Black version vs White version
For the first time in Pokemon history, hardcore Pokemon fans can easily justify buying both versions of the game. While the overall game is the same at heart, Black and White have significant differences that go beyond a handful of version-exclusive Pokemon. Firstly, each game has a different aesthetic feel in certain areas, and overall Pokemon Black has a more high-tech, futuristic vibe, whereas Pokemon White has a natural, rustic feel. Each has an exclusive area too – White Forest in White is a place that's geared toward collecting Pokemon, and Black City in Black is more about trainer battles. Overall, the majority of the content in both games is still the same, but the differences aren't entirely token this time either.
Above: Whichever version you choose, pick the girl trainer. She's way cooler looking than the boy this time
Is it better than…?
Pokemon Diamond / Pearl?
Yes. We miss the Poketch, but Black/White offers a more robust experience overall than Diamond/Pearl. The graphics are superior, it has more multiplayer support, and it has way more post-game content. It feels like what Diamond and Pearl could have (or should have) been – a Pokemon game that stays true to the series while fully utilizing the DS hardware. In retrospect, Diamond and Pearl wasn't quite there despite its numerous advances.
Pokemon HeartGold / SoulSilver? Yes, mostly. It's hard to beat the sheer volume of content in HeartGold and SoulSilver, since it contains two full regions and therefore essentially two full games (Gold/Silver plus Red/Blue). Even with the improvements made to the remake though, some of its clunky menus show its age.
The PokeWalker is great though, isn't it?
Pokemon Red / Blue? Yes. Red and Blue will always have a place of honor as the duo that started such a brilliant series, but Pokemon has made giant leaps since then. Anyone who says that the Pokemon series is too stagnant should go back and play the original games to see what a vast transformation it's had over the generations. Graphics aside (which can't be helped), even the core battle mechanics have improved so much since then, and additions like natures and abilities have enriched the uniqueness of each Pokemon.
Just for you, Metacritic!
It may not break the Pokemon mold, but Black/White offers enough new content coupled with the series' classic, deep battle mechanics to make it endlessly playable. If you could only play one game for the rest of your life, this would be a wise choice.
Mar 4, 2011