|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|
However, these features still don't add much more interactivity to this title. The most fun people will probably get from My Pokémon Ranch will be for those who use Pokémon Diamond or Pearl to transport Pokémon. After you make your first transfer, rancher Hayley will be able to peer into your Pokédex and see what Pokémon you are missing. She'll then put up wanted posters for these Pokémon with specific information on how to catch them. If Hayley is feeling extra generous, she might even trade you a Pokémon missing from your Pokédex. Of course, if you've already completed your Pokémon Diamond or Pearl Pokédex, then you won't even be able to use this feature, and you'll only be able to observe the Pokémon you've already transferred.
Other than the wanted feature, the picture feature adds the most depth to this title. However, there aren't any photography goals, and the only real use for these pictures is to show your Pokémon to your family and friends. You can also save them to an external SD card if you can't get enough of Pokémon photography, but since there's no real point, I can't imagine really loading up your memory with photos. It would probably be more interesting to download Pokémon snap from the Virtual Console if you're that into Pokémon pictures.
Graphics in this title are amazingly cute. The Pokémon that you import are transformed from their usual style into a super-deformed "chibi" style. This often has some hilarious results, especially when you transfer large Pokémon like Dialga or Lugia. But, even though the Pokémon here get major points for being cute, this title definitely falls flat on a technical level. The graphics are reminiscent of last gen and could even pass for Nintendo 64 graphics. Textures are extremely repetitive, and some of the lines are a little awkward, especially on fences and land plots. While you may not notice these technical issues at first, as you play the game you notice them more frequently. The game may be a downloadable title, but because the game space is so small (you never really see anything beyond the ranch, which never becomes that big), there is no excuse for why this game couldn't have been given another coat of polish.
Sound in My Pokémon Ranch is not bad and consists of some cheerful tunes as well as the occasional Pokémon sound effect. The music is pretty cute, but it can get quite repetitive if you are doing some marathon Pokémon ranching. Luckily, Nintendo foresaw this and included a music mute button that allows you to revel in all the Pokémon sound effects with no note of the tunes.
Overall, if you have Pokémon Diamond or Pearl and have not completed your Pokédex, then My Pokémon Ranch is a great way to extend your gameplay experience. But, if you don't have either of these titles, or you have completed your Pokémon Diamond or Pearl Pokédex, there is really no reason to own My Pokémon Ranch. Unless, you just like looking at your Pokémon run around on a big screen. Even then, I'm not sure if it is worth 1000 Wii Points, especially when there are so many more interesting and interactive games out there.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer