A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs focus on a heroic story and be-kind-to-wildlife theme rather than on the fighting that is normally associated with Pokemon games. In this game, "friendship" is the hero's greatest power -- and the good guys win Pokemon creatures to their side by projecting friendliness toward them. There are some actual battles in the game, between the heroes and the Pokemon that are being mind-controlled by the bad guys, but even in the end of those fights, the defeated creatures simply run off (and can later be "befriended" as well). This is a very kind and gentle action game.
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What's it about?
In POKEMON RANGER: GUARDIAN SIGNS, you play a member of an elite defense force that protects the world by using the powers of the Pokemon creatures they've befriended. You are called upon to reveal the mystery behind a group of villains called "pinchers," who show up and start kidnapping and brainwashing Pokemon. On your way to find the pinchers, you'll traverse a series of islands, befriending all manner of Pokemon and using their varied powers to get past a multitude of obstacles. Wild Pokemon are friended by circling them rapidly with your stylus; creature powers can be used by drawing specific patterns on the touchscreen.
Is it any good?
Kids who are new to the Pokemon universe -- or those intimidated by the scores of stats and attributes that you usually need to keep track of in those games -- will find Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs to be an excellent entry point into the series. Its simplified, action-based format for battles can be easily learned by almost anyone. It's possible that hardcore Pokemon fans will find this new format too simple, but hopefully they'll look at it as a refreshing change of pace -- as it is a truly different style of gameplay. Whether rookie or veteran, players should definitely be drawn in by the deep and compelling story. And the collection aspect -- always a key point with Pokemon fans -- is still there, with over 300 species of creatures to find and interact with.
Online interaction: Kids can download and play new missions that will become available over time.
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For kids who love action/adventure games
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.