Pokémon Black and White: What Are the Differences?

We all know the drill – with each generational release of a Pokémon game, we are greeted by different cart variations whose only real differences have some Pokémon that are exclusive to each cart. Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire took it to another level by having two different teams that you do battle with in Team Aqua and Team Magma, but for the most it has come down to which exclusive Pokémon are the more interesting to the game. Well here in Pokémon Back & White, you’ll discover that each game actually has their own exclusive area as well, meaning that for the first time, you’re getting exclusive content in addition to battles and Pokémon on the same cart. Now it may not be enough to entice a gamer to purchase both Pokémon Black AND White since it is still 95% the same game fundamentally, so read on to see the differences between both games and which one sounds like the best for you!

Exclusive Pokémon

With each generation of Pokémon, there are a few specific Pokémon you can only catch within a certain cart. Both Pokémon Black and White have 20 exclusive Pokémon (This number includes evolutions) to each cart, so you’ll have to trade with friends or buy both carts and trade with yourself to “catch ’em all.” In addition, Pokémon White also has the White Forest which a whopping 33 Pokémon that are exclusive to that cart as well. This means if you’re a Pokedex completionist or just want a larger selection of Pokémon, Pokémon White is definitely the way to go. Here now is a list of what is exclusive to each game:

Pokémon Black

#13. Weedle
#14. Kakuna
#15. Beedrill
#198. Murkrow
#228. Houndour
#229. Houndoom
#285. Shroomish
#286. Breloom
#311. Plusle
#313. Volbeat
#430. Honchkrow
#546. Mommen
#547. Elfuun
#574. Gothimu
#575. Gochimiru
#576. Gothitelle
#629. Baruchai
#630. Barujiina
#641. Tornelos
#643. Reshiram

Pokémon White

#10. Caterpie
#11. Metapod
#12. Butterfree
#46. Paras
#47. Parasect
#200. Misdreavus
#261. Poochyena
#262. Mightyena
#312. Minun
#314. Illumise
#429. Mismagius
#548. Churine
#549. Doredia
#577. Yuniran
#578. Daburan
#579. Reuniclus
#627. Washibon
#628. Braviary
#642. Voltolos
#644. Zekrom

Pokémon White – White Forest

#16. Pidgey
#29. Nidoran (Male
#32. Nidoran (Feale)
#43. Oddish
#63. Abra
#66. Machop
#69. Bellsprout
#81. Magnemite
#92. Gastly
#111. Rhyhorn
#137. Porygon
#175. Togepi
#179. Mareep
#187. Hoppip
#194. Wooper
#239. Elekid
#240. Magby
#265. Wurmple
#270. Lotad
#273. Seedot
#280. Ralts
#283. Surskit
#287. Slakoth
#293. Whismur
#298. Azurill
#304. Aron
#328. Trapinch
#341. Corphish
#371. Bagon
#396. Starly
#403. Shinx
#406. Budew
#440. Happiny

As you can see, Pokémon White clearly has the advantage in terms of the Pokémon you can get.

Battle Differences

This isn’t a very long section. Basically both games have a few Trainers that will do Rotation Triple Battles in one game and regular Triple Battles in the next. There are only three of these guys though. You’ll get two rotations and one regular in Black and one rotation and two regular in White. As well, both games have two exclusive battles on their unique areas. Black offers two extra rotation battles and White offers two extra triple battles. Again, it depends which you like better. Most people I know that have the Japanese version of the game prefer triple battles to rotational battles so that would be a point in White’s favour.

Boss Battle Differences

Opelucid City is where you’ll find the 8th and final Gym so you can get the elusive Legend Badge. Depending on which version of the game you are playing, you’ll face a different Gym Leader Black gives you Drayden and White gives you Iris. Both Gym leaders have the same exact Pokémon lineup and the same movesets for each Pokémon, so it’s merely a sprite swap. I like Iris better as Drayden looks hideously deformed and like he has a shark’s jaw for a beard, but that’s just me.

As well, your fifth and final battle with N will have a single lineup change based on which version of the game you have. In White, N will be packing a level 52 Reshiram and in Black he’ll have a level 52 Zekrom. The rest of his lineup and their movesets will stay the same in either game.

Location Differences

There are a few differences in locations based on which game you pick up as well. Pokémon Black and its cities tend to have a more modern feel to them, while Pokémon White‘s visuals are more rural or rustic in appearance.

There are two specific regions that are unique to each cart. Black gets Black City and White gets White Forest. Now what exactly is in each region will be determined by your actions, use of the Entralink. Your goal is basically to build both regions up. As Black City gets bigger, you’ll have more items that you can buy there while in White Forest, you’ll have more Pokémon that you can catch. There are also the exclusive battles to each game within the area that I mentioned above, but be careful as the Pokémon in each are all level 65.

Basically it comes down to whether you want exclusive and rare items like stones or if you would rather have more obtainable Pokemon. Me? I’d rather have the Pokémon, but that’s just my own personal taste.

Closing

So as we can see, there still really aren’t a lot of differences between the two games. The two big differences are the exclusive regions and the obtainable Pokémon. I personally prefer White over Black because I care more about obtainable Pokémon than items, but both games have their strengths and weaknesses. Now that you know what is exclusive to each cart, it’s up to you to decide which version of the game is worth purchasing.

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    • Alex Lucard

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