already own Black or White? Continue reading Time To Go Monochrome…Again? – Pokemon Black & White 2 Review
A quick update on some new releases, some delays and some things to look forward to:
- The wait for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim fans is finally over, as the first piece of DLC content for the game, Dawnguard, is out now on Xbox Live. Featuring a focus on vampires, it will cost you 1600 MS Points for the privilege, and adds 10 new achievements worth 250 Gamerscore.
- Today also marks the end of a long wait for Mass Effect 3 fans, as the controversial ‘Extended Cut’ DLC, aiming to clarify the ending a bit for those who were unimpressed with the original ending, is out now on Xbox Live. It’s a pretty hefty thing to download, weighing in at 1.9GB. I am downloading it as I type right now, and will hopefully have a quick review of it up in the next few days. In the meantime, why not read my review of the game in full?
- Yet another twist in the long drawn out saga that is the potential remake of Final Fantasy VII – Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada has claimed ‘we’ll make a Final Fantasy VII remake once we’ve made a Final Fantasy game that exceeds the quality of FFVII.’ Not to be sceptical, but on that basis we could be waiting a while. I guess the potential release of the original on Steam will have to do in the meantime.
- Pokemon Black 2 And White 2 have sold 1.6 million copies in two days since their release in Japan; it makes them the third fastest selling DS game in Japan, ironically behind the originals which managed to shift 2.6 million copies in the same time.
- You may have noticed a trailer for a film called ‘Wreck-It Ralph’ recently – acting as Disney’s big project for this year, the story follows a video game villain looking to become the good guy, and features numerous characters cameos from the gaming world including Bowser, Dr Eggman and Zangief. Aside from looking like a good fun film, it will be getting a tie-in arcade side-scroller game ‘with a modern look and feel’. It will be made by Disney Interactive and published by Activision this Autumn on DS, 3DS and Wii.
- Far Cry 3, one of the highlights from this years E3 and a game I have personally been waiting a long time for, has been delayed from September 7th to November 30th. The official line on this is that Ubisoft are taking a bit of extra time to make sure the game is as good as it can be…my personal hunch is that the four player mode demonstrated at Sony’s conference in Los Angeles need fixing after looking buggy as hell in demonstration. In any case, I now worry a bit that this title may be lost in the shuffle at the end of November – at least at the start of September there is nothing else to buy so it would have had an uncontested launch window.
- Finally, after years of waiting, Team Fortress 2 is getting a ‘Meet The Pyro’ video tomorrow. Alongside this, a ‘Pyromania’ update has begun bringing new game modes and maps to the hugely successful free-to-play shooter.
Here are the important headlines from the last week in the gaming world:
- Where would the news industry be these days without internet leaks? This week we had a bonanza as two games had more news unveiled before their developers intended. First up are Pokemon Black & White 2, which had new details spoiled in Japanese comic CoroCoro. Among the biggest changes (all of which are listed here by the ever useful Bulbapedia) is that two years after the original games, large parts of Unova has been frozen over. There are also two new gym leaders (a Poison and Water gym respectively), a new starting city, and some Pokemon that were previously excluded from the Unova region are now present from the start. The entire game world of Unova also looks like it has been given a pretty serious revamp to prevent accusations of a copy and paste job. The first official trailer for the game was released yesterday in Japan, which you can view via this link.
- And the second leak concerns Crysis 3. After an image of a future solider holding a crossbow was released on Origin, EA have come out and confirmed the existence of the game, as well as stating that further details will be released on Monday 16th April. Expect the Crytek game to look outstanding and probably be based in a ruined city once again.
- Do you remember Skyrim? You know, the game that came out last November which you may or may not have played to death since? Well, if you have completed the game on Xbox 360 and own a Kinect, you now have reason to go back to it, as this week Bethesda confirmed Kinect support for the title. Set for release around 23rd April, the update will allow Kinect users to operate the game with over 200 voice commands at their disposals, including control over menu navigation, follower commands, and most importantly Dragon Shouts – meaning that everyone’s interpretation of ‘FUS RO DAH’ will actually do something now. Make note however that it won’t be a full update; in order to control movement and fighting you will still need your trusty controller to hand. Bethesda have also remained pretty coy about upcoming DLC for Skyrim, simply maintaining that they are hard at work on new content.
- Finally, you know that you have hit the big time in gaming when Shigeru Miyamoto (creator of Mario, Zelda and Donkey Kong amongst other things) heaps praise upon your game, and that has been the case this week with Rovio’s stupendously successful Angry Birds series. Miyamoto stated that the bird flinging mobile game is ‘one of those games that I immediately appreciated when I first started playing’; even going to the lengths of stating that he wished he had invented it for the DS. Angry Birds Space, the latest free release, was downloaded over 10,000,000 times in just 3 days after its release last month – who knows, maybe one day the series will hit a billion sales one day.
On Saturday, the director behind the Pokemon series of games, Junichi Masuda, told fans to tune into the Pokemon Smash channel for a very big announcement. You could be forgiven for completely ignoring the man – after all, the Pokemon Company have become quite notorious over time for overhyping relatively mundane announcements, but this time we have a genuine surprise. It’s not Pokemon Grey – but rather we are getting Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2; the first numeric sequels in the history of Pokemon.
The quite unexpected announcement came with relatively few details with regards to gameplay or plot, but here are the main headlines – it will be a DS game rather than a 3DS title (although of course 3DS owners can play DS cartridges), they will be released in Japan this coming June with a US release coming soon after, and a teaser site has been set up showing only the following image:
Now if you have played Black and White, you will immediately recognise the monsters on show here – it’s the game mascots Zekrom and Reshiram…only they appear to have been fused with the ice dragon Kyurem. Nothing more has been said yet about the game, so we have to wait until further news from Masuda himself to confirm what the hell is going on. Could we be seeing Pokemon fusions? I for one hope not.
I’ll update this story when I steal more news from sites that actually break the story in the next few weeks.
UPDATE:News has come in today confirming an Autumn release date for the UK. Very good stuff indeed. Now to see what the game plays like…