Monday, 15 November 2010

Pokemon ranger: Shadows of almia

gamespot score:7.5 (good)

my score:8.0

(+)Pros:- same old addicting pokemon "capturing" system,- difficulty balances things out and makes the game feel right,- plenty more pokemon to capture than the previous game,- has a lenghty story to keep you occupied for a long time

(-)cons:- side quests distract from the fun,- not much major gameplay improvements

gameplay time:20-30 hours(average)

Now that the AFA madness has subsided, its time to get back to business. Since I have been mass playing pokemon soul silver these days, Im gonna do a pokemon game review today to keep me on my pokemon fever. Shadows of almia is the sequel to the 1st pokemon ranger game, and it features the same stylus system as before, with a brand new adventure and a brand new continent. Shadows of almia in my opinion is more fun than the 1st pokemon ranger, with its new lenghty story and more variety of pokemon, you are in for a good ride.

The story pretty much starts out pretty good. You are a highly sopisticated kid who wants to become a pokemon ranger, thus you enter ranger school. There you meet a couple of "best" friends, one whom wants to be a ranger base operator, the other wants to be a pokemon ranger like you. After graudating with a happy ending you all get to be what you want, and you are transfered to a ranger base. There you accpet missiions from townsfolk and your superiors to capture pokemon, solve problems, blah blah blah. And as usual there is always bad brewing beding the works, this time its not the geo rock squad, its something much much more sinister featuring a more "classic" bad guy team set.

Shadows of almia provides the same old addictive gameplay featured back in the 1st game. As you do missions you go around fields or caves and many other different areas. In these areas all you need to do is reach the end which you will most of them time potentially find the source of the problem. Of course to get to the end you are hindered by mere obstacles such boulders, wooden fences, or bushes on fire. Your character doenst even know how to swim across mere lakes or rivers!~ So what do you do? This game fortunately puts ur brain to work and gets you on some backtracking. To counter these obstacles you catch pokemon corresponding to the obstacle. If its a bush on fire, catch a water pokemon to douse it out. If its a boulder, get a fighting pokemon to smash it. If its a river, ctach some pokemon who can swim and get it to bring u across. This system of catching what you need is really cool, since it always reminds you to catch what is needed and bring more pokemon than you should during your treks.

Of course, the game's more addictive aspect is here, the moment of pokemon circling. To catch the pokemon, you walk to them on the map to engage in a "battle". Though many a time there are aggresive pokemon that will come to you without need to approach it. During capturing, you draw loops around the pokemon in the touch screen with your stylus. Be careful cause when drawing the loop you cannot touch the pokemon or its attacks or the loop will break. Each successful loop will do 1 damage to the pokemon. After u successfully reduce its "HP" to 0, you will add it to your party. Of course if your loop drawing is interupted halfway the pokemon will have it hp reverted to the max. Also if the pokemon attaacks your circle while you are looping around it, you will suffer damage. And if your hp drops to 0, game over. If you find things hard, you can always use the pokemon that you already have and use thier assists. Examples are such, fighting poke assists make your loops do 2x damage. Grass assists make grass appear around the loops, making the enemy stuck. There are tons of assists out there, making the game sprout with a variety of options available during a battle.

Altough pokemon ranger is a great experience that can compare to its original counterpart. It is plagued with some extremely boring side quests. Besides the end game few side quests, the regular listening to rantings of townspeople is really annoying. The requests are repititive that it gets so old. The rewards arent very rewarding anyway, so its best to ignore most of them. Also, besides making the game look more "stylish" by adding new frames and throwing in a couple more attribute types, the game doenst have any new improvements. New pokemon aside, the rest of the game feels some sort recycled.

Shadows of almia is sure to please those who enjoyed the 1st pokemon ranger. Those who love the original pokemon games should give this a spin too. The lenghty main story is more than enough to keep players occupied for at least 25 hours or so, that means you will be glued to the DS screen for quite awhile. This is one for the pokemon fans.

Happy gaming.