Tag Archives: Pokemon

Scouse Gamer 88 Pokémon Snap Header

Pokémon Snap (Nintendo 64)

Developer(s) – HAL Laboratory & Pax Softnica

Publisher(s) – Nintendo

Director(s) – Yoichi Yamamoto, Koji Inokuchi & Akira Takeshima

Producer(s) – Satoru Iwata, Kenji Miki & Shigeru Miyamoto

PEGI – 3

 

Pokémon Snap was one of many spin-offs to the Pokémon game series for the Game Boy developed during the fifth generation of gaming. The premise of the game revolves around taking pictures of wild pokémon, catching them all (and I use the term loosely) in a different manner to which gamers certainly would have been accustomed to at the time. This unique rail-shooter for me made for a lot of entertainment growing up, and it still holds up fairly well to this day, I find.

 

Graphics – 7/10

Featuring some of the best visual quality the Nintendo 64 had to offer, there are some fairly diverse settings as well as minimal in-game glitches; something, which had been a problem for the console early on. Though the frame rate can drop at times, especially in the opening cinematic, it doesn’t become enough of a problem to warrant too many complaints or to hinder gameplay, most importantly. But what I like most about the visuals is how the pokémon are portrayed throughout the game. The settings speak of how each type of pokémon adapts to all the different environments present, which in turn, provides a much more realistic representation reminiscent of conventional animal behavior. They portray the critters in a much more different manner than in any conservative game in the series that came before it.

 

Gameplay – 7/10

The game revolves around taking pictures of pokémon across the different stages of the game and unlocking each stage, whilst trying to rack up high scores by taking the best quality pictures. It is very satisfying and fairly addictive to try and capture the perfect shot of each pokémon and to rack up as high a score as possible. But a major problem I found with this title was that there are only 63 of the original 151 pokémon present, purely to coincide with the fact that it was released on the Nintendo 64. And as a result, the game is somewhat lacking in substance. I think if the developers had included all 151 pokémon, then there would have been a lot more for gamers to play for, and in turn, a lot more call for different level designs and for more substance in general.

 

Controls – 10/10

Although there are no problems with the control scheme, it is also fairly unique in a certain respect. It does blur the lines somewhat between first-person shooters and simulation games and combines elements of the two to make for something pretty exciting, also being comparable to such future games Dead Rising and Beyond Good & Evil.

 

Lifespan – 6/10

Although it can merely 2 hours to rush through each course and unlock all the extra items used to take pictures of certain pokémon, there is quite a bit of replay value to be had in re-visiting each course and trying to capture as many excellent pictures as possible. The Wii Virtual Console version added even more with the inclusion of the facility to share pictures with friends. But after grinding through each course and collecting everything, it does become a case of racking up the highest score possible, but as I said earlier, I can’t help but feel there would have much more to it with the inclusion of all 151 pokémon.

 

Originality – 10/10

Pokémon Snap was and still is among some of the most unique games ever developed. The only games like this that have come along since are the likes of Fatal Frame. There was no concept like it at the time, and it’s a concept that has never truly been fully replicated since.

 

Happii

Happii

In summation, Pokémon Snap has been praised as a refreshingly unique game, and I couldn’t agree more. It comes highly recommended by me and will make for a good few hours of fun gameplay.

Score

50/60

8/10 (Very Good)

Scouse Gamer 88 Pokémon Shuffle Header

Pokémon Shuffle (3DS)

Developer(s) – Genius Soronity

Publisher(s) – Nintendo

PEGI – 3

 

Pokémon Shuffle is a free-to-play game that I’ve heard many times over as being described as Pokémon meets Candy Crush, and it’s easy to see why. Though it is more enjoyable to play than the aforementioned Candy Crush, It’s a lot more restrictive in comparison to not only that but most other app games as well.

 

Graphics – 6/10

Since this is essentially an arcade puzzle game, the only emphasis out on visuals is how each section of the game board looks as the game progresses. The idea of which is to give the illusion of it taking place in several different locations, but in a game like this, visuals shouldn’t really take precedent anyway, so I don’t think the game should lose out on too many marks because of this. There is also a basis in visual diversity with the amount of pokémon there are in it from all over the franchise.

 

Gameplay – 7/10

The game plays out almost identically to the likes of Candy Crush and Bejewelled, but unlike any f these examples, there’s also a fairly strong RPG element to it, in that each pokémon fought can be captured and re-used in different battles and can be leveled up over time. There is also a lot more incentive to playing it than most other app games in this respect as well since there is nothing much to be gained from getting all three stars on a stage other than bragging rights. The problem with this game, however, is that it is indeed a lot more restrictive in the sense that each stage takes a life of the player regardless of whether they win or lose a battle, whereas, in games like Candy Crush, lives are kept if players win a stage. I think that if Nintendo does indeed plan to publish more games like this, they need to ease up on these kinds of restrictions; otherwise, players will begin to lose patience and fast.

 

Controls – 10/10

These kinds of puzzle games have been in development for over 30 years now, and there would have been some serious problems if Nintendo hadn’t implemented a decent control scheme. The entire genre started to find its feet after it was ported to the original Game Boy, making for even further reason why Nintendo should never have had problems; and so, there aren’t any.

 

Originality – 4/10

The most original thing about Pokémon Shuffle is how well the RPG element of the Pokémon series has been implemented, and it gives me hope that Nintendo will continue to implement series staples from other franchises into their upcoming smartphone games to differentiate them from others as much as possible. Otherwise, however, it essentially plays out like most other app games, and I think Nintendo needs to do even more to be able to compete with some of the more established app game developers.

 

Niiutral

Niiutral

In summation, Pokémon Shuffle is not without its charms, but it is far too restrictive in terms of how often it can be played, and it doesn’t do quite enough to distinguish itself from other games of its kind. Perhaps Nintendo will go on to make better games than this for smart devices, but there are far better games out there for the 3DS than this.

Score

27/40

6.5/10 (Above Average)

Scouse Gamer 88 Pokemon Pinball Header

Pokemon Pinball (Game Boy Colour)

Developer(s) – Jupiter

Publisher(s) – Nintendo

PEGI – 3

 

Going beyond a simple spin-off game, Pokemon Pinball captured the feeling of the popular RPG franchise and gave players a lot more to do than in a conventional Pinball game, such as having to capture Pokémon using the different areas the ball can be launched into and completing an additional objective in the process. Though it would have been relatively easy to overlook this title, even during the time of its release, when Pokémon was one of the most popular brands around, I personally spent a lot of time playing this game as a child, and I think it still holds up to this day as one of the most memorable Game Boy experiences.

 

Graphics – 7/10

Having an unusual amount of visual diversity for a pinball game, the player is given a choice of either the red or blue board to go allude to the motif of the original two Pokémon games, there’s also the added feature of players having to select a location on the board before playing where different Pokémon can be captured in different locations; even giving the player the added facility to travel in between locations during rounds of pinball. It went beyond a simple spin-off pinball game in many different ways, but the fact that it has this much basis in visual design captured my imagination in a very positive way at the time.

 

Gameplay – 7/10

Aside from being unique in a multitude of ways, the game is also very enjoyable to play, and the extra incentive to be gained from doing so makes it my favorite form of pinball overall. It’s interesting since I personally have a kind of love-hate relationship with Pinball. On one hand, I love how addictive and immersing it is, but on the other hand, I’ve never liked how much chance there is involved in the game, as opposed to it being a question of skill. But since there’s more to do in Pokémon Pinball than in a regular game, the issue of addiction and chance is fractionally evened out from my point of view; it’s more about addiction than random chance.

 

Controls – 10/10

The control scheme for the game is simple, easy to come to terms with, and with no complications; the A button controls the left flipper, the right button on the d-pad for the right, and the B to tilt.

 

Originality – 8/10

What makes this game sp unique is how well it differs from other Pinball games, in its additional objective, its RPG element, and its emphasis on a visual concept, which is unusually impressive for a game of its kind. To a great extent than Pokémon Shuffle, it gives me hope that Nintendo will be able to enter the smartphone gaming market without putting too many restrictions on their games and to let gamers play it for how long or often as they want.

 

Happii

Happii

Overall, Pokemon Pinball should not be as easy a game to overlook as it is. It’s an excellent addition to the Game Boy library, and a must-have for any fan of the franchise, as well as fans of Pinball.

Score

32/40

8/10 (Very Good)