|System: Wii (WiiWare)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Nintendo||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Nintendo||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: June 9, 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|
My Pokémon Ranch is a great tool to assist people who have Pokémon Diamond or Pokémon Pearl and have not completed their post-game Pokédex. But it is very important to realize, before you even consider plunking down 1000 Wii Points for this title, that this is not a game. There is no story, no overreaching objective, and no real beginning or end. So, what exactly is this "game" good for?
As soon as you start the game up, you are introduced to Hayley, who is a is a very nice girl starting a Pokémon ranch. She has six Pokémon of her own to contribute to your budding ranch, but it will be up to you to level up the Pokémon ranch by adding Pokémon. You can add Pokémon one of two ways: either by transferring your hard-earned Pokémon from Diamond or Pearl, or by waiting while Hayley supplies you with one Pokémon per day. Your first upgrade comes when you have twenty Pokémon in your ranch, so if you're waiting around for Hayley, then you've got two weeks of logging on daily before you can get that much needed upgrade. From then on, upgrades will become pretty regular with the most substantial ones coming at the fifty, one hundred, and five hundred marks.
As I said before, My Pokémon Ranch is not really a game. But the most game-like facet it has is the little upgrades that come from putting more Pokémon in your ranch. When you have your first six Pokémon, there is quite literally nothing you can do with your Pokémon besides taking a picture. You can't move the camera or your character, you can only watch the action on the automated camera. This isn't so bad at first, simply because the Pokémon are so cute, and you can import your Mii and watch them interact with the different Pokémon. However, after a few minutes it seems like nothing more than a screensaver and gets insanely boring.
Luckily, these ranch updates give you the ability to move around your ever-expanding ranch and zoom in on your favorite Pokémon. You still can't control anything directly, but you soon gain the ability to pick up Miis and Pokémon as well as mark some Pokémon as favorites, so you can quickly zoom in on them and see what they are doing. As you progress and gather more Pokémon, your ranch residents will also learn how to do special parades. These parades happen randomly and can include everything from Unown spelling out a keyboard to Pokémon assembling into a giant clock.
As you level up, you will also be able to unlock little toys for your Pokémon to play and interact with. Some, like balloons and Poké Flags, are pretty useless, and Pokémon will just randomly pick these up and then put them right down. However, toys like the microphone, which lets Pokémon step up and sing, or the cannon, which fires Pokémon across the ranch are pretty cool, and watching the Pokémon interact with them can actually be a little bit fun. But, because there is no way to really control the interaction between the Pokémon and the toys, watching even the most interesting interactions gets stale after a while.