A little while back, the long-awaited Pokemon Bank was finally released in North America. The second execution of Nintendo’s backwards-compatibility plan went off without a hitch – for the most part. But while many players are overjoyed to have their Bank at last, I’m a little less than satisfied.
I downloaded the Bank the second I knew it was available. I was eager to get all my Pokemon uploaded, and start arranging them in the 100 available boxes on my account. My excitement was dampened pretty quickly. While Pokemon Bank fulfills the task of holding onto my Pokemon, it and the PokeTransporter that it’s paired with are the least user-friendly pieces of software I can remember getting from Nintendo.
The first and most obvious flaw in the Bank system is the touch screen, specifically the fact that you don’t use it. That’s right; in the Pokemon app where we will be storing more mons than any other, you have to move them with the D-pad and cursor exclusively. The touch and drag function that made arranging Pokemon boxes so much quicker and more fluid since gen IV is not here. The most frustrating thing is that you can use the touch screen to choose options on the menu at the beginning, and then the touch screen stops functioning as soon as you really need it!
Now this can be somewhat justified by the fact that the touch screen represents the in-game boxes while the top screen represents the Bank boxes. So if you moved Pokemon primarily by touch, this would make transferring to the top screen problematic. The thing is, I personally want to complete the Pokedex and arrange my banked Pokemon in numerical order. This will be a pain with the cursor alone. Would an option to transfer the bank to the bottom screen for touch screen organization have been too much to ask for?
As bad as the touch screen is, there’s another sin the bank commits that I can’t forgive, and it actually lies in the Transporter app, which is arguably the most important part.
The Poke Transporter allows you to send Pokemon one-way from Black & White or Black 2 & White 2, one whole box at a time. That may sound great at first, but the flipside of that statement is that you cannot send more than one box at a time.
Here’s the kicker: you can only send Pokemon from Box 1. You have to go onto your gen V game, put all the Pokemon you want to transfer into Box 1, and no others. Turn on Transporter and send the box to the Bank. Have more to transfer? Then you have to pop in your gen VI cart and take the newly transferred Pokemon out of the special transfer box and into the bank, because having them sent there automatically would have been too difficult to program I guess.
Even if you have one more Pokemon to transfer, the entire transfer box must be empty to receive it. Then it’s back to your gen V cart to transfer them all to Box 1 again. If Box 1 is empty, the Transfer app doesn’t look to box 2. It just tells you to come back when you’ve put some Pokemon in Box 1.
As I had at least 5 full boxes of Pokemon to transfer, this process took me well over an hour to complete. I’m telling you this now: If you haven’t gotten Pokemon Bank yet, and you have a lot of Pokemon you’re planning to transfer, you’re going to have a bad time.
I’m glad Pokemon Bank did everything it was supposed to. All of my Pokemon from previous generations are happy and safe-secure into the future. I just wish the app didn’t seem to hate me.