The Pokémon series is one of the most serious in gaming, with world championships and resources for Trainers that are reserved for the most dedicated and skilled. One trend with the most experienced players is to dig down into the games and understand the hidden stat values for levelling up core abilities, known as EVs and IVs.
The good news, or bad if you're one of the elite players who enjoyed working with these hidden tricks that others didn't necessarily use, is that Pokémon Black and White 2 will open up some of these tactics so that they're accessed easier, allowing players to level up in a more intuitive way. Seth McMahill, Assistant Manager of Product Marketing at Nintendo, was asked by Siliconera why these adjustments were being made and how the new title takes these ideas further.
That’s a great question. I mean, there’s even areas [in Black/White 2] in Join Avenue that specifically will lower and raise EV values. I actually found that out online, but if you look at Black/White 2, there’s a lot that really relates directly to that. Like the unlimited dungeon, where you can go and continue to level up, fighting Pokémon that are at an equal level to yours, and continue to get experience points.
Pokémon fans, in the past, always had to deal with what we call ‘grinding the grass,’ where after you get around to beating the Elite 4, it’s like, ‘What we do now? Keep going through that, or go fight in the grass where characters are 20 levels below?’
But this time around, this is a sequel. And all the core fans knew about [EVs and IVs] already. They’ve been talking about it constantly, and it was a big part of Pokémon. And although it was in the undercurrent before as you mentioned, this time we decided, let’s bring it out into the open. Let’s open up the complexity of Pokémon for people who want it.
If you look also at all the Pokémon that are included, like non-Unova Pokémon — Mareep’s in there, one of my favourites from Gold/Silver — they really kind of made this one the Pokémon player’s game. It’s really aimed at a player of the core series. A fan. Look at Join Avenue, an area where shops open up the more you communicate with other players. There’s the World Tournament, where you can fight old Gym Leaders. Misty’s in there. That takes me back to the Blue version, before I even worked at Nintendo.
So, although this game appeals to anybody — obviously, I have to say that, as I work at Nintendo — as a Pokémon fan myself, when I first picked it up and started playing it, I was absolutely blown away. I was like, ‘This game is made for the fans.’ Anybody can play it, but a fan is going to love it, because they’ve opened up all those things.
Are you a dedicated Pokémon trainer, and if so are you looking forward to seeing these changes in action?