Thursday, December 06, 2012

PokePark 2 - Wonders Beyond

You'll enjoy your walk in the PokePark.
Review By KeyBlade999

PokePark 2: Wonders Beyond is the most recent entry in the set of PokePark games, which only number two, actually. As can be expected, the game is more than a little different from the mainstream Pokemon games ... but so what? Sometimes, a little change is more effective and better than the norm, right?

In this game, it quite well is. Featuring a battle system unlike almost any other Pokemon game, and the ability to actually become friends with Pokemon, PokePark 2: Wonders Beyond is a nice way to spend your time. But is it really? I think so.

STORY: The story begins in a world that is not our own. Reshiram and Zekrom, the legendary Dragon-type Pokemon of Pokemon Black and White, are discussing how the world is about to end. They think there is little they can do by themselves, then they suddenly see a light in the distance. Could this be their glimmer of hope...?

In PokePark, Pikachu (you) meets up with your dear friend, Piplup. You decide to go to the beach and, there, meet up with a group of Pokemon speaking of the legendary Wish Park. Apparently, someone has set it up to where you can get in for a small fee. Going there, though, soon makes it apparent that something has gone wrong.

But what? Pokemon in Wish Park are trying to hypnotize Pokemon from PokePark to come live in Wish Park forever. At this rate, PokePark will soon be devoid of residents.

You and Piplup decide to right the wrongs set in course here. As you try to leave, taking a friend from the beach, Oshawott, with you, only you and Oshawott escape successfully. In PokePark, the two of you plan to finish these evils.

But this vow takes you on a journey like you could have never imagined. From the coasts to the mountains, forests to industrial factories, you'll go on an epic journey, meet many friends, and face a destiny like no one else...

GRAPHICS: I'm not real good at describing the graphics of a game, so bear with me. Unlike almost every other Pokemon game in existence, PokePark 2: Wonders Beyond features 3D graphics, although I doubt they are real 3D like you would find on a 3D television. They are high-quality graphics -- some of the best I've ever seen on a Wii game, in fact, and by far the best I've ever seen in a Pokemon game.

The colors are very vibrant and beautiful. Each Pokemon has been colored and textured to the utmost accuracy with the game and anime. I know that doesn't really sound like much, but you'll simply have to trust me when I say that the graphics are amazing.

SOUND: As with graphics, I am not good at describing sound and music. As before, bear with me. When I first started playing this game, I'll be the first to admit that I was astonished. In the anime, as you may know, Pokemon essentially "talk" by, to humans, saying their names. Well, in many Pokemon games -- the mainstream games included -- Pokemon make noises with random static sound, essentially.

In this game, though, Pokemon do the whole anime "talking" thing. It was a nice touch I would sorely wish to see in future mainstream Pokemon games. The sound and music in general do sound pretty good; it is nice to see how each individual area almost always has its own theme to it. 

Few games do have sound this good, though, again, some improvements could be made. All you really get to hear are Pokemon cries, background music, and the sound when you hit something. You don't get to hear the sound of the waves crashing on the beach, or the wind rustling through the trees. Granted, I don't think any Pokemon game does that. But it is hard to deny that if Nintendo did what they've already done here, they could have gone a lot farther. But, again, the sound is great.

PLAY TIME: When I first played through this game, I was writing an FAQ for it at the same time. Over the course of three days, I beat it in a somewhat completionist manner. Not completely "go find and do everything" completionist, but I got a fair amount of things.

Note that, by the comment of that I beat it in three days, all I did over those three days was play the game. If I wasn't so focused on it, I could have likely taken much longer. I'd expect someone to finish it in one to three weeks with no problem, so long as you aren't an obsessive gamer like me. Time-wise, my file says now that I've finished that I played about sixteen hours on a semi-completionist playthrough of the game. I would expect twenty to twenty-five hours for a full completion of the game, if not more.

REPLAYABLE: I cannot really give a true score from experience on replayability for this game, as I haven't started a second playthrough. I can only speak from theory. This game's plot progression is very, very linear. I'll give it that much -- there is a definite start and end, and definite things you have to do at certain points. However, in-between those points, you are free to do pretty much anything you want.

There are many things you can do. You can try to level up Pokemon to make them better in future battles or other acts. You can try to make friends with many Pokemon. You can try playing the Attractions (minigames) just to while away the time. You can go on an item hunt. Admittedly, some improvisation would have to take place, but, with enough dedication, you can do it and theoretically have fun with this game, never keeping any one thing the same. Of course, there is still that fact that the game still relies on a linear storyline. In theory, I'd give this category a 7.5 out of 10. Note that this wasn't taken into account for my ending score because, after all, it's just theory.

OVERALL: And so you have it, my account of having playing PokePark 2: Wonders Beyond. To summarize this review, I will admit that I enjoyed the game rather thoroughly. It is worth renting, at least to try it out, because I doubt everyone is able to like a game like this. But, if you truly love Pokemon games, this is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a great buy. You will likely have a great time with this game.

SYSTEM: Nintendo Wii



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