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The Dream Radar 3DS App Could Save Pokemon
Today Nintendo announced two new 3DS apps coming alongside Pokemon Black 2 and White 2 in the fall: Pokedex 3D Pro and Dream Radar. Pokedex 3D Pro is a full Pokedex app with information on each of the over 600 Pokemon right at your fingertips. It’ll have stats, attack information, and more. While this is a good idea, didn’t I spend who knows how long trying to find AR cards so I could fill the other Pokedex app from last summer? Was that all for naught? If so, that’s a huge disappointment and an even bigger waste of time.
Dream Radar, however, is completely new: this is an augmented reality game a la Face Raiders, but you’ll be searching for Pokemon in the real world, catching them, and transferring them into your Pokemon game.
Read that again: Pokemon hunting in the real world that can enhance your gaming experience. Are you kidding me? It sounds silly at first, looking at the world through the 3DS’s camera trying to find a Pikachu in the garden or a Spearow in a tree, but this could be the best thing to happen to the franchise in years.
Let me be honest for a second: Pokemon has gotten stale to me. I’m played every single generation of the games. I’ve purchased at least one version every single time. The gameplay is still as fun and wonderful as ever, but I can’t fight the feeling that the games are just bland. Pokemon White was one of the most disappointing games for me last year, and when I heard that the next two games are direct sequels, I was not thrilled.
I wasn’t as enveloped in Unova and its inhabitants as I was in Kanto, Johto, or Sinnoh. Even the Pokemon themselves weren’t interesting: a cotton ball? A pile of garbage? Two gears stuck together? Is this what was becoming of a franchise I held dear forever? For the first time ever, I was considering skipping these Pokemon games because I didn’t want to play them. I had no interest, no reason to want them.
Then I heard of Dream Radar, the app that allows me to find Pokemon wherever I go and add them to my Pokemon Black 2 or White 2 save. I imagined myself taking a break from the adventure to seek out Pokemon within my surroundings: finding a Poliwag in a puddle on a rainy day or seeing a Ledyba in the garden. I thought about how much more time I might put into Pokemon with this app, then it hit me:
I was thinking about Pokemon again. I was legitimately excited about the possibilities of a new way to play. If I could be swayed by this unique experience, I can only imagine what it will do for the general gaming public.
Now, there are a few things that need happen in order for this to be a success. First, the app needs to have a way to associate certain Pokemon with certain areas. I don’t want to walk down to the creek behind my house and find a Charmander swimming around in there. Second, there needs to be a steady stream of generated Pokemon during a search. Looking around for a half-hour and only catching three Pokemon isn’t going to make me want to keep playing. Third, and most importantly, the versions this app will connect to, Black Version 2 and White Version 2, need to be more interesting than the previous games. Catching all of these augmented reality Pokemon isn’t going to mean a thing if the games themselves are subpar.
There’s plenty of time for speculation, however one thing cannot be denied; I’m looking forward to a new Pokemon game again. Part of me was afraid I’d outgrown it and that’s why Black and White didn’t satisfy me. Maybe my inner child is still kicking after all.