PokÃ©mon Black and PokÃ©mon White have already been confirmed to include version exclusive areas, video chat, 3-0n-3 battles, and of course brand-new PokÃ©mon for you to capture. What else could Gamefreak and Nintendo possibly add to the games that hasn’t already been utilized in previous installments? Apparently a lot.
The latest update comes from PokÃ©mon Co. and goes into detail about some of the new features that have been touched on recently in PokÃ©mon Sunday and Corocoro magazine. PokÃ©mon Co. goes on to explain that there will be seasons in Black and White. The seasons, however, are unlike the day cycle that utilizes the DS’s internal clock — every season lasts a month. So you have one month to enjoy Summer, another month for Fall, etc., etc.
As the seasons change so do the PokÃ©mon. One new PokÃ©mon, named Shikijika, even changes its appearance depending on which season it is within the game. However, PokÃ©mon aren’t the only thing that change, your clothes will also change depending on the season, but even cooler than that is that the terrain will change too. What this means is that it will allow you to access areas that you previously couldn’t in other seasons. One of the examples provided within the images would be a hillside that couldn’t be reached until snow had fallen and piled up, thus creating a pathway.
The changing of the seasons is a pretty solid new gameplay feature, but let’s be honest right now, the beauty of nature can’t even come close to the majesty of musical theater. Nintendo obviously shares the same sophisticated and highly refined opinion as I do because they have added musicals to the upcoming Pocket Monster titles. The new musical feature replaces the PokÃ©mon contests that were in previous installments and allows you to dress up your PokÃ©mon and then send them out on stage in an attempt to relive your long since deceased dreams of being on Broadway.
Once your PokÃ©mon has been dressed for success they are sent out on stage to compete against three other wannabe PokÃ©musicians. You must play the music accordingly and if you are doing well a spotlight will shine on you. People from the crowd will throw presents at you (more specifically your PokÃ©mon) that you can keep and use later in the game. If you get tired of going up against A.I.s then you can go into wi-fi mode with your buddies and enter a competitive ‘Music Battle mode’.
Game Rant previously reported that you would not be able to catch previous generation PokÃ©mon in Black and White until you beat the game. So to aid you in your quest to catch ’em all Gamefreak has added a new feature called the PokÃ©shifter. The PokÃ©shifter is accessible after completing the main game and allows you to transfer over all of your precious PokÃ©mon from Heart Gold, Soul Silver, Platinum, Diamond, and Pearl.
The PokÃ©shifter is a little mini-game that features your PokÃ©mon jumping around from bush to bush. While your PokÃ©mon are jumping around you have to hit them with your PokÃ©bow and arrow to capture them before time runs out. It’s a very simple game and is way more convenient than capturing Pidgeys and Rattata in order to trade over your other PokÃ©mon. The only catch is that you will need two DS’ to complete this task.
The final feature revealed is something called the ‘Dream World’. This new feature is actually very interesting and takes Nintendo in a direction that we have really only seen from Microsoft’s Xbox 360 — exclusive content via the internet (no DLC doesn’t count). The Dream World is a port that can only be accessed when you log onto the PokÃ©mon Global Link website, which will launch simultaneously with the games. The site will allow you to check out global rankings, e-mail friends you’ve exchanged friend codes with, download new songs for the PokÃ©mon Musical, and download new skins for your PokÃ©dex and C-Gear.
You can send PokÃ©mon to Dream World by making them go to sleep. Once the PokÃ©mon is asleep you can upload it into Dream World which will allow you to interact with the PokÃ©mon in different ways, including growing rare berries, collecting rare and exclusive items, and even capturing rare PokÃ©mon. The items you collect can be stored on a shelf so you can trade them to your friends or you can put them in a treasure chest where they will be transferred over to PokÃ©mon Black or White. The PokÃ©mon that you can befriend in the Dream World have special abilities that aren’t found in the regular games.
All of these new features look pretty awesome, but the Dream World is what really stands out from the others. It’s similar to the PokÃ©walker, but fortunately it doesn’t require actual physical activity! Jokes aside, the only game I’ve seen do something similar to this is Crackdown 2 with its ability to unlock rubber ducky grenades by completing the Chuck’s Ducks 2 Facebook game. Dream World seems to take this concept and build substantially creating an entire online community that allows people to e-mail each other through the site and trade items.
It seems like Nintendo is really trying to break out into the online community with these games, and although it’s not the PokÃ©mon MMO that everyone wants it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
What do you guys think of these new features? Will you use the new Dream World feature?
PokÃ©mon Black and White are releasing in North America sometime in Spring 2011.