Review by PLDHnet

"Can you draw a pefect circle?"

Because that's more or less the amount of skill it requires to play this game. Well, less actually, because the circle doesn't have to be perfect. But anyway…..
Pokemon Ranger is an addictive half puzzle half action game for the Nintendo DS based on the original pokemon games in that there are pokemon and you use them to help you in your quest. As you go through the game you confront the Go-rock squad who are trying to use pokemon for their own purposes.

Gameplay 8/10
The controls for this game are basic; for the most part you only need your stylus. You can walk with the stylus, bring up the menu with the stylus, talk with the stylus, look at obstacle with the stylus….. If you can point a pen and place it down and move it, you can play the game. You need to capture pokemon in order to get past various obstacles. To capture pokemon in this game you use your (surprise surprise) stylus and draw a number of circles around your target and then remove the stylus. Sounds easy, and for the most part it is. But the pokemon put up a fight, and they can fire attack to damage styler (the tool you are using to capture the pokemon). If you damage it enough it will break and it is game over, or at least back to your last save (and believe me, that can hurt). To help catch the pokemon the pokemon you already have can use their abilities to do various things ie Grass pokemon make grass grow and tangle the other pokemon, water pokemon make bubbles to contain them. The game was enjoyable, despite the fact it was reasonable easy in most parts. There are also bonus missions to do and challenges to beat. See what you can do!

Story 7/10
What can I say? It's a pokemon game, and they don't usually specialize in plot, but this one isn't too bad. Or maybe I just can't recognize a bad plot when I see it. You play as a potential ranger, specialists who are trained to keep the peace and harmony between people and pokemon. But then there is the Go-rock squad, who have stolen a prototype styler and are using it for their own nefarious schemes. You have to stop them while also helping the other folk with some of their lesser problems.

Graphics and sound 9/10
The graphic on this game are quite detailed, with some lovely backgrounds to match where you are. The music also goes very well with the scene or situation. Of course it still has the same repetitiveness that pokemon music has, but what can you do other turn off the music? You can easily tell what pokemon is which and that that small green thing is a small plant. No trouble at all with it.

Play Time and Replayability 5/10
This is where the game falls down a bit. While fun, it doesn't really take long to beat in comparison to other pokemon games (but maybe that's just me). And unlike R/S/E et all there isn't much variety in what to do with your team. You get a certain number and you fill it with the ones required, almost inflexible. If you let it stew for a bit then it will be better for replaying, but not immediately.

Final Recommendation 7.25/10 (averaged) 8/10(personal)
Maybe not a buy ASAP game, but if you can get it cheap you shouldn't regret it.
Buy or Rent? Either really will do fine.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/10/07


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