Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs review
An Authentic and Fresh Plot for the Legend of Pokemon
1. Completely New Pokemon Region – Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, Ti, La
2. Incorporates Pokemon from Previous Games
3. Exciting and Astounding Storyline
4. Original Characters, Teams, and Rivals
5. Fitting Graphics for the DS Portable
6. Plenty of Interesting Features – Guardian Signs, Control Gauntlet, Pokemon Styler, etc.
7. Missions and Quests
8. Music Consistent With Original Pokemon Games but Vastly Different Tones, Sounds, and Rhythms
9. Introduction Details to Game – Release Date, Developer, Publisher, etc.
1. Could Have Been More Challenging
2. There Is No Pokemon Storage System
3. Styler Modification System Should Have Called For Less Ranger Points for Styler Updates
The Pokemon Franchise started with a two-decisional game played on one of the very first portable systems introduced by Nintendo, the Gameboy. Nearly ten years after the popular monopoly of games was released a completely new three-dimensional game has arrived in the gaming world. Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs has surpassed the two-dimensional, retro Pokemon games, from the past, adding in tons of new features from an incorporation of a three-dimensional perspective to missions, quests, and much, much more. Guardian Signs is the third platform in the Pokemon Ranger series, the side series to the Pokemon games. The Nintendo Company has published and Creatures Inc. has developed the game. Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs was released on October 4, 2010.
Every Pokemon game in the series obviously has a storyline. What would Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs be without a storyline, it wouldn’t be a game deserving to be part of the Pokémon series. Guardian Signs has one of the most original and unique storylines I have ever experienced throughout my adventures as a player of the Pokémon games. Reminiscent of other Pokémon games, Guardian Signs has a storyline with two sides battling against each other, good and bad. Obviously, with experience from other games in the series, you will play part of the good side, known as a Pokemon Ranger. The Pokemon Ranger begins his quest faced against the bad side, the Pokemon Pinchers. The Pokemon Pinchers have a goal of “pinching” Pokémon-stealing them-from Oblivia which is a completely new Pokémon region in the series. As a Pokemon Ranger you must team up with several of the villagers and natives of Oblivia to take back the Pokémon that have been pocketed by the Pinchers. Pokemon Pinchers use a Control Gauntlet to try and control the mindset of a Pokémon and capture it as their own. You will use your only weapon against theirs, the Capture Styler, to recapture stolen Pokémon. The capture styler is a gadget used to make Pokémon friendly and trusting to the one using the capture styler on them. The story of saving Oblivia is a fresh take to the Pokemon series leaving out the features of catching Pokémon with poke balls and battling against others. The type of battles, in Guardian Signs, is a good deal different from the type played in the Pokemon series. Use your capture styler to un-pinch Pokémon from those disgraceful Pinchers, save Oblivia, and ultimately bring peace back to a region under distress. Ranger, can you complete the storyline and defeat the ultimate enemy?
Oblivia is the region where Rangers and Pinchers will compete to win the grand battle of ether saving or stealing Pokémon. Oblivion is a massive area filled with islands full of Pokémon. There are seven different regions of Oblivia and something very unique about them is that the first two syllables in each of their names are as follows: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So, Ti, La. Sounds like music notes to me. Different types of Pokémon are found among each of the seven regions of Oblivia. Guardian Signs incorporates all different types of Pokémon several from each Pokémon series, such as Pikachu and Charmander from series one, Marill from series two, and Chimchar from series three. These aren’t the only Pokémon though; they are just examples of Pokémon from each of the series that will play part in Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs.
The new region wouldn’t be as awe-inspiring as it is without its many different natives and villagers. There are plenty of main characters, teams, and rivals to meet in Guardian Signs. As a Ranger one of the first important and main characters to the story that you will meet is Booker. He is a hardworking man, a craftsman, and created The Union, a ship used as the main quarters for the Pokemon Rangers. Later on in the quest, you will meet the evil and devious Pokemon Pinchers and their leader, Blue Eyes. Along the way, many other important characters will show their faces to ether help or try and stop you on your adventure to save Oblivia.
The main goal of Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs is to save Oblivia from the destruction of the Pokemon Pinchers. Along your travels you will complete major events called missions which mark different points in your adventure. Within these missions are quests. Quests are like mini-missions asked by villagers who need help. Completing missions and quests will allow the ranger to gain ranger points which will be used to update your Capture Styler. As you play the game you will notice a supreme different among the graphics of the game compared to other Pokémon games in the series. Guardian Signs uses a bird’s eye view of the game from a top-down perspective; such as, picture yourself flying through the sky and then looking down at the ground below, this is similar the play of the game. Three-dimensional perspectives are visible throughout many parts of the game while a few two-dimensional perspectives are shown when viewing the Pokemon Browser, a feature that shows how many Pokémon a Ranger has encountered. Landscapes are vibrant with color and very detailed, waves are shown rising and falling from beaches, and seasonal changes such as rain and snow are viewable among gameplay. Overall, the incorporation of a 3D and 2D look in the game is perfect for the specific platform it is played on, the Nintendo DS.
There are different types of melodies and rhythms when entering and exiting different routes and regions of Oblivia. Each type of music is different from the next. Some melodies are the same in some aspects but with a bit of a change. A brighter, sunny-day kind of melody can be heard in sequence with that time of day, along with a darker, spooky kind of melody for entering caves or haunted houses. In conclusion each specific type of music heard along the adventure in Oblivia is in succession with each area that is visited. Hardcore Pokémon fans will also notice a similar tune to the older Pokémon games in Guardian Signs with just a bit of a different melody added for an original sound.
Throughout the gameplay of Guardian Signs, Rangers start with a simplistic Capture Styler and move on to many different Pokémon features; such as, guardian signs, quest list, and much more. Guardian Signs are acquired along the adventure and can be used, using the stylus, to call upon Pokémon specific to the sign drawn. These guardians are usually legendary Pokémon but some can even be common Pokémon. A Ranger must use a Capture Styler to capture Pokémon. Doing so can make a Pokémon friendly, make them happy, make them trusting. Use the Capture Styler by holding the stylus and moving it in circles around a Pokémon to capture them. It sounds easy and at first it is, but as the game closes in to the climax capturing Pokémon can become a greater task. Can you become the ultimate Ranger and capture them all?
Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs was the very first Pokemon Ranger game that I had ever played. I was completely new to this type of Pokemon game. I learned quickly how to play and with the appealing graphics, comforting music, quality characters, and beautiful Oblivia. I really have nothing to say when it comes to bad aspects of the game. There are a few quirks that I believe could have been thought out a bit more but what I’m going to go on about below I would not consider bad qualities in the game.
Guardian Signs was a very easy game to beat in my opinion. I’m much older than the age category that the game strives for so this could play a part. For the age that I am I would have preferred more of a challenge but overall I enjoyed the game in every way. It may not have lasted too long but it was simply short, sweet, and to the point. I applaud this quality of the game for it’s something you cannot find in many games of this era. Video games these days usually take hours after hours to complete. Guardian Signs, with much hard work, was defeated within a matter of days, something I find appealing and it keeps the game from becoming tiresome and boring.
I’ve been a fan to the Pokemon series since the very first few games released. I’m so used to a Pokemon Storage system-a system to store Pokémon you have caught-that it was somewhat disappointing to discover there was none in Guardian Signs. For the game to be consistent to its storyline I can understand why there was no storage system but if there were to be I would have been even more pleased.
There was one difficult feature that I discovered along my adventure in Oblivia. Obtaining Ranger Points wasn’t difficult but the amount to be used to upgrade the Capture Styler was a bit out of wacked. Some features to be upgraded would cost more than 100-200 ranger points when missions only gave 50 points and questions 10-15. If the cost of upgrading the styler was to be lowered the game may have been a bit more enjoyable but that’s just my opinion. One thing to consider though, if this was to come true, the game may have been too easy in all perspectives making it less enjoyable.
Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs had so many different features and aspects that differed from Pokemon games from the storyline-Blue, Crystal, Pearl, etc-but was such a new look on the series that it just opened my heart even more to Pokemon in general. I would recommend Guardian Signs for any Pokemon Fan who has never played a Pokemon Ranger game. It was my first of the side series and it won’t be my last. I had one of the most amazing adventures in Oblivia and cannot wait for what new and exciting, possibly troublesome situations that the Pokemon Rangers will unite with.
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