Author: Heath Flor
Editor: Howard Ha
Publish Date: Friday, March 9th, 2012
Originally Published on Neoseeker (http://www.neoseeker.com)
Article Link: http://www.neoseeker.com/Articles/Games/Reviews/pokepark_2_wonders_beyond/
Copyright Neo Era Media, Inc. - please do not redistribute or use for commercial purposes.
For Pokémon fans, catching all of the little creatures has been a passion for them since they were first introduced to the series. Whether it was Pokémon Red, Black, Silver or any of the other various games is irrelevant. The objective always remains the same for fans who just "gotta catch 'em all." This light hearted RPG and its various spin-offs have always had a huge following of loyal fans eager to gather every single Pokémon available.
PokéPark: 2: Wonders Beyond however, strays away from the award winning formula to deliver more of a party game experience. There's really no resemblance to the classic RPG titles, other than the Pokémon themselves.
The main objective of the game is to explore PokéPark and investigate the recent disappearance of multiple Pokémon. Along the way you befriend other Pokémon by playing chase, battling them, or performing certain tasks for them such as fetch quests. Once you have enough Pokémon friends, you can unlock the areas where the missing Pokémon are trapped.
The areas are all housed in what is known as "Wish Park" and contain attractions you must clear in order to free the enslaved Pokémon. The attractions themselves are merely mini-games, which can be used for multiplayer rounds with up to four players after they've been cleared. There's a total of four mini-games, which in reality represents the "levels" in the game.
As you can imagine, clearing four mini-games is very quickly achieved for anyone with even a minimal exposure to video games. You will spend most of your time running around PokéPark trying to gather friends. Even so, the game can easily be completed in as little as six to eight hours.
The control scheme is pretty simple. With the controller turned sideways the D-pad is used to move your character, and buttons 1 and 2 to are used for attack/dash and jump, respectively. The option to use the Nunchuk controller would have been nice as the D-pad is horrible for getting the correct angle of attack, and will fatigue your thumb if you're spoiled rotten and use analog sticks most of the time during your gameplay.
The Pokémon found in PokéPark represent creatures found throughout the entire series. There is no evolution of Pokémon in this game, and you'll only have four controllable Pokemon available to you: Pikachu, Oshawott, Snivy, and Tepig. Each playable character has special skills you can utilize to help you tackle specific obstacles littered throughout the park, as well as a strong attack skill to use during battle.
There are certain Pokémon available only after you have befriended others, and a few of these offer training for your skills. All of this comes at a price, which in PokéPark is paid with berries. Earning berries is as simple as finding treasure hidden in the park, or completing various tasks for other Pokémon.
The graphics are on par for a Wii game. Since there's no HD output, I stick with a standard 20+ year old standard television with RCA jacks,and it looks fine. Everything is bright and colorful, and the areas are small enough the graphics engine doesn't have any problems keeping up. The artwork is excellent overall, and it captures the kid's imagination.
Music found in Poképark 2: Wonders Beyond is catchy, and reminds me of a Super Mario soundtrack. There's a lot of orchestra work mixed in with pop beats. I was happy there weren't too many endless loops to drive you insane, though if you stay in one area long enough there's still a chance of that happening.
I absolutely despise the character voices. I find no humor in the characters repeating their names as they talk to you. My daughters on the other hand think it's hilarious and "soooooo cute!"
If all of this sounds a bit too childish to you, it's because it is. PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond is without a doubt a game with young children in mind. Personally, I would recommend this game for anyone between the ages of 8 and 12. The simple dialog will assist any youngsters having troubles with their reading skills, and help boost their confidence along the way. The colorful scenes, cute Pokémon, and easy gameplay also helps to create an ultra kid friendly package.
Still, once they play through the game there's not much else to do. With only four mini-games and four playable characters, the bulk of the Pokémon magic is nearly lost. Even so it's a great introduction for the younger children to be exposed to the world of Pokémon, but older fans would be better off steering clear.
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