one more bit of fluff before i return to slightly more-serious fare. i’d found the free pokedex 3D app on 3DS to be an entertaining diversion, esp. as a complement to the pokemon black and white games, and i thought it would be interesting to try out the “pro” version not because it expands its entries to include all 649 of those little monstas, but because it includes quizzes in a variety of categories as an additional feature. along with the TV series’ “who’s that pokemon” test where you have to name a pokemon based on its silhouette, the game also includes quizzes on pretty much everything pokedex-related you could think of, including evolutions, alternate formes, heights and weights, egg groups, stats, abilities, moves, and cries. identifying cries was one of the more-difficult tasks and has led me to a renewed appreciation of the work that went into them, although being able to match moves to pokemon ended up being the one area that was just too esoteric for me and that i had to resort to looking up to pass. after getting perfect in all the regular quizzes, an additional hard mode is unlocked with additional quizzes. the quizzes were surprisingly fun and addictive, although with obvious limited appeal in terms of both audience and longevity. the app includes all the other features of the original, including AR features, search options, and pretty much all the details you could want to know about the li’l critters. like the original, this functions as a slightly more-portable and attractive reference than a complete bulbapedia wiki page (albeit with less information) and pro players prob. already have all this info memorized anyway, but as a fairly loyal pokemon fan this was a decently worthwhile purchase for me for $5 off, if just to play through the animations of my favorites, although i doubt i would’ve bought it for the full $15. still, for a minimum of a few hours’ entertainment you could do a lot worse, and legions of pokemon fans have probably already fully appreciated this app and justified its creation.
Archive for the 'pokemon spin-offs' Category
i’ve played a fair number of pokemon spin-offs, but i still have a ways to go. the DS era saw the greatest number of pokemon spin-offs, and pokemon ranger is notable because it spawned two sequels. the game was the fourth pokemon spin-off to appear on the DS (after pokemon dash, trozei, and mystery dungeon), all of which were to tide fans over until the release of the next entry in main series, diamond and pearl.
i knew that the reviews had been lukewarm, but i went in with low expectations and came away reasonably satisfied. the core gameplay mechanic sounds simplistic since it involves drawing circles around pokemon to capture them, but the game explores this basic premise fairly well. you can use different pokemon to assist you, and their types alter the behavior of the capture (e.g. you can use a water pokemon helper to enclose the pokemon you’re trying to capture in a bubble). the gameplay also proves to be less shallow than on first impression. most of the time madly circling a pokemon with your stylus will get you through, but the game certainly isn’t completely mindless: planning out when to use your assists, using their type advantages, executing them, and also planning your circle-drawing strategy based on your target’s movements (sometimes seemingly random and erratic, but oftentimes unique) all play a part in getting through the game.
the game paces itself by gradually introducing new types you can capture as the story progresses, but the story itself is simplistic (about on par with the main series). the gameplay outside of battles is your standard RPG town and dungeon setup, although the game succeeds pretty well at providing a natural, stylus-only interface. in the end, though, the gameplay, while more interesting than i expected, still isn’t quite enough to sustain the entire game and as a result it ends up dragging on a bit too long. there’s a post-game mode to complete your “browser” (this game’s version of a pokedex), but it’s just more of the same so there’s not much motivation to do so.
i can see why pokemon fans would dismiss this game since all the core mechanics of the main series, namely collecting and levelling up pokemon, are missing (in this game you’re continually capturing pokemon because they automatically get released once they’ve assisted you). still, it does provide a nice change of pace and the pokemon character designs are as lovable as ever, and the game features a good cross-section of the critters from all three of the first main games. as a one-off experience i had just about enough patience to see this game through, but even though it sounds like the sequels added more variety in the game mechanics i’m not in much of a hurry to check them out.
circle these pokemon ranger links:
- as usual serebii.net and bulbapedia are the first places you should check out for info on the game. the former has a handy guide to finding all the rarer pokemon, most of which you can’t capture until after you complete the main game.
- info on the post-game special missions as well as the wi-fi downloadable missions (including the manaphy egg mission, which is the only pokemon you can transfer to a game, namely diamond/pearl)
- if you’re wondering what happens after you complete the browser, check out this page
- entry at wikipedia