Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia Review
Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: HAL Labs 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Nintendo 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 10, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

The visual style of Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia is very nice and is reminiscent of most other Pokémon titles for the DS. All the characters have a sprite-based structure and have an anime-stylized look. As mentioned before, the environments all look great and the game is a pleasure to look at, despite not having the most technically impressing graphics.

Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia screenshot

Control in this game is exclusively stylus-based, and you are able to select menus, Pokémon, and move your character around with just a tap on the touch screen. However, if you really hate using the stylus, you can pull up menus and move around using the D-pad and shoulder buttons, but you will have to use the stylus eventually to befriend the different Pokémon, which can result in the dreaded stylus and button shuffle that has plagued so many other DS titles. But no matter which way you decide to control this game, it works very well.

The sound in this title is also reminiscent of other Pokémon games, and features a cute little background score as well as some retro-inspired sound effects. Although the different Pokémon noises do sound a lot different than the cutesy Pokémon sounds in the anime, those who are familiar with the Pokémon series of games will undoubtedly appreciate the unchanged sound effects.

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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.

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Staff Contributor

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
3.7
Graphics
Graphics are on-par with other Pokémon titles and feature the same sprite-based characters and Pokémon.
3.9
Control
Controls are exclusively stylus-based and work very well.
3.9
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The background music is very cute, and while the Pokémon noises are still a little bit on the crude side, they still have some retro charm.
3.0

Play Value
There’s plenty to explore in the main story mode, but the repetitive nature of the missions really makes this title a chore to play for any substantial length of time.

3.4
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • This is the first game in the Pokémon Ranger series to feature Pokémon from Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl.
  • Your journey to become a Top Ranger takes you to the new region of Almia. This game has a larger world, more missions, more adventure, and more to do than the previous Pokémon Ranger game.
  • Now you can partner with a variety of different Pokémon of each type to complete Missions—giving you many options on how to approach different challenges.
  • Pokémon Ranger is a unique action-adventure series that features a fun, different way to capture Pokémon with the Nintendo DS stylus, which controls an item called the Capture Styler in the game.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia screenshot - click to enlarge Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia screenshot - click to enlarge Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia screenshot - click to enlarge Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia screenshot - click to enlarge Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia screenshot - click to enlarge Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia screenshot - click to enlarge Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia screenshot - click to enlarge Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia screenshot - click to enlarge Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia screenshot - click to enlarge Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia screenshot - click to enlarge Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia screenshot - click to enlarge Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia screenshot - click to enlarge

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