Usually, when it comes to Pokemon games, there will be two games released initially and then a third ‘expansion’ game like, Yellow, Crystal, Emerald, and Platinum. I was actually going to wait until that expansion game came out before I reviewed all three of the fifth generation Pokemon games together. But recently, it was announced that instead of that expansion game, Game Freak is going to release direct sequels to Pokemon Black and White. And those are going to warrant their own review, so I figured I’d finally give Black and White their own review.
This review will be a bit more nontraditional, however. I’ll say right now that these games would get a very solid 9 out of me. I loved loved lovedlovedlovedloved the fifth generation. I think it made some definite improvements to the Pokemon system such as making TMs multi-use and reducing the amount of times that using HM moves is necessary. You didn’t have to carry a shitty Pokemon with shitty HM moves just to complete the game. I enjoyed every single minute that I was playing both of them (except for the Battle Subway).
But, if you’ve been anywhere near the internet in the last year, you would have noticed that there is a great deal of 5th Gen hate going around. So many people are so rabidly against these games, even going so far as to denounce others as Pokemon fans simply because they enjoyed the 5th Gen. And to me, that makes no sense whatsoever.
So, rather than just giving these games a numerical rating, I am instead going to address all of the hate and the reasons behind it and debunk as much of it as I possibly can.
Reason #1: It Just Does the Same Thing As Before!
This complaint isn’t so prevalent, but I’ve certainly seen it. And to this, I say, where have you fucking been? There have been almost no creative leaps in the way that these games are built since the very first generation. The biggest change to Pokemon’s mechanics came with the second generation when the Dark type was introduced. Since then, the formula has been pretty much the same. So, if you weren’t complaining about this before the fifth generation, then you have no right to complain about it now. In fact, this one actually did change the basic story formula around a bit and even question the ethics of Pokemon trainers. More on that later.
Reason #2: The Villain is a Pussy! All of the Previous Ones Are So Much Cooler!
I’ve been hearing this one a lot. And every time I do, I see that when they say this, they are referring to N.
And there are a few things wrong with that statement. One, N’s motivations are actually the most thought out of any Pokemon villain’s ever. Let’s quickly go generation by generation and list the villains’ motivations (not their methods. There’s a big difference).
Generations I and II: Team Rocket led by Giovanni: They want to take over the world.
Generation III: Teams Aqua and Magama led by Archie and Maxie respectively: They want to take over the world.
Generation IV: Team Galactic led by Cyrus: They want to destroy the world and make a new one that they can then take over.
Generation V: Team Plasma led by N: Team Plasma and Ghetsis have plans for world domination, but N does not. N wishes for Pokemon trainers to release their Pokemon because he feels that imprisoning them and using them to settle all of our disputes is unethical and immoral.
Based simply on their motivations, I’d have to say that N is actually the most sympathetic and well-rounded as a character. And his motivation is actually admirable. He’s not driven by something as cliche as world domination. And like I mentioned above, it actually calls the ethics of Pokemon training into question. It actually gives the story and extra layer of depth and makes it considerably less superficial.
The second reason that this complaint is bullshit is because N is not the villain!!! He’s an antagonist, to be sure. But there’s a monstrous difference between an antagonist and a villain. But if any of the people complaining about this had played the whole game or paid any sort of attention to it, they would realize that N is indeed not the villain, but Ghetsis is.
And if you look at it that way, the complaint goes right out the window. Because now, the villain is basically the same as all of the villains before, but again, with the inclusion of N, the story has more depth to it, and it actually makes Ghetsis, the main villain, considerably more sinister, because he was actually willing to imprison and use a child (who may or may not be his own son) for his own ends.
Reason #3: The New Pokemon Are Stupid and Unoriginal!
This is by far the biggest complaint among Gen V haters. And I’ll admit, some of them are really stupid.
But these same people sit there and talk as if there were absolutely no stupid Pokemon at all before Gen V. And hey, maybe they’re right.
My point here is that every generation had its fair share of stupid-ass Pokemon. It’s possible that Gen V had a higher number of stupid Pokemon, but there are a couple things that need to be realized before this complaint can actually become valid. One, this generation introduced more new Pokemon than any other. And it’s just statistics: More Pokemon means more stupid Pokemon. They could have just made less Pokemon and concentrated on making them all cool and awesome, but I also see why they didn’t. The fifth Gen games are made in such a way that only fifth generation Pokemon can be caught until after the first part of the game is completed. And this makes sense, because the fifth gen region is quite far away from the others. So previous gen Pokemon would not be running around Unova for the same reason that giant Japanese hornets aren’t flying around downtown Chicago. And I liked it that way. It forced me to learn the advantages and disadvantages of the Gen V Pokemon before deciding to use any previous gen Pokemon.
When people aren’t complaining about how stupid the new Pokemon are, they’re complaining that they are unoriginal. They just take any old animal and stylize them Example:
But again, every generation had Pokemon like that.
So, again, the complaint is completely invalid. And while they’re sitting there complaining about all of the stupid new Pokemon, they tend to completely ignore the fact that Generation V also added some incredibly cool Pokemon to the already expansive collection.
And that’s not nearly all of the cool new Pokemon. I’m sorry people, but you cannot complain about the bad without acknowledging the good. But I constantly see people talking about this new gen like it’s some kind of affront to Pokemon and all of its fans, and that’s simply wrong. I can understand this not being your favorite Pokemon game. I can understand if you don’t particularly like it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I get that. But is it so much to ask for you to treat it as just an opinion and not a gospel that you would damn people for going against? Or if you want to treat it as such, that you at least get the facts straight before cursing those with a different opinion? It’s a simple request that anyone should be able to handle.