Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs Review

I would like to thank Pokémaniac Julian Kay for lending me both Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia and this game Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs which I will be reviewing today.

Pokemon Ranger Guardian Signs Cover Art

Console: DS
Better or Worse than the other games?: Still far better than the first Ranger game, probably on par with Shadows of Almia
What’s changed?: How Pokéassist works, you can ride around on Legendary Pokémon and the flying segments have changed.

A Brief Overview of Pokémon Ranger

The Pokémon Ranger series is a spin-off of the main Pokémon series. Instead of capturing Pokémon in balls and getting them to fight for you, you calm them down and befriend them and get them to help you out in return.

Pokemon Ranger Guardian Signs Capture Lapras

This is a series of games that was made specifically for DS – you use the touch screen to draw circles around Pokémon (apparently this calms them down and lets them know you are friendly ???) you solve some puzzles and ultimately stop the bad guys. The target audience for Pokémon Ranger is a bit younger than the regular target audience – the puzzles are really simple and you don’t have to worry too much about strategy.

What is a Pokémon Ranger?

I wish I knew. I assumed a Pokémon Ranger is a person whose job it is to rescue Pokémon from abuse, find lost Pokémon and stopping anything bad happening to humans due to Pokémon. However, they seem to get asked to do tasks like “find my sandwich” and “my brother has wandered off” which are totally not related to their actual job…

Pokemon Ranger Guardian Signs Fire

I am not a fire fighter!

What’s Guardian Signs about?

You are a Pokémon Ranger, you are tracking down some evil dudes known as the “Pokémon Pinchers” (worst. villain. name. ever.)

Pokemon Pinchers Ranger Guardian Signs

LAME

They are stealing Pokémon and it’s up to you as a Pokémon Ranger to look into it. However you crash land on an island and you have to find a way to get back on track. Along the way you meet the delightful island folks and a Pichu that plays a ukulele.

Ukelele Pichu Pokemon Ranger Guardian Signs

Yes this is a thing

His friends have been kidnapped by the very Pinchers you were trying to stop! So you journey together to stop them and maybe find out what their bigger plan is…

The Gameplay

The gameplay is very similar to Shadows of Almia. There are a few differences.

You no longer get to do this: (SAD!)

Pokemon Ranger Shadows of Almia Riding a Mantine

That was so much fun too

And instead you get annoying underwater segments like this:

Pokemon Pinchers Ranger Guardian Signs Underwater Chase

Sigh

You no longer do this thing where you throw rocks and ice at Pokémon to convince them you’re a friend:

Pokemon Ranger Shadows of Almia Poke Assist Ice

Throwing ice at Pokemon to be friends

You actually summon Pokémon to get them to help you… which… usually involves attacking them or playing a Ukulele (I suppose this one makes sense – getting music to calm them…)

Pokemon Ranger Guardian Signs Pokeassist Pichu

YES play music to sooth them!

And you no longer ride around on these guys:

Pokemon Ranger Duduo

Casually riding a two headed bird

No no, what you DO get to do is ride around on more awesome things:

Entei Raikou Suicune

Legendary Pokemon!

Oh yes, you get to ride around on the Legendary Pokemon from Gen II and it is fun as heck.

Pokemon Ranger Guardian Signs Raikou

Jumping!

You summon them (and other Pokémon) by the “Guardian Signs” which are symbols that you draw with your stylus like so:

Pokemon Ranger Guardian Signs Drawing

Sign drawing!

Drawing mysterious signs in the air with your stylus!

What an original and cool idea!

Castlevania dawn of sorrow seal

Totally never did this in Castlevania

Right?

Trauma Centre Under the Knife Healing Touch

Never done it in Trauma Centre

Right??

Frank Goldfinger Shadow Hearts

Frank totally never did this

No one draws signs in the air as their move, right?

Yeah… So, as unoriginal as it is, it’s pretty fun.

Howevever, the game isn’t much more difficult, different enough or challenging enough for it to be too different from Shadows of Almia. I maintain that the villains of the first game are still the best:

Go Rock Quad Pokemon Ranger

They are a Rock band if you’re curious

I the end, this game is pretty fun but not really worth replaying. Still miles better than the first game though.

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