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Pokédex 3D (3DS eShop) Review

Review for Pokédex 3D on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

With the awakening of the 3DS eShop, a service promised to system owners nearly two months ago, not only does new breath come to a console that has been gathering some dusty attention, but also inevitably it has thrown in a small dose of healthy breadcrumbs intended to lead us to understand the greater depths of the new online service. Freebies might not attest to be the superior pariahs of games development; rather, they are simply corralled into existence to show us how the store works and, more importantly, what we should come to expect from the digital retail environment in future. Of the two free games on offer from launch, Excitebike and Pokédex 3D, the former is little but an interesting distraction, more a ‘sorry for the wait’ grovel from Nintendo than anything of substance. Instead it is Pokédex 3D that shines through as what we should now be anticipating from the service.

A digital encyclopaedia in one respect and a social tool in another, Pokédex 3D serves to be the perfect storage solution to those who are hell bent on ‘catching ‘em all’. What is a simple download from the online store could end up being not only the biggest time soak currently on the 3DS, but also it is a great testament to the gems that Nintendo still haven’t really taken advantage of yet.

Starting off with a paltry 16 Pokémon, your early Pokédex is a slim representative of the breadth and variety of creatures you could be in possession of. That is not to say though that there isn’t enjoyment to be had in the slim pickings of an early collection, however. Scrolling across the touch-screen reveals each character has been perfectly modelled and rendered to appear on the 3D screen. Using the Circle Pad and shoulder buttons you can swoop and dive around your chosen Pokémon and see them from pretty much any angle you wish. It is a surprisingly freeing experience, and being able to hop from one gloriously detailed Pokémon to another turns the 3D screen into a comprehensive area of research rather than a pretty distraction.

Screenshot for Pokédex 3D on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Just as an entomologist will sit down and list every single action, desire and value of the smallest insect, so too has every Pokémon in the Pokédex been stripped down to the very elements that make them tick. Height, weight, attacks, defences and its evolutionary scale are all broken down for the viewer to assess, compare and delight in, all at their own pace. Along with the extensive biography that is about as invasive as a customs agent with an evil mind, each Pokémon also comes with their own animation and signature sound. Though it is a limited and repetitive add on, it at least lets their personalities come through against the mountain of statistics.

Screenshot for Pokédex 3D on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Where Pokédex 3D really comes to life though is the world beyond the 16 entrants that you’re landed with when you first download the title. A quick exploration through the menus and you’ll see that Pokémon can be swapped, gifted and shared with much of the wider world in a variety of ways. One choice you have is to utilise the barcode that each of the Pokémon comes with; scanning the code with the rear camera lets you easily bring Pokémon into ownership and extend your collection. Another is to swap and share with friends in dedicated fashion through some handy buttons. Digital trading cards they might be but it’s the start of how Pokédex 3D is building an active 3DS community. Finally, three Pokémon can be downloaded per day through the online SpotPass service.

Already at E3 this year, AR cards for Pokédex 3D were unleashed to allow you to visualise and add to some of your collection by using this incredibly (and still) overlooked function of the system, bringing your creatures into the real world. However, not only reserved to the select few who were in attendance at the expo, these cards have been made readily available all over the Internet. It is the beginnings of a fantastic social environment, utilising all of a fantastic system from SpotPass to Augmented Reality.

Screenshot for Pokédex 3D on 3DS eShop - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Nintendo haven’t forgotten the humble camera either ,with a sticker book that rests neatly in the menu ready to fill with snaps of any Pokémon you view in AR mode. It’s a neat little addition that will not only help spread the social web but will also encourage much teasing and posturing online.
Even for those who are not fans of Pokémon, Pokédex 3D still hints at what 3DS might have in store for other franchises and titles to come. Fans, though, will be the ones to embrace Pokédex 3D and it’ll grow by using all facets of the system. Wireless swap meetings will be arranged; AR cards will no doubt swamp playgrounds and, indeed, the meeting places of older bodies of congress.

Screenshot for Pokédex 3D on 3DS eShop- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Gameplay

Sometimes too top heavy in detail, menu design can be left wanting. Controls are easy to use and swapping, sending and viewing Pokémon is a doddle.

Graphics

Each Pokémon has been modelled to be presented exact in this 3D space and they all look the part. Menu design however, could be more intuitive.

Sound

Sound is limited to the personality of each Pokémon and even though it is a perfect accompaniment to their design it can begin to sound a tad basic.

Value

For free there is little to no risk in downloading the Pokédex, even if it is just to remind you of the great things that the 3DS is capable of.

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

About this score
Rated 8 out of 10

Pokédex 3D is a simple evolution of the Pokémon canon, perfect for every collector and player of the series. Its applications stream far beyond the series and have wider implications for the future of the console. Conceptually the Pokédex is an old idea but socially it could turn out to be exactly what the 3DS was designed for.

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21.06.2011

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Developer

Nintendo

Publisher

Nintendo

Genre

Other

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (3 Votes)

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Staff Member

"Sound is limited to the personality of each Pokémon and even though it is a perfect accompaniment to their design it can begin to sound a tad basic."

Am I the only one who's SO used to the classic sound effects that I couldn't even imagine them making any other sounds for all the Pokémon?

( Edited 21.06.2011 21:38 by SirLink )

 

SirLink said:
"Sound is limited to the personality of each Pokémon and even though it is a perfect accompaniment to their design it can begin to sound a tad basic."

Am I the only one who's SO used to the classic sound effects that I couldn't even imagine them making any other sounds for all the Pokémon?

I agree. Each time I hear people say they'd rather the Pokémon had their 'proper' voices I want to slap them. Smilie
There's no reason the Pokédex 3D couldn't have a bit of background music though...

My only complaint is the lack of Streetpass to swap Pokémon, and maybe it is a tad unintuitive to navigate.
The graphics are great though, really impressive models. And the Pokémon statistics are great to have on the go, when serebii.net isn't on hand. ^__^ Definitely hope it expands to cover the four earlier generations in the future.
Overall it's fantastic for free!

3DS Friend Code: 4425-1453-7061
Senior ModeratorStaff Member

I hate the annoying old GB sounds for Pokémon...really annoying and definitely should be updated. It made playing Pokémon White a pain (that and the thud of hitting an obstacle!!!).

Interesting to see this get a high score. Well written review, Sam, but I've had absolutely no use for this since downloading. Doesn't appeal to even the Pokémon fan in me because I just play the series for the RPG side, rather than the trading, etc.

EDIT:

Each time I hear people say they'd rather the Pokémon had their 'proper' voices I want to slap them.

Considers oneself slapped Smilie

( Edited 21.06.2011 21:53 by jesusraz )

Adam Riley < Operations Director :: Senior Editor :: Cubed3 Limited >
Word of Adam | Voice123 Profile | AdamC3 on Twitter

I just want them to re-record all the original mons' as they sound sooo tacky compared to the 4th and 5th gen mons.

Also, update the Pokedex3D to include ALL pokemon. Smilie

The thing for me is its actualy a really nice graphical demo - the polygons are realy high and smooth, and the self-shadowing shows a sharpness you dont see at all on Wii/Cube games.

Please give our little random review show a try;
http://randomreviewshow.com/index.html
We have special effects and umm...stuff...
SKOT (guest) 22.06.2011 11:43#6

Why can't I have the dexter voice (first season of Pokemon) for my Pokedex? Or at least some music in the background? D:

It's all so eerily silent.

Can't really argue with free.

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