Pokémon series director Junichi Masuda appeared on a Japanese television show, Pokémon Smash!, to announce that the newest Pokémon games will be Pokémon Black Version 2 and Pokémon White Version 2. The games have a release date of June 2012 and will be for the Nintendo DS.
It is unknown at this time how the games will connect to Pokémon Black and Pokémon White.
Masuda also revealed two new forms for Kyurem, the third member of the trio that includes Black & White mascots Reshiram and Zekrom. The new forms are called Black Kyurem and White Kyurem. These Formes will make their debut in the fifteenth Pokémon film titled Kyurem vs. the Sacred Swordsman: Keldeo.
Analysis: Well, that was unexpected. Everyone thought there would be an announcement for Pokémon Gray for the 3DS soon, but two games that are supposed to be sequels instead of just an improved version of the duo for the DS? That’s interesting. My main question is what’s going to make this game worth buying? For me, it’d be worth it if I could travel to other regions, which is something I’ve wanted since Gen 3 but will likely never see happen. If new Pokémon aren’t introduced (other than these Kyurem Pokémon), what’s going to be improved? Hell, even if new Pokémon other than Black and White Kyurem are introduced, what’s going to be different? I don’t see how a direct sequel is going to be any better than just releasing a new Generation of games unless they’ve got something up their collective sleeve.
The Pokémon franchise has been criticized for several things, like releasing 100-150 Pokémon and then essentially dumping them by the next Generation, or releasing what’s basically the same game over and over again with improved graphics and occasionally improved balance or a few extra features here and there. In light of that, this might be a good thing for Game Freak if they actually do something with the game. Pokémon Black and Pokémon White were supposed to be game changers, and although there were some major differences that many Pokémon fans appreciated—myself included—it didn’t quite shake things up as much as I had hoped they would. What they’ve done with Kyurem is interesting because of its similarities to Reshiram and Zekrom, and one wonders if Kyurem split into them or something along those lines, but I don’t know that fans will be excited enough about that storyline. That said, I’m cautiously optimistic that these games will do the Pokémon series justice.
What doesn’t seem helpful is the fact that the new games are going to be released for the DS and not the 3DS. One would think that Nintendo would want to pump more resources into their newest system, which is now competing with the Vita. You can laugh all you want, but people would buy a 3DS just to play a Pokémon game. Granted, you can play DS games on a 3DS, but there’s little point for people who already own a DS to upgrade their system if new games are being released for the DS, especially big titles like Pokémon. I can understand that they’d want to reach the widest audience possible, but I just can’t shake the feeling that the 3DS would’ve been a better choice.
I guess now we wait for more information. As someone who’s been playing since Pokémon Blue and played several of the offshoot games like PokéPark Wii: Pikachu’s Adventure and Pokémon Trading Card Game, I’ll be interested in this newest announcement. I just hope that it lives up to my expectations with the series this late in its life.