Preview: Pokemon Trozei (Nintendo DS)

Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Genius Sonority / Genre: Puzzle / Release Date: 03-06-06

Somethings never cease to amaze me in the video game universe. In a world where franchises tend to go stale with rehash after rehash every now and again one franchise will come up with another way to reinvent the wheel in a manner of speaking. Pokemon is such a franchise. Now before we get up in arms with calls along the lines this: “Original?! Have you PLAYED Pokemon: Emerald lately?”, I would advise you to stay calm. I never said the franchise was perfect, and while Pokemon: Emerald was a regrettable cash in, the ship seems to be headed in the right direction now with the new Nintendo DS game entitled: Pokemon Trozei. Unlike the traditional Pokemon games we have seen of late, this new title will branch off into the puzzle genre and from the looks of things is going to have a ton to offer us in terms of replay value, time logged, and of course some frustration in trying to unlock all 386 Pokemon. With Genius Sonority taking the developing controls for this one, it promises to be an interesting and fresh look at the Pokemon universe. So let’s get right into the meat a potatoes of what we know so far.

The game will have four distinct modes. Those being: Adventure mode, Endless mode, Battle mode, and Pair mode. With the theme of Pokemon Trozei being that of a puzzle game in the nature of a Yahoo like Bejeweled (matching icons or symbols of the same type). These modes do all seem to find their own niches within Pokemon Trozei. Adventure mode sees you take on the role of a new character named Lucy Lightfoot who seems like your ordinary modern girl. You soon find out that Lucy is actually some kind of secret agent working for an agency called the Secret Operation League (SOL). The whole mission is this organization is to save Pokemon that have been mistreated or captured by your rival organization, the Phobos army. The plot is pretty basic in nature with your typical good vs. evil with Pokemon playing a pivotal role in it all as the main storyline. In adventure mode the game will progress through the stages and it will see you work you way up the ranks of the Phobos army, taking on generals along the way in your effort to save Pokemon. Judging by the character designs I have seen, the generals, like General Buzz, will definitely be interesting in terms of character traits. Adventure mode will see you battling enemies and bosses in the puzzle game for advancement, meaning you will be forced to clear your board or meet the specific requirements for that level before they do to continue onwards.

Endless mode is exactly what it sounds like. You play endlessly in an effort to see how far you can go and whether or not you can top your best scores. From accounts Endless mode will also provide you with ways to add certain Pokemon to the Pokedex within the game. From what is known it will not be anywhere near easy to complete the Pokedex in terms of getting legendaries and other Pokemon, but it will be possible to get at least all 386 current Pokemon. Now this is where the multi-player modes and special effects come into play. In terms of the Pokedex, there will be certain ways to get legendary Pokemon in an easier manner. There will be a way via the NDS’s capabilities to link with other systems to exchange “Agent Cards” that will detail your progress with your Pokedex. This will also give you hints on where to find certain rare Pokemon in your game if they have already found that Pokemon. Of course for that you are most likely going to require two copies of the game. However, the good news is you will NOT need two copies of the game for some of the other multi-player modes that Pokemon Trozei brings to the table. Battle mode is the first multi-player mode, and as the name would imply, this will see you going head to head with your friends. The big turn on here; obviously, is the need for only one cartridge. From early reports Battle mode is fairly fast paced with an emphasis on pushing the players to the limit for quick and reflex orientated matches. The upside of this is that people can have fast on-the-go matches. The downside might prove to be that the average player who wants prolonged matches may be disappointed. The other multi-player mode is Pair mode, which also takes advantage of the NDS’s link-up capabilities, but in a different way. This mode will see you team up with a friend to try and beat certain high scores and benchmarks. Overall it seems like Genius Sonority is banking on the multi-player aspects of Pokemon Trozei to be one of its major selling points. Interestingly, the successful Nintendo WiFi system (used in Mario Kart DS, Animal Crossing WW) will not be utilized for this Pokemon game.

Of course for the Pokemon faithful there is one final reason for getting this game: the ability to, once again, “Catch ‘Em All”. The crux of Pokemon Trozei will be to fulfill the necessary puzzle requirements to complete your Pokedex. And as in any Pokemon game this will be accomplished with differing degrees of difficulties. For Pokemon such as Mewtwo, Deoxys, and other rare species the hoops you will have to jump through promise to not be easy. The Pokedex will be setup in a very familiar fashion, resembling those seen in Fire Red, Leaf Green, and Emerald which lends the title some familiarity for those long term Pokemon addicts.

Overall Pokemon Trozei seems to be a refreshing addition to the library of Pokemon games. It boosts new characters, several different modes, multi-player goodness, the traditional themes of catching all the Pokemon, and it’s all incorporated into a puzzle game atmosphere. Make sure you read all about Pokemon Trozei right here on Inside Pulse games once it comes out this upcoming March.