Review by wolverinefan
"Another weak Pokemon spinoff"
I'm a Pokemon nerd. I admit it. I also know that Nintendo has milked the series almost as badly as Mario. Ranger is the fourth Pokemon title on the DS despite it not having a real Pokemon game (well it was just released in Japan and this spring in the US but whatever). Does Ranger stick with the trend up being poor games or is it a hidden gem? Read on!
You're some kid who wants to become a Pokemon Ranger. He gets a not in the mail with a uniform and sets out to meet the leader. You join up and while on an escort mission a super cool styler is stolen and so for rest of the game you need to hunt one time while the entire time calming Pokemon down and using their skills to solve puzzles. The story isn't too bad until you meet the Team Rocket bad guys named the Go Go Rockers or something and they play musical instruments... So it isn't perfect but at least it has a story.
Graphic wise the game is the best looking Pokemon title so far on the DS. Vibrant visuals and the Pokemon are easy to make out. I actually have no problems with the graphics for once and are actually impressing for the DS. Problems arise when using special types of stylers because they block the view of the enemy Pokemon which is a bad thing but oh well.
Sound wise I am sick of this. The music is good but repetitive by the end. No voice acting. The biggest problem is the sound effects. Yes, I know the original games had basic bleeps and what nots for sounds but it's old and sounds terrible with a game like this. Just imagine if you were playing Gears of War or something and it sounded like an NES game. That's what this sounds like. Sorry but we've advanced over the years and we shouldn't have the same annoying bleeps from ten years ago.
The entire game can be played with the stylus. That's cool and all but the entire games point is for you to circle the enemies. The problem is, besides me breaking four stylus on this game, is that sometimes my screen wouldn't register my circles and I am spinning and the line hasn't broken but the number hasn't changed and I am still rather close to the enemy. This usually happened on the bosses, mainly near the end. It's just annoying and takes away from the game since it is the main focus of the game.
Like I've said previously in this review, the main idea behind the game is to draw circles around the enemy and capture them. The game offers 10 missions and three side missions. You must do them all to complete the story and you don't get to pick or choose them. The game forces the story on you. The areas are pretty basic. Towns, sewers, forests, you get the idea. You must travel around them and solve minor problems. You will need to fight Pokemon. The types vary per area and the situations are different. Use a Tangela to cross a gap, a Meowth to cut a fence. You get the idea and it's never overly complicated.
As you advance in the game your Styler levels up and as you get more medals you gain new abilities like carry more Pokemon or your meter gains an extra spot. The styler is your HP bar and can only be restored by electric Pokemon. Thankfully the Electric Pokemon tends to be easy to capture and heal nicely. Save points are abundant for the most part. The special bar is for your Minus or whatever it's called. His ability is to shock the other Pokemon. It's a nice little thing and the higher its charge the stronger the shock. Makes capturing most Pokemon easy. You raise that meter by drawing circles around Pokemon in battle. You can use your captured Pokemon during battle as well but once you use them they are gone, same as while on the field. Also by leaving an area your captured Pokemon will leave you. By areas I mean the entire sewer or forest, not just a screen.
As for extras I know the game offers extra missions and other stuff once you beat the game. The story itself took me just under 7 hours which is kind of sad but longer than most DS games it seems. So the game does offer a good amount of replay value and on January 20th 2007 the Phanphy code will be released.
Is the game worth buying? No. The game decides to change its rules near the end. Things no longer work that should. Before an attack would stop a Pokemon in its tracks. Now that same attack will stop they from moving but they still use their attack which makes the circle and just goes against everything the game had set up before. The fact that the game didn't seem to register a lot of loops for me was also an annoyance. I also found the game to be very easy except the last boss set and that was more annoying than hard, due to issues stated above. I can't recommend this game to anyone unless they really want Phanphy in Diamond and Pearl.
Story - 6/10
Graphics - 9/10
Sound - 5/10
Control - 7/10
Game Play - 4/10
Replay Value - 6/10
Final Score - 5/10
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 01/18/07
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