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Pokemon Pearl (DS) artwork

Pokemon Pearl (DS) review


"Since the beginning of mankind, anyone who has told a story, has furthered the idea of the Hero. In the 1940's, Joseph Campbell wrote a book called "The Hero with a Thousand Faces", in which Joseph claims every story has already been told and it is necessary to continue to retell these stories. He went on to detail the Hero's Journey and the Characters who accompany the hero. So we are telling the exact same story as our ancient ancestors. Campbell's book his inspired one of his best friends to ..."



Since the beginning of mankind, anyone who has told a story, has furthered the idea of the Hero. In the 1940's, Joseph Campbell wrote a book called "The Hero with a Thousand Faces", in which Joseph claims every story has already been told and it is necessary to continue to retell these stories. He went on to detail the Hero's Journey and the Characters who accompany the hero. So we are telling the exact same story as our ancient ancestors. Campbell's book his inspired one of his best friends to create a little film called "Star Wars"; maybe you've heard of it before? While I won't shove Campbell's opinions down your throat or insist that you accept them as factual, his ideas do provide a sobering level of inspiration for writers stuck in the belief that they must create something entirely new to prove themselves competent. Over the last decade each reiteration of the Pokemon games have taken us on unique and fantastical journeys, each mildly more involving than the last. With the induction of Diamond and Pearl into the series, gamers are given their fair share of Adventure, taking

Sometimes people forget that Video Games can be as viable as a good novel or oral story, in the sense that good storytelling transcends the medium which it is presented for the story of the hero as the oral or written story. Pokemon Pearl was the first game within the franchise to illuminate the Dual Screens of Nintendo's latest portable. Little has changed in the Fourth Generation of Pokemon titles, yet the story remains involving. We follow the Main Character as he tours the region of Sinnoah, delving into various asides which feature just as much content as some DS games have in their entirety. This includes a small-scale gambling organization, a beauty contest which allows for dancing, acting, and fashion modeling. This may not sound as though it's right up your ally but there is something for everyone.

Pokemon Pearl is perhaps one of the most open-ended linear Role Playing Games. The main character never speaks. We learn about him through everything the hundreds of other characters discuss, making us feel as though these characters are talking to us, rather than our character. There is an endless amount of control alloted to the formation of a Pokemon team, including countless items and TMs/HMs. There are two types of "Machines" in Pokemon games. There are the Technical Machines (TMs), which can be bought from PokeMarts throughout the game and can later be forgotten for another move. Then there are the Hidden Machines (HMs), which are scattered throughout the game and often times their location is hinted by the character's you'll meet, or a character will give you an HM. They creates a permanent slot on a Pokemon's move-set, allowing for usage inside of and outside of battle. There aren't too many of these, but the concept has grown a little sour. Having at least one of each HM assigned to a member in your six-Pokemon party means that you won't really have any flexibility to choose whatever TM's you'd like. This is a rather frustrating dilemma when you have no use for one of the HMs but progression in the game requires you to give some throwaway-move to the only Pokemon you've caught which can learn it. 99% of the time, this is obviously going to be the Pokemon which you want to keep the moves on. It really does put a damper on otherwise excellent team developing dynamics.

The online features are enough to pull anyone in who was still on the boarder. With the addition of 2-on-2 battles, there's depth in the multi-player. Players can trade caught Pokemon over Wi-Fi as well, seeking creatures they want, shedding the excess. The ever-increasing number of Pokemon gives people renewed reason to use the trading system. Underground exploration has also been implemented, albeit in a rater shoddy manner, as though it were a last thought just so the Touch Screen could be used exclusively for something. Most outdoor locations in the game have their underground counterparts in which bases can be built, traps can be sent, and you can interact with friends. This alone would've made for an average game that most of us would've spent money on. Makes me wonder if Pokemon Dash!, Pokemon Trozei, Pokemon Ranger, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, and the endless list of other Pokemon spin-offs were just commercial demographic tests, to see what people were looking for, in today's market.

Whatever the key to their success, Nintendo's partnership with Game Freaks has proven fruitful once again. You are Pokemon's target audience. What will appeal to you, you ask? Beauty contests are available for the female or rather metro-sexual crowd. The game is stock-full of trainer battles. There's dungeon crawling for miles. The adventure is quite robust and can even be continued on for some time after the ending. There's Wi-Fi player for people with friends; and there's the ability to trade-in from your old games for those without. Pearl signifies one of if not the greatest achievement in handheld role playing games. Providing some of the most varied gameplay possible, everything in the game keeps on subject. The experience is a memorable and poignantly lively one.

Pokemon Pearl is going to be a hard act to follow. For the first time, the game has taken huge leaps, rater than improving itself in mild increments. While the in-game buildings have taken on a 3D transformation and the colours have sprung into lively blend, this is the first entry in the series since the original which has felt more like a new game entirely, rather than some sort of re-packaged expansion pack. Whatever Game Freaks do, as long as they primarily stick to the story of the hero, the story their customer has been under the spell of for a decade, their product will be amazing. Every great story must be retold, because for every great story, there is demand for another.

Rating: 10/10

Calvin's avatar
Community review by Calvin (June 19, 2007)

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