Opinion Prone

My opinions, let me tell them to you.

Black VS White

September 29, 2010 Commentary

All standard Pokemon games come in pairs. But while the reasons were often superficial, I have never had a problem choosing one over the other. Red over Blue. Silver over Gold. Sapphire over Ruby. Pearl over Diamond.

But now thisBlack or White? I am very torn. Very, very torn.

I got Red over Blue because I like the color red better, and because Charizard is more awesome than Blastoise… even though I started with Bulbasaur. Unfortunately, I have neither FireRed nor LeafGreen, but given that choice, it would have been LeafGreen. The version differences between the earlier generation games were pretty basic — just a handful of Pokemon exclusives, and for Red VS Blue, I didn’t really pay that much attention. In retrospect, I kinda wish I hadn’t missed out on Sandslash, Meowth, and Ninetales, but I’ve long since figured out that none of them were going to make my team anyway.

Similarly, I got Silver over Gold because I like the color silver better, and because Lugia looked more badass than Ho-oh. The version exclusives were again, just a handful of Pokemon, but some of the Pokemon I had missed out in choosing Red over Blue were in my version of the game now. Ninetales is mine, hurray! So I missed out on Ariados. I got Skarmory instead.

For Ruby and Sapphire… despite liking the color red over the color blue, I prefer sapphire gems over rubies. I wasn’t particularly sold on either Groudon or Kyogre, so the spotlight legendary was less of an influence, but Water-types are cooler than Ground-types, right? Other than that, Sapphire is the game from the only generation I haven’t finished, so I don’t have much else to say there.

In the fourth generation, I had no color preference. Choosing Pearl over Diamond was based almost entirely on the fact that Mismagius and Houndoom were both Pearl exclusives. Tyranitar was a Diamond exclusive, which tempted me for a bit, but since I figured Larvitar would be a late-game acquisition anyway, I went with Pearl. (Besides, it seemed like everyone I knew had Diamond.)

As colors, Black and White are equal to me. I love dualities and will never be able to pick one over in that manner. Instead, this generation is again making me choose again between Pokemon I like… But this time with Mismagius and Houndoom on opposite games.

Both have appeared regularly on my teams since they were both introduced in Gold/Silver (well, Misdreavus was introduced in G/S; Mismagius was in D/P). Mismagius is my favorite Ghost-type, and Houndoom is definitely a contender for my favorite Dark-type (the other being Tyranitar for now, though I expect some of the new B/W additions to get into the running soon). I’d like to think that I like the two equally, but if I’m honest, Mismagius has always battled better for me. Houndoom’s weak defense and average speed sets him on a lower tier even if I love his Doberman hellhound design and even if he’s one of the few Fire-types I actually care for. Mismagius is exclusive to White; Houndoom is exclusive to Black. The rest of the Pokemon exclusives are:

Reshiram VS Zekrom
I mentioned previously that I liked the design of Reshiram, Black’s legendary, over Zekrom’s. That is +1 for Black, but Zekrom is Electric/Dragon where Reshiram is Fire/Dragon. I like Electric-types over Fire-types, so that’s +1 for White as well.
Beedrill VS Butterfree
Beedrill can break the heavens with his drill. No contest here. +1 for Black.
Parasect VS Breloom
I was always kind of indifferent to Paras, though he is kind of adorable. But Shroomish is grump, and grumpy things always win with me. +1 White.
Murkrow Honchrow VS MisdreavusMismagius
There is no contest here. Mismagius wins, and White gets +5 because Mismagius is more important to me than pretty much all of the other Pokemon exclusives..
Houndoom VS Mightyena
Again, no contest, though I might have had a chance to like Mightyena more if I had liked third gen more. +4 for Black — not five, because as much as I like Houndoom, I decidedly like him less than Mismagius.
Plusle VS Minun
Negative is better than positive… though I’ve noticed I’m pretty inconsistent in my picking red over blue or vice versa, lol. +1 White.
Volbeat VS Illumise
I dislike both of these Pokemon. No points here.
Cotton Guy! VS Plant Thing!
Ahhh! I can’t decide! They’re all so cuuuute~! Though… I think I may be leaning more towards Cotton Ball Guy because its evolved form looks like some kind of crazy ram thing, omg. ♥ +1 Black
Goth Girl VS Plasma Dude
The more humanoid a Pokemon is, the creepier it is. So naturally, the plasma dude wins +1 for White here.
Vulture VS US Eagle
A lot of people seem to really like the new eagle, but I hate its colors… Really, the vulture doesn’t seem that great either — its pre-evolution is fat and ugly — but it’s still better than the eagle. +1 Black.
Flying VS Electric/Flying
This entire line of legendaries is hideous. The one for Black is the only pure Flying-type in the entire game, while the one for White is the third Electric/Flying, after Zapdos and Emonga. Normally, the Electric-type would have an advantage with me, but these are just so ugly. No points here.

And that marks the end of the Pokemon exclusives. Score so far is 8 for Black and 9 for White, but we’re not quite done yet because the fifth generation kicks things up a notch with a few other major differences between the two versions:

More Rotation Battles VS More Triple Battles
Black and White introduces triple battles, which, in all honesty, is kind of overkill to me. Double battles allowed for the birth of some interesting strategies since many moves were made to attack multiple targets or to somehow benefit your partner. Upping it to a triple battle intensifies the need to strategize more, but I feel like its setting the path to eventually have six-way battles, which would just… break the game. Or something.

There is a subset of triple battles called rotation battles though, where you still have three Pokemon in the fight, though only one can attack at a time, and you can only attack your opponent’s “active” Pokemon of their three as well. The way it remains different from normal single Pokemon battles though, is that you can rotate to one of your other Pokemon at the beginning of each turn without losing that turn; a Pokemon’s speed is also factored in after the rotation. Since this at least seems like a bigger innovation from the previous double battles, I am slightly more interested in this.

The trainers in Black offer more rotation battles while the trainers in White offer more standard triple battles. Thus, +1 Black.

Black City VS White Forest
Black and White both feature an exclusive area with special properties. In Black City, you’ll be able to catch in the wild the fully evolved forms of various Pokemon, including Ampharos, Gardevoir, Aggron, Flygon, Salamence, Luxray, Electivire, and Magmortar, among others. You’ll also be able to purchase a collection of rare items, including some of those that normally only appear once or twice in each game, such as the Dawn Stone, Dusk Stone, and Shiny Stone.

In White Forest, you’ll be able to catch the low-level, pre-evolved forms of the same Pokemon available in Black City, so Mareep, Ralts, Aron, Trapinch, Bagon, Shinx, Elekid, and Magby. You will also be able to simply find a variety of rare items, and while there is significant crossover in the kinds of items available (including the three aforementioned stones), there are a few differences as well.

Black City and White Forest play on the human VS nature motif that will apparently be playing a big part in the games, so the differences make a lot of sense. I am really torn as to which aspects of each exclusive area I like better though. On one hand, being able to buy all the evolutionary stones is awesome, especially since I will probably have tons of money by the time I get to that part of the game. Wild, high-leveled evolved Pokemon would also provide good training, though I probably wouldn’t catch any of them to put straight on my team. On the other hand, being able to just find all those rare items in White Forest is also awesome; you just don’t have as much control over what you get, but theoretically, you’d end up with everything anyway. Being able to catch low-leveled rare Pokemon also saves a whole lot of of breeding and hatching Pokemon looking for the right nature and IVs. You can just catch and check. So much easier!

In the end though, I think I’d rather just buy items than depend on luck, and I don’t actually spend as much time breeding for natures as some others might. So, +1 to Black it is then, eh?

Shaga VS Iris
The final difference between the two versions is the 8th gym leader, which is Shaga in Black and Iris in White… but they both have the same team lineup, so who cares? It is a superficial difference, though I do kind of like Shaga’s design better. So uh, +0.5 to Black.

And the final count for me? 10.5 for Black and 9 for White. Not a big margin… but I guess it’s still a margin. Black it is, then?

I am still going to be very upset that Misdreavus and Mismagius will have to be traded into my game, which means that if I want to be the original trainer of my Mismagius, I will have to breed one, and who knows how far into the game I’ll need to be before that happens? All the other Pokemon are basically just entries in the Pokedex, hahaha. The battle system and the gym leaders aren’t that important to me, but I suppose I’ll live without being able to catch Lv.5 Trapinches everywhere… I mean, I don’t actually use many of those Pokemon’s evolved forms anyway.

Black it is, then.

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  1. TJF588 on September 29, 2010 7:32 am

    Avoiding textual spoilers as much as I can (already learned Iris was a Gym Leader through Danbooru’s tags, but seeing that picture set above, several “wait, wut?”s came to mind). Hopefully it will be another “You’ll still meet them, just later,” thing that allowed Lugia to still have a cool factor in HeartGold (akin to Mewtwo).

    1) Black; I’ve gained an appreciation for the less-cool-looking mascots, and applying the same “meet them later” logick to Ze…um, actually, forgot how it’s spelled. Anyway, I tend to side Red-side (barring LeafGreen, because I always personally start Grass.
    2) I kinda prefer the Butterfree line; they look more “solid”/”centered(?)”. However, it’s kind of a tossup. Still, the Weedle line seems too spindly too me, even in color schemes. +1 to White, but still goin’ Black.
    4) Gonna have to go with teh Ghost. Besides, Murkrow’s still in my mind as a dinky-looking, late-game, useless waste of a Dark/Flying combo.
    5) Not too important to me, though the part-Fire’s probably more useful. I have more familiarity iwth the Pooch, though (dunno if I ever really used its evo).
    6) Non-issue, though it’s distressing they’re split (then again, I’m most familiar with Emerald, so maybe they were split in the first place). Still, blue+yellow is a better color combo (and, thinking about it, the two “third versions” of the original games, and the pre-localization combo, too, since R&B were based on jBlue).
    7) I’m fine with Black.
    8-10) White, White, and White. DAMMIT.
    11) Black, but yeah, they ugly. Too much like a Japanese myth-based Digimon ripoff.

  2. Yumeka on September 29, 2010 9:19 pm

    I don’t think I’ve ever picked a Pokemon version by which pokemon are available in it. I’ve always gone by what version my friend gets, and I’ll get the other one (it’s been that way since Red and Blue actually). For Diamond & Pearl, since I bought the Japanese version of Pearl (because my friend got Diamond), I then bought the English version of Diamond when it came out. Coincidentally, my copy of Pokemon Black just came in the mail today, which means I’ll be getting the English version of White when it comes out. This is also the first time where I chose my version not based on what a friend got – I like White Forest better, so I want to get that on the English version I buy because I know I’ll end up playing it more =)

  3. Poppinz on February 23, 2011 5:31 am

    “The more humanoid a Pokemon is, the creepier it is.”
    .. um. this so much. .__.

  4. Ingo on March 2, 2011 4:33 am

    Okay, I’m getting White, but there are pros and cons. I said Pro even if the answer is neutral.

    1 – Major Pro(+2). Zekrom’s typing seems more interesting. Also, I like Zekrom’s design a lot better. It looks OVERKILL.
    2 – Pro. I don’t really favor one over the other.
    3 – Pro. The fighting type is my second favorite. And, Breloom is more badass looking.
    4 – Pro. Honchkrow is meh.
    5 – Con. Mightyena like, I guess, is supposed to be a rodent. Houndoom is stronger and is part fire type, which is usefull.
    6 – Pro. Negative beats positive. Minun also has a more masculine feel to it.
    7 – Con. I hate them both, but i would rather have a male.
    8 – Con. Whimsicott is just adorable, and I would like to have a gender variation.
    9 – Pro. This time I would have prefered the femanon pokemon (just a little over Reuniclus), but there is really no loss in having Reuniclus instead.
    10 – Pro. Braviary is badass. Mandibuzz is weak and ugly.
    11 – Major Con (-2). Even though I have nothing against Thuderus, Tornadus has the superior pure Flying type. It’s typing overshadows the fact that it is less attractive than Thunderus.
    12 – Pro. Both battling styles are exciting. Having a more common one over the other doesn’t really change anything.
    13 – Pro. I get 3 pokedex entries from catching and leveling up the pokemon.
    14 – Pro. I prefer to encounter Dreyden in a battle, but yes, they have the same pokemon teams.

    Overall, White is pretty good. White scores a 10 out of 14.

  5. TJF588 on March 2, 2011 6:30 am

    “5 – Con. Mightyena like, I guess, is supposed to be a rodent.”

    It’s a hyena.

    Anyway, sooo sorta tempted to get Black as part of the custom-designed DSi bundle. Looks slick, and I could finally play WarioWare: Snapped! and Shantae: Risky’s Revenge. However, I want to wait out for the inevitable –though denied– third version, though changes might be that it’s be 3DS-exclusive (sort of how Crystal was GBC-exclusive, though that’s not nearly as large a jump as 3DS will be). That, and I really want a DSi XL so I can show off my games (namely things like CHRONO TRIGGER) to my folks. Aaaagh…dat Victini, too!

  6. Ingo on March 3, 2011 11:31 pm

    I know that it’s a hyena, and I know that hyenas aren’t rodents. The pokemon itself is a rodent. It comes right after the starters and it’s pretty weak.