Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia Reviews (Nintendo DS)
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Official Nintendo Magazine (Nov 21, 2008)
Of course, being a Pokémon game it's ultimately about more than just the main quest. Thankfully, the metagame of six Ranger Net missions, 60 sub-quests and 270 different Pokémon to capture in your browser adds plenty of replay value, even if it does fall seriously short of Diamond/Pearl's almost limitless appeal. But then, considering that Pokémon Platinum is less than six months away over here, it's not like you want a stop-gap game like Shadows Of Almia to last forever, do you?
Jeux Vidéo Network (May 18, 2009)
Agréable et soigné, ce volet nous offre une alternative sérieuse aux épisodes plus classiques en s'appuyant sur une bonne maniabilité tactile et des fondamentaux davantage axés sur la complémentarité que sur la collection.
RPGamer (Dec 08, 2008)
Ultimately, Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia is a great follow-up to an already original blueprint. This game continues the trend of replacing all abilities, items, vehicles, and other typical RPG clutter with only Pokémon, while adding far superior level design, RPG elements, and optional quests that easily double the play time and go way beyond the credits. While the circling mechanic isn't for everybody, and the story leaves much to be desired, this is a fun and surprisingly deep title that is definitely worth a try for newcomers and even detractors of the original title.
Gameplayer (Australia) (Oct 31, 2008)
But if you are in it just to see your favourite Pocket Monsters, well, you won’t be disappointed. If there’s to be another Pokémon Ranger sequel, we’d like to see some multiplayer action introduced, but Shadows Of Almia provides enough fresh solo play for fans of the first game to snap this up without hesitation.
Gameplanet (Nov 12, 2008)
Overall, Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia is a well rounded and fun experience. Fans of the original Pokémon series may balk at the idea of temporary captures, no Elite 4, no gyms etc, but they will be missing out. The game is written nicely with a good dose of humour woven into the storyline and feels like time progresses evenly throughout. Upgrades to your catching ability are incrementally added with the passage of each mission and quest, giving Almia a real RPG feel. The game only really suffers when you focus on the same problem most Pokémon games have, it’s somewhat linear. If you don’t feel like exploring that rocky cliff-face at this time, too bad – you’ll never progress. Also, don’t expect too much from the NPC characters, they typically have one track minds, not much help.
N-Europe (Dec 06, 2008)
If you are a fan of the original Pokémon Ranger game then you’ll love this. You'll be able to jump right in and use some of the tactics learnt from the mistakes you may have made before. But even if you haven’t and are new to the series but think it's your thing, Shadows of Almia is definitely worth a look.
FOK!games (Dec 05, 2008)
Pokémon Ranger Shadows of Almia is een leuk spel dat genoeg uitdaging biedt om een hele tijd onderhoudend te blijven, maar op den duur wordt het steeds opnieuw vangen van dezelfde Pokémon wat saai. Vaak moet je een soortgelijk klusje een paar keer achter elkaar doen (bijvoorbeeld meerdere brandjes blussen) en dan is het vervelend dat je Pokémon afscheid neemt na het uitvoeren van de opdracht zodat je weer een nieuwe moet gaan vangen. Door de optionele quests en de afwisselende omgevingen blijft het spel toch leuk genoeg om door te willen blijven spelen.
GameSpot (Dec 02, 2008)
Nintendo hasn't made sweeping improvements on the original Pokemon Ranger, which is a slight disappointment given the two-year gap between entries. All told, however, the improvements do make for a more complete experience overall that provides the same invigorating mechanics introduced in the first game. With a meaty adventure that could easily take you past 25 hours, the return of downloadable side quests thanks to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, and the same core that made the original game so refreshing, Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia is a worthy addition to the series.
Da Gameboyz (2008)
While the Pokemon series of games and anime is not my preferred style, there are some cool aspects of Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia that I enjoyed. The RPG and RTS elements are a couple of things, but I really liked that I could harness the abilities and powers of the local beasties and enemies to make me stronger. It really added to my repertoire of skills and kept me battling for more. Overall the game’s graphics are passable with some very well done levels, but for the most part they are quite simple while the mediocre soundtrack and vaguely familiar sound effects also affect the game’s score. Most Pokemon fans will love the amount of missions included in Shadows of Almia, but sadly a lot of other gamers will pass over this game as it is just another Pokemon based title.
3D Juegos (Dec 22, 2008)
Pokémon Ranger: Sombras de Almia ofrece la misma mecánica de juego que su antecesor con mínimos cambios en su conjunto, aunque dando mayor profundidad al argumento y mejorando aspectos como la mecánica de captura y el uso de los Pokémon. Un spin-off que ha conseguido ofrecer un nuevo camino a la serie de juegos principal y que aunque en términos generales ofrece una experiencia de juego muy sencilla, encantará sin duda a los seguidores de Pokémon.
The Review Busters (2008)
With the little enhancements made in Shadows of Almia it is still a good game. I still prefer the regular Pokemon games; the Ranger series is just way too easy after awhile. Certain aspects of the game feel like a chore, which is why I can only recommend this to Pokemon fans. Newcomers to the series might want to hold off a little longer.
RPGamer (Jan 19, 2009)
Overall, Shadows of Almia is a huge improvement over the original game, and in many ways has created a new series that could potentially become as popular as the main line, but there is still much room for improvement. Shadows of Almia's length is more than double that of Pokémon Ranger, lasting a solid twenty hours, with many more available for those interested in completing the additional twenty quests that become available after the main storyline, or even for those who simply want to complete the Pokédex. The game is a fair bit easier than its predecessor as well, but not too easy. Although it still has its fair share of problems, Shadows of Almia is a fun game that, hopefully, marks the beginning of a new and long-lasting Pokémon series.
UOL Jogos (Dec 09, 2008)
"Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia" está mais para uma extensão do primeiro "Pokémon Ranger", de tão pouco que evoluiu. A mecânica de combate traz uma idéia interessante, mas, como martela incessantemente essa que é uma de suas únicas propostas, logo se torna cansativa e monótona. Por isso, quem jogou o primeiro game e não é nenhum grande fã de "Pokémon", não tem muitos motivos para enveredar pela continuação. Já para quem perdeu o "Pokémon Ranger" original, é melhor passar por ele e já partir para "Shadow of Almia", pois, por pouco que seja, houve melhoria na diversão. Além disso, não é preciso ter jogado o primeiro jogo para entender o enredo, que é bastante simples.
Jeuxvideo.com (Nov 20, 2008)
Trop avare de nouveautés, Nuit sur Almia décevra probablement tous ceux qui avaient déjà craqué pour Pokémon Ranger l'an dernier. Néanmoins, son univers attachant et son accessibilité lui promettent un bel avenir entre les mains des jeunes joueurs et celles des fans inconditionnels de la série.
Hooked Gamers (Nov 16, 2008)
Above all, Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia feels more like Pokémon Ranger 1.5 rather than Pokémon Ranger 2.0. The lack of improvements severely hurts the game, as does the rehash in additional missions. There is little to no improvement or variation in sound and graphics either. If you liked the original, you will probably love this, but if it wasn’t enough to win you over, Shadows of Almia probably won’t either. If you are new to the series, give the game a try and see if you like it. It is definitely not a bad game.
GameSpy (Nov 21, 2008)
If you're in the mood for a more simplistic romp through the world of Pokemon, you'll likely enjoy Shadows of Almia. Those looking for a more traditional Pokemon experience, though, might feel a bit let down. This title may lack the strategy and collection aspects of the games that inspired it, but it's still an enjoyable, if repetitive adventure. Just like its predecessor.
Pocket Gamer UK (Dec 04, 2008)
The problem with Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia then is that it's flawless apart from those flaws which are inherently part of it being a Pokemon game, especially a Pokémon Ranger game. It's not bad of course: if you love Pokémon games, it's lovely. But for the rest of us, the essential long-windedness of actually exploring Pokéworld remains as long-winded as ever, and sadly this example is no way essential.
GameFocus (Dec 20, 2008)
While older audience might find the plot and story (especially the dialogue) to be overly simplistic, predictable and childish; a younger audience will thoroughly enjoy the mystery involved. Parents will greatly appreciate the game’s overall tone and message, such as healthy competition, glowing praise for a job well done, feats deserving of reward, the positive nature of the story and dialogue and the story’s overall missions of good vs. evil. Older children and even adults may feel talked down to but not so much that they’ll feel turned off. The game makes heavy use of the stylus, so the younger crowd will find that they can keep up and play with great ease. Regardless of age, the game weakens itself with its repetitive nature. The game is best enjoyed in smaller periods as lengthy play will quickly become boring.
Cheat Code Central (2008)
Overall, I really wanted to enjoy Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, but it was really the repetitive nature of the game that weakened the overall package. I really enjoyed most of the different aspects of the game, including the cutesy story, the level design, and even the music and sound effects. But whenever I was faced with a mission, I can’t say I ever looked forward to the main “battle” mechanic, as I ended up finding it just a little too tedious to be enjoyable. To it’s credit, Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia does play well in small chunks, but if you are planning on playing for any substantial amount of time, it tends to get quite boring. This title is best suited for those who are Pokémon enthusiasts or for those who don’t mind repetitious gameplay. But for everyone else, this title is best left off of your Pokédex.
IGN (Nov 11, 2008)
I really don't want Pokemon Ranger to just become some cash in, carbon copy game series, but that's the road it's on. The developers had two years since the last game and the only thing we got was an underwater level and extra partner Pokemon. There's a lot to like in Shadows of Almia and the series could be expanded in a number of ways. If you never played as a Ranger the first time around, and are jonesing for a Manaphy, go for it. But for the Pokemon fans that already got their fix two years go, this isn't necessary. Unless you're addicted to scribbling circles like that creepy boy from The Ring, or you're some sort of hippie that only likes playing humane non-battling Pokemon games, you could probably pass on this and be just fine.
JeuxVideoPC.com (Dec 10, 2008)
Les monstres de poche se sont essayés à peu près à tout et toujours avec toujours un certain succès. Cet énième spin-off qu’est Pokémon Ranger : Nuit sur Almia ne déroge pas à la règle. Il n’apporte pas grand chose à la série originale mais réussi à ne pas la trahir, et même à offrir une aventure de bonne facture aux plus addicts. Néanmoins, force est de constater que cette suite n’apporte presque rien par rapport au volet précédent, et que les moins poképhiles d’entre vous n’y trouverons aucun intérêt. Reste un titre satisfaisant, sans défaut majeur, mais sans réel atout non plus.
Kombo.com (Dec 30, 2008)
Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia is a relatively simple game which has its charms, but may not be deep enough for some players. Children, someone new to the franchise, or even perhaps a devout Pokemon fan (which could very well also be a child) may find something to like in this title, enough to keep them hooked to the very end. Other gamers may become bored by it, though much like Solitaire on Windows, it's a competent, not un-fun way to kill some time, with a mild addictive quality to it for as long as you're playing, but not so much that you're going to put down a bigger name for it.
Eurogamer.de (Dec 17, 2008)
Ich spiele keine Pokemon-Spiele, aber vom Standpunkt des Japan-RPG-Freundes hatte ich überraschend viel Spaß mit den kleinen Biestern. Geschick, Hochleveln, ein wenig Taktik und Strategie bei der Verwaltung der Pokemons. Es ist alles vorhanden, nur trägt es nicht die gesamte Strecke. Irgendwann kommt Ihr an den Punkt, an dem Euch auffällt, dass sich hier vieles gerne und häufig wiederholt. Nehmt es am Besten als ein Spiel, das man immer wieder mal für ein Stündchen herauskramt. Als solches bringt Pokemon Ranger: Finsternis über Almia Spaß und Abwechslung in den Alltag des Monstersammlers.
NintendoWorldReport (Dec 28, 2008)
Overall, Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia is a solidly produced title, but given its close resemblance to its predecessor and the lack of more substantial or dynamic gameplay and narrative elements, its appeal will be limited mostly to those Pokémon enthusiasts eager to see the creatures from Diamond and Pearl represented elsewhere. The boss encounters prove that there can be much more to the gameplay than indiscriminate scribbling, but these are a little few and far between to hold the interest of those not enthralled by Ranger's lively take on the Pokémon world, and that's after its inordinately slow start. Nevertheless, Shadows of Almia merits consideration for those amenable to the franchise's charms who have yet to try Ranger, as the core concept is still appealing and amusing, and it certainly can last for quite a while—it just spreads its content rather thin while doing so.
Modojo (Nov 21, 2008)
Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia is an entertaining adventure and a solid pickup for fans of the series, but it feels too much like its predecessor to warrant spending $35. For that kind of money, we expect something different instead of the same old thing.
GameDaily (Nov 19, 2008)
Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia feels like an expansion to the previous game. Its graphics and audio haven't changed, still immersing the player in a bland Pokemon universe. The gameplay is pretty much the same, as you use your stylus to draw a beam around rogue Pokemon to capture them, while powering up your device by doing favors for townsfolk. Downloadable missions are available through the Wi-Fi Connection, but surprise, they work the same as before. For fans of the franchise or those trying Ranger for the first time, this is decent Poke-fun, but we needed something different to justify spending another $35.
Eurogamer.net (UK) (Dec 04, 2008)
So there are improvements over the previous entry, and Shadows of Almia is most assuredly good at what it does. It's just that what it does still isn't that exciting or memorable, and without the lure of permanently capturing your Poképals, it falls to the rather dull storyline to try and keep players engaged. With a long wait until the next proper Pokémon game, many fans may feel that's enough, but they shouldn't expect anything more than a mild distraction.
1UP (Dec 03, 2008)
Your journey to become a Master Ranger is actually lengthier than you might imagine, given the game's kiddie vibe. The main quest clocks in at just under 20 hours, but dedicated fans who want to complete all the side missions and find every Pokémon can rack up a lot more playtime. While it's nowhere near as addictive as the regular color-coded Pokémon games, Almia's still a decent diversion -- I just wish the story offered something a little deeper.
Jeuxvideo.fr (Dec 05, 2008)
Pokemon Ranger : Nuit Sur Almia est clairement destiné aux plus jeunes en se permettant d'être moins contraignant que son aîné dans la capture des Pokemon. Par contre, il nous ressert exactement le même jeu sans vraiment innover, seule l'histoire permet de se rendre compte qu'il ne s'agit pas d'une simple suite. L'expérience de cet épisode n'apportera absolument rien à tous ceux qui ont joué au premier opus, à moins bien sûr d'être un acharné de la capture de Pokemon ou un collectionneur compulsif. Le titre distille un humour bon enfant, pour ne pas dire enfantin, et l'ensemble, convenu, reste encore et toujours très naïf et plein de bons sentiments. The Pokemon Company ne s'est pas vraiment foulé et nous propose un titre bien réalisé, mais trop calqué sur le précédent et manquant cruellement d'ambition pour capturer le joueur.
Gamekult (Nov 28, 2008)
Bien que Pokémon Ranger : Nuit sur Almia ait quelque peu amélioré le principe de son prédécesseur, il ne parvient pas à faire mieux. Aussi dirigiste que le premier épisode, mais aussi moins bien rythmée et forcément un peu moins originale, cette suite ne parvient pas à faire oublier le sentiment de "déjà-joué" et peine à renouveler l'intérêt de ce spin-off. En effet, malgré l'univers coloré, la bonne durée de vie et les nombreux défis qui attendent les Pokémaniaques, les dialogues inintéressants et les allers-retours incessants auront vite fait de couper la chique à la plupart des joueurs. Sans être pour autant dénué de qualités, Pokémon Ranger 2 est un jeu qui ne convient qu'aux grands fans de la saga.
GamePro (US) (Dec 09, 2008)
To the game's credit, Shadows of Almia looks much better than it plays. From underwater levels to fire-filled volcanoes, there's always a bit of excitement in seeing what new Pokemon populate every region. Still, the charm wears off before the game ever picks up, hampered by a cookie cutter story that fails to really engage its players. Even when you're circling and taming legendary Pokemon, the gameplay remains inherently the same as it was the first hour. If you're going to pick up Shadows of Almia, just keep in mind that while it can be fun, there's nothing compelling or new enough to impress a hardcore Pokemanic.
GamesRadar (Dec 04, 2008)
Shadows of Almia is longer than the first Pokemon Ranger game, and there’s still a lot of charm here. It’s just that the game backing up that charm is too simple and too familiar for us to recommend to any but the youngest, more easily pleased of pokemaniacs.