The March to Pokemon Black and White Has Begun

Pokemon is coming.  Again.

The yearly cycle continues.

Pokemon Black & White were announced for the US/EU markets a while back.

If you are really into it, you’ve followed the news from Japan, where Black & White have been out since September, where it was the fastest selling Nintendo DS game ever.

But the marketing campaign for the US/EU market is just warming up.  The games are due out in Spring, but the drum beat of news updates and promotions has started.

Pokemon Black & White Coming This Spring

The official Pokemon Black & White web site is up and running.  The two legendary Pokemon from the games, Reshiram (white) and Zekrom (black) are featured heavily on the site, have starring roles in the latest (13th) Pokemon movie, and even made an appearance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade this past Thursday, along with the giant, inflatable Pikachu.

Reshiram in New York City

(picture borrowed from the parade coverage post of the New York in 60 Seconds blog)

Nintendo has now released a key bit of information about the game, the names and pictures of the starter Pokemon to be featured in Black & White.

Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott

They naturally follow the set-in-stone pattern for Pokemon, with Snivy being a grass-type Pokemon, Tepig being fire-type, and Oshawott as a Tarutaru Safety Inspector water-type Pokemon.

In fact, at a high level, the game sounds very much like every other Pokemon game.  Pokemon game play is very tradition bound at this point, over 14 years since the first versions came out on the GameBoy.

But each game changes the series in some way.  New features, better graphics, and of course more Pokemon show up with each turn of the yearly cycle.  It is probably one of the most consistent, measurable evolutions of a game one could study, especially if you wanted to avoid sports games. (How many Madden’s?  I was in an EA focus group back in college for this new football game they were going to release.  That was a while ago.)

So, at least at our house, we will be getting Pokemon Black & White this spring.  My daughter has already “called” Black, so I guess I will be getting White.

My hope is that they will do more with the WiFi capabilities beyond battling.  Some sort of co-op play, like the underground in Pokemon Diamond & Pearl would be a nice addition.  We shall see.