Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia

Common Sense Media says

Still catching Pokemon, just this time to solve puzzles.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The goal of a ranger is to help people and Pokemon resolve their issues. Rangers try to befriend Pokemon and calm them down instead of "defeating" them.

Violence & scariness

Some Pokemon are aggressive and will attack the player. During the capture phase, players can stun Pokemon to make them easier to capture using a variety of techniques like shocking them with electricity or flicking water bubbles at them.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

The game is part of a long-running Pokemon franchise whose catch-phrase is "Gotta catch 'em all," although the emphasis here is more on adventuring and puzzle-solving than collecting pokemon.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Pokemon game de-emphasizes combat in favor of "befriending" Pokemon and capturing them for a short time so that they can help players solve environment-based puzzles. Players capture wild Pokemon by drawing circles around them with the stylus, but can also use other Pokemon to stun the target Pokemon. Some of the capture techniques include using electricity to shock the Pokemon. Some Pokemon are aggressive and will attack the player, but it's because they're under the influence of a strange machine. Players can use the Ranger Net service to download addition missions through the Nintendo DS WiFi connection if they're within range, and can also trade Pokemon with friends.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

POKEMON RANGER: SHADOWS OF ALMIA is the second game in the Pokemon Ranger action/role-playing game series. You start out as the newest student at Ranger School, where you learn the ropes alongside your friends Keith (who also wants to be a ranger) and Rhythmi (who wants to be an operator). Eventually you'll graduate to become a full-fledged Pokemon Ranger and will be able to go on missions and quests to help resolve Pokemon-related issues, such as why more and more Pokemon seem to be behaving abnormally.

"Combat" in Pokemon Ranger is very different to the other Pokemon games. Instead of selecting a Pokemon from your stash to do battle with wild Pokemon in a turn-based environment, players use the DS stylus to draw circles around wild Pokemon to capture or subdue them. Pokemon can attack and drain your Stylus meter, and if it reaches zero before you're able to flee, you'll lose the battle. You can bring a limited number of Pokemon with you as you explore, and each Pokemon has special skills that must be used to solve puzzles and progress through the game. Pokemon with the "crush" ability, for example, can destroy crates that are blocking a pathway, while electric Pokemon can recharge your Stylus meter for you.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The game mechanic of having to temporarily catch Pokemon to solve puzzles is a refreshing change from other older Pokemon games such as Pokemon Diamond, which placed a greater emphasis on combat and filling out your Pokedex with hundreds of Pokemon. The story is linear but enjoyable, and the game offers a good system of helping players keep track of objectives and their location on an overhead map. Shadows of Almia isn't a huge leap forward from its predecessor, but Pokemon fans will enjoy it.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether it's more fun to actually have adventures with the pokemon, or to just try to catch as many of them as possible as in the other, ealier Pokemon games. What's your favorite type of Pokemon and why? Why do you think the Pokemon franchise is still so popular after all these years?

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Windows, Mac, PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube, Nintendo 64
Price:$34.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nintendo
Release date:November 10, 2008
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:E for Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence (Mac, Nintendo 64, Nintendo DS, Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2, Windows)

This review of Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia was written by

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About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byChristianUmbreon October 25, 2010
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Amazing

Well, other than ONE character, I love everything about this game. In case you're wondering who bugs me, it's Sven (who is not a villain.) I just don't like how he handles situations. Or it may be because I really like one of the villains he was mean to. If that's the case, ignore the pitchfork below the concerns thing. Yes, I like a character I really shouldn't like. I'm not giving you his name, just incase you plan to play the game. If you want to know, look it up on Bulbapedia. (Hint: You first fight him on a cargo ship.) Also, a Wailord attacked the villain I keep saying I like, but he (luckily for me) survives.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 12 years old October 23, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

PERFECT IN EVERY SINGLE WAY!!!!!!!!!!

This is the BEST video game I have EVER, EVER played!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byWarri October 9, 2010
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

A girl name Kate in the game is hot

Kate is so hot in this video game everyone has a crush on her

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