Probably better suited to younger players, but even so this decent game can become boring and frustrating

User Rating: 6.5 | Pokemon Ranger DS
Pokemon Ranger was a new take on Pokemon and utilised the DSs touch screen technology. The game is simple and involves exploration. It's decent at first but it does become boring and can be frustrating at times. I would say it may be better suited to younger fans of Pokemon.

Pokemon Rangers are people who strive to keep the world peaceful for people and Pokemon. They befriend wild Pokemon and use their abilities to help out. You decide to play as either a male or female character who aspires to become a Pokemon Ranger. Your character is granted this wish and begins their dream career only to discover bad guys, known as the Go Rock Squad, wish to exploit Ranger technology to control the minds of Pokemon and take over the region.

You walk around on foot completing asigned missions. The game play is exploration based and as you explore you will encounter obstacles such as rocks that need to be smashed, hay that needs to be burned, or you may need a Pokemon with vines to swing you across a gap. The get through the areas and pass these obstactles you need to capture Pokemon with the right ability

Capturing Pokemon makes use of the Touch Screen. You use your ranger styler and have to draw loops around the target Pokemon. This can be hard, you have to do a number of loops around the target Pokemon consecutively for capture, if your line is cut off either through damage or touching a Pokemon, the loop count resets and you have to try again. (Future installments would improve on this by having a friendship guage which fills as you draw loops - so loops don't need to be consecutive - much less punishing) Honestly this is more fun than it sounds, but the boss encounters can become really frustrating, especially when there are lots of Pokemon on screen. This is where Poke Assists can come in handy.

Any Pokemon you captured are able to use Poke Assists to help make captures more easy. There are two kinds of Poke Assist. Your partner Pokemon (Plusle or Minum depending on weather you picked the female or male trainer respectively) can use Discharge to breifly paralyze Pokemon you're trying to capture. The partner guage fills as you draw loops round Pokemon and the more segments that are filled, the more powerful discharge can be. The other Poke Assist can be from any other Pokemon you captured for a one time use.The effect will depend on the type of Pokemon. Water type assist will enable you to create bubbles and flick them at target Pokemon to trap them. Psychc assists will cause target Pokemon to levitate for a breif moment. Electric assists will recharge your styler which can become damaged by Pokemon attacks. Fighting type assist makes each loop count for two loops making captures faster. And so on. But you can't just throw Poke assists around. The Pokemon type advantage - disadvantage system is still in play. So water Poke Assists won't be useful against grass types. And Pluse or Minun's Discharhe won't affect ground types. However fire Poke assists are good on grass Pokemon for example.

There is some strategy involved, you can only take a limited amount of Pokemon with you. And any Pokemon you capture can only be used once - either for a Poke Assist or clearing an obstacle in the field. It will then return to the place you initially caught it.

The gameplay is very simplistic and doesn't really change much as you progress through the game. The game can become quite boring. And some of the later boss captures are rediculously difficult. (Steelix and the final boss AAAAAAARGH!!)

The graphics are all just sprite graphics, nothing particularly impressive. There are some decent musical tracks presant in the game.

Pokemon Ranger is a decent game and is entertaining at first. But it is very simple and becomes bland. I would say it's probably better suited to younger players who would probably enjoy the exploration and problem solving aspect, but the game does become very difficult and cheap.
But on the whole it is a decent game - future installments of the Ranger series are better, but this is still a decent game within it's own right Not a bad game by any means. If you're interested pick it up, it goes realitivley cheap

milesprower2k9 Original Reviews