Review by Chaoshi

"Pokemon: Good, clean, hand-crippling fun!"

Though their from two different companies, Sonic and Pokemon have two thing in common, both of their two latest spin-off titles sucked out of control, and I was dumb enough to buy them. The latest Pokemon spin-off: Pokemon Ranger is my latest mistake.

The game follows you, a young boy/girl on a quest to become (what else?) a Pokemon ranger. You join a ring of rangers with goofy American names you'd give to your rabid disabled pets, like Murph, Solana, Elita, etc, and unite with a Minun/Plusle. Together, you battle the latest Team Rocket parody, Team Go-Rock Squad. Can you defeat these villains in stretchy exercise pants and glasses before they complete their ultimate goal, replacing the rangers as heroes?

The story line isn't as thrilling as it sounds. (If it did.) As a ranger, you can only catch Pokemon with new technology called stylers, instead of poke`balls. You draw lines around the Pokemon to catch it, leading you to face the game's most formidable enemy, crippling cramps in your hand. To make matters worse, Pokemon will either attack the line you draw, jump or teleport over it, or just plan walk through it, making the game a little more frustrating than it has to be.
After you beat the Pokemon, capture it, and massage your hand for a couple of minutes, you will have two options, use the Pokemon's elemental power to use “Poke- Assists” that help you capture Pokemon easier, or use them to clear obstacles. Either choice you make will result in you releasing the used Pokemon back into the wild. This is because rangers aren't allowed to take a Pokemon from their natural habitats. You're only allowed to keep one Pokemon as a partner. (I.e. Plusle or Minun.) Yeah, I know, it sucks.

The “battles” aren't much different. You have to capture the enemy Pokemon to “calm them down”. The only difference from a wild battle is that you let the enemy Pokemon go after capture. This is a bummer, because most of the legendary Pokemon in the game are enemies.

Another annoying aspect of the game is backtracking. You have to go back, and forth, capturing Pokemon unique to clear obstacles that match their abilities, or to capture a tough Pokemon. If you want to capture every Pokemon it the game, you have to travel everywhere. Not just to find the Pokemon, but to find ones to clear the obstacles blocking your path to them. That means a lot of hand-crippling fun. Don't get excited when you “Catch e'm all” though, you only get a mark on your ranger I.D. card, that will only impress your mom.

The only good thing about the game is the sprites, and graphics. Pokemon and people alike look pretty cool. I guess you have to if you want pass off as a good game. The Pokemon in the game are more animated than I am in hot pants! If only they put this effort into sprites and animation in “Pokemon Mystery Dungeon”.

The music is a little repetitive, but I like the Olive jungle jingle. Although, if you listen too closely to the music, you might mess up on capturing a Pokemon. The dialogue and the names of people and places sound like they were cooked up by 4kids. I mean, come on, Summer Land? Is this a Pokemon game, or a WB drama?

Pikachu: Jigglypuff, I love you very much, but I can't lie to you any longer. I have a Pokerus tumor in my third colon.

Jigglypuff: I…know, I found out when I had your baby! The one I secretly drowned in the lake.

Machop bursts through the door

Machop: The jade porcupine has been stabbed!

Charizard: Uh-oh. PLOT TWIST!

Okay, let's recap: Story = cheesy, Game play = bad, Controls = Crippling hand cramps, Music = okay, Sprites and Animation = only awesome thing in the game.

My final analysis? Unless you're a Pokemon fan who's a pacifist, enjoys doing hand yoga, enjoyed the Pokemon anime, and loves seeing things over and over again, don't buy it. Hal labratories, the makers of this game, have dissapointed me. After many good games, like "Kirby: Canvas Curse" and "Super Smash Bros. Melee", they make a crappy Pokemon game full of farts. This might have been fun as a mini-game, but now...it's a biohazard. The only joy this game has brought me is the deception of a good game, and the chance to get Manaphy. Wait, what? You can't get him in the game? Well, forget it! I'm selling this thing for “Yoshi's Island DS”. Before I do, my overall rating for this game is 3.5 out of ten. Drive safe, kids!


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 11/22/06


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