Rivvon

Age 27
Female
USA
Seen 1 Day Ago
Posted 4 Days Ago
2,735 posts
13.5 Years
For the 10th anniversary of the release of Pokémon Black and White, we release our tribute to the games across the rest of the month through this article series, taking a look at all their facets. We begin with a brief reflection and introduction.


A Dream of Your Own: The Formulas of Unova—Black & White
Introduction | Part I: The Components of Unova

Sheep

she/her
Seen 8 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
this is amazing
art blog | art thread | vpp | mal | ffxiv
sheep x bobandbill 5ever

gimmepie

Age 25
Male
Australia
Seen 28 Minutes Ago
Posted 30 Minutes Ago
22,408 posts
8.5 Years
Personally, I feel like it's a little bit disingenuous to say that Black and White are the best games narrative-wise. Sun & Moon (we won't talk about USUM), in my opinion, had much more developed characters (for the most part) and lore on a par with Black and White, while the lore and worldbuilding of Gen IV was better than both. Although Sword and Shield has some clear narrative flaws, it has some of the best character writing in the franchise... and frankly Team Plasma really doesn't make much sense.

BUT, they are still great games and if the franchise hadn't dared to take the leaps they did with characters and story in Gen V, then I don't think we'd have been treated to the excellent character writing we got in Sun and Moon or Sword and Shield, we wouldn't have had the willingness to try a darker tone in Y and there's much more we'd have missed out on in subsequent generations beyond that. The Gen V games proved that you could write a Pokemon story with characters with more than one dimension and more complex narrative themes and it could still be fun and it could still be Pokemon. They were instrumental in shaping future games and the weirdest thing for me is how drastically X and Y diverged from what Black and White set up - and I am certain that much of that stems from the (largely) unwarranted backlash from the community.

It's one thing to have complaints, it's another to totally write off a game based on a handful of minor nitpicks. We all know you still had fun battling through the gyms and all that. Honestly, I take a lot of issue with how some people view post Gen IV Pokemon anyway, but something you have drawn attention to that I never really noticed is the hypocrisy and double standards. You are absolutely right that, for some reason, different generations of the franchise seem to be graded with totally different rubrics. It's completely bizarre that the same people who defend Dexit for encouraging the use of new Pokemon also take issue with B&W doing something similar - or that people do the reverse. How thematically appropriate that the community itself has some weird dichotomies.

Great article. I'm looking forward to reading the next instalments!
Staff Anime Villain Collab • Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti • My brain trembles!

Nah

Age 28
Female
Online now
Posted 31 Minutes Ago
14,371 posts
6.9 Years
Although Sword and Shield has some clear narrative flaws, it has some of the best character writing in the franchise...
You're gonna have to explain this one to me
Nah ンン
“Candy, or death. I can choose for you, if you'd prefer."

gimmepie

Age 25
Male
Australia
Seen 28 Minutes Ago
Posted 30 Minutes Ago
22,408 posts
8.5 Years
You're gonna have to explain this one to me
I don't want to go into too much detail on a Gen 5 thread, but all three of the rivals, as well as Sonia, Oleana and Rose, are all (relatively) complex and well-written characters with actual development and story arcs and some interesting thematic relationships between them. It's the (end segment) of the overarching story that's iffy, the characters are done very well. We can talk about it more in VM/DM/PM if you want!
Staff Anime Villain Collab • Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti • My brain trembles!

Rivvon

Age 27
Female
USA
Seen 1 Day Ago
Posted 4 Days Ago
2,735 posts
13.5 Years
Personally, I feel like it's a little bit disingenuous to say that Black and White are the best games narrative-wise. Sun & Moon (we won't talk about USUM), in my opinion, had much more developed characters (for the most part) and lore on a par with Black and White, while the lore and worldbuilding of Gen IV was better than both. Although Sword and Shield has some clear narrative flaws, it has some of the best character writing in the franchise... and frankly Team Plasma really doesn't make much sense.
I once read a book by Alexa Ray Corriea about Kingdom Hearts II, and her thesis is that it's the best game in the series to explore the theme of "friendship." I actually don't agree at all, as I feel 358/2 Days does so far better because of its cast. But would I say the entire book is based on a disingenuous claim? Absolutely not. She backs up her points well, which gave me new knowledge I hadn't once considered, and she is steadfast in her beliefs. Strong convictions make for stronger writing. A fan of Sun and Moon should know best to not be so lily-livered!

With that in mind, I think it's one thing to say "I disagree that Black and White is the best narratively," and another thing altogether to say "it's disingenuous to say [any game, really] are the best games narrative-wise." One game being "the best" doesn't make the others inherently bad, and when writing it's best to be firm and commit to your beliefs. Personally, I have a great number of qualms with the character executions in Sun and Moon (no, not Ultra specifically), so while I would disagree with those who think they're the best, I would still like to hear their reasoning so perhaps I can gain a new point of view. And I certainly wouldn't go so far as to describe their statements as "disingenuous," which has an incredibly negative connotation ("deceitful," "dishonest"). I would hope people who think so highly of a certain game were being honest about it! "Ideals can become your truths," and all that.

All I can say is, I hope my writing can give you a new lens to look through to reevaluate the story and characters, even if you don't agree that they're the best.

There are two sides to any argument. Is there one point of view that has all the answers? Give it some thought.


A Dream of Your Own: The Formulas of Unova—Black & White
Introduction | Part I: The Components of Unova

gimmepie

Age 25
Male
Australia
Seen 28 Minutes Ago
Posted 30 Minutes Ago
22,408 posts
8.5 Years
I once read a book by Alexa Ray Corriea about Kingdom Hearts II, and her thesis is that it's the best game in the series to explore the theme of "friendship." I actually don't agree at all, as I feel 358/2 Days does so far better because of its cast. But would I say the entire book is based on a disingenuous claim? Absolutely not. She backs up her points well, which gave me new knowledge I hadn't once considered, and she is steadfast in her beliefs. Strong convictions make for stronger writing. A fan of Sun and Moon should know best to not be so lily-livered!

With that in mind, I think it's one thing to say "I disagree that Black and White is the best narratively," and another thing altogether to say "it's disingenuous to say [any game, really] are the best games narrative-wise." One game being "the best" doesn't make the others inherently bad, and when writing it's best to be firm and commit to your beliefs. Personally, I have a great number of qualms with the character executions in Sun and Moon (no, not Ultra specifically), so while I would disagree with those who think they're the best, I would still like to hear their reasoning so perhaps I can gain a new point of view. And I certainly wouldn't go so far as to describe their statements as "disingenuous," which has an incredibly negative connotation ("deceitful," "dishonest"). I would hope people who think so highly of a certain game were being honest about it! "Ideals can become your truths," and all that.

All I can say is, I hope my writing can give you a new lens to look through to reevaluate the story and characters, even if you don't agree that they're the best.
Disingenuous was poor word choice, rather I should have said "not entirely accurate", since we're talking about our own opinions. Apologies for the miscommunication!
Staff Anime Villain Collab • Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti • My brain trembles!

Rivvon

Age 27
Female
USA
Seen 1 Day Ago
Posted 4 Days Ago
2,735 posts
13.5 Years
Disingenuous was poor word choice, rather I should have said "not entirely accurate", since we're talking about our own opinions. Apologies for the miscommunication!
While that is fair enough, is anyone's opinion "entirely accurate?" Not at all. However, I don't think anyone would care to slog through a large analysis that felt the need to clarify, "In my opinion" or "This is just my opinion" every time they stated an opinion. The whole thing is an opinion!

I also refuse to disavow my opinion from criticism. All too often you see people claim, "[Such and such] is super bad--just my opinion though, so you can't question it." This benefits nobody. It's precisely because I stick to my convictions that you can question whether you agree with my analysis or not--and because of it, I got to consider your viewpoint as well. I don't want to tell people how to think, but rather offer a new perspective for readers to look at the games through, to add to their collection of perspectives and experiences. That's part of what Black and White are about, after all!


A Dream of Your Own: The Formulas of Unova—Black & White
Introduction | Part I: The Components of Unova

gimmepie

Age 25
Male
Australia
Seen 28 Minutes Ago
Posted 30 Minutes Ago
22,408 posts
8.5 Years
While that is fair enough, is anyone's opinion "entirely accurate?" Not at all. However, I don't think anyone would care to slog through a large analysis that felt the need to clarify, "In my opinion" or "This is just my opinion" every time they stated an opinion. The whole thing is an opinion!

I also refuse to disavow my opinion from criticism. All too often you see people claim, "[Such and such] is super bad--just my opinion though, so you can't question it." This benefits nobody. It's precisely because I stick to my convictions that you can question whether you agree with my analysis or not--and because of it, I got to consider your viewpoint as well. I don't want to tell people how to think, but rather offer a new perspective for readers to look at the games through, to add to their collection of perspectives and experiences. That's part of what Black and White are about, after all!
Certainly! You present a really interesting view point and there's definitely some things I hadn't really considered before that are really cool to have pointed out, the hexagons for example. Credit it where it's due, Gen V really went hard on the thematics.
Staff Anime Villain Collab • Petelgeuse Romanee-Conti • My brain trembles!