Ah, the age old debate: which Pokémon gen was the best? Very few arguments will spark as much anger and bloodshed as this one. There will always be the hardcore Gen 1-ers that shun the rest of the franchise. Many see Gen 4 as the last good generation. Some still believe Gen 3 was the peak. Every generation has its purists that’ll defend it and enemies that will tear into it.
Except Gen 8. Or Gen 7. There don’t seem to be too many people willing to defend those. I could be wrong, though. They do have some good memes.
Generation 5, consisting of Pokémon Black, White, Black 2, and White 2, were not well-received when they first came out. In fact, out of every generation, this is the one that’s undergone the most dramatic change in the public eye. In recent years, Gen 5 has made a bit of a comeback. Mostly in ‘Gen 5 Music Hits Differently’ memes. A lot of people are saying “Man, Gen 5 was actually pretty good!”
To which all us Gen 5 fans respond: “Always has been.”
I’ll be the first to admit that Gen 5 wasn’t perfect. Triple and Rotation battles were kind of a dumb gimmick. Not all of the new Pokémon were exceptionally well designed (if you hate this entire gen simply because there was a Pokémon that looked like an ice cream cone, then you’re a shallow human). There were a lot of dumb minigames, like the not-Hollywood game in Black/White 2. As much as I love this Gen, I can fully admit that it’s far from perfect.
But guess what? No Gen is perfect. Every single one of them has their flaws and strengths.
Let’s look at some of Gen 5’s strengths, shall we?
Let’s start with the story. Pokémon stories are never very complex. “You are ten, go catch monsters, be the best, and defeat terrorists.” Simple and fun. But this has brought about lots of jokes in the fanbase. “We’re basically enslaving these guys!” or “Why do Pokémon want to fight?” or “Why are people letting ten year old kids wander the country and make monsters fight?”, stuff like that.
Pokémon Black and White looked at that and said “Hold my Moomoo milk, I’ve got an idea!”
The story in these games explore those themes to pretty great effect! The primary antagonist is an activist that never keeps his Pokémon in Pokeballs and actively fights for their freedom! One of your two rivals is pursued by her overprotective father, who wants to drag her back home!
Granted, it’s still a Pokémon game. Don’t go in expecting something on the same level as Shadow of the Colossus or Dark Souls. It’s still a game for children. It’s just one that tries a little harder than the others in this series.
The same can be said about the music. Just listen to this and you’ll understand.
Remember when being at low HP sucked? They made that shit into a jam! Name one other generation that does that!
On the subject of presentation: this is the first Pokémon game to feature animated sprites! For the first time, the Pokémon will actually move around in battle rather than sit there like… well, like a PNG. Yes, these animations are nothing spectacular. But they made battle more visually interesting compared to its predecessors. Plus, it lead the way to the 3D generation really nicely!
Though I still find the Gen 5 animations more charming.
Dude, I can go on and on for ages. This game’s got some of the best areas, Pokémon designs (Trubbish and Vanilite are great, fuck you fight me), and most satisfying gameplay in this whole franchise. These games are so damn good.
And people wrote them off because they thought a trash bag and an ice cream cone were dumb. I’m disappointed in all of you.
‘Cept my other Gen 5 lovers, you guys are cool.