Nintendo Australia Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia
This kiddy DS title just isn't worth the price for more seasoned gamers.
- Colourful and vibrant graphics, accessible gameplay for the DS stylus
- Lame story, missions quickly become repetitive, puzzles require little brainpower
For a guy who willingly stood in line alongside five dozen grade school kids for a copy of Pokemon Diamond, I'm surprised and disappointed at how quickly I got bored with Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
Even if you're a hardcore Pokemon freak, minor gameplay changes and a yawn-inducing story means this kiddy DS title just isn't worth the price for more seasoned gamers.
In the first Pokemon Ranger, a new concept of Pokemon-catching was introduced that didn't include Pokeballs, gyms, or battling. It was heresy, but the resulting game was a memorable spinoff of the main franchise. Shadows of Almia, the recently released sequel to Pokemon Ranger has a lot of things that I wish the previous Pokemon titles had: exceptionally animated graphics, intricately detailed sprites, and more active ways to "catch" Pokemon. Unfortunately, Shadows of Almia's actual gameplay gets old before the game even gets started.
With Shadows of Almia, you're put in the role of a rookie "Pokemon Ranger," a special type of trainer who enlists the help of wild Pokemon to do community service. This includes anything from visiting old ladies in retirement homes (boring) to fighting forest fires (less boring). Catching Pokemon in this game is done via the special Styler, a device that tames Pokemon with a beam of "friendship" and good will. Making a successful capture is easy, since all you have to do is trace circles around the Pokemon you need to complete an assortment of missions. The capture process is easy — so easy, that by the time you've played through a few hours of the game, it presents no real challenge.
There's a painful amount of missions you'll have to complete to get through the game, and most of them involve either "fetch quests" or a variation of "bring-this-Pokemon-to-this-obstacle-to-get-to-the-next-area" tasks. Even as you gain the ability to retain a small army of Pokemon with your Styler, the tedious nature of tracing loops and backtracking through areas for specific Pokemon types will surely test your attention.
To the game's credit, Shadows of Almia looks much better than it plays. From underwater levels to fire-filled volcanoes, there's always a bit of excitement in seeing what new Pokemon populate every region. Still, the charm wears off before the game ever picks up, hampered by a cookie cutter story that fails to really engage its players. Even when you're circling and taming legendary Pokemon, the gameplay remains inherently the same as it was the first hour. If you're going to pick up Shadows of Almia, just keep in mind that while it can be fun, there's nothing compelling or new enough to impress a hardcore Pokemanic.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HTC U11 phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Gigabyte Aero 15 corporate gaming laptop review
- 3 Huawei P10 smartphone review
- 4 Huawei P10 Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 5 Motorola Moto G5 smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- This week in games: Homeworld's lost expansion returns, 15 minutes of Beyond Good & Evil 2
- Hands-on: Middle Earth: Shadow of War gets more creative with Tolkien's universe
- Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire shows off old friends and a mysterious new world
- E3 2017 day 2 wrap-up: Destiny 2 on PC, Wolfenstein returns, and Ubisoft games galore
- Xbox One X vs PlayStation 4 Pro: The console wars level up with powerful new hardware
PCW Evaluation Team
The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.
Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
- MSI GL62M 7RDX gaming laptop review
- Alcatel A3 XL phone: Full, in-depth review
- Sony X9300E 2017 TV: Full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTDesktop Engineer - Level 1 and 2Other
- CC.Net DeveloperWA
- TPFull Stack PHP / Web DeveloperQLD
- FTSEO ExecutiveOther
- FTSenior Agile ConsultantOther
- FTDevOps Lead / Identity Services Security LeadOther
- FTBusiness Analyst with BPM (Business Process Modelling)Other
- TPDigital Business Analyst | Six Month Contract |Immediate StartQLD
- FTSenior Software Developer (x3)Other
- TPJava DeveloperVIC
- FTSystems EngineerOther
- FTJava DeveloperOther
- FTCloud Project ManagerOther
- CCBusiness Analyst / Scrum MasterWA
- FTInstructional Designer - Digital, e-Learning, GovOther
- FTSenior Project AnalystOther
- CCAPI Platform EngineerNSW
- FTSAP Test AnalystOther
- FTDigital Records ManagerACT
- FTIT GraduateACT
- CCBusiness Analyst - SalesforceVIC
- FTLevel 2/3 Application Support SpecialistQLD
- FTPMO Lead/ Senior Project AnalystOther
- CCAgile Project ManagerACT
- FTSenior Systems EngineerOther