While it is true that, from the start, there have been differences; the fact that each game requires a separate walkthrough and guide is indication enough of this. The important point though is that up until this moment the majority of the differences between the two titles consisted largely of a combination of approach, philosophy, and the underpinnings of the games.
As you step outside of the city gates and enter Route 4 you will be confronted by a very obvious and perhaps even compelling different reality in the Unova Region, and the altered state of this zone not only underscores and highlights a difference between the titles, but also serves as a nearly perfect illustration of the difference in heart that the two titles promote. That warrants a detailed explanation...
Up until this point most of the differences between the two complimentary titles have been down to different Pokemon found in the wild, a range of slightly to heavily different Trainer battles, and a very profound opposing focus for battling that is part of the essence of what makes Pokemon White 2 a very different game than Black 2.
We have previously discussed the fact that the two games are philosophical opposites, and we have given some voice to those opposing positions, but now it is important that we clarify those differences and this is the perfect spot to do that.
Black 2 is the choice for Trainers who value battles above all else
Pokemon Black 2 has a cold and modern focus to its philosophy, being largely centered around Pokemon battles and battle strategy. Its namesake, Black City, is a cold and modern metropolis built from glass and steel and populated by residents who consider winning at all or any cost to be the highest and most honorable of goals.
Their shared moral outlook centers upon the consolidation of power, and nothing more perfectly illustrates that approach and belief than the science of creating the perfect Pokemon for each type; a process that usually begins with a carefully selected breeding pair and the creation of dozens of eggs from that pair in order to obtain as perfect a beginning as possible.
That carefully mated and hatched egg is then even more carefully nurtured through the leveling process, with its egg moves carefully preserved while it is elevated to the point where it obtains a move or two that the breeder and trainer hope to pass on to its next generation as they once again set aside their carefully leveled and evolved creation in order to breed more eggs and, with luck and a fair bit of skill, hatch the next perfect stage of that breeding line.
This process is repeated continuously as the primary A-Team and B-Team members (and the alternates) are created and trained, with the end result being a highly effective set of teams that often function as a scalpel in battle; where a casual trainer is satisfied with simply winning, the serious Breeder/Trainer is only happy when they control every aspect of their victory by bringing the right tool to bear upon their opponents.
It is fair to say that Black 2 is all about battles because it is; the presumption is that Pokefans who consider the science and art of assembling the perfect Team, and the painstaking process of Pokemon creation and development as a means to an end, will choose Black 2 as their preferred platform.
White 2 is the choice for Trainers who value Pokemon above all else
Pokemon White 2 is, it can be fairly stated, the platform that represents the opposite side of the coin, in that it was created for the Trainers who follow the core philosophy of the original series and closely model their approach upon the example that was set by and established by Ash Ketchum and his mates; Pokemon Trainers and Breeders who strongly believe that it is all about the Pokemon, and battling really does come second.
Longtime fans of the game series and the animated shows that were created to compliment it will easily recall that Ash's main goal in life is not simply to be the world's greatest Pokemon Master, but as his name suggests in pun, the ultimate goal is to catch them all!
That he set out upon his journey and the rite of passage from child to adult at the tender age of ten (modern Pokemon Trainers tend to be 13 or 14 when they begin their journey) notwithstanding, the lesson that Ash taught as he matured alongside his Pokemon friends is a simple one: each Pokemon is an individual, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, and the company of each takes the form of a valuable experience and set of lessons that a good Trainer can learn.
It is that basic philosophy and approach under which Pokemon White 2 is constructed; where the process of capturing in Black 2 was found to be difficult, in White 2 it is found to be much easier. The task of hunting down the rarer and even mythical Pokemon a daunting task in Black 2, in White 2 you almost have to try not to find them in order to not find them.
Bearing in mind that the whole focus of the earthy-crunchy holistic and all-encompassing adventure in White 2 is built towards achieving the monumental task of completing the Pokedex that the Professor entrusted us with at the start of our adventure and personal rite of passage, the reality is that Trainers who choose Pokemon White 2 have a much higher chance of attaining that worthy goal!
I bring all of this up in order to set the stage for what you are about to find as you exit the city gate and enter Route 4. In Black 2 the outlying suburbs are a modern and thriving community of existing homes and buildings as well as massive and aggressive construction sites that we can easily imagine will, one day very soon, be the homes of countless Pokemon Battle Masters, all of whom will seek the title of Regional Champion. That is the reality of Black 2, so now let us drink in and embrace your reality – the reality of White 2.
Just as you enter the gate leading out of the city to the north you will be stopped by Bianca, who greets you and then explains that she has a new gift to give you: the Dowsing MCHN.
With this neat little device you can now locate hidden items in the world, some of which are valuable. Bianca tells you that you can “register” commonly used items so that they are accessible via the 'Y' button, but you likely have already registered the Map for that, so you know how it works. If you prefer not to have too many objects set to the hot-button (many Trainers prefer to have just the Map and their Bike set to it) you may find that you can gain just as easy access by placing that device in the “Free Items Pocket” which makes it easier to find and access.
With that small bit of expanding capability managed, you now exit onto Route 4 proper, and the first thing that you will notice is that the area outside has a very obvious form and flow to it! What you see is an archeological dig in which the cultural artifacts of the area are being preserved and attempts are being made to interpret its history – and if you previously played Black 2 you will instantly see how very different that world is to this one!
This area has some valuable items to offer you, more than a handful of worthwhile battles, and some interesting wild Pokemon to be captured as well, so delay not young Trainer! It is time to drink deep of the differences that make the most of this Poke-friendly world!
If you had bad luck like me you stepped out into a sandstorm – if you had good luck it was a sunny day – either way the first thing you should do is have a chat with the Hiker here to learn about the difference between the light and the dark sand that you find off of the paved roads.
Light sand is just sand, but dark sand can hold Wild Pokemon encounters for you! To the left of the Hiker you will notice a patch of light sand with dark sand in the center – and here is as good a place as any to begin the process of collecting some new Pokemon.
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As you work your way through the dark sand you should quickly capture a Minccino as they are among the most common encounters here, second only to Sandile. You will notice that the dark sand runs all the way to the left into another sectioned-off area, and at the edge of that there is a cliff below which is the shore and a visible Treasure Ball.
Before you venture too far into the area, you should be aware that you can set the Dowsing MCHN to the hot key and then leave it turned on while you are collecting Pokemon and moving through the area, that way you will automatically detect when a hidden item is within your reach.
That is a really good idea and a habit you should get used to. Once you are near enough to a hidden item for the MCHN to detect it, it will point you in the direction you need to head in and, as you get closer, it gives a finer bearing until you finally reach the location, whereupon it will display the “Found” symbol which means you are standing right on top of the hidden item! All that you need to do then is take one step in any direction, turn around, and claim this now revealed hidden item by pressing the action (A) button.
Colress is not a Professor or a Doctor, but a self-styled Pokemon Scientist
Before you seek out the hidden items though, you should make a concerted effort to capture and collect the Pokemon for this zone – and while I cannot say what your experience will be with this, I found that it was Scraggy I had the most difficulty finding; so I am going to hazard a guess that they are the rarer of the encounters. In any event once you have the lot from the sand – continue along and partake of the Trainer battles to be had here.
At the top of the road is Backpacker Clifford, who has a Level 16 Sandile and a Level 16 Herdier, and pays you $384 for the lesson.
Next up is Pokemon Breeder Irene, who has a Level 16 Drilbur and a Level 16 Marill, and pays you $512.
Colress is standing directly ahead so go chat him up and then battle him! He brings out a Level 21 Magnemite and a Level 23 Klink, and he pays you $2300 for the lesson. As a parting gift he gives you a Protein, which is a consumable that raises the Base Attack Stat of the Pokemon you feed it to.
If you need to heal you can head back to the Center to do that before you explore...
Head down the stairs here to the beach where you will battle Fisherman Hubert who has a Level 17 Basculin, and pays out $544. Nearby is Fisherman Andrew, who has a Level 16 Psyduck and a Level 16 Basculin, and pays you $512. Grab the Mystic Water from the Treasure Ball nearby, then head back to the main road and continue on the Route.
As you follow the Route you will encounter the Twins Tara & Val, who have a Level 20 Cottonee and Petilil, and pay you $320 for the lesson.
At the crossroads head left to battle Rich Boy Keenana who has a Level 22 Herdier and pays you $3520.
To the right of the intersection you will find Lady Lina who has a Level 22 Liepard and pays $3520.
Continue to the right and you encounter Backpacker Rachel who has a Level 21 Woobat and a Level 21 Pidove, and pays $504.
Head north through the narrow alley and you will find Pokefan Sachiko who has a Level 22 Darumaka and pays $1408.
Heading all the way to the left to the end of the crossroad and out onto the sand, you can cut north to the upper side of the building there and grab TM28 Dig from the Treasure Ball there. Between two buildings to the right and south on the crossroad is a Treasure Ball with a Stardust in it.
Using the Dowsing MCHN in this area (before you head up the north stairs, will gain you a Hyper Potion, a Red Shard, a Green Shard, a Stardust, and a Yellow Shard.
In the back area to the right and down as you are hunting for hidden items you will encounter Pokefan Norbert, who has a Level 21 Growlithe and a Level 21 Sandshrew, and pays you $1344.
After you head up the north stairs you will find Backpacker Roland on the road above, with his Level 21 Riolu and Level 21 Timburr, and who pays you $504 for the lesson.
The road to the left leads to the Desert Resort, and the road to the right leads to Nimbasa City via Join Avenue (the shopping mall), and for now we want to head to the left-hand road and the Desert Resort.
The Desert Resort
As you head up the road through the narrow pass you will encounter patches of dark sand where you can capture the Pokemon for this zone.
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In the dark sand ahead you can find Level 18 to 21 Darumaka, Dwebble, Sandile, Sandshrew, Scraggy, Sigilyph, and Maractus. You may find that Sigilyph and Trapinch are easier to find inside the Resort proper.
Ahead along the entrance is a pair of trainers you can chat with, and then you head through the gate into the Desert Resort area.
You will find trainers here to battle, starting with Nurse Mariah who has a Level 22 Cleffa and pays you $880. After your battle with her she heals your team.
Next up is Pokemon Ranger Anja, who has a Level 23 Magby and pays $1380. After you beat her she gifts you with a Rawst Berry.
A man in black to the north gifts you with Soft Sand, and in a Treasure Ball east of him you can get a Yellow Shard.
Psychic Tommy has a Level 22 Woobat and a Level 22 Yamask, and pays you $704.
A Treasure Ball north of him has a Heart Scale, and to the west you find Backpacker Walt who has a Level 22 Sandile and pays you $528.
Nearby is a Trainer in red who unlocks the Funfest Mission “Treasure Hunting!” so that is worth the effort to unlock! To the west of her is Psychic Future who has a Level 23 Munna, and pays you $736. West of Psychic Future is a Treasure Ball with a Gold Nugget in it so be sure to grab that.
South and east is Backpacker Clara who has a Level 22 Sandshrew and pays $528.
West of her in a depression is a Treasure Ball with a Blue Shard, and way south is another Treasure Ball with a Green Shard. East of there is a Treasure Ball with a Stardust, and a battle with Pokemon Ranger Jaden who has a Level 23 Darumaka and pays $1380. After you beat her she gifts you a Rawst Berry.
All the way to the west is a passage that leads to a small area, and just outside of this passage is Backpacker Sam, who has a Level 22 Dwebble and pays $528. Above him is a Treasure Ball with a Red Shard.
Head through the passage to battle Backpacker Tami who has a Level 22 Drilbur and pays $528. To the southwest is a Treasure Ball with a Max Ether, and a narrow passage north leads back into the main area.
In the deep sand throughout this area you will find Level 18 to 21 Darumaka, Dwebble, Maractus, Sandile, Sandshrew, Trapinch, and Sigilyph. The Sigilyph can be a bit hard to find and a bit hard to catch, but it is worth it as it is the oddest looking Pokemon you have ever seen...
Dowse the Area
Using your Dowsing MCHN you will find a Ground Gem, a Red Shard, a Super Repel, a Star Piece, a Blue Shard, and a Fire Stone. Note that this is the first Fire Stone you have encountered, and if you grabbed some Eevees way back, you will want to use this on one of them when you hit your next Pokemon Center to evolve it into a Flareon.
Assuming you captured all of the Pokemon for the area – check the Habitat Listing – then you are ready to head down into the Relic Castle.
Dropping through the sand trap is the only way to the lower Relic Castle
Now that you have battled all of the trainers and captured the new Pokemon that can be had here, it is time to head down into the Relic Castle and talk to the trainer inside to get a warning about quicksand!
As you make your way around you will a battle with Psychic Perry who has a Level 23 Sigilyph and pays $736.
Falling through the quicksand is a fast way to get to the next level down and have a battle with Psychic Dua who has a Level 23 Gothita and pays $736.
In a nearby Treasure Ball is TM39 Rock Tomb, so be sure to grab that.
You will find Level 19 to 21 Sandile, Sandshrew, and Yamask – but Yamask should be the only one you actually need to get here, now.
Back in the center go ahead and drop through the quicksand to the level below, and have a battle with Psychic Low, who has a Level 23 Solosis and pays you $736.
You will notice after you catch the Yamask that you did not complete the Habitat and get the stamp for the Relic Castle – the reason for that is that this is only one entrance, and when you eventually find and enter the other entrance later, there are additional Pokemon to be had there.
It is a good idea to turn on your Dowser as there is a Heart Scale to be had on one of the sand piles on the bottom level.
That completes our adventures here for the moment, so backtrack to the entrance and outside to the crossroad and head back east to the main drag of Route 4, then continue north and you will arrive at Join Avenue!
Before we begin to address this next part of out adventure it is time for us to address the 8000 lb elephant in the room: the significant differences between Pokemon Black 2 and Pokemon White 2.