Black And White Sampling Tour: International Centre

By Leo Du

On February 19, 2011, I attended Kid’s Fest at the International Centre.  There were demo versions of Pokemon Black and White being shown there which people can play.  Also, there were face painting stations and coloring stations.  The designs available at the face painting station were Victini and Pikachu.  I got a Victini on my face; I had to wait like 20 minutes for my turn.

Boy Victini Face Painting
A Boy Having A Victini Painted On His Face
Victini On Face
My Face With A Victini Painted On
Pikachu Victini
The Two Pokemon Available At The Face Paint Station. Pikachu & Victini

At the coloring station, the Pokemon available for people to color were the Generation 5 starters: Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott. There were only Crayola brand crayons available.


The Coloring Station
The Coloring Station
Coloring Station
The Three Pokemon Available At The Coloring Station

I noticed a giant Pikachu cosplay walking around soon after I entered the International Centre.  At first I was feeling a bit shy about taking a picture with it, but after standing in one place to see people take pictures with it, I then walked up to take a picture.  Nobody else came with me, so I had to have the Pikachu’s spotter hold the camera, which was an iPhone.

Pikachu Cosplay
Pikachu And Me
A Picture Of Pikachu & Me

The admission fee to the International Centre was free and in addition to that, the Pokemon Black and White booth is also completely free.  Large numbers of people attended the booth to play the games.  This Pokemon Black and White tour event was even covered by the media.

I’ve read on Nintendo of Canada’s website that the people at the Pokemon Black and White booth will be giving away items.  They didn’t say what items specifically but I was hoping for plushies because I like plushies.  When I got there, it doesn’t seem like they were giving away Pokemon plushies.  I’ve received a Pokeball made out of foam as a giveaway and I’ve also seen people wearing paper Pikachu hats.  I’ve asked if they still have some Pikachu hats left, but they said they’re out of stock.

Foam Pokeball
The Foam Pokeball Without Packaging
Foam Pokeball
The Foam Pokeball With Packaging

I first heard that Nintendo will be showing off Pokemon Black and White in Canada in British Columbia and Ontario when I visited their Canadian website to see if there was news about Pokemon Black and White.  I was surprised when I saw that Pokemon Black and White will be on tour in Canada.  Previously, I thought that this event will only happen in the United States and that it may not be coming to Canada.

Demon Station
The Area That Was Previously Closed Off, Now Open

When I first arrived at the booth, I saw a closed off area with Pokemon Black and White demos.  I’ve asked the people working at the booth why that area was closed off and their response was that the closed off area is reserved for the media.  Later that day, I saw the previously closed off area was now open.

The background of the booth was two big pictures of Reshiram and Zekrom moved close together to create one big picture.  There were also two plastic cutout signs of Reshiram and Zekrom displayed in the front.

Booth Background
The Booth's Background Featuring Reshiram & Zekrom
Reshiram and Zekrom BG
The Booth's Background From A Different Angle
Reshiram Zekrom cutouts
Plastic Cut-Out Signs Of Reshiram & Zekrom At The Entrance Of The Booth

For the Pokemon Black and White demos, I played Pokemon White.  The demo was mostly battling, and a lot of the features in the game were disabled.  Such as in the overworld, the X button would normally bring up the menu, but it didn’t do anything.  Since I haven’t played a Pokemon game in a while, I forgot what some of the buttons do.  In the overworld, I tried pushing X, A, B, Y, L, R, Start, Select but they didn’t do anything.  With the exception of the A button when I’m in front of an object I can interact with.  When playing the game, I tried to get some video of me playing the game, but the attendant said that I need to have both hands on the DS, so I couldn’t use my camera.  Like I mentioned before, nobody else came with me so I couldn’t get any video of me playing the game.

Cheren & Bianca

Now let’s talk about the game experience.  I felt pretty excited to be one of the small percent of people in Canada to get to try out the game before its official release.

In the demo of Pokemon White that I played there were only two battles, I remember they were Bianca and Cheren.  The goal of this demo was to get inside the Dragonspiral Tower, which Bianca and Cheren told me that Professor Juniper was inside waiting for me.  After entering the tower, I see a small scene where it shows Reshiram.  My first thought of this scene was that why am I seeing Reshiram, shouldn’t I be seeing Zekrom since this was Pokemon White I was playing.

Since it was so loud inside the International Centre, I couldn’t hear the sound coming from the DS.  Luckily, I brought my headphones and the sound sounded great.

I already know what the battle music sounds like because I already bought the soundtrack for the game and listened to the whole soundtrack.  But one thing about the sound I didn’t know yet before playing was the Pokemon battle cries.

Demo DS Cartridge - Pokemon
The Demo Cartridges Of Pokemon Black & White

The game cartridge for the demo was no ordinary DS game cartridge.  The cartridge for the demo is more like a black rectangular prism inserted into the back of the DS.  With a thick black cord attached to the DS which runs into the table through a hole.  There was also some kind of a black, metal brace strapped to the back of the DS.

In conclusion, the experience of playing the demo version of Pokemon White before the majority of the population of Canada felt exciting.  I expect Pokemon Black and White to receive good reviews on release.  It seems that a lot of people will be getting this game because of the large number of people attending the booth.  Also, it seems that Nintendo had spent a good amount of effort and money to run this event and the fact that everything in the booth can be done for free just shows that Nintendo really care about the people playing their games and they want it to be open to everyone.  I’m looking forward to this game when it comes out in North America.

Pokemon Black (USA Version)
Pokemon White (USA Version)

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