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5 reasons why Pokemon Black 2 is my game of the year

Marti Bennett picks her favourite game of 2012. What's yours?

When asked to write about my favourite game of 2012 there was one game that came to mind. Well, technically two. I looked at my shelf and counted up the games I had bought this year but none of them have brought me as much joy and entertainment as Pokemon Black 2. This probably comes as no surprise to most of you that are familiar with my blogs as I am a huge Pokemon fan.

ONM recently asked readers to vote for the best game of 2012 and here are 5 reasons why I think Pokemon Black And White 2 deserves to win.

1. It's a sequel

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Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 are the first direct sequels to the main series Pokemon games. Instead of releasing a director's cut-style game (a slightly altered game which adds one or two new features), we see the continuation of the storyline about the mysterious N character and Team Plasma.

If you had previously played Pokemon Black or White, by linking your games together through the Pokemon Global Link website you are able to see flashbacks of events from the past. There are also other benefits such as being able to encounter N's Pokemon in the wild and obtain the props from the Pokemon Musical which you have already collected in the previous game.

2. The 'new' Unova region

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We are used to seeing the odd change here and there in the main series 'remakes' but you usually have to go through the map in the same order and there are no real notable changes until post Elite Four. In Black and White 2, there are new locations, different gym leaders, and new features to enjoy all from early on in the game.

Unlike the original Black and White games you will also encounter old Pokemon favourites in the wild such as Marill, Growlithe, and Mareep. Also some of the in-game areas and routes are different depending on which version you have.

3. Medals

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One of my favourite new features is the medals. Medals, as the name would suggest, is an achievement system that's been put in place to reward you for completing certain goals within the game. Some are silly (like changing the television channel, for example), but some are extreme, especially when you have to defeat the Elite Four with only one type of Pokemon. I have a slightly obsessive nature when it comes to achievement systems. At the moment I have just under 100 medals. Hopefully I'll have them all by the time the next Pokemon games come out. I doubt it though.

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  1. Riverlution Saturday 22nd Dec 2012 at 09:38

    It was good, but there were so many better games. Had this been 3DS exclusive with new graphics, it could have been GotY for me.

    Mine personally was Mass Effect. Halo 4 probably takes second, and there were a few more 3DS exclusives that I would rate above Pokemon. I think its mainly because it was released on dated hardware, whereas there were loads of brand new, shiny games elsewhere.

  2. shy guy 64 Saturday 22nd Dec 2012 at 10:33

    i would say pokemon black 2 was my game of the year

    with kingdom hearts 3d at number 2

    and nintendo land is most likely number 3

  3. 25BBB Saturday 22nd Dec 2012 at 10:42

    Kid Icarus might be mine on a Nintendo platform this year. Can't think of much that really stood out this year for me..

  4. Loopydoodle Saturday 22nd Dec 2012 at 12:14

    Simply, yes! :D

  5. Havak Saturday 22nd Dec 2012 at 14:38

    Medals is definitely the best feature, but surprised you didn't include the PWT.

    I've got 206 Medals so far, not sure if I'll manage all 255 before Generation 6 but I'll give it a go :)

  6. ThePokekid78 Saturday 22nd Dec 2012 at 16:04

    B/W2 were good, no way were they the best Pokemon games but still good titles! However I've played very few new games this year so can't really comment on my GOTY :L

    And a word on medals - while I, too, feel like they were a great concept, while playing the game I can't help but feel as though they were yet another good idea that GameFreak messed up slightly. I found the Medal Box to be needlessly complicated and unintuitive to navigate through....

  7. King Slazo Saturday 22nd Dec 2012 at 16:22

    Its weird, I agree with you on BW2 being my game of the year (best Pokémon games of all time? Need to play them more before I know whether they're Gen2 beaters), but not for any of these reasons.

    Its a sequel - Well, so were GSC, technically. They take place 5 years after RBY, if I recall, and while its not as apparent as BW1 to BW2, there's still plenty of nods to Gen1. Including Red.

    "New" Unova - Most of it was the same, you just went around in a different order, much like Kanto in GSC/HGSS.

    Medals - Or achievements, as everyone knows them. They're neat but don't really add much other than give you more incentive to clear everything.

    Connectivity - I'll take my Stadium-esque battlers over Dream World and Radar anyday.

    For me its my favourite simply because it piles together everything Game Freak have learned from 15+ years of games and shoved it all into one cartridge, not because of any individual gimmick or feature. They're not perfect by any means, but its the best they've done in a looong time.

  8. PokeMarti Saturday 22nd Dec 2012 at 18:12

    Medals is definitely the best feature, but surprised you didn't include the PWT.

    I've got 206 Medals so far, not sure if I'll manage all 255 before Generation 6 but I'll give it a go :)

    Havak <3

    to be honest I thought 'Oh my god I didn't write about PWT' until after I had sent the blog. But if I had to mention all the cool new stuff it would have taken forever :)

  9. Tamzily01 Saturday 22nd Dec 2012 at 19:45

    While I wouldn't call Black 2 my game of the year (that honor goes to Borderlands 2), it's definitely a close second. The game brought a nice end to the Team Plasma story, and I thoroughly enjoy a lot of the new features (Join Avenue especially). While it may not be the end of Gen V just yet, Black 2 and White 2 were certainly a wonderful swansong for the DS. Now I just need to collect those medals, complete the PWT, Black Tower, and of course the Pokédex. That should keep me busy for a while, and it's that replayability which makes them so great.

  10. linkfinity Saturday 22nd Dec 2012 at 22:25

    Honestly, inazuma 11 2 (blizzard, not that that makes too much of a difference) is probably my favourite game i've played this year. Well, i did finish of xenoblade, which is better, but it didn't come out this year, over here at least, so i'll stick with inazuma 11 2 (which to the best of my knowledge came out in march-ish?)

  11. Kirby8 Sunday 23rd Dec 2012 at 02:43

    I would have to say it's a joint first for me with another game (I know, that's cheating but I can't decide! XD). Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 were amazing. The fact that they were sequels to Black & White was the standout point for me.
    Like someone else mentioned G/S/C were kinda sequels to R/B/Y, and there were a lot of nods to Gen I within R/B/Y, but this time, it was kinda different. Because with G/S/C, you start in a different region and all the nods come later, while BW2 were in Unova again. It felt so weird playing them as normally Game Freak make a 3rd game and it's just slight tweaks to the story, but this time they went all out and they played as entirely different games...a lot had changed! And that's what made it fantastic!
    Plus, like you, huge pokémon fan (well who isn't haha) so always uber excited for the next games. And I agree with what you said, it was the first thing I thought too, that this is the best last hoorah for the DS. We had 6 great years of pokémon games and games in general on the device and it's time to say bye to one of the best consoles Nintendo has made. As for the best Pokémon game ever, not so sure, mainly because my vote is still with nostalgia and no games will ever be better then Gen I and Gen II for me, regardless of technical, graphical, replay, etc. mine is the wonderful memories of Pokémon when I was a kid (I am a very nostalgic person, haha XD). But BW2 are still fantastic games and are definitely some of the best of 2012.

    It has to be joint with Kid Icarus. Kid Icarus was amazing! I was so happy to see him come back and the game was addictive, hilarious and had a fantastic storyline with great visuals and battle system. Kid Icarus with Black 2 (I haven't played much of White 2 yet) have to be my favourite games of this year.

    I think second is tied up a bit too. Mask of Miracle would be up there. Great game and great, but kinda obvious, storyline. Maybe joint with Nintendo Land. A lot of other games I love on the Wii U as well, but haven't played them enough to put any of them as my GoTY.

    P.S. There's something wrong with the near end of the blog, a paragraph is written twice.

  12. CaptainSnivy Sunday 23rd Dec 2012 at 19:20

    In short, B2W2 was awesome. It was the longest by far (if you're a Pokemon fan who always likes to do everything in a Pokemon game bar catching 'em all, it took me an amazing 65 hours), it had lots of nooks and crannies, it had the biggest region since Sinnoh, and above all it was a love letter to all the longtime Pokemon fans like myself.

    But anyway, this year has been one awesome year for games - we had Resident Evil Revelations, Kid Icarus Uprising, New Super Mario Bros. 2, Pokemon Black and White 2, Paper Mario Sticker Star, New Super Mario Bros. U, and Nintendo Land. I'd probably say that Paper Mario SS is my favourite game this year so far (I'm only about 5 hours into it so far, but so far I love it), and I won't be getting a Wii U and the two aforementioned Wii U games until Tuesday so I don't know whether they'll become a favourite game instead, but this year has still been an amazing year, both in videogame terms and in real-life terms (we had the Olympics, Golden Jubilee, etc.), so I'm all set for 2013 and the joys that brings. :D

  13. Yinyanreshiram Monday 24th Dec 2012 at 14:25

    This is definitely my personal game of the year.This is the game I have spent the most time with this year.As of now it is my third most played game on my 3DS :D

  14. Chris Mandle Saturday 29th Dec 2012 at 21:29

    I completely agree with you about B2W2 being two of the best games released this year. Not only were the improvements to the main story incredibly satisfying, the cut-scenes were amazing, seeing Kyurem and the Plasma Frigate freezing Opelucid City. And I still love getting a glimpse of a Wailord when I go through the Marine Tube.

    Moreso, they showed off just what the DS is capable of graphically, and the idea of a Pokemon game going completely 3D (like the new Mystery Dungeon game) suddenly feels possible and, realistically, the right thing for the franchise to do.

  15. Combusken Monday 31st Dec 2012 at 01:46

    I love collecting the medals as they give you a sense of achivement in B2 and W2. Also IMHO the postgame of B2 and W2 is more fun than postgame of the previous generation games and B1 and W1 as there more to do in B2 and W2 once you beat the E4 for the first time.

    Red being in every gen while none of the other player characters ever appear outside their generation games is my only grip with B2 and W2. :( I feel that B2 and W2 would have been even more awesome if GameFreak had allowed us to battle the player characters of Gen 2, Gen 3, Gen 4 (e,g. Dawn, May, Leaf, Lyra, etc) in a PWT or somewhere in Unova as postgame high level trainers.

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