Remember when the 3DS launched? Face Raiders and the AR games were the closest the system had to a “Wii Sports Moment”. And just like with Wii Sports, everyone instantly had a million ideas for how to use the technology. In particular, people almost invariably kept bringing up ideas for how Pokemon could use AR technology. Pokemon AR cards? A Pokemon Snap sequel?
Pokemon Dream Radar is Pokemon’s first use of AR for game purposes and plays out a bit like a Pokemon version of Face Raiders. For the most part, you shoot at clouds (some of them pink, some of them grey). The grey ones are more fun as they usually contain either items or minor Pokemon which you can transfer over to your Pokemon Black 2 or White 2 game whereas the pink ones merely contain orbs which can be spent on various items to use within Dream Radar. There are also bigger creatures available to catch throughout. Tussling with these are definitely the highlights of the game.
The problem is that, otherwise, the game often feels like a chore. This isn’t helped by the fact that you have to wait for your device to recharge after clearing the clouds. It’s a little tedious and feels more like you’re putting in work to gain advantages in another game than a game in its own right. It feels like a tool that you can use to get some cool Pokemon and items for your Black 2 and White 2 adventures. A sideshow. That isn’t to say that it isn’t a worthwhile sideshow just that it isn’t always a fun one. There are only so many clouds you can blast through before you get sick of orbs, revives and Swablus. The fact that minor Pokemon merely appear as a weird circle of glowing light until you’ve caught them doesn’t help and also means that the game is much less interesting than it has the potential to be. Having a Swablu fly around my bedroom would have kept my attention more effectively than the aforementioned circle of light.
I’ve been a little negative but that’s because, for £4.50, you could buy plenty of more enjoyable pieces of software off the eShop. It’s not an amazing game then, but I’d definitely testify for its usefulness as a tool to aid you in the main games, especially if you blast through it before you start (or early on) in your adventures when you could do with a Drifloon or two. It’s not an essential purchase by any means but if you own Pokemon White 2 or Black 2, and don’t mind blasting at lots of clouds, it’s a decent helping hand but you have a better AR shooting game built in with Face Raiders.
Many thanks to Nintendo for providing us with a review code.
Pokémon Dream Radar is now available to download via the Nintendo eShop for £4.50