It’s simple to be cynical. Indeed, it’s hard not to shake your head at a series that has produced a dozen variants all cut from the same template and generated billions in merchandising. But then you start playing and also you quickly realise that Nintendo’s staggering sales of 155 million Pokemon cartridges have much more to do with exquisite game design than exploitative marketing. Even those who have already lost countless hours in a pursuit to “catch ’em all” will see themselves hooked over again.
Given that there is a bulging roster of 493 critters to capture, raise, battle, preen and breed, inevitably a number of 100 Pokemon lack the creativity and charisma of old favourites. But the charm of the pocket monsters continues to be a key ingredient as to what makes these games so pleasurable. Another crucial component is just how convincing, consistent and engaging the planet would be to explore. The Sinnoh region is a wonderful spot to visit.
Pokemon’s battle product is easy to learn but surprisingly strategic and tactically deep. Assembling a highly-rounded team that can defeat any opponent requires careful thought and proves very satisfying.
The best news for parents is the fact that %anchor1 represent the best value the gaming industry provides. Immensely deep and captivating, players can spend dozens upon lots of hours trying to foil Team Galactic’s nefarious plans while exploring underground caverns mining for treasure, entering talent shows, growing and harvesting berries, cooking treats for his or her critters and seeking to capture elusive wild creatures.
Most new features are minor improvements, like the Poketech device, which can serve as a watch, pedometer, radar, notebook and display the status of your menagerie. The most important addition is wi-fi internet support, which lets faraway friends battle and trade creatures.
A great deal is different on earth of Pokémon since we last visited in Emerald. Obviously, the addition of spanning a hundred new creatures – many of which are baby versions or evolutions of older Pokémon, for instance a pre-evolution of Mantine and new forms for single-stage monsters like Lickitung and Aipom – form much of the excitement that surrounds the coming of those new adventures.
Nevertheless it runs a hell of any lot deeper than just a few new arrivals. The battle system has been reworked in the most important switch to the fundamentals of battling considering that the Special stat was divided into individual attack and inlqrn values after the first games turned into a little broken. Where before each move would utilize a particular stat based upon its type alignment (so, fire type moves would use Special Attack while Rock moves would continue Attack), now each move is classed as either Physical or Special and uses the appropriate stat. This opens up move set possibilities that will never before been employed by and paves the way for a lot of previously overlooked monsters to step up and become legitimate possibilities for competitive play.
And simply as new evolutions and move sets try to level the playing field somewhat, so too does incorporating a number of new attacks and abilities. Bug and Ghost types are now significantly better catered for with various new attack and support moves, and lots of older attacks happen to be given elemental counterparts, like Fighting and Water versions of Quick Attack. There are also numerous new attacks which make once unusable Pokémon viable, particularly in 2 vs 2 battles.
Power Trick can change defensive legend Shuckle into a demon by swapping its minimal attack stat using its astronomical defence; Trick Room lets slower Pokémon attack first for many turns, making the likes of Snorlax and Steelix that much more imposing; moves like Bug Devour and Hurl take advantage of held items (both yours as well as the opponents) to deal damage accordingly. Whatever type you tend to favour, you’ll find a minimum of several helpful new moves here to enhance any move set.