Unlike Pokémon Yellow, Crystal, Emerald and Platinum, Black and White 2 are sequels rather than enhanced remakes. This means that they contain a considerable amount of new content. The differences between Black and White and Black and White 2 are listed below.
Black and White 2 have a brand new story that takes place two years after the events of Black and White. Rather than starting in Nuvema Town, you start in a new area called Aspertia City. Furthermore, you are given your Starter Pokémon by Bianca, Professor Juniper's new assistant, rather than Professor Juniper herself. A new branch of Team Plasma are the main antagonists of the game, and want to take over Unova by using Kyurem's powers. Your main goal is still to collect all eight Gym Badges and defeat the Champion, Iris, but the order of the Gyms has changed slightly. The new Gym Leader order is: Cheren, Roxie, Burgh, Elesa, Clay, Skyla, Drayden, Marlon. Nuvema Town, Accumula Town, Striaton City, Nacrene City, Icirrus City and their surrounding areas can now only be accessed post-Elite Four. In contrast, Lacunosa Town, Undella Town and their surrounding areas can now be accessed pre-Elite Four.
Despite not introducing any new Pokémon, Black and White 2 introduce two new forms of Kyurem, Black Kyurem and White Kyurem. The Unova Pokédex now contains 301 Pokémon species, many of which are from previous regions. For a full list see here. Some of these Pokémon are legendary Pokémon from Hoenn and Sinnoh. Furthermore, Zorua and Zoroark can be found in the game without using Nintendo Events. However, Victini, Tornadus, Thundurus, and Landorus cannot be found at all, and must be transferred from Black and White or the Pokémon Dream Radar. Like previous paired versions of Pokémon games, Black and White 2 include many version-exclusive Pokémon. For example Gothita can only be caught in Black 2, whereas Solosis can only be caught in White 2. For a full list, see here.
Unova Link is a new feature accessible from the main menu. It has three main options: Memory Link, Key System and 3DS Link. The Key System allows you to set the difficulty of your game, among other things, while the 3DS Link allows you to receive gifts from the Pokémon Dream Radar. Memory Link is more complex, and allows you to sync a save file of the original Black and White with Black and White 2. Doing so unlocks many features within the game, such as special cutscenes, battles, and the ability to capture N's Pokémon. These Pokémon have maximised IVs as well as other special traits, and have a special animation similar to Shiny Pokémon when they are encountered. For more information, see here.
The Habitat List is a new function added to the Pokédex. It allows you to view which Pokémon can be found in the selected area, so long as you've already seen them. If all of the Pokémon available in the selected area have been seen, then the area will be marked by a gray Poké Ball stamp. If all of the Pokémon available in the selected area have been caught, then the area will be marked by a colored Poké Ball stamp. Up to three stamps can be obtained per location: one for Pokémon found normally, one for Pokémon found by Surfing and one for Pokémon found by Fishing. If all of the Pokémon available in the selected area are caught, including all three encounter methods, then the area will be marked by a very large Poké Ball stamp. This feature is only available after you defeat the first Gym.
The Xtransceiver has gained a few new features in Black and White 2. Firstly, it can now be used to call important NPCs, such as your rival, your mother, and Professor Juniper. These characters can provide you with useful information, such as how you can make your Pokémon evolve, or what your Pokémon's abilities do. Furthermore, it can now be used to play two new minigames: Balloon Catch! and Balloon Ka-Boom! Both of which involve popping balloons. Finally, the Xtransceiver can be used over the internet by selecting it at the Global Terminal. For more information, see here.
Medals are a new type of item introduced in Black and White 2, and are stored in the Medal Box. They function similarly to the Achievements found in other games. They can be unlocked by performing a variety of tasks, such as winning a certain number of battles or walking a certain number of steps. They are divided into five categories: Special Medals, Adventure Medals, Battle Medals, Entertainment Medals and Challenge Medals. There are 255 Medals that are available to unlock in the game. For a list of all Medals, as well as how to unlock them, see here.
Several new locations have been added to Unova in Black and White 2:
- Aspertia City, your hometown, Virbank City, home of the second Gym, Humilau City, home of the eighth Gym, Floccesy Town and Lentimas Town have been introduced.
- Flocessy Ranch, Pledge Grove, the Virbank Complex, Pokéstar Studios, the Castelia Sewers, Join Avenue, the Cave of Being, the Pokémon World Tournament, Reversal Mountain, the Plasma Frigate, Clay Tunnel, the Underground Ruins, the Strange House, Relic Passage, Marine Tube, Seaside Cave, White Treehollow, Black Tower and the Nature Preserve have been introduced.
- Routes 19, 20, 21, 22 and 23 have been introduced.
Several locations from Black and White have changed in Black and White 2, to reflect the two years that have passed:
- Route 4 has changed drastically, and differs between Black 2 and White 2.
- Victory Road has also changed drastically, and differs between the two versions of the game.
- Most of Relic Castle has become filled with sand, and is inaccessible.
- The Entralink has changed slightly and no longer features bridges leading to other players' worlds.
- The entrance to Challenger's Cave has collapsed, and Route 10 has been blocked off by a landslide, making both areas inaccessible.
- Cold Storage has been demolished and replaced by the Pokémon World Tournament.
- Two new areas of Castelia City are now available by traveling through the Castelia Sewers.
- A new area of Nimbasa City has been added to accommodate the new Gym.
- Both Driftveil City and Undella Town have become more developed, with modern pathways and buildings.
- All of the returning Gyms have received redesigned layouts and puzzles.
Black and White 2 include a vast variety of characters, some of which did not appear in Black and White:
- The two new player characters are called Nate and Rosa. Your mother is also different to the one in Black and White, and can be called using the Xtransceiver to provide information on your current location.
- A new rival, named Hugh is introduced.
- Two new Gym Leaders are introduced: Roxie, who leads the Virbank Gym specialises in Poison-type Pokémon, and Marlon, who leads the Humilau Gym and specialises in Water-type Pokémon.
- A new Pokémon researcher, Colress, also appears in the game, and will meet up with you multiple times throughout the story. He wants to draw out the strength of Pokémon.
- Two new characters named Yancy and Curtis appear in Nimbasa City and can be called on the Xtransceiver. After making a certain amount of calls, they will offer to make several trades with you.
- Benga, who is Alder's grandson, can be found and challenged in Area 10 of Black Tower or White Treehollow, and will give you a Shiny Gible or Dratini if you defeat him, depending on which version you are playing.
Many old characters that appear have different designs or roles to in Black and White:
- Cheren and Bianca, who were once rivals, are now a Gym Leader and Professor Juniper's assistant, respectively. You will meet up with both of these characters numerous times throughout the game.
- Alder, who was the Champion, has now retired and been replaced by Iris, who used to be a Gym Leader of Opelucid City.
- N, who was the King of Team Plasma, is now an ally and will help you to defeat the new Team Plasma, along with Rood, a former member of the seven sages.
- Anthea and Concordia are also allies, and will give some you insight into N's past when you talk to them.
- Zinzolin, a former member of the seven sages, and the Shadow Triad, play a larger role in the storyline, and are battled multiple times.
- Cilan, Chilli, Cress, Lenora and Brycen are all no longer Gym Leaders, as they have been replaced. The former three can now be battled daily in Striaton City, while Lenora now revives the player's fossils and Brycen acts in movies in the Pokéstar Studios.
- Sabrina, the Gym Leader of Saffron City in Kanto, also acts in movies.
- Fennel and Amanita have moved from Striaton City to Castelia City, but their purpose remains the same.
- The Riches family in Undella Town have moved to a far away region, so they cannot be battled.
- All previous Gym Leaders (excluding Koga) and Champions appear as opponents in the Pokémon World Tournament.
- Hilbert and Hilda, the player characters of Black and White, are absent from the game, but their house can be visited. If you use the Memory Link feature, several characters will mention them, including their mother.
- Cheren, Bianca, Elesa, Ghetsis and Iris have all received redesigns.
Pokéstar Studios is a film studio located north of Virbank City. It allows you to take part in films with Pokémon, which feature a scenario that you get to choose. It is similar to Pokémon Contests and the Pokémon Musical as it provides an alternative to battling. At some points you get to make dialogue choices, which determine the outcome of the film. The moves that you tell your Pokémon to use while filming can also affect the end result. Following the script generally gives good results, but deviating from the script in the right way can sometimes achieve a strange ending. Pokémon that star in a strange film receive a special animation similar to Shiny Pokémon that plays when they are sent out. The more good films you make, the more fans you will receive and the better the prizes will be. Both Brycen and Sabrina appear as actors in certain films. This feature is only available after you defeat the second Gym. For more information, see here.
Pokémon World Tournament
The Pokémon World Tournament, also known as the PWT, is a special battle facility located south of Driftveil City, where the Cold Storage used to be in Black and White. Here you can participate in many tournaments, which give out BP and Shards as prizes. At first, you will only be able to enter the standard Driftveil Tournament, but after you defeat the Champion, you will be able to participate in tournaments with the Gym Leaders and Champions of previous regions. Like the Battle Frontiers in previous games, you can also participate in Rental Tournaments and Mix Tournaments, and all Legendary Pokémon are banned. Each tournament contains two to three rounds, and the prizes given out are better if you defeat harder opponents (such as Champions). This feature is only available after you defeat the fifth Gym. For more information see here.
- Some of the music tracks from Black and White, such as Battle! Wild Pokémon, have been remixed slightly.
- All trainers have animated sprites.
- Some attacks have new animations.
- The C-Gear and Pokédex have been redesigned.
- The backgrounds seen during battle have changed slightly.
- Places marked on the map with green dots in Black and White are now marked with green squares, and turn red when tapped.
- The icons showing the weather in battle are smaller.
- If a repel's effect wears off and you have another one in the bag, you will be asked whether you want to use it without having to open the bag again.
- All Pokémon Breeders will challenge you every time you re-enter the area.