Pokemon Black & White Don’t Need Remakes, But They Sure Could Use A Threequel
In February last year, The Pokemon Company took the unprecedented step of revealing two major games at once – Pokemon Legends: Arceus and Pokemon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl. While Legends: Arceus occupied a majority of fandom discourse from square one — it looked so cool and fresh! — Sinnoh-loving veterans hoped these Diamond & Pearl do-overs would be a good time.
The chibi art style seemed questionable, but you know, maybe we'd adapt. What mattered was the chance to relive what Pokemon Platinum brought to the table. Platinum had already enhanced Diamond & Pearl, and is generally considered one of the strongest follow-up games that Pokemon fluffed all of its mainline titles with through Gens 1-7. It took Sinnoh to the next level with a heaping helping of added content and improvements across the board.
It was odd then, how quickly and how thoroughly Game Freak emphasized that Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl would be dedicated to preserving the original formula. It had us all hot and bothered. Was this their marketing's clever little way of saying Platinum's features would be cut? Yes. Yes, it was.
Look. Folks have been arguing over the quality of Pokemon remakes since Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire nixed Pokemon Emerald's Battle Frontier. FireRed and LeafGreen did a good job with Kanto. HeartGold & SoulSilver did an amazing job with Johto. It's been downhill since. Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl just aren't very good, but might have stood a chance if they returned to Platinum instead.
Game Freak is going to remake Pokemon Black & White. I know it. You know. We all know it. It’s the next in line. Whether it will be for the aging Nintendo Switch — god, I hope not — or its eventual successor, it is as inevitable as Solrock rising in the east. The urban Unova region, with its surprisingly strong story and memorable cast, will return.
The only question is how they'll handle the unique fact that Black & White have full-blown sequels. Will they remake both sets? Will they try to incorporate elements from the sequels into a remake that is generally focused on the originals? Oh, I know! Maybe they'll adapt everything into a single package, with a lengthy sequel-based postgame!
I say this lovingly, but if anyone out there is actually expecting any of this, kindly attune your hopes to the grim reality that is modern Game Freak. We'll get Brilliant Black & Shining White, and we'll chew it up, swallow it, and ask for more, because we are the flock of Wooloo trapped inside The Pokemon Company's farm.
Screw it. Forget it. Who cares, right? Let them do our boy N dirty. Let them keep Unova precisely the size it was in Black & White. Maybe they'll add a town and route from Black & White 2 as DLC. That would be sweet. We won't get to see the second protagonist interact with N and put down the nefarious Ghetsis' diabolical schemes once and for all. We won't peer into that legitimately creepy little bedroom that N was stuck in throughout his childhood. It's fine.
Now, I don’t harbor any delusions of grandeur, here. Hopefully, the entropy I've displayed in this article thus far is enough to prove that. I'm speaking within the realm of dreams. People still love the look of the DS Pokemon games, yes? Some even feel like they were the overall aesthetic graphical high point, yeah? So, here's a wild idea: leave them alone, Game Freak. Don't go near them. Port them digitally and tell people to have a blast. Leave. Black & White. Alone.
Make a sequel instead. Go the whole nine yards. The nice thing about a Black & White 3 is that, if it's bad, it'll be that much easier to ignore. If it's merely OK, then we get a passable return to Unova that doesn't actively undermine the legacy. And if it's good, boy howdy, wouldn't that be a neat twist?
Think of what they could do. For all their faults, recent Pokemon games haven't been afraid to take risks, to do something different. So, do something different — let us play as Black & White's protagonist again. They were off searching for N during the events of the sequels. It's been ten years and counting. Surely, they will have found him by now. What fun they could get into together. Maybe they bring down Ghetsis' fiercely loyal Shadow Triad. Maybe something else occurs entirely, like, I don't know, a mechanized evil Moltres wants to shoot laser beams at Castelia City. Look, they don't pay me to write scripts. Clearly.
Whatever path they take with Pokemon Black & White 3, I'd be far more willing to excuse mysteriously closed-off routes, and forests that no longer exist, … and a movie studio that's been transformed into a shop that sells bread, cheese, and pickles, or… and a Pokemon World Tour building that's been repurposed into a hair salon… and further fun twists.
Pokemon Black & White 3 will never exist. Maybe it's for the best. People who dislike Gen 5 talk enough smack over its single sequel as-is; if it got another, I dare say we'd face civil war within the fandom. But fandom civil war sounds a heck of a lot more interesting than a Black & White remake that successfully manifests a watered-down experience, possibly with giant-headed characters, and comes across like it's cut another piece of content every five steps you take.
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