don't think that anything signals the death of the
GameCube more wholeheartedly than Pokemon XD: Gale
of Darkness. Not only is this game a rip-off of Colosseum
but it's available as part of a bundle which includes
the GameCube itself for less price than the GBA.
under a hundred bucks you can now own a GameCube as
well as Pokemon XD but before you run out of the house
in your dirty underwear you should realize that this
next-gen console is in its death throes. There won't
be too many new games made exclusively for this system
and if Pokemon XD is any example, there won't be too
many new games made exclusively for this system -
including this one. Unless you count games that were
already made for this system that are just being imitated.
similarities between XD and Colosseum are ridiculous.
You couldn't even call this an expansion pack. It's
more like a parasite. It uses some of the same arenas,
backgrounds and characters not to mention the same
gameplay. It has been upgraded and there are some
new additions such as the new title character but
it's like giving different names to Cosby's Fat Albert
gang. It's still the same old, lame gang. I hope you
didn't see the movie. Consider that a bonus tip.
so many Pokemon games you wander around looking to
get into fights. In this game you can win Pokemon
as opposed to having to find them in the wild and
train them as you do in the GBA versions. You can
bait wild ones and you will be alerted to their presence
but you have to fight them and win before you can
add them to your collection.
Pokemon are purified in battle where they are cleansed
and can eventually be snagged into your stable of
pocket monsters. The shadow Pokemon have their hearts
closed so they are aggressive towards trainers. There
are a few different ways to purify them including
a purification station which requires that you surround
the Pokemon with at least four regular ones. They
will interact depending on their various strengths
and weaknesses. It's a tedious process but once you
get a lot of them you're off to the races.
story chronicles the adventures of a young trainer
named Michael that must save the world by cleansing
all of the shadow Pokemon that were hijacked by an
evil organization bent on world domination. The premise
is as about as original as the gameplay.
are games that I review that I don't even want to
finish. This was one of them. It's a wonder I eventually
made it through considering how boring and laborious
the first few hours are as you are introduced to Michael
and his back history. It's not that the game is so
great afterwards but it seems that way since you have
to suffer through all these cutscenes and details.
The combat also gets a little tiring as you have to
do battle after battle to get anywhere. Fortunately
there are a few puzzles and mini-games to break up
the monotony. Even the new characters aren't that
big of a deal. There is hardly anything unique. It's
clearly evident that the Pokemon series is running
out of ideas.
Colosseum, the multi-player modes are the best features
in this game but there's nothing we haven't seen.
You can play against another person in the Verses
mode or go up against another three players where
you can import Pokemon from GBA games such as Ruby
and Sapphire with the Link cable. Characters that
have been leveled-up to extremely high levels can
expect long, drawn out battles that aren't as exciting
as the short and sweet fights.
will admit that the game has been improved graphically.
There is a little more depth and detail to the characters
and environments with good shading techniques and
fluid particle effects. The sound effects are as sparse
as the Pokemons' utterances which are reduced to whines
and grunts. The music is catchy and a lot less cutesy
than it was on the GBA.
still think that the best way to play Pokemon is on
the GBA. It's home turf. The GameCube only serves
to illustrate how basic the gameplay really is. It
just doesn't translate well onto a more powerful system.
Much of the problem is that the developers don't know
what else to do with all the left over processing
power. The game of blackjack has its perfect medium
with a deck of cards and Pokemon has the GBA. Sometimes
things are just best left alone.