Saturday, 5 October 2013

Review No. 48 Pokémon Ranger: Shadows Of Almia - DS (3+)

Strong Points:
60 side quests to do
Capture arena is fun
Story is all right
Lots of partners
Good graphic style
Nice controls
Four different styluses
Can level up stylus
Great Music

Weak Points:
Long tutorial- not good for returning fans
Not many new features
Feels like the same game but with a new control system
Not as challenging as the first game

In-depth Review:

Release Dates:
Japan: March 20, 2008
North America: November 10, 2008
Australia: November 13, 2008
Europe: November 21, 2008

X or Y Button: choose which Pokémon accompanying the player
D-Pad: move player
A Button: choose yes, talk, advance text
B Button: choose no, go back one screen
L Button:  switch top screen display mode
R Button:  access styler menu, return to field screen
Stylus: move player

This game is the second one in the Pokémon Ranger series and is more of the same. However, there is the small case of a new control system and 17 partner Pokémon...

The new control system is basically when you are capturing Pokémon, instead of circling them a certain amount of times at once, and losing because you get hit, now you have to charge up their Friendship Meter and can dodge attacks although if left to long, the Friendship Meter will start to diminish. This is great because it means that although it makes the game a lot less challenging, it also makes the game less frustrating when you are on the last number.

However, this also means that the enemies are free to attack a lot more and what better way to defend against them than with 17 partner Pokémon? You can only use one at a time but each signify a different type, so can help you out on different battles so be sure to experiment. You can get these Pokémon in the story and by completing side quests which brings me on to my next point. Side Quests!

There are 60 in total and normally mean you have to complete a task or capture a certain Pokémon and while these could get repetitive, each one tells you a story and you can learn a lot from NPC's. There is also the Capture Arena which tasks you with capturing really high-powered Pokémon and seeing how far you get. Your HP gets restored each time.

There are also four Styluses (School, Capture, Fine and Vatonage) with Fine and up allowing you to charge your stylus by holding it down for a few seconds. The Vatonage stylus is used to capture Pokémon used by Team Dim Sun (the games antagonists). You can also level up your stylus which adds power, HP etc.

You start with the School stylus and this part acts as the games tutorial. The problem is, is that it is rather long and due to it being integrated into the story, there is no way to skip it. This is good for new players but bad for returning players to the series as it will get boring quite quickly. 

Conclusion: this game is good but just doesn't have enough new features. Feels like a more polished version of the first one.

Rating: 88%

Thanks for reading, Satamer.

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