If these don’t sound like big changes from last iteration of the nearly 15-year-old RPG franchise, it's because they’re not. Players choose from the same three initial Pokemon as the original Pokemon Black game. Oddly, the biggest difference between Version 2 and the original, besides the new modes, is the balance. Pokemon has gotten easier, though a bit more tedious. The beginning of the game runs you through more battles than a title used to, but the difficulty of your enemies have been decreased. This means there is a lot more fighting but with weaker enemies. This carries through to how the gyms have been designed as well. It is almost as if Nintendo and Game Freak are trying to make Pokemon more accessible but, choosing a sequel to implement that change is puzzling.
Pokemon Black Version 2 does offer some welcome visual upgrades. This is obvious from the first time you start the game up. The opening art and animation sequences are noticeably sharper. The improved graphics carry over to the game, too. The menu screens are also both more functional and better looking. The title calls the game Version 2 which implies an upgrade over the first game, like a “Game of the Year” edition rather than a sequel, and perhaps they should have just rereleased the original. The expectation for the core Pokemon games is high and there is little in this outing that advances the series. As an improvement or upgrade upon the original, Pokemon Black Version 2 succeeds but, as a true sequel, it may disappoint many long time players.
Pokemon Black: Version 2 is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB for Comic Mischief and Mild Cartoon Violence.