Review by nWoWhammy
"Biggest letdown since FF7"
Well, I picked up Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia for the DS. I was picking it up for the events, but I don't have a lot of good things to say about it.
Graphics: 9/10. I like 2-D graphics better than 3-D. If this game has one huge selling point it looks good. It returns to the ADV style and I much prefer that over the D/P style honestly. It's refreshing to see a good-looking 2-D game for once.
Sound: 8/10. The game sounds good too. The soundtrack is really fitting, and doesn't really irritate you. There are no standout tunes though.
Story: 2/10. So far the story has blown. There's nothing really good about it. If there was one thing to make up for the first Ranger's shortcomings, the story was written well as a comedy and kept you laughing. The fact the last game was based off of a rock band and stuff was really cool and I could replay the game if I really wanted to just for that. The story this time seems uninspired, poorly written, and is only saved by the showing of the rock band from the first game. Else, this would be a 1.
Gameplay: 2/10. The gameplay seems very uninspired to me. They don't seem to vary much in this game and the quest missions and the quests take way too long. It took 3+ hours to complete a certain sector of the game that they really don't advertise to you as being a major part of the storyline. I find that kind of irritating when I have to go to work the next day. Not to mention the fact that you have to go searching for sidequests like every 20 minutes and the search takes two hours or more with no direction. The game really drags with little to no excitement.
Challenge: 1/10. This has to be BY FAR the easiest game I've played since FF7. The game seems to play more on length and doesn't get very difficult at all. I'm far enough to write a review, and I've only died once out of stupidity and only had a hard challenge because I was thrown into it with no healer. Also, aren't save points supposed to be enough of a common sense warning something big is coming up? No, they actually have to warn you about it. I find this lame and most players with common sense would too. It reminds me of the time I played FF7 and destroyed the final dungeon half-asleep. If you're going to teach kids how to use their brains and apply problem solving skills, this game just kills the whole concept.
Extras: 0/10. The Manaphy Egg, Riolu, and Darkrai are nice; however, the one only time REALLY has to go. C'mon, even if you could unlock the event one time, couldn't you have been able to download it to all your games if you had the equipment. Even if the game was really bad this could've been a reason to buy they ruined this too.
Overall: 4/10 (not an average). This is your classic game that looks good, sounds good, and has nothing going for it. Only buy it if you need a Darkrai and you're in another country that doesn't get Wi-Fi. Else, stick with the original for a Manaphy Egg. It's not FF7-horrible, but it's certainly not a pleasure to play. Spend your time on something else.
Reviewer's Score: 4/10 | Originally Posted: 12/02/08
Game Release: Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia (US, 11/10/08)
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