• Battle and Get! Pokemon Typing Adventure Review - Nintendo DS

    Pokemon Battle Typing may be the hardest DS game in the world. It's great, but do not buy this game if:
    1. You do not know all of the Japanese names of all 649 Pokémon, and how to spell those names in English.
    2. You have a typing speed of less than 300 words per minute.
    3. You cannot withstand stress levels higher than those recorded in F1 drivers.
    4. You know small children who like Pokemon. They will either be amazing at the game and crush your scores or be so frustrated that they throw away the keyboard that comes bundled with the game.

    You won't want to lose the included keyboard because it is a beautiful piece of kit. It looks like a DS accessory designed by Apple. It's small, wireless and light. It runs on AAA batteries and performs amazingly under heavy conditions. It connects to your DS via bluetooth so will only work with cartridges that have a bluetooth connector built in. It's uses are restricted then, to Pokemon Battle Typing. It also comes with a handy little stand to place your DS on like a book, probably to prevent you from smashing it in frustration. Pokémon Battle Typing was either designed to teach Japanese children how to type using an English keyboard (it is part of the national curriculum in Japan to know all the names of all the Pokemon) or to produce an efficient crop of elite secretaries for The Pokemon Company.

    Once you have started the game up everything is mapped to the keys on the keyboard. The premise, as with nearly all Pokemon games, involves Pokemon catchers, professors and nurses who all take short walks around the world collecting Pokemon. Except this time with accurate and swift keystroking, not high octane and devastating battling. After a gentle introduction which intimates to the player how to properly position your hands on a keyboard by allowing you to push a few keys at a time to 'win'; things get tough. As you traverse a rolling landscape from a first person perspective Pokemon jump out of the bushes at you. You type in their name to catch them with a Pokeball. Each monster has a time limit and if you exceed it they escape.

    Essentially that is all there is to the game. Beneath that though lies a scoring system that Treasure would be proud of. If you make ANY mistake, a missed key, a double stroke or a mashed thumb on the 'n' key, then you lose your multiplier. You will not succeed if you lose your multiplier. If you know the names of the Pokemon (their Japanese names but in English remember) and can spell them before the game tells you how to spell them then you get a higher multiplier score. Pokabu, Munnna, Emonga, Simama and Pikatyuu you may remember and be able to spell quickly. Fushigidane, Waninoko and Hinoarashi you will not remember.

    You can't take your time either, you walk at approximately 400mph and if you take too long typing names out then you will miss Pokemon along the route. When you can see them all bobbing around in the background but you spelt Ko-Ratata wrong twice by accident you will be stressed. Things are spiced up even further by boss battles where furious keystrokes are required to battle back against attacks. Some levels also feature collectable letters and keys which are dotted amongst the stages and, if you collect them all, you get the chance to catch a rare Pokemon which will probably have a really long and difficult name to spell.

    The game is tightly and expertly designed but demanding enough that the ability to touch type is almost a pre-requisite for achieving gold medals in any of the later stages. It will either kill you or it will make you an excellent secretary / Pokémon school teacher. Despite all this Pokémon Typing Battle is really fun to play, sound effects and graphics are good and at the end of the day, everyone loves Pokemon. If you have ever spent any time online doing typing proficiency tests then you will love Pokémon Typing Battle, it is just like them, only more fun.

    Despite the stress and demonic difficulty the challenge is good enough to keep you playing. It isn't the longest game in the world but as you will basically need to be superhuman (with an omniscient knowledge of all things Pokemon) to gold many of the stages, it has genuine staying power. If you are up to the challenge import Pokemon Battle Typing for the following reasons:

    1. You get a lovely DS keyboard.
    2. You will become a better typist.
    3. You will get to know Pokemon name spelling intimately.

    Score: 8/10

    + Great Keyboard
    + Tightly designed typing experience
    + Pokemon enthusiasts will love it
    - So hard you may never want to type again
    - Deep Pokemon knowledge required
    - It will stress you out.

    Reviewers note: I wanted to play this game to gain a basic understanding of Japanese. I did not achieve this.
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. toxicninja's Avatar
      toxicninja -
      Looks like it might be a good way to learn hirigana too
    1. charlesr's Avatar
      charlesr -
      This was announced for the West last night, now called Pokemon Typing Adventure.
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