Review – Pokémon Dream Radar
Title: Pokémon Dream Radar
Platform: 3DS (eShop)
Release Date: Out Now!
Review copy provided by: Nintendo
Pokémon Black and White Version 2 was released to massive fanfare last week with Pokémaniacs dashing out to pick up a copy in droves! Alongside the game Nintendo also released Pokémon Dream Radar on the 3DS eShop, something that is more of a supplemental app than an actual game.
Pokémon Dream Radar is an AR based game and if you’re a fan of the pre-installed software Face Raiders then you’ll feel right at home. The premise is simple, you use the 3DS camera to look around your own environment and seek out clouds that house a variety of fun things to collect. You can do this anywhere, your living room, your back garden, in a park; there’s no real limit as to where you can go out catching elusive Pokémon. Though I did look a bit of a fool doing it in line at the supermarket the other day…
Your first mission is a simple tutorial headed up by Professor Burnet, a Pokémon researcher who needs your help to find the evasive Pokémon who live in a dream world known as the Interdream Zone. The controls are incredibly simple and effective, you essentially use the gyro controls within that trusty 3DS of yours and seek out pink fluffy clouds that are scattered about. The clouds will only appear in front of you, not above you, below you or behind you, so if you were hoping to be spinning around in your living room blasting clouds from the sky you may be a little disappointed but having everything in front of you does make the game a lot more accessible, especially if you’re playing while sitting down.
Shooting clouds expels energy orbs but occasionally they also reveal a mysteriously large flashing sphere, this fast moving anomaly represents a Pokémon! Once you have one in your sights you must line up the reticule with the little tyke and fire your beam to startle it and slow it down, then it’s just a case of hammering down the beam repeatedly until an energy meter fills up and the Pokémon is yours (or at least you’ll get an item they were carrying). It sounds really easy but as the Pokémon get tougher they really don’t go down without a fight and reeling them in can become quite a tricky task. Take too long to snare them into your 3DS and they’ll get away!
Once you do capture a Pokémon its identity will be shown on screen and they’ll be sent back to the lab for safekeeping and when all the clouds are dispelled you too head back for a well-earned rest. In the lab you can upgrade your equipment using the orbs you’ve collected. These upgrades enable you to have a more powerful beam, have more time to capture Pokemon and increase the amount of clouds you can have on screen at one time. These upgrades will make your life a lot easier so are well worth attaining.
The captured Pokémon don’t just sit around as a trophy though, you can upload them to your copy of Pokémon Black and White Version 2 by simply selecting ‘Transfer’ in the ‘Send Research Data’ menu then on your copy of Black Version 2 or White Version 2 you just press ‘Unova Link’ which will deliver your newfound ‘mon into your trusty PC at the Pokémon Centre. Once on your cartridge they can be used in battle and be levelled up in the same way any other Pokémon can. This is a pretty useful feature especially considering the magnitude of some of the Pokémon you can find in Dream Radar.
Yes, three legendary Pokémon lurk within the Interdream Zone. They are Tornadus, Thundurus or Landorus and would be a welcome addition to any trainer’s party. Of course you shouldn’t expect to be finding them immediately, it’ll take a bit of time to collect the required amount of orbs and you’ll almost definitely need your equipment upgraded so make sure you nab as many of those shiny spheres as you can muster!
The game features a total of 21 Pokémon including the three legendaries but this number can bulk up to 26 should you pop in a copy of Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold or SoulSilver where five more legendaries will be available to lasso into your 3DS. That’s not a bad amount of ‘mon at all and can be very rewarding should you own a lot of other Pokémon software!
Pokémon Dream Radar is a great companion for Pokémon Black and White Version 2 however this isn’t a game you can get stuck into for some prolonged play as the clouds take time to regenerate, five minutes per cloud to be precise, so you’ll need to wait a while before playing again. This might put many people off but when thought about it does make sense as if the clouds were to regenerate immediately you would breeze through this game at a pace faster than a Ninjask with a Quick Claw! If you are particularly impatient however you can use up some of those Play Coins you’ve been hoarding to regenerate the clouds quicker.
Pokémon Dream Radar is essentially a bit of DLC for Pokémon Black and White Version 2 which isn’t necessarily a bad thing as it’s a great interactive way of earning some pretty awesome legendary Pokémon instead of just downloading them. However, it is absolutely essential that you have a copy of Pokémon Black and White Version 2 if you want to get the very most out of this game. It costs £2.69 which is a decent price for an all-round decent and fun gaming experience. It’s well worth spending the extra cash on if you have Pokémon Black and White Version 2 but if you don’t then you won’t be able to get the full experience you’ve paid for.