I had the pleasure of attending an Nintendo Event at the Randall Museum in San Francisco. The event was in honor of the new Nintendo DS game coming out next week, Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia. The first part of the event included a tour of the grounds around the Randall Museum and of the amazing animals inside. The Randall Museum has a mixture of science, nature and art.The next adventure was meeting a real Ranger and learning about what they do. Then we heard details about the new game.
We found out that Rangers protect people that protects people and animals. They do law enforcement, firefighting, rock climbing and cave rescue. The Ranger did an activity that showed how all in nature is inter-connected. The Ranger also talked about:
How to conserve water? Not use as much (when brushing teeth) How to conserve energy? Shut your lights out… or get a flashlight without batteries (windup). How to use flashlights and compasses.
The Ranger Creed: Respect Nature and Wildlife, Always do what is right, Never play with matches & lighters, Garbage belongs in the trash not on trails, Expect the unexpected and plan ahead for safety and Reduce, reuse and recycle.
Next we had the opportunity to hear about the new Nintendo DS Lite game coming out next week: Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia
Summary for parents: This game is rated "E" for Everyone and is appropriate for kids, can connect via Wifi to get new missions and is a
single player game. The themes include nature, being a ranger and helping to save others. The Nintendo website has a Pokemon Ranger Game preview with specific details on the game. All action is done with Pokemon, they "faint" if hurt or they are
released back into the wild.
As we listened to details about the game, I realized my 9 year son and his friends were intently listening, making comments about the game details while I was trying to figure things out. At first I assumed that kids just pick up things quicker, then I realized they had played the older version before so they had a background in the topic. On the ride home they tried out the game, and all had fun – sharing strategy moves. My son said he liked the game because there was always something interesting to do.
Here are some of the details I liveblogged during the event:
This game is a different spin on the Pokemon world in the "Almia" region. You start out as a student ranger then after completing missions you
can become the highest Ranger rank. It has a larger world, more
missions, more adventure – and gives you the ability to go to
different regions in Almia (including Oceans, deserts, forest and Arctic North)
. There are 17 different types of partner Pokemon type (use different
types to get through different obstacles) and 100 different species. As
you go through the game, you put out forest fires and even deliver
important packages. You can also do side "quests" like saving a cat
from a tree. The game could also be considered a "green game" because
they are also trying to save the environment and wildlife.
Instead of capturing and collecting you are making friends with them
– the Nintendo DS stylus is the communication tool (you circle to "friend"
Pokemon). The Poke assist
section also has other mechanisms to help. The if you capture the
Pokemon – they will come along with you.. Partner Pokemons will stay
with you to help your journey. If you have a problem putting out a
fire you need a water Pokemon. There is a assist menu on the right
side. The bad guys are "dim sun" that have machines with Pokemon that
take over the world and cause havoc.
Example Pokemon mission:
You and your friend need to go into a cave to see why the Pokemon are
acting strange (usually they are docile). The stylus can make lines to
circle the Pokemon to capture the Pokemon. You have field moves and
Pokemon assists (to help capture Pokemon around you) to help on the
mission. If an obstacle comes in your way while in the cave, like a
fence – you need to get the right Pokemon to help you overcome it (like Tailow). Or to stop a machine that is causing Pokemon pain, you
need to find a Pokemon with the special skills to stop the machine
(like water). For example, if you capture Nosepass – that Pokemon can
crush the boulder.
The game preview section of the Nintendo site explained the overall goal the best: "As you
progress through Missions and Quests, your Capture Styler becomes more powerful, giving your Styler more Energy and eventually advancing you to the level of Top Ranger".