Nintendo's newest game has something for every Poke-enthusiast.
PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond is the follow up to the original PokéPark, but with a complete overhaul on almost everything. The game now has a lengthy single-player mode, significantly less attractions, and an interchangeable team.
The single-player mode is fun. The story is a simple one: there is a dark world full of cakes and dark Pokémon. The world is referred to as Wish Park. Pokémon from Wish Park are abducting Pokémon from the regular world and controlling their minds with evil cakes. It’s up to Pikachu, Oshawott, Snivy and Tepig to save the day and defeat the Master of Wish Park. There are a fair amount of areas to explore, though the story isn’t very captivating. It’s enough to keep some players interested, but nothing to gush over.
While adventuring in single-player mode, Pikachu and his buddies can befriend Pokémon from all five generations. When you befriend a Pokémon, you are able to continue to interact with them and gain berries, the game’s currency, or unlock other side quests that will allow you to befriend even more Pokémon. Aside from adding your new friends to your list of friends, (which serves a faux Pokédex), the more friends you have the easier it becomes to enter Wish Park. Every Pokémon in the game looks nice and clean, and they even sound cartoony as they each scream their own names while you pass them.
There are various ways to befriend Pokémon in the game, including playing a game of Chase (essentially tag), completing a fetch quest, and battling other Pokémon. The battles are the only part of the game that are interesting. You have three distinct moves to use on opponents, with type advantages still in effect. At first the battles are easy (Iron Tail will destroy everything), but as the game progresses the battles increase in numbers and difficulty, but that’s not a bad thing.
Attractions, which are essentially mini-games, are few and far between. This, also, in not a bad thing, as mini-games are fun to do every once in a while, but usually aren’t engaging enough to be the focus of the game. The first mini-game players encounter is a cake-making game. Players use the Wii Remote in a light gun fashion, shooting ingredients in mid-air. These games can be played with up to four players in multiplayer mode. They’re fun, but much like the story, nothing to get excited over.
The game runs fairly smooth, overall. The battles are fun and easy to pick up on. It’s easy to navigate areas, and nothing is really overwhelming. The only thing that appears weird is, well, moving around. The Pokémon you control either walk slower than a Slowpoke or sprint so fast you can’t turn properly. It’s just weird.
Overall, the game looks nice, but there’s nothing truly beautiful about it. The gameplay and story are solid, but nothing really stands out. The battles are actually really fun, and players can get more of them by running through the rest of the story. While looking at the cleaned-up Pokémon is nice, not being able to use them after defeating them just feels weird after playing Pokémon for so long. What else can I say? The game feels like most parks I’ve been to: It’s nice and everything, but I don’t see any reason to come back too often.