Pokémon Dream Radar 3DS Review
I was disappointed when Nintendo announced Pokémon Black Version 2 and White version 2 for the original DS. I understand why they did it. Most Pokémon fans have not migrated to the 3DS yet, so why spoil the chance for huge sales by limiting it to 3DS owners. Even so, it does not soften the blow. I wanted to use my new 3DS to play a new exclusive Pokémon game, and I cannot do that yet. I guess Nintendo felt like they had to do something to promote Pokémon on the 3DS and try at least keep owners of that system happy with some exclusive content, and that content is Pokémon Dream Radar, a title available on the Nintendo 3DS eShop that ties in with the latest Pokémon sequel.
There is not much of a story in Pokémon Dream Radar. Instead, the game puts players in the role of Professor Burnet’s assistant, and must help her research Pokémon that appear in the Interdream Zone, a strange place that sits between reality and dreams. The reason why the story is non-existent is because Pokémon Dream Radar feels like a mini-game rather than a fully-fledged title. It is Pokémon’s version of the 3DS software, Face Raiders, and is meant as a tool to allow fans of the game to capture Pokémon and items, and send them to their DS carts to add to Pokémon Black Version 2 and White version 2 through the Unova Link.
Gameplay is very easy to grasp. By using the 3DS and its augmented reality features, players must move and tilt the system to look around the environment (based on whatever the camera is seeing on the 3DS) to spot clouds floating in the Interdream Zone. Up to ten clouds can be present at one time, and once spotted, you must shoot them with the A button. Clouds can appear in two forms, yellow and pink, with pink exploding into Dream Orbs, which disappear after a certain period of time. If you manage to shoot them all before they vanish then more appear, and this chain reaction keeps going until you miss one. Dream Orbs act as money, allowing you to upgrade stats, such as a more powerful beam, more time to catch Pokémon, more clouds in a stage, or support items to make it easier to capture Pokémon.
The yellow clouds are special, since they are the ones that contain Pokémon to catch. Once you have revealed the Pokémon by shooting the cloud, the gameplay changes slightly, where you now have to keep the reticule aimed at the creature, while tapping A as fast as possible to drain a metre representing how much resistance it has before being caught. The Pokémon will do its best to avoid you, by flying around the level like a madman, but it is fairly easy to capture them if you have a trigger happy finger on the shoot button. Control wise, everything works flawlessly and you should not have any problems that handicap the gameplay experience. I do have a word of warning. Try not to play in white areas, as it can sometimes blend the clouds in with the background, making them a little harder to see.
Once you have exhausted the clouds, you have to wait for more clouds to generate, which seems to be one per five minutes. You can also use Play Coins to fill them back up, but this is limited to three times a day. That’s all there is, gameplay wise, but the biggest draw for Pokémon Dream Radar is the exclusive inclusion of the new Therian Formes versions for the three Legendary Pokémon, Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus. These three legendaries also come with their hidden abilities (most normal Pokémon caught do as well), making this game a must have for any serious hardcore Pokémon collector – I believe you cannot trade these legendaries when they are in their Therian Formes version. If you happen to have any of the other DS games, you can plug that into the 3DS and Pokémon Dream Radar will recognise the title and will offer legendaries from those games to capture, like Dialga or Lugia. In total, there are 21 (or 26 if you have the older games) Pokémon to collect.
Pokémon Dream Radar is a limited game that mainly appeals to kids or the hardcore Pokémon fan. There are no reason to own this game if you have yet to purchase Pokémon Black Version 2 or White version 2. If you are a parent, then buying this title will no doubt offer fun for your kids, and the asking price of £2.69 is not too much of a pocket burner for getting the exclusive legendaries, hidden abilities and items. I can honestly say that the number below for the review does not mean much when it comes to this game. You already know if you are buying it or not and there are no problems with how the game works; it just feels weird to call it anything other than a mini-game add-on for Pokémon fans. In that regard, it does well.