The lights are on
Pokemon was always the same game. Some kid without a dad who lives in a small town with a worldwide-known Pokemon professor, and you get 2 games which are virtually the same. Although the game still has key characteristics, it's the most different Pokemon game ever.
It definitely shows that this game took a different approach before you even play. It starts with a cutscene where you can only guess at what's going on. There are small other cutscenes scattered throughout the game, but there aren't many.
Of course, this wouldn't be right without a gang up to no good. Well, you can only guess if it's not good or not. Team Plasma focuses on the liberation of Pokemon, to free them from the supposed suffering they undergo while being with their owners. In my opinion, Team Plasma is the best Pokemon team that's been made. Yes, even better than Team Rocket. I think their personalities are very interesting, unlike all others, who use Pokemon for the benefit of everyone or just themselves. They fight to help Pokemon, generating a different sort of fight.
In the beginning, battling is kind of boring. Until around the 3rd gym, I was fighting almost nothing but Patrats, Lillipups, and Purrloins. Fortunately, it's at a faster tempo than the previous games, which I prefer. A majority of my time in a Pokemon battle is usually spent rapidly pressing A so all the stupid text goes away, and waiting for the health bar to stop, but that's not a problem in here. The Pokemon battles are a key change in the game; the sprites are in full-motion throughout the battle, not just upon entering like most others. The sprites are pixelated, especially yours, so you might be bothered, but I still prefer it over the static sprites.
My most favorite new feature is the Rotation Battles. I really was disappointed, though, because I knew how they work and everything, but they're rather rare, which is a shame. It keeps a nice strategic feeling as well as heartbreaking, like when you're about to K.O. one of your opponents, and then he switches around. They're a nice add-on, but very underused.
Another key factor in change is the camera angles. Many locations change the way you see the environment thanks to the camera. Some just give you a different angle than the usual one, but some change depending where you are in the location, like the Skyarrow Bridge. I think the reason why the game has so many bridges is to show off the impressive new camera look.
One thing that I don't like, however, is the Pokemon themselves. Fortunately, they didn't touch any old Pokemon, but many of the new Pokemon are ugly. And also note that they made a LOT of new Pokemon. Although appearance didn't bring down the game much for me (although I also hate the Unova region), I do wish they made more attractive Pokemon, and not ones with silly resemblances. (Exhibit A: the Vanillite stage.) Although at the same time, I get a laugh or two. The goofy chandelier Pokemon has the highest Special Attack stat in the game, besides a legendary.
The music is also a nice touch. I think the soundtrack is the best in any Pokemon game, as well as most varied. I don't think any 2 routes or cities share the same song. Not only that, but the music changes depending on the battle. When you have a Pokemon in the red, the song changes to a more worried tune, and when you fight a Gym Leader's last Pokemon, it changes to the Pokemon theme, giving a more heroic and victorious atmosphere. The music also fits the atmosphere of the battle or location; I still can't get over how I feel when I walk down Route 10. And Gehtsis' theme isn't like any other team leader, which is usually a fast paced or alarming tune; it's more of a dark, evil, and suspenseful tune, which fits Gehtsis perfectly.
Last but not least is the storyline, again, focused on Team Plasma, but mostly on their king, N, who appears frequently throughout the game. I think N is a great character, who can be rather touching to some. The storyline I think is the best in the series, one reason being that the team appears a lot and changes the story. Another thing is that the Gym Leaders aren't just people who run a building anymore, they affect the story as well. Team Plasma's goal seems strange at first, but it's pulled off very well. The major turning points in the game don't happen until the Pokemon League, which is one of the main reasons why I love the story so much. N eventually becomes the champion, thanks to the help of his pal, the legendary Zekrom. Or Reshiram, if you have White. His dream is finally realized, and then he disappears into a very unrealistic castle with unrealistically emerged from the ground. Yeah, right. After you beat N and his very friendly friend, DENNIS, the game ends like that. I never had such a great feeling beating the game, and I never enjoyed the Pokemon League so much. For me, it was always a chore, and very difficult. The psychic lady who was also in the Sinnoh battle frontier kicked my ass, but you can heal before fighting N. I think that this should be the way a Pokemon League should be, dramatic and uprising. Instead, you fight a bunch of tough, high-level Pokemon in a row, and your battle depends on your dramatically overloaded bag filled with Revives and Full Restores. Some were still that way, but it's still the most interesting end to any Pokemon game in my opinion.
Long story short, anyone who has a DS should play this game, whether you're a Pokefan or not. The game is way different in good ways, but still the same game at the same time. I think this could even be the best Pokemon game of all time, and I can't wait for the evident Pokemon Grey.
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