Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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Pokémon Black & White Needs Another Sequel, Not A Remake

After BDSP, Pokémon Black and White are next in line to be remade by Nintendo, but Pokémon Black and White 3 would be much better to have instead.

Pokémon Black and White are the next Pokémon games in line to be remade, but they should get another sequel instead of a remake or prequel. Originally released on the Nintendo DS in 2010 in Japan and 2011 internationally, Pokémon Black and White are the first games of the fifth generation in the Pokémon series. They followed Gen 4, which includes Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum, which have just received their own remakes, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, and are set to receive a prequel in the form of Pokémon Legends: Arceus on the Nintendo Switch.

The Gen 5 Pokémon games, which include Pokémon Black and White and their direct sequels, Black 2 and White 2, are well known among Pokémon fans to feature strong character-driven storytelling. This was a major departure from the previous games in the mainline series, which had characters who didn’t grow or change throughout the story. Those who did were few in number and their growth wasn’t a focal point of the game. Black and White’s emphasis on narrative carried on with their direct sequels, continuing their story rather than retelling it as other third games in the same Pokémon generation tend to do.


Related: All Main Pokémon Games In Order (& What The Timeline Is)

With the release of Pokémon Legends: Arceus, additional possibilities for future remakes of classic Pokémon games have opened up. It has set precedent for an older game to not only get a remake but also a follow-up game in the form of a prequel. But while this prospect has excited some fans looking towards the future at upcoming Gen 5 remakes and a prequel, there are actually more things going in favor of another Black and White sequel rather than a remake and a prequel. There’s a lot that a hypothetical Pokémon Black 3 and White 3 could bring to the table that fans would enjoy more than a remake that changes what they liked about the original games, or a prequel that may go in a completely different direction than fans are expecting.

Pokémon Black & White 3 Would Have Fan-Favorite Characters

Pokemon Black 2 And White 2 Shadow Triad And Hugh

While it’s certainly fun to get to see the ancestors of certain characters in a game like Pokémon Legends: Arceus, it’s also great to see the same characters players already know grow even more and interact with newer characters. In Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, Cheren and Bianca got the opportunity to take their decisions from the first Black and White games and apply them, with Cheren becoming a full-fledged teacher and Gym Leader and Bianca starting work as Prof. Juniper’s assistant. Not only did players get to see Cheren and Bianca older and wiser, but they also got the opportunity to see how they interact with the returning cast now that they were older, and also compare it to how they interact with the new cast, including the new protagonists.

In the case of a hypothetical Black 3 and White 3, Pokémon Black 2 and White 2’s challenging rival character Hugh could make an appearance. It would be fascinating to see if he calmed down a bit as he got older, or if he remains excitable as he was in Black 2 and White 2. Comparing the changes characters undergo between games is especially enjoyable when the characters already had strong arcs initially, but it can also be a great opportunity to give more importance to characters who may have been lacking in some way previously. Hugh’s younger sister, who is infamously unnamed, could also be given the chance to shine as a full-fledged character.

Hugh’s sister’s Purrloin was stolen by the evil Pokémon team of Unova, Team Plasma, and Hugh spends much of Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 trying to retrieve it. When it’s finally found, it’s a fully-evolved Liepard that reacts cruelly to humans. It’s natural to wonder how this affects Hugh’s sister’s relationship with Pokémon, and even other people, as she grows older. Will she perhaps join the old Team Plasma to care for abused and abandoned Pokémon, or will she gain a rebellious streak and not want to rely on anyone out of lack of trust? She would be a very interesting character to explore in a potential Pokémon Black 3 and White 3 game.

Related: Every Pokémon Protagonist’s Official Name

It would also be fascinating to see what conflicts befall the Unova region in Pokémon Black 3 and White 3. Ghetsis was completely defeated in Black 2 and White 2, but the Shadow Triad remains at large. Their dedication to Pokémon Black and White’s villain Ghetsis may hint that they could try to avenge him somehow. N and Colress, both ex-Team Plasma bosses, may get the opportunity to team up to stop whatever next threatens the region. The protagonist from Black and White, who was missing from Black 2 and White 2 since they left Unova to search for N, may make a return to team up with N as well.

Black & White 3 Could Lead To Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 Re-Release

How Pokémon Black 2 & White 2 Challenge Mode Increases Difficulty

What may be at once both the simplest and most important reason for Black and White to get another sequel is that it would require Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 to be fully remade or at least rereleased in its entirety. With the exception of Pokémon X and Y and Sword and Shield, the two primary games of each Pokémon generation are followed up by another game or set of games. Fans usually refer to these as the “third version”, even though Black and White and Sun and Moon’s third versions were released as two games. When Pokémon games get remade, only certain elements of their third version get included in the remake. While this has received a mixed reception from fans, it mostly works because third versions are generally the same game as their predecessors, but with various alterations.

The Gen 5 Pokémon games are an exception to this, however. Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 are treated as third versions by series developer Game Freak, but they’re entirely new games set two years after Black and White. With an all-new story and major alterations to the cast, Black 2 and White 2 can’t properly be pared down into the post-game the way past Pokémon remakes have incorporated third version content. Black 2 and White 2 would need to be remade as their own, entirely separate games from Black and White in order for players to get the full Gen 5 experience.

While the difficulty of remaking an entire extra set of games can be alleviated by porting the Gen 5 Pokémon games rather than remaking them, Black 2 and White 2 could theoretically be left alone if the Gen 5 games receive a prequel. A prequel wouldn’t require knowledge of Black 2 and White 2 to fully enjoy, but another sequel would. Not only would Pokémon Black 3 and White 3 give fans more of the story and characters that they love, but it would require all of Gen 5 to be made readily available in some format. Older Pokémon games are getting more rare and difficult to obtain, so fans both returning and new would benefit from a full remake or rerelease of Black 2 and White 2. This way, all players can experience the complete story that began with Pokémon Black and White.

Next: The Gen 5 Pokémon Games Should Be Ported, Not Remade

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