Pokédex 3D Pro
I should feel shame for receiving an e-mail which went along the lines of, “As our resident Pokémon expert…” offering a review code for the Pokédex 3D Pro, but I’m used to this now. In truth, I decided I was probably going to buy it anyway, so I graciously accepted. Then I realised the difficult nature of reviewing a Pokédex ‘app’. As an added bonus, I also have a few things to say about the Pokémon Dream Radar, a review of which should be up by the time you finish reading his review…
Pokémon is a cockfighting murder simulator where children make animals fight each other for money and prestige, this much we know. In the game there’s a device called a Pokédex, which is, of course, a Pokémon Index. You can view every Pokémon you’ve seen and caught, learning titbits of flavour about them, including their location, cry, footprint and of course, appearance. When the 3DS came out, a free app came out which was a 3D Pokédex of Pokémon Black & White’s Unova Region. This app allowed you to view 3D images of the Pokémon, delivered one by one via spotpass, showing their actions, noises and even allowing you to view them on your camera thanks to AR codes.
Recently, that app has become extinct, and after the release of Pokémon Black 2 & White 2, a full version has been released on the 3DS shop. There are upgraded features and the whole range of 650 Pokémon (or 727 if you include alternate types and forms).
The 3D graphics are impressive, but after the seamlessness of all the animations from Final Fantasies 1-13 in Theatrhythm, this doesn’t surprise me too much. The Pokémon loiter in the middle of the screen and you can inspect every grubby bit of them with the circle pad and shoulder buttons. You can still hear their cry, see an action and take photos of them in the palm of your hand. Like the free version before it, you can see the stats, types (including strengths and weaknesses), evolutions and powers (earned through levelling, breeding and finding a teacher). These are all nice bits of information, although ones like the strengths and weaknesses are more necessary to view when you’re actually in the middle of a battle. Sadly this can’t be open at the same time as the main game, so for people like me who can’t remember all 650-odd monsters, I’m resorting to Bulbapedia or Serebii for my information while fighting.
There is more than simply a monster viewer to offer with the Pokédex this time. There’s a quiz mode which throws several Pokémon at you and makes you guess which one they are. They vary from simply looking at images, to silhouettes, evolutions, alternate forms, weights and cries. There are over thirty unlockable quizzes and several which can change according to the code entered on them. It’s entertaining and reminds me just how few I can remember off the top of my head. Some have time pressure, others quit the second you fail a single question, which is difficult when there are hundreds of potential questions to answer. Still, it’s fun in a, “Who’s that Pokémon?” kind of way.
In addition to the index, the photos and the quizzes, you can check the moves of Pokémon, looking up, “Thunder Punch” for instance and getting a list of which Pokémon can learn it and how.
As a whole, Pokédex 3D Pro is a nice little device, however the biggest problem with it is the expense. At £13.49 (or $15), it’s at least twice as much as it should be. This isn’t a game, despite the quiz elements. It’s a 3D viewer at best, and all the useful information is more accessible in Bulbapedia or Serebii or one of dozens of free (or cheap) Pokédex apps on mobile devices. Aside from the 3D, there’s not enough of a value-add for that much money. I admit, I’d feel more comfortable paying £5 for it, or even £7, the price of a lot of the better 3DSWare games, as apparently I’m the Pokémon person now.
I’m not one of these people who believe that mobile games shall replace all handheld games because they’re still very different creatures for the most part. Pokédex 3D Pro, like the lazier 3DSware games and applications, sets out to prove me wrong. If it’s part of an offer, feel free to check it out, otherwise, it’s not worth your time.
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