Pokémon Journal: Welcome to Unova!

Pokemon Black Logo

Welcome to another one of my Pokémon adventures! I took a much longer brake than I meant to since my last adventure ended, and now I have doubts I can meet my original goal of beating all the main series games from generation IV onwards by the end of the year. But that’s ok, adventures aren’t supposed to have time limits. You’re supposed to enjoy it for however long it lasts, and I intend to do just that. Anyway, I’ve begun to ramble, so let’s get this adventure started.

Pokemon Black Boxart

First, a quick introduction. I’ll be playing Pokémon Black from the Pokémon main series generation V. Released in North America on March 6th, 2011, Pokémon Black and White improve on the groundwork set by Generation IV’s Diamond and Pearl to bring out the full potential of the Nintendo DS. This time around we’ll be exploring the new region of Unova which draws inspiration from New York City and the surrounding suburbs. I’m actually really looking forward to this new take on the series, especially since I’ve lived in New York nearly my whole life. I hope it can live up to my expectations. There’s only one way to find out, and that’s by jumping right into the game, so let’s get going!

Juniper

Before anything else, the game welcomes you to the Pokémon World and introduces yet another new Pokémon Professor. This time around we’ll be guided by Professor Juniper. If I’m not mistaken, this marks the first time the series has had a female Professor mentoring you in the games. Very progressive work on Nintendo’s part. Anyway, just like with the other generations, she will be guiding us as we play and will provide us with our first Pokémon as well as our Pokédex.

Cheren Bianca

 

 

 

 

 

 

However, the way we receive our first Pokémon is a bit different than usual. For the first time since the first game, we are actually eagerly awaiting becoming a Pokémon trainer. As such, the Professor has left a present at my house to celebrate the occasion. And not just for me, but for the two other new trainers in town as well. First there is Cheren, who is one of your childhood friends, and is very much the intellectual type character. But he has a strong desire to become stronger, and will no doubt be a tough rival throughout the game. As such he is already waiting at my room at the start of the game, also eager to start his own adventure. Unfortunately, not everyone has arrived yet, and it would be rude to start without them. This brings us to Bianca, another childhood friend. Unlike Cheren, Bianca is a much more flighty and lighthearted character, which also explains why she is late to such an important occasion.

Snivy Tepig Oshawott
Snivy Tepig Oshawott

Bianca does eventually arrive and together we open the present left behind by Professor Juniper, the three starter Pokémon of the Unova region. Our choices are Snivy the grass snake Pokémon, Tepig the fire pig Pokémon, and Oshawott the sea otter Pokémon. Since the Pokémon were left at my house, and because I’m the main character, I get first choice of Pokémon. Choosing a starter is always a tough decision because it can impact your whole game so much if you let it. So we have to be really smart about this. First off I’m eliminating Tepig as a choice. As much as the concept of self cooking bacon makes me drool uncontrollably, I don’t think I should pick a Pokémon I’d be tempted to eat. Plus I don’t like the fact he’s a Fire / Fighting Pokémon in his later evolutions. Before anyone comments that I’m just jumping on the bandwagon with everyone else that hates the Fire / Fighting starter, I want to knock that down now by saying I rarely use Fighting types in my party when I play. I generally prefer the Ghost and Psychic types instead. Now I guess I’ll eliminate Oshawott too since I used the Water starter last game. So I guess that means we’ll be adventuring with Snivy this time. I think he’ll be a good Pokémon, the Grass types usually have a lot of diversity in their move sets.

Player Bedroom Mess

Naturally, now that we all have our very first Pokémon, we just have to battle them and see what they’re capable of. Bianca is the first to challenge me, in fact the whole battle was her idea. She ended up picking Oshawott, so my Snivy made quick work of it for a nice victory. Unfortunately a battle inside up in my bedroom wasn’t exactly the brightest idea. The whole room ends up trashed. But if it’s already destroyed, there really isn’t any harm in having another battle here. By process of elimination, Cheren ends up with Tepig, which he claims is the one he wanted all along anyway. Normally his Tepig would be cause for concern for my Snivy, but at these low levels they don’t know any special moves to take advantage of the type difference, so my Snivy ended up winning yet again.

Unova Route 01

After our battles, it’s time to go meet up with professor juniper and get our proper send off into the Pokémon World. In her lab, she finally gives us each a Pokédex and asks us to help fill the pages. And so, the three of us set out together on our journey. It’s apparently the first time any of us have ever left our home of Nuvema Town, so we take the first steps together. Along the way to the next town, Accumula Town, we make a competition out of catching as many Pokémon as we can. There aren’t many different Pokémon to catch along route 1, but I managed to catch 2 Patrats and 2 Lillipups on the way. I dominated the competition since they each only caught one new Pokémon, but there was no prize for winning or anything.

Accumula Town

In Accumula Town, Professor Juniper gives us one more lesson before sending us out on our own. She gives us a brief guided tour of the Pokémon Center in town and all the things we can do there. Even as a veteran of the series I’m so glad to see the changes they’ve made to the Pokémon Center. Now, the Pokémon Center and the Poké Marts are all under the same roof for some nice one stop shopping. They’ve also incorporated the Global Trade System into the Poké Center as well, not that it does me much good now with the services being discontinued. Either way, it’s a welcome change. Now that we know where to go if we need help, Professor Juniper sets us loose, and advises we go see her friend Fennel in the next town.

Ghetsis Team Plasma Grunts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon leaving the Pokémon Center, we find ourselves confronted with a public demonstration by Team Plasma, this game’s main villain team. They’re holding a public spectacle in the town plaza where their leader Ghetsis gives a speech to the people about Team Plasma’s ideals of Pokémon liberation. Basically they seem to be the PETA of the Pokémon World. They believe that all Pokémon should be free. It’s a noble sentiment at least, but much like their real world counterpart, their noble ideals are lost in their psychotic methods. I’ve only just met them, so there’s nothing bad they’ve done yet, but any group dressed in full medieval armor can’t be up to any good.

N Purrloin
N Purrloin
Level: 7

As team plasma leaves and the crowd dies down, we also get to meet this games other antagonist, N. having never played the games, I don’t know too much about N, but his reputation definitely precedes him. He’s a rather odd character, but one that seems will have a very interesting story line ahead of him. After commenting on how he can understand Pokémon, he challenges me to a battle. It’s a quick battle, but I’ll look forward to our future encounters.

Unova Route 02

With nothing more to do in the small Accumula Town, it’s time to head out through route 2 towards Striaton City. As soon as we enter route 2 we get a quick visit from our mother. She came all this way to hand us over our running shoes. I’m so grateful to have them, it’s honestly torturous to be playing without the ability to run. Even with the new running shoes, I spent way too much time in this short route. It’s not that it’s a difficult route or anything. It’s just that I really wanted to catch a Purrloin and for whatever reason none were showing up. Then when one did show up I got a critical hit and accidentally killed it. So I had to go hunting all over again. But I did eventually catch one, and I got some good training in, so it all paid off in the end.

Lillipup Bianca Oshawott
Lillipup Bianca Oshawott
Level: 6 Level: 7

In fact I’m glad I got all that good training in, because as soon as I try to step out of route 2 and into Striaton City, I’m stopped by none other than Bianca. She’s done some training of her own and wants to have a rematch already. She has gotten stronger, but not strong enough to beat me, and that makes another victory for me.

Striaton City

Finally inside Striaton City, I’m ready to face off against the first of the Unova Pokémon Gyms. Unfortunately for me the Gym Leader isn’t around. Apparently he has gone over to the local Trainer School to help teach some of the aspiring young trainers.

Tepig Cheren Purrloin
Tepig Cheren Purrloin
Level: 8 Level: 8

Inside the Trainer School however, we still find no Gym Leader. Instead we find Cheren intently studying the notes on the blackboard about status effects and items. In an effort to put his new found knowledge to the test, he too challenges me to a battle. Much like Bianca, he has improved a bit since last time, but not enough to beat me. After his defeat he mentions that the Gym Leader was just here and that I must have just missed him.

Pansage Pansear Panpour
Pansage (Grass) Pansear (Fire) Panpour (Water)

So once again we head back to the Gym and sure enough, the Gym Leader is standing outside to welcome my challenge. However, it’s not time to face him just yet. Before heading back inside he mentions that I might want to train out in the Dreamyard first. In any other situation that would just be a helpful suggestion, but I know better. For a Gym Leader to suggest you not battle him yet, he means it. And that means we’re off to the Dreamyard. Without the HM 01 Cut, you can’t actually enter the yard to train. However, there is a person outside the yard that will offer you a free Pokémon. In this game there are three different elemental monkey Pokémon, one each to represent grass, fire, and water. This person will give you one of them based on your starter Pokémon to make the first gym a hell of a lot easier. Since I chose Snivy as my starter, I got the water type Panpour to add to my party. I don’t really like using traded Pokémon in my team, but I can’t deny that he’ll be a valuable asset for the gym battle.

Striaton Gym

Now that we have Panpour, I think it’s about time we head back to town and challenge our first Gym. The Striaton Gym is actually a very interesting one even compared to the other Gyms in the series. For starters, the Gym also doubles as a cafe, so there are tables and chairs set up around the building. Also all the trainers are dressed as waiters and waitresses. More importantly, the Gym is set up to teach new trainers about one of the game’s primary mechanics, the game’s complex variant of Rock Paper Scissors. Rather than simply tell you about it like the other games, this one tests your knowledge of the different type match ups. Water is good against Fire, Grass is good against Water, and Fire is good against Grass. Only after proving you understand this basic fundamental of the game will you be allowed to challenge the Gym Leader.

Cilan Chili Cress
Cilan (Grass) Chili (Fire) Cress (Water)

Speaking of the Gym Leader, this Gym is again unique in the fact that it has 3 gym leaders instead of 1. Each of the Gym Leaders specializes in either Grass, Fire, or Water and you’ll face off against the one that is strong against your starter’s type. Once again this Gym is designed to teach new trainers about the important of type advantages.

Lillipup Chili Pansear
Lillipup Chili Pansear
Level: 12 Level: 14

Since I picked Snivy as my starter, I’ll be facing off against the gym leader Chili who specializes in fire types. I was hoping to win this battle without having to use the traded Panpour, but that proved to be impossible. However, thanks to Panpour’s help we were able to score a victory against the Striaton Gym and Claim our first Gym Badge.

Trio Badge

With the Trio Badge in hand we’re officially on our way to becoming the Pokémon Champion of the Unova region. We can also use HM 01 Cut outside of battle now… if only we knew the ability. It would help us get into the Dreamyard to train properly.

Fennel

I thought that would be it, we’d head outside and continue our journey, but the game has other plans in store for us today. Outside the Gym waiting for us is actually Professor Juniper’s friend Fennel. As it turns out Fennel is also a Pokémon Researcher who specializes in trainers and Pokémon dreams. Since Professor Juniper asked her to help us on our journey, she offers us the HM 01 Cut. We can put this to good use right away since we already have the Trio Badge. She also gives us the best news I think I could ever hear this early in the game. Starting with this game there is a major change to one of the game’s mechanics. The TM items which teach Pokémon new moves are no longer one time use only. They can now be used infinitely just like the HM items. I’m sure any seasoned Pokémon player knows what that means. HYPER BEAMS FOR ALL THE POKEMON!!!!

Munna

Of course, all this wonderful news comes at a cost. In return for helping us, she wants us to help her too. In the Dreamyard there are Pokémon called Munna, and she wants us to collect some dream mist from them. It’s a simple enough task, and we were heading there anyways. But that’s going to have to wait for next time, because that’s enough adventure for right now. I hope you’ll join me again and explore the Unova region with me.

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Current Team:

Snivy Lillipup Panpour
Snivy Lillipup Panpour
Level: 13 Level: 13 Level: 11
Purrloin
Purrloin
Level: 9

Play Time: 1h 59m

Badges: 1

Pokédex Entries: 8

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Now that I’m doing the Pokémon Journals again, that means the return of the Pokémon Gallery as well. So let’s get right to it.

Art Jirachi

Only one picture this time, but i think it came our really well. For this one we started learning how to use paint. So here we have my first Pokémon painting of the wish Pokémon Jirachi. I think it cake our really good. A lot of good shading and blending for a first time i think.

So that’s it for this first entry into Pokémon Black. I hope to see you again next time.

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