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Pokemon Play It v2 (PC) artwork

Pokemon Play It v2 (PC) review

"As you remove your opponent's card from play and place it in his or her discard pile, you feel invincible. You place your hand next to your overturned prize card. Holding your breath, you flip over the card, and it's a Charizard! Now you can evolve your Pokemon and defeat your opponent once and for all! "

As you remove your opponent's card from play and place it in his or her discard pile, you feel invincible. You place your hand next to your overturned prize card. Holding your breath, you flip over the card, and it's a Charizard! Now you can evolve your Pokemon and defeat your opponent once and for all!

The Pokemon Trading Card game is one of the most popular trading card games ever, and has spawned three different Pokemon games based on the card game itself. Pokemon Play it! v2 is the sequel to Pokemon Play it! and it is stuffed with so many extra features that the game will last you hours, even after you complete the main adventure. To progress through the game, you must take charge of a deck of cards and defeat Julie, the computer player who also teaches you how to play at the beginning of the game. With each battle, you are given a specific deck of cards, sometimes giving you an advantage, and sometimes making the battle harder for you to triumph in.

In the Pokemon Trading Card game, you place one card into the 'arena' and your opponent does the same. Then you can place back up Pokemon in an area called the bench. If your monster gains too much damage, you can swap it with one in the bench and use that Pokemon against your opponent instead. Each different monster uses attacks to remove health from the opposing Pokemon and these attacks are powers by energy cards. You attach energy cards to the Pokemon you wish to attack, and sometimes attacks require many. There is a strategy element involved too, as you can only play one energy card per turn and some attacks are less effective against certain types than others. Each attack is accompanied by a small animation. When you use 'Splash', a shower of rain falls on the opposing creature, and when you use 'Rock throw', a landslide bombards the defending Pokemon with rock after rock. Such a feature is cleverly utilised and the animations are neither too long or irritating.

After successfully completing the three training battles, the real adventure begins and you no longer are offered any additional help from Julie. There are over ten different battles for you to play and each one is unlocked by winning the previous one. To extend replay value, each battle can be fought any number of times after being won, so you can return and play with your favourite deck again later.

There have been no elements from the original card game excluded from this game, so you get to play with all of the first 150 Pokemon and all of the other cards available. You can even access a checklist of all the cards which can be printed. Using this, you can keep track of all those you've collected. There is also a deck builder feature. You can access all the cards from the game and build your own custom deck from them. This can be saved and also printed. The feature can be used in conjunction with the checklist so you can pick cards from the ones in your own collection.

If you didn't think that Julie's tips were good enough to help you with the rules, you can access an entire rulebook in Adobe PDF format for easy printing and browsing. To cap off an already packed disc, you can take a Pokemon quiz, and getting all of the answers correct will allow you to print off a special certificate.

In the main portion of the game itself, all of the virtual cards look exactly as they do in the real set, so those familiar with the game will recognise all of them without looking too closely. All of the backgrounds are of decent quality. They don't distract you from the action like some backgrounds do and this is a definitive plus for the game.

Compared to the original Pokemon Play It! and indeed to the Pokemon Trading Card Game for the Gameboy Colour, this game is the most accurate simulation of the Pokemon Trading Card game. All the cards are carbon copies, the animation and sound is pleasant, and the overall look of the game is soft and encouraging. If you see this anywhere, make sure you pick it up, because, Pokemon fan or not, you will enjoy it.

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Community review by bodo_parkour (July 09, 2007)

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