News Article

Pokémon Black and White 2 Designed for Dedicated Trainers

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"Let’s open up the complexity of Pokémon for people who want it."

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?


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User Comments (50)



Wheels2050 said:

Sounds interesting.

Also, it's somewhat worrying to hear that he finds stuff out about the game he's meant to be promoting by reading about it online, presumably on fan sites...



Suportedcofe said:

All of the sudden I'm incredibly hyped for the game and I'm not even into that Ev training stuff.



warvad said:

I really can't complain! This has gotten me a little more excited for what seemed to be a shameless cash-in.



gefflt said:

That's great news!
I can't wait to get an Ampharos again and own everyone with:

  • Dynamicpunch
  • Thunder
    ... and two other new moves...


Axl_abe said:

This is nothing new for me as i follow said fan sites. Im havent perfected EV training but ive been playing around with it since 3rd gen. When i first heard this i was super excited. If you only knew how annoying it is it to gave 3 extra speed IVs :/



Grubdog said:

@Wheels2050 you're misunderstanding. He said he learned about EVs and IVs online, a long time ago. Now with B/W 2, the game will be more direct about explaining them.

It's about time, too. EVs and IVs shouldn't be a big secret.



Ernest_The_Crab said:

Now that has convinced me to get the game. I got burnt out on Pearl and Black versions before I even got to battle online, due to the EV and IV related stuff.

That being said this only seems to mention changes to the EV training system. It doesn't seem to mention IVs, so I'm guessing back to mass breeding still.



Wheels2050 said:

@Xilef: If you read the Siliconera article, it says "Seth McMahill... who has worked exclusively on Pokémon localization and marketing throughout his career at the company"

@Grubdog: I'm not sure I am, I think what he's said is pretty clear - he read about 'Join Avenue' online.



Marakuto said:

In BW, EV & IV training had Litwick (Sp.atk) & that red and blue fish (speed) to help. BW2 offers more training and challenges, and doubled with what BW had, it will be much easier to use the move tutor and training.

When it comes to the challenge mode, I'll see what it has to offer on varies battles.



Megumi said:

....Ugh...must, resist...maybe I'll get it around Christmas or...something, lol.



Geonjaha said:

Yes, but Pokemon wasnt really designed to be strategised as such. Shin Megami Tensei and Dragon Quest Monsters both feature breeding systems that allow new monsters to be made, and makes all the creatures important in some way. In Pokemon most of the pokemon are immediately obsolete, and people wouldnt even think of capturing them if not to complete the Pokedex. Even with close balancing of every pokemon and random stats, it suddenly becomes a case of 'continue to capture one pokemon again and again until you find the one with the best stats' which just adds more grind to a genre where it is an issue in the first place.



Xilef said:

@Geonjaha I'm pretty sure Pokemon is designed to be stratedised for those who want it to be. Also if you know what you are doing pretty much every Pokemon is usable, and even if you don't want to use them they can be useful for breeding egg moves.



Geonjaha said:

@Xilef - Yes, Pokemon has been designed to cater to the strategists more and more over the years, but what I'm saying is that staples of the franchise are being kept for the sake of nostalgia and familiarity, holding back the potential that the games have there. Pokemon is trying to get a balance for those who just want to casually run through the game, and those who want to take it more seriously and get into the strategy - which is a good thing, but when it comes down to it, both aspects hold the other back.

Pokemon is already a famous franchise, and it'll sell amazingly well no matter what they choose to do - I'm just bringing up some points as to why it cant currently compete with some aspects of other monster training/breeding franchises on a strategic front.



Onett said:

As a competitive player, I can say that this has its pros and cons. I mean, as long as there are hackers and hacked pokemon in circulation (GTS) none of it will really matter.

I believe that battling weaker Pokemon in the end game wasn't really much of an issue in terms of obtaining EV's. B&W made a change so that you obtain the effort value immediately after the battle, not after leveling up. Also, I really enjoyed using the link features with friends to get EXP boosts from missions to stack it with the Lucky Egg to make leveling up easier. Simply put, adding that special place or cave where the player can battle Pokemon of equal level renders those features nearly useless depending on how you look at it. So why bother including them in the game? Throw the Lucky Egg and EXP boost way, you won't be needing them anymore.

You are absolutely correct. Most Pokes are outclassed by others that do the same exact job but do it better. Most of the time the obsolete Pokes aren't rewarded with a new special ability or additions to their movepool to give them a fighting chance. GameFreak just keeps haphazardly adding new Pokemon and inadvertently raises the bar higher for the competitive scene without making the necessary adjustments to keep the older Pokemon relevant.



Wheels2050 said:

@Geonjaha: I agree. Balancing 649 different Pokemon is an impossible task for anybody, if you want them to have unique properties.

It just ends up with tiers, as the competitive community uses. Some Pokemon simply can't compete with others no matter what.

I don't know how to fix it, short of paring down the number of Pokemon. However, as you say, people enjoy the collecting aspect of the game so I don't think it's a good move - I think we simply have to live with it.



Kryce said:

I must say that Gamefreak always knew how to impress their fans !



Zhanglot said:

No, I am not excited for this. I used to be a competitive battler, but retired when I entered high school (I was mainly in the gen IV era). Making EVs and IVs this easily attainable is not something I appreciate. The Power item IV breeding in HG/SS was a good thing, but I think BW2 is taking it over the top. Part of the reason Pokemon was great was because of the challenge of getting the perfect Pokemon,
Training to lvl 100 is also absolute bull. They should've kept lvl 100 wifi battles intact.



LittleKing said:

I used to love Pokemon, but I'm none too fond of the new Pokemon designs, thus I didn't even play B&W let alone B&W 2. Still, glad to see the deeper complexities of Pokemon finally being explored, even if it means some of the more core players won't have as much of an edge. I was getting tired of people saying Pokemon has no depth when they couldn't even grasp the concepts of EVs or IVs, let alone utilize them. Not that I remember WTH IVs are anymore, myself.



Xilef said:

@Zhanglot I personaly think the actual challange to get the 'perfect' Pokemon comes from planing it's moveset, not the actual training.



turtlelink said:

@Xilef Making a good moveset is the easiest part, mainly because you can plan that out before training. Hatching the right nature, ability, and perfect IV is the hard part as well as not screwing up an EV.



ueI said:

I've loved pokemon just about forever, but I'm not into most of these things. Glad to see there's no more "grinding in the grass," as he calls it. Black and White did pretty well in that area, but it was a nightmare in the first 4 gens.

@Geonjaha I haven't yet played Dragon Quest Monsters, but I completely disagree with your comparisons between Pokemon and Shin Megami Tensei. To get through Shin Megami Tensei, you have to constantly fuse the best monsters; everything else is unnecessary or even worthless. Can you beat Shin Megami Tensei with a pixie? No, but you can beat pokemon with a pikachu.



GamerZack87 said:

So fans should play Black and White, but true fans should play Black 2 and White 2? Does that make me a liar since I call myself a big fan of the series yet don't bother with IVs or EVs?!

Heheheheh..."EV" sounds like "Eevee"!



sinalefa said:

I hope that unlimited dungeon can be accessed early in the game. I just hate to travel to the next zone just to see if it is a worthy grinding ground.



Detective_TeeJay said:

The unlimited dungeon sounds like a blessing! I was getting really sick of grinding with pokemon half my level.



scrubbyscum999 said:

This is great! Too bad I still haven't played Black and White, even though I own both. I might just what till next generation. Pokemon is my favorite series but I am taking a break from it to explore other games. I also really didn't like the pokemon designs for 5th generation, about half of them were just straight bad.



Vehemont said:

Can't wait to pick this game up. Been a fan of Pokemon since I got the Red version for Christmas in 1998.



Robo-goose said:

While it's really easy to fall into the "of course he's going to say it's for 'core players', he's their marketing guy and he knows Nintendo wants money!" line of thinking, he's absolutely right, and I agree 100% with him based on what I've seen and read so far (on Pokemon B&W 2 really has been made to make EV training and IV breading faster, easier, and better.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Of course its a choir they went out of their way to hide them, being hard to find comes with the territory. I don't see the point in complaining about them making it less of a choir.

Never paid much attention to IVs an EVs myself, I knew the competitive battling but I was one of the few of my friends who did so I had no reason to bother.



DarkNinja9 said:

i never rly bothered with ev and iv training either but i did once kinda hard but i hated the "grinding the grass" thing though in general just trying to lvl up a pkm and ugh .-. but glad i wont have to worry about that in this game



Marakuto said:

Has anyone thought about this? Since it is the 16th anniversary of Pokemon, Gamefreak possibly decided to put things from past generations into this game, whilst keeping the storyline original. That's what I think they've done to make it great.



Supremeist said:

This game is headed into the right direction. Seriously, can't wait. After all my time spent on Pokemon Black/White on roadtrips and such, I am definitely prepared for this second title.



FriedSquid said:

I wasn't especially excited for this earlier when it was introduced, but now it really sounds promising.

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