The days are already counting down to the release of Pokemon Black and Pokemon White, now that Nintendo has officially confirmed the North American release date of March 6, 2011 . In case you lapsed Poke-fans have moved on from the static graphics and 2D look of the original Pokemon for the high-res, 3D graphics of next-gen consoles, Nintendo has now released the official North American trailer to show you just how much the game has changed.
There is no mistaking the fact that Pokemon is still capable of sinking its hooks into even the most resilient 'hardcore' gamer, and many would argue that the collection and battle-intense gameplay of the series is about as hardcore as video games can get.
For the handheld market, the dedication to the franchise is palpable in the East, both in terms of enthusiasm and overwhelming sales. If the glimpses of the game in action from the official trailer are just a taste of the entire experience, then the addiction is easy to understand.
The video shows off the game's many towns and cities in all of their 3D, heavily-populated glory, as well as the animated Pokemon battles that finally bring some action and drama to the at-times dull battle screens. Sure we predicted the animations would be coming with Black and White, but that doesn't make them any less spectacular.
Have a look at what Pokemon Black and White will be bringing to North America this spring:
The video shows off the graphical fidelity that the DS makes possible, and it's hard to deny that the game's inventory systems and attack menus are perfectly made for the dual-screen. Aside from giving a few brief hints at the game's story, the trailer gives another look at the new Pokemon starting characters Tepig, Snivy, and Oshawatt.
Although most of the creatures that fans will be familiar with have been omitted from the game in favour of brand new ones, Nintendo has made sure to create over 150 new Pokemon that will be embraced by fans as quickly as their predecessors.
Let's be honest; who doesn't want to have a zebra with lightning bolts sticking out of its skull, a green Elvis monkey, or an afghan hound with a shell on its head as a pet?
It's a foregone conclusion that Pokemon Black and White will be quality products, so it's nice to see that they really have pushed the bar a bit higher with this latest installment in the series. What will be interesting to watch is the sales numbers that the game generates in North America.
Handheld gaming hasn't hit the success rates that publishers and manufacturers hoped for in the case of the PSP, and the iPhone and Android mobile platforms have exploded in the States. With mobile and handheld gaming dominated by non-traditional companies, how much success the Nintendo 3DS and Pokemon Black and White can find in the American markets will be a real lesson for the future.
Either way, the trailer shows what we have been suspected: these games will be well worth a look. For both dedicated fans and those who have strayed from the pure joy of Pokemon, Black and White have taken the foundations that the franchise was built on, and injected some modern style and presentation for good measure.
North American audiences will have their chance to catch 'em all (provided you own two devices) when Pokemon Black and Pokemon White are released exclusively for the Nintendo DS on March 6, 2011.