Pokemon is more than just a video game. It was once a phenomena, but has since evolved into what can only be described as a life long obsession. If you've been bitten by the Pokemon virus, I'm afraid to say it is terminal. You're probably going to be catchin' 'em all until the day you die. and good luck with that, because since 1997 people have been tireless trying to Catch 'em all throughout multiple versions of the game, but they just keep making more! From the original Red and Blue, to the expansive Gold and Silver, and beyond we just keep doing it over, and over again. Despite all of these sequels, Black and White Versions 2 are the first games to really be true sequels. I guess technically Gold and Silver continued the story of Red and Blue, but at the same time they were entirely new games with an entirely new region and Pokemon. Black and White Versions 2 are different is that they place in the Unova region, just like Black and White, and pick up just 2 years after the previous game's events. But is it worth it to buy another ticket to visit Unova?
In the end of the first set of games, Team Plasma was foiled - both factions. Lord N fled the Unova region for lands unknown, and the sages went into hiding. Now, two years later, one faction of Team Plasma is beginning to reform under the lead of Lord Ghetsis while Lord N's old followers have disguised themselves as loyal servants of Lord Ghetsis. This time, their plan is to utilize the legendary Ice Dragon Kyurem to encase Unova in ice, bringing the people to their knees. In theory, this is a fairly interesting continuation - and it would be if their was any real presence to the story. I found it very hard to involve myself because the story is so pushed to the side until right before you're about to fight the Elite 4, and at that point you no longer care. You just want to defeat the Champion, and be done, but you can't because the game is forcing you through a bunch of story crap that it all of a sudden remembered was important.
The player characters have also changed. You may assume the role of Nate or Rosa (renameable) depending on which gender you select, an aspiring newbie trainer who sets out from the west coast of Unova. It's a tale Pokemon fans are very familiar with; a sort of coming of age story. Your rival is Hugh, who is, quite frankly, one of the worst ideas for a rival ever. He's just childish and brash throughout the entire game, and as such he is extraordinarily predictable. You always know exactly when he's going to fly off the handle, and what he's going to do just by using common sense. A lot has changed in Unova over 2 years. Roads and roues differ slightly, new buildings have been built, and even entirely new cities. Some of the former gym leaders have retired, and as such have been replaced with new ones. The good news is that the new gym leaders are very cool, especially Roxie, who has become one of my favorite gym leaders of all time. It's fresh that they changed a few things in the region, but as much as it may sound like they have. Everything still looks extremely familiar, both environmentally and graphically. The only graphical improvements are animated trainer sprites.
There are also no new Pokemon with the exception of a couple of legendaries, and that's a let down. Others have argued that Yellow, Crystal, Emerald and Platinum did not have any new Pokemon either, but that was excusable because they were not true sequels, but upgrades. The graphics, as mentioned, haven't really changed. The world is semi-three dimensional, but mostly composed of 2D sprites. It looks like Pokemon has for a while now. The thing that bothers me most is the battle sprites. Black and White also had this problem. When the Pokemon are at the opposing end on the battlefield, they look crisp and clear, but when they are on your side, the sprite is enlarged, and you can see the pixels. This has plagued the battle sprites ever since Red and Blue, but all these years later, it should be fixed. By no means does it look as bad as it once did, but the problem is still there.
Gameplay is unchanged - but would you have it changed anyway? Through many unseen statistical numbers, you must face the odds and capture Pokemon, which you will then train to improve, eventually strengthening them enough to take on bigger challenged. Your Pokemon can know 4 moves a piece, and you may carry 6 at a time. Pokemon is a very graceful series- the battle system is so simple, that children can play with no problem. At the same time, it is some deep, and complex on a level that I as a lifelong player cannot even comprehend. There are so many unseen statistics, and mathematical anomalies in this game that I'm not even going to attempt to understand, and there is a huge competitive arena both online and off.
Overall, Pokemon Black and White Versions 2 are very solid games in their own right, but they offer very little in terms of new content. They're a great choice for fledgling trainers, but those of you who have been at this series from the start are going to feel the allegedly timeless formula a bit too familiar. I felt that Black and White where a breath of fresh air to the series, and dug back to its roots, but Black and White 2 just don't bring enough to the table to really deserve the number "2" in their name. The good news is these games are full compatible with Black and White online and off for both trading and battling, so it isn't mandatory that you upgraded if you're in the competitive arena and you're strapped for cash.