Lights, Camera, Action! A Look at PokéStudios!

By Joeyboy. Art by Doran Dragon.
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Have you always wanted to star in movies WITH your Pokémon? Well, now you can, thanks to the newest side-quest in Pokémon Black and White 2: PokéStudios! Think of PokéStudios like the Pokémon Contests of yore, only instead of trying to "out-cute" others, you're simply trying to make the best movie you can possibly make. PokéStudios is situated right above Virbank City, and you'll be introduced to it early by the Virbank Gym Leader Roxie, whose own father aspires to become a PokéStar! As a PokéStar, you will be in excellent company; both Brycen, the Ex-Iccirus City Gym Leader, and Sabrina, the Saffron City Gym Leader, are featured on the big screen!

When you decide to film a movie, you'll be given a list of different scripts. You can review the scripts and see what it is you have to do in order to complete each movie; after you've chosen, you'll be given rental Pokémon who are designed to aid you in completing the movie's plot. You'll then be taken into the recording room, a large studio equipped with a green screen. The movie-making sequence plays out like a sort of Pokémon battle puzzle. It'll initiate a battle, except where it normally says Items it'll now say Scenario. After you click Scenario it will show you the plot of the movie and your "Mission". Your Mission is what you need to do in order to complete the movie, and can be anything from "Knock Out your opponent in 15 scenes" to "Survive your opponent's attacks for 10 scenes". Along with the Plot and Mission you'll also be able to view the Script and your Co-Stars. The script is the most important aspect of any movie; it will give you a play by play of what you need to do each "scene", or turn, of the battle. Scene directions will tell you to use a super effective move or conserve your health, and you'll have to do just that if you want the movie to succeed. Another important scene direction is "The line you choose is important!"; this direction will show up two to three times each movie and indicates there will be a dialogue choice in that scene. When it's that particular scene, you'll be shown some scripted dialogue of the movie and then given three choices of your own dialogue. In most cases there is a "Good" dialogue choice, a "Bad" choice, and a "Neutral" choice. The good dialogue will ensure the movie is more successful and vice versa for the bad choice. Once you've finished the movie you'll be asked if you want to go watch it in the theater; if you say yes, you'll be treated to seeing yourself on the big screen! Also, after once you've completed a script once you can do it again, except now you can use any of your own special Pokémon.

There are many different "series" of movies to choose from, and each series has as many as four separate movies wherein the story evolves to the epic climax. There are eleven series to complete, with each one telling a thrilling tale.

The Brycenman series is the first series you unlock and features none other than Brycen of Black and White fame. You play a young hero who wishes to thwart the evil Brycenman. In the Full Metal Cop series you play the "Sneasel Ninja", a master thief who must avoid capture from the titular Mecha Cop. The Invaders series has you starring as a member of the Unova Defense Force, protecting the region from strange creatures from space! The Big Monster series is also about the adventures of the Unova Defense Force, but details their battles against a mysterious enemy and Robot Tyranitars. In the TimeGate Traveler movies you play a genius scientist who travels to the future, only to find that Bug-type Pokémon rule the world. The Love and Battles movies follow the romance between two rival Pokémon trainers and a well-dressed Smeargle. The Mystery Doors and Magical Land series have you co-starring with the ravishing Sabrina from the Kanto region; Sabrina plays a Magical Queen with dark desires. The Giant Woman movies involve, you guessed it, an enormous woman whom you must save. The Red Fog of Terror series is about your battles with monsters from another dimension. In the Everlasting Memories movies you once again portray a young scientist, and it chronicles your time with a peculiar android of your own invention. The Ghost Eraser series follows you, the Ghost Eraser, as you rid a village of terrifying ghosts and ghouls!

When you complete any movie you'll be able to see how it performed at the box office by simply checking the large screen located in the lobby of the cinema. It is possible to get three different "endings" for each movie. A "Good Ending" is marked with a smiley face and means that you picked Good dialogue options and completed your allotted task. A "Bad Ending" is marked with a frowny face and means you chose Bad dialogue options or didn't even complete the plot. The third ending is the "Strange Ending" and is much more complicated. As I've said, every movie has a goal which you're aiming to complete, but each movie also has another hidden goal that gives you the strange ending. An example of this would be if a movie asked you merely to survive 10 scenes; instead you'd not only survive but also KO all the opposing enemies. Strange endings provide the biggest grossing movies, followed by good endings, and then of course, bad endings pull the smallest profit.

Now, while you're starring in many of these movies, which can gross millions of Poké Dollars, you'll actually never see any of that money. So why then do you do these movies? What kind of rewards can you expect? Well as you gross more and more money for PokéStudios, you'll rank up as an actor. As you rank up you'll begin to develop a following and fans will gather at all of your movies' showings. These fans give you rare, and often expensive, items based on how your movie turned out. At the beginning you'll just have one fan, a lonely backpacker, but once you've grossed over 300 Billion (quicker than you think) in box office sales, you'll become Rank Two and a Guitarist will join your fandom. Rank Three is achieved with 1,000 Billion sales and you'll add a Kindergartener and a Nurse fan, followed by a Ace Trainer Fan at 2,500 Billion, which is Rank Four. Once you've racked in a whopping 4,500 Billion and become a Rank Five actor your final fan, a member of Team Plasma no less, will join you. The final rank is secondary; once you've completed every movie script at least once you'll become an EX Rank actor and will gain the following neat treats. You'll have access to your own Dressing Room on site, which features very little besides corny Pokémon jokes; they'll erect a Bronze Statue of you in PokéStudios, AND you'll get a brand spanking new Trainer Star for your Trainer card.

There is one final reward tucked away in PokéStudios. Remember that when you've completed a script once you can do it again and forego the rental Pokémon. Well, if you have one of your own Pokémon star in a movie that ends up with a "Strange Ending", they'll truly become a star! From then on, when that Pokémon enters the battlefield you'll be treated to a small animation of a star shining above their little head, akin to a Shiny Pokémon's special animation. A true sign of a Pokémon master!

Now get on that stage and break a leg!

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