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E3 Impression

Pokemon Ranger

05.13.2006

ALICIA STOTT
NEWS REPORTER
MIKEL TIDWELL
E3 CORRESPONDANT

SCREENSHOT
A ring of fire.

Pokemon Ranger is the latest title in the Pokemon series, this time for the Nintendo DS. The story starts out with my character entering a lab. A lady introduces herself and congratulates me on becoming a full Pokemon Ranger. She then asks me if I know how to capture Pokemon. I did not, so I was shown how.

In this game, the pokemon appears on the touch screen. In order to capture the pokemon, I had to draw a circle around it using the stylus. After each circle, a number would appear above the pokemon. If it was blue, then I had to continue drawing circles. If it was red, then the pokemon was captured, and the stylus could be lifted. While circling, the pokemon can attack the stylus or the circle. If the attack breaks the circle, then the pokemon breaks free and the stylus loses HP. If its HP reaches zero, the game is over.

After the explanation, I was given the task of escorting the professor to his lab. Of course, he lived on the other side of a forest full of pokemon. I tried to capture every single pokemon I encountered. The list included a Zigzagoon, Torchic, Pichu, and Pikachu. Only the Pikachu gave much resistance to being captured. Once captured, the pokemon followed behind the professor and I as we traversed the forest.

SCREENSHOT
Treterous territory.

On the way, one of the paths was blocked by a bail of hay. The game showed how we could use our captured pokemon to clear obstacles. The example showed Mudkip using water abilities to put out a burning tree. In order to use a pokemonís abilities, I had to draw a line from the pokemon to the obstacle. I drew a line from Torchic to the bail of hay, and it burned away without leaving a trace.

I had almost reached the end of the forest when I came upon an angry Rhydon. The professor helpfully explained that capturing pokemon made them calmer, so I should get to capturing it right away. While most of the roaming pokemon required only two or three loops, the Rhydon required seven. I decided to use one of my pre-captured pokemon to assist me. Tapping the bottom right corner, I called up a grass pokemon. It created patches of long grass to slow the Rhydon so I could successfully encircle it.

Thus, the professor was safely escorted to his lab, and the demo ended. I think the game is a different twist for the Pokemon series. I cringe to think about how hard it would be to catch a legendary pokemon, but other than that, itís a solid concept for using the DS technology.


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Console:
· Nintendo DS

Release:
· TBA

Publisher:
· Nintendo

Developer:
· Game Freaks


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