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Pokémon Ranger

ポケモンレンジャー

23 March 2006
Pokémon Ranger [ポケモンレンジャー] - cover art
Glitchwave rating
2.91 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
341 Ratings / 1 Reviews
#3,288 All-time
#136 for 2006
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Releases 6
Filter by: All 6 DS 4 Wii U 2
Game card
JP 4 902370 512939 NTR-ARGJ-JPN
Game card
XNA 0 45496 73735 1 NTR-ARGE-USA
Game card
GB 0 45496 73735 1 NTR-ARGP-EUR
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Game card
IT 0 45496 46408 0 NTR-ARGP-EUR
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Title
Pokemon Ranger is really a game for me that reminded that nostalgia is indeed not enough to sway my opinion strongly enough to completely warp everything about how I perceive games, because despite having played through this a ton as a kid, this was a pretty awful experience on the whole when I came back to it. I tend to be appreciative of the spin off games for Pokemon for the way they'll feel as if they take the core ideas and setting of the franchise and then have it go in a lot of unique directions that provide the series with a great deal of multifaceted identity, especially when looking at things like the Mystery Dungeon games which show that such creatures can be depicted in ways that feel far more like a fantasy adventure. The issue is that this isn't really what Pokemon Ranger does, instead feeling incredibly similar at its core of how things are presented, just with a few keywords switched around (pokeballs are now stylers for example) that ultimately affect nothing in a tangible way. This of course becomes an even bigger problem when factoring in the fact that as a spin off, the scope and quantity of unnecessary, but always cool and charming extra detail is missing thanks to it obviously not quite getting the same amount of time or budget put into it and leading to an experience that feels both anaemic and horribly bloated.

The biggest way in which this game horribly fails for me is the way that the levels are designed to be simultaneously needlessly convoluted, yet unflinchingly simplistic for the most part. Levels will feel akin to mazes with the amount of branching paths and dead ends, yet there almost never feels like there's an actual point to any of these. The majority of the time, these extra paths feel more like a poor attempt at padding out the game than anything of note, with the total lack of rewarding exploration making it feel like most stages would just be better if they were straight lines. Even the idea of the area hazards that you need to clear with specific Pokemon feels woefully underutilised, with so many of these being trivialised thanks to the fact that the answers to these puzzles/obstacles tend to be placed about 10 seconds away. Having this whole system used in only the most basic of ways that doesn't end up encouraging exploration or even basic problem solving instead transforms this concept into more of a time waster than anything else. There were clearly some attempts to mitigate this through the extra obstacles placed around that would often require a bit more thorough an exploration to get through, but after going through a couple of them and realising that it just holds another Pokemon, they quickly feel wholly pointless.

While the idea of having to do a bit of light puzzle solving to get through and find a specific pokemon you can't find anywhere else sounds cool enough, due to the way that Pokemon in this game just work as a one time power that disappears the moment you leave the area anyway, often having capabilities that you can find elsewhere in the stage, it feels like there's no point. The simplistic way in which Pokemon are handled in the game strips them of a lot of personality and distinctiveness. In the mainline titles the small differences you could see between even those that were practically identical would end up contributing to a stronger sense of identity in battle, but here it's more akin to having a bunch of options that are functionally the same but just look a bit different, and when a game manages to falter at making Pokemon feel entirely lifeless, that's when you know something's gone seriously wrong.

The core gameplay loop with the capturing is also a bit too simplistic to really provide any sense of variation to how the player should approach a situation. Due to having to capture in one go without ever lifting the stylus from the screen, the strategy for almost every encounter boils down to waiting for their attack animation to end and then drawing circles around them as fast as possible before they use it again. Even the majority of the boss encounters play out like this, with the only real difference being that the game makes the more difficult fights feel endlessly tedious and/or frustrating as opposed to forcing you to changing anything about how you approach these situations. No matter how scary the enemy looks, it all just boils down to waiting a tiny bit and then going crazy. The screen destroying potential through this being the central mechanic is also a bit of an iffy choice for me, as it feels like common sense to me to not design a game around a fast motion like this that could very easily scratch up the screen. Also while I never really play these games for the story I will say that the plot here is about as painfully generic as one of these games could get and there isn't a single character that has even a basic sense of fun personality or flair which just makes the whole experience an even more painful time.

It's really unfortunate that a game I loved so much in my childhood ended up turning out like this, but I guess it happens sometimes. I'll probably end up playing the 2nd game in this series later because I know that they did revamp the battle system slightly to make is a more well wounded experience that could allow for additional layers of complexity, but this honestly was one of the most painfully insipid gaming experiences I've had in quite a while and not even the appeal of the world of Pokemon could save this at all from being impossible to justify doing anything but the absolute bare minimum to experience this. On the plus side, at least it's mercifully short...
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Kempokid 2021-06-26T08:29:21Z
2021-06-26T08:29:21Z
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Catalog

_cojiro ポケモンレンジャー 2024-06-18T03:06:33Z
2024-06-18T03:06:33Z
0.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
MusicFan713 ポケモンレンジャー 2024-06-13T20:31:25Z
2024-06-13T20:31:25Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
TortillaCat ポケモンレンジャー 2024-06-03T04:37:17Z
2024-06-03T04:37:17Z
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
cannedhamsters Pokémon Ranger 2024-05-29T17:13:35Z
DS • XNA
2024-05-29T17:13:35Z
2.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
ultraaguy1 ポケモンレンジャー 2024-05-24T02:04:40Z
2024-05-24T02:04:40Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Sznapiak ポケモンレンジャー 2024-05-16T08:57:54Z
2024-05-16T08:57:54Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
snow415 ポケモンレンジャー 2024-05-10T20:18:45Z
2024-05-10T20:18:45Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
airslashes Pokémon Ranger 2024-05-01T16:44:32Z
DS • GB
2024-05-01T16:44:32Z
6.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
pokémon Pokémon Ranger the pokémon company nintendo ds 2006
kenbenlen ポケモンレンジャー 2024-04-30T15:31:01Z
2024-04-30T15:31:01Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
cygnus_x7 ポケモンレンジャー 2024-04-27T15:52:12Z
2024-04-27T15:52:12Z
2.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
flonch ポケモンレンジャー 2024-04-12T16:14:13Z
2024-04-12T16:14:13Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Blazing910 ポケモンレンジャー 2024-04-12T05:32:09Z
2024-04-12T05:32:09Z
3.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Content rating
CERO: All Ages
Player modes
Single-player
Media
1x Game card
Franchises
Also known as
  • Pokémon Ranger
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  • Meervo 2021-05-20 08:09:52.774721+00
    Underrated as hell
    reply
    • Meervo 2021-09-14 23:06:57.853737+00
      Completed it 100%, this shit is great
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  • Voltaikk 2021-06-28 17:22:33.386058+00
    not even bad
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  • elGigante 2021-08-03 06:53:59.75376+00
    god this used to be the shit
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  • daskull 2023-01-25 14:32:28.624895+00
    fkn rayquaza
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