by Alex Kinch
A Pokemon Game or a Pokemon App?
Pokemon Dream Radar does for the recent Pokemon Black/White 2 what the Pokewalker did for HeartGold and SoulSilver. If you\’re looking to it as a fun tool to catch free Pokémon and items for your main game of Black and White 2 then it’s perfect. If you are not a fan of Pokémon or don’t own Black and White 2 then purchasing it purely for its own sake isn\’t quite worth your while. In a sense, Pokemon Dream Radar is a new version of Face Raiders replacing the faces with Pokémon and clouds. And it’s a great way of catching the rare dream-world Pokémon which saves you from playing the patronizing games on Pokémon global link. But the real question is: how does it play?
Using the built-in cameras and the AR abilities of the 3DS you hold the handheld up and use a beam to shoot clouds which turn into orbs. These orbs can be used as a currency to upgrade your beam or unlock more levels. As these later levels involve shooting more clouds the game starts to get repetitive. Occasionally, the darker clouds, when shot, will turn into a large flashing sphere. Shoot this enough within the time limit and you will obtain an item or a Pokémon. Once a level is completed it takes about one hour for the clouds to respawn. If you are impatient you can use 5 play coins to set the amount of clouds to the maximum. The idea is to catch the new forms of Thunderus, Tornadus and Landorus, but other Pokémon can be caught as well. Only 21 Pokémon can be caught on Dream Radar so don’t expect to fill the entire Pokedex here. Anything caught or found can be transferred to your main game. On the Dream Radar menu, just select transfer and on the menu of Black/White 2, once booted up, just select receive. Anything transferred goes right into your in-game storage. Once you have caught everything you can do it all over again, beating your best time.
The 3D effect of the game is nice with good depth but when you are spinning the console around, but you can occasionally lose the “sweet spot” so it’s better if you turn the 3D down. Like Face Raiders this is best played at home, as spinning or looking around with the 3DS in public places makes people think you are a bit mad.
One of the games added benefits is that when you insert any of the older DS Pokémon titles into the 3DS you can catch certain legendary Pokémon. When caught they will have the dream world ability and can be transferred to black or white 2. Another great thing is the price. Being part of the popular Pokémon series you would expect Nintendo to put a hefty price tag but this game is only $2.99. Pokémon Dream Radars is too cheaply priced to be criticized for its similarity to Face Raiders and you can honestly get a couple of enjoyable hours out of it.
If you have a DS lite or DSi you won’t be able to get this as it is a 3DS exclusive. If you don’t yet own a 3DS this probably won’t be the game to sell you on it. In short, don\’t expect a full RPG, but if you\’re looking for a way to extend Pokemon Black/White 2 or something fun to do with the unique AR capabilities of the 3DS one weekend, then the price is right. It won\’t beat Pokémon stadium as the best Pokemon spin off but it does what its meant to do. This, combined with a copy of Black or White 2, will hold us off until we get a proper 6th-gen 3DS Pokémon adventure.