View Full Version : Pokemon Ranger - First Impressions

18th March 2006, 8:03 PM
I pre-ordered Pokemon Ranger a while back, I have been looking forward to this game quite a bit, more so then Pokemon Emerald. (I still haven't beat it yet :zzz: ) Having played Pokemon Ranger for about an hour, I decided that I would write a quick review of the game so far. As my Japanese is limited, (I sit next to the dictionary), I won't focus too much on the story.

The Game
Pokemon Ranger is an action RPG for the Nintendo DS. In this game you start out as a rookie Pokemon Ranger and must travel the land helping out people & Pokemon eventually becoming a better Pokemon Ranger. Like in Mysterious Dungeon, the more missions you do, the higher your rank goes. You are recruited by the Ranger Leader of Ring Town in order to simply protect people, Pokemon & nature itself. However this is not done by battling people in the conventional Pokemon Battles. This is done by obtaining Pokemon and using their special powers to help do tasks all througout the land of Fiore. However things are not as easy as they seem, while you go around Fiore and help People & Ranger Leaders out, there is a group of people called Team Go-Go going around Fiore and causing problems and you need to stop them. Obtaining Pokemon is also completely different, instead of battling them, you take temporary control of them with a Capture Styler. Once obtained, you are capable of using them to help out once.

Luckly Pokemon Ranger uses Hiragana & Katakana like other Pokemon games, so it makes it a 'bit' easier for us non-fluent Japanese players to get a grasp of the games story and whats going on. The splash screen is the most impressive one I have seen so far in a Pokemon game. Unfortunately there is no easy way to take screenshots of Nintendo DS games. The PokeGear menu system reminded me of Secret of Mana's wheel interface, except static. I kept wanting to use the stylus on the top screen as well as it displays an active map with the pokemon in the nearby vicinity.


Well needless to say I was not very impressed, other then the intro screen. After playing Pokemon Dash and knowing what the Nintendo DS can do graphically, I was kind of disappointed. It's basically the same isometric view that we have been used to since the first Pokemon game. Sprite animations are noticibly better in the main game and the overall detail of the world is better then any Pokemon game to date. The other thing that bugged me was the top screen in Ranger is black a lot of the time at the beginning of the game. It's not until I reached the Ranger HQ that I got my PokeGear and the top screen was active. The second screen, in my opinion, should be used at all times even if its like Animal Crossing and just shows the sky. That being said, it's not much better graphically then Pokemon Emerald in my opinion, but graphics don't make the game. I hope Pearl and Diamond will use a fully 3D engine as I am personally getting tired of the 2D sprite interface.

The Controls/Gameplay
This is the first RPG version of Pokemon to use the stylus. The stylus can be used to move the character around on the bottom screen. The D-pad can also be used at the same time, but I found that the stylus had better control for moving the character around.

The stylus's main use is to 'control' Pokemon. When you attempt to control a Pokemon, you must draw circle on the bottom touch screen rapidly until the Pokemon has been put under your control. This sounds easier then it is as the Pokemon is constantly moving around and using its attacks to stop your 'control barrier'. Your Capture Styler's 'control barrier' only has a certain number of hit points and that is registered at the top with a hit point bar.

One of the main differences in Ranger is that Pokemon roam around the screen. It really feels like a living Pokemon world now. Flying Pokemon in the air, ground Pokemon running around, ect. You also don't have to be adjacent to Pokemon or people to talk to them. You just use the stylus, click on them and the active person or pokemon is highlighted in yellow.

Overall Impression
Having only played the game for a bit and not all the way through, the one thing that struck me was this was quite original. The whole 'top' thing being part of the Pokemon controlling ability seemed more like Beyblade Battle Tops to me. So far I have enjoyed this game as it is a different take to the "Gotta Catch em All' style of gameplay. Hopefully we will see this game in English in the not to distance future. The whole Pokemon Ranger ideal seems to fit nicely into the Pokemon realm. I think Fmitsu hit the mark, its not 'Outstanding' or 'Revolutionary' but its fun and different. I'll do a full review if I beat the game soon.

18th March 2006, 8:06 PM
If you guys have any question about the game, Ill try to answer them for you.

18th March 2006, 10:06 PM
One that I already know the answer too, but is bugging me.
Is it compatable with another copy of Ranger/3rd Gen Pokemon Rpg games?

18th March 2006, 10:15 PM
As far as I can tell, its a standalone game. No compatibilty with any of the GBA games.

18th March 2006, 10:20 PM
Cooleo. Thought so, but it doesnt hurt to ask.

Also, how big is the world?

18th March 2006, 10:39 PM

ringutaun | リングタウン | Ring Town | Location of Ranger HQ
At least i think that is the proper translation.

18th March 2006, 10:59 PM
Is that all of the world, or is that just what you discovered?
Otherwise, a cool looking map. Im impressed.

18th March 2006, 11:03 PM
I have a question, but it's probably too soon for it. I'm just curious about the total play time that you manage to get out of the game... I'm hoping that it's not just a super-short, flash-in-the-pan sort of thing.

18th March 2006, 11:39 PM
On gamefaqs theres a guy who says the game may have online capabilities because it searches for a wifi point when you start it up. Can you confirm this?

19th March 2006, 4:04 AM
I didnt see any wifi searching at the beginning at all. Usually when the DS is trying to connect wirelessly, a blue box with 3 lines appears. There was no such icon. Perhaps he got it mistaken with the stylus icon.

Metal Force
23rd March 2006, 11:39 AM
Wow your lucky to have pkmn ranger, anyway i have a qution : does the game has HM's to surf or something or just if you controled a water poke you can swim ?

23rd March 2006, 6:43 PM
Wow your lucky to have pkmn ranger, anyway i have a qution : does the game has HM's to surf or something or just if you controled a water poke you can swim ?

HM's are more of a pokemon trainer thing, I'd say that you take control of a water-type in order to traverse water.

24th March 2006, 9:02 PM
I have a question.

Is there a somewhat decent plot weaved in between the 'become a rather kickass Ranger' quest? Apart from there being a rival team (Team Go-Go = best name ever) and a few enemies, I haven't really heard much of anything concerning how the story progresses.

9th April 2006, 12:44 AM
i wish this person who started this thread can respond...

Neko Godot
14th April 2006, 4:51 AM
Do you got any pics of the Team Go-Go leader?

The Great Butler
14th April 2006, 8:54 PM
There does seem to be a plot, but it seems like Colosseum/XD's: a take on the franchise that's similar in some ways to the tradition but different in others. It appears here the Capture Styler is almost like a temporary Snag Machine.

Looking at it overall, I'm thinking this'll be quite a good game.