Though my faith in the main series of Pokémon games has been subject to a gentle ebb and flow, my belief in their ability to entertain me no matter what the generation or title of game has remained pretty much constant. My consistently positive feelings towards Pokémon tend not to extend beyond the core series, however, with the very mention of spin-offs almost sending a sickening shudder down the length of my spine, since a spin-off inevitably means the altering, “enhancing”, or indeed butchering of the main-game style of play. Pokémon Conquest just didn’t do it for me and Pokémon Snap was a laughable offering. Pokémon Dream Radar on the other hand is cheaply-priced application for the Nintendo 3DS that promises augmentation in both the context of virtual reality and the gameplay of Pokémon Black and White Version 2; an evaluation of its merits and pitfalls shall follow.
I Dreamed a Dream
The game uses the power of augmented reality to bring you some Pokémon hunting action, with one Professor Burnet showing you the ropes of the ‘interdream zone’ where Pokémon like to occasionally hang out and make things difficult for you by being unnecessarily evasive. Using your 3DS as the viewfinder, you simply have to wave it around to locate dream clouds that appear to be situated around the room you’re in (with the help of the 3DS’s camera), which a majority of the time release dream orbs (the game’s currency) and very occasionally a Pokémon that is ripe for capture. Making the Pokémon your property is as easy as keeping your sights trained on the creature in question and repeatedly pressing ‘A’ until the indicator bar at the top of the screen is full.
If you look closely, you’ll just be able to make out an elusive Pokémon
Upgrades can be purchased with your dream orbs that enhance your catching capabilities by lengthening the time you are able to spend playing each mission, improving the efficacy of the beam used to shoot everything, and raising the maximum number of dream clouds that appear in any given mission. The main setback here is that you must wait quite a long time for the dream clouds to regenerate after each mission, which is no doubt a purposeful restraint to stop players from blasting through the game in fifteen minutes flat.
Not Quite a Nightmare
When it comes down to it, Pokémon Dream Radar is simply a tool for issuing you with some extra Pokémon in return for the investment of your time, effort, and £2.49 (or even more money if you wish to purchase ‘play coins’ to speed up the regeneration of clouds). The investment is quite worthwhile since you get to encounter Pokémon such as Riolu, Siglyph, Spiritomb, and the legendary Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus. It’s not comprehensive enough to stand alone as a separate title, but it offers more enhancement to you Pokémon Black 2/White 2 experience than Pokédex 3D Pro which is priced at £13.49. If you own Black or White Version 2 and you want to spice up your Pokémon team, I suggest you grab this game and blast your way to some superior Pokémon.