Usually my Starter Pokémon has been either the Grass- or Water-type options: in the past I picked Bulbasaur in Gen I, Totodile in Gen II, Mudkip in Gen III, and Turtwig in Gen IV. This time, however, I decided to change things up a bit and selected Tepig as my main man. It’s in part a tribute to my wife, who absolutely adores pigs, but it’s also an attempt to make the experience feel fresh and new by starting with the Fire-type option for once.

bw_log_autumn.jpgFrom the moment I stepped outside to experience Nuvema Town, I really liked the aesthetics of the game. The autumn look is really nice and makes me kind of excited to see how the other seasons will change the view of the landscape. I also like how the trainer sprites have grown to reflect their older age. Small touch, but something that really feels like the game’s finally grown up a little with me. Of course, the story and dialogue are the same as always: simple and easy enough for everyone to understand.

At Route 1 I caught two new additions for my team: Patrat and Lillipup. While small rodents and dogs have been done before in the Pokémon world, these new breeds still manage to be somewhat different. At first I was resistant to some of the new monsters I’d been seeing in pre-release info sheets, but now that I’ve started playing they’ve rather grown on me. They feel like different species, variants of a particular monster type, that are native to different regions, which is just like they’re supposed to feel I’m sure.

While training my new creatures, I discovered something about the Experience system: it’s been overhauled to make training your weaker Pokémon just a bit easier. If multiple Pokémon go into battle against one particular creature, the Experience Points earned will be distributed based on level. A lower-level Pokémon will receive more experience, while a higher-level earns less. This really helps trainers trying to bring up their weaker Pokémon and eliminates the need for the Exp. Share seen in previous Gens.

BW_log_Pokémon_Center.pngAfter a while I finally made it to Accumula Town, where I got my first look at the new Pokémon Center layout. They’ve crammed the traditional Pokémon Center with the PokéMart, resulting in a literal town center for Pokémon needs. As a result, however, the towns feel slightly emptier – and I noticed in particular that most of the apartments I’ve visited so far have a same-y look to them, which highlights the feeling of emptiness even more. Of course, I’m only at the beginning of the game, so towns and cities may become more dense as I progress, but it’s something I didn’t really notice until Black & White.

It’s here that I encountered the mysterious Team Plasma, its general Ghetsis, and the enigma, N. They all shared one thing in common: the desire to liberate Pokémon so they can be free. It’s a rather interesting plot idea that actually speaks to real-world concerns, kind of like the Team Aqua and Team Magma conflict from Gen III. I’ll be glad to see how it progresses.

On Route 2 I caught myself a Purrloin. It’s a bit trickier to raise than the other Pokémon on my team since its attack values are so low, but once I got to the next town, Striaton City, I was able to obtain the HM Cut to give it a stronger move. I’m really liking its Assist move, which allows it to randomly select an attack from its teammates arsenal and use it. So far it’s been the only way to get it a Dark-type move to use in order to maximize its type advantage. In Striaton I also was given a Pansage, a Grass-type Pokémon that would prove invaluable in the coming Gym Battle.

Striaton’s Gym Leader battled me based on the type of my Starter – so in this case, I had to face a Water Pokémon known as Panpour. It’s Pansage’s Water-type companion. Fortunately, with a Grass-type at my side I was able to win without too much trouble, and was given the Trio Badge as well as a TM for Work Up, a move that increases its users Attack and Sp. Attack.

It was then that I learned yet another interesting tidbit: TMs can be reused this time around! This’ll make training a lot easier as there’ll be less stress about who to use what TMs on.

bw_log_munna.jpgGym Badge in tow, I headed to the Dreamworks, where the Dream Eater Pokémon Munna was in trouble. Team Plasma was trying to use it to create Dream Mist! I fought them off to rescue Munna, then proceeded to catch one of my own. It’s a Psychic-type, and so far has proven to be relatively powerful. While at the Dreamworks, I also nabbed a Rare Pokémon known as Audino before returning to the city to call it a day.

Play Time: 2:32

Pokédex Rating: 10 seen, 7 caught

My team so far:

  • Patrat, Lv12: Tackle, Bite, Detect, Work Up
  • Audino, Lv11: Doubleslap, Pound, Work Up, Refresh
  • Pansage, Lv12: Vine Whip, Lick, Work Up, Leer
  • Munna, Lv11: Psywave, Psybeam, Lucky Charm, Yawn
  • Purrloin, Lv11: Scratch, Cut, Assist, Sand Attack
  • Tepig, Lv12: Ember, Tackle, Tail Whil, Odor Sleuth

The adventure will continue… tomorrow.

Fanart found at Tohko and Touya. Credit to original artist.

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