You’ve been through Pokémon contests and Pokethlons, but Pokémon Black and White brings something new to the table in the form of Pokémon Musicals. Much like in previous games, this provides an alternative to battling and also showcases some Pokémon that aren’t as good as battling.
Pokémon Musicals are basically an enhanced version of the Appeal Round that we saw in the Super Contests of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. In each musical there will be four competing trainers, each using a single Pokémon. Trainers will then have to dress up their Pokémon with various accessories to increase their rating in the Musical.
Unlike Pokémon Contests, that tended to have events scattered around a region, the Pokémon Musical competition has only a single location to compete in. You’ll find it in Nimbasa City in a very garishly decorated building. Once inside you’ll have to choose from four types of competitions. Three of the four types (Cute, Elegant, Unique) have a single song each to compete to, while the fourth (Cool) has two.
The key to winning Pokémon Musicals is to dress your Pokémon up with various accessories. As you obtain accessories in your travel, they’ll be placed in a carrying case similar to the accessory case in previous games. You’ll want to equip your Pokémon with items that match the type of category you are in. So items listed as “Cool” should be used when that is the category you are doing. Items can be equipped in the following locations: arms, body, head, ears, face and waist. Each equipped item can be waved around once during the song. If you wave it at the right time and the crowd likes your Pokémon, they will throw new items to you for your Pokémon to wear in later competitions. There is also a man in Opelucid City who will give you up to five items a day to add to your collection. There are over 100 items to collect so if you want to be a true Musical master, you’re going to having to scour the ends of Unova and compete in a lot of contests to get all the pieces. You’ll also be able to download new tracks via the Global Link System so you even though you won’t get the variety from Musicals that the Pokethlon had, at least you’ll still have a bit of options before it gets old and you go back to battling.
Pokémon Musicals are very shallow compared to Contests or the Pokethlon and it is definitely one of the weaker aspects of Pokémon Black and White. Just remember to match pieces to the category of song you are in and you should do fine. You don’t really have much control over the results, so just sit back and see what happens until you get bored with it all.