Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2 are giving us a unique experience only previously available to us in G/S/C and HG/SS: we get to see how the characters we met in the previous games have developed in the past two years. This article introduces a new way of looking at the Pokémon games, by looking at the characters and analyzing their development over the course of these two games. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did studying the characters!
Pokemon games, at least in the main series, were story-based games that always focused more on gameplay. But when Black and White came out, it was clear Game Freak was trying to give characters backstories as well as give the game a more interesting plot, even more so than their attempts in Platinum. Whether or not you enjoyed the plot, the fact that they’re trying still stands. I’ll avoid N in this article because I’d like for this to be as spoiler-free as possible so that everyone can read it. Be warned that it still contains mild spoilers for BW2, though, so read at your own risk.
In Black and White, we played as a character with two best friends, Cheren and Bianca. And as you traveled all around Unova, you battled with each of them a number of times. You’ve fought against Cheren as he struggled to learn exactly what it is that makes one a strong trainer, and you battled with Bianca when she was uncertain with what she wanted to do with herself after her father giving her the freedom to do so. Like the protagonist, they were just 16 years old, and it was evident the both of them needed to do some soul searching.
Enter Black 2 & White 2, games featuring Unova two years later. And in these games we now see Cheren as the first Gym Leader in the region’s updated League! We also see Bianca, now Professor Juniper’s assistant, as well as the one to give you your starter Pokemon this time ‘round. Now I really enjoy analyzing character development so it’s possible I’ve spent too much time with these two, but I love the direction Game Freak chose to take with these characters.
With Cheren being the first Gym Leader you face, it’s apparent he knows now that you don’t have to be the region’s champion in order to be a strong trainer.
And I can’t express how satisfied I am with Bianca’s development. Although she was a rather annoying and scatterbrained girl, Bianca took a liking to Juniper and her profession; so here she is at 18 like Cheren, and is happily traveling around Unova as Juniper’s assistant. It’s rare that we get the chance to see characters develop like this in Pokemon games, but B2W2 continue Game Freak’s backstory attempts. If you ask me, these games are more on the right track than Black and White were.
I’d like to look more into their development when the games come out in the States so I can really get a feel for how they are now. If you’d be interested in reading more about this let me know! 😀
So, do you like that you’ll be able to revisit your favorite characters and locations in Unova? Tell us what you’re most excited for in Black 2 & White 2 if you haven’t played it yet or are waiting for one of the other releases!