Pokemon Link: Battle! Review (3DS)

By Daniel On 6 Apr, 2014 At 11:16 PM | Categorized As 3DS Reviews, Reviews | With 4 Comments

Pokemon Link Battle

I am a self-confessed Nintendo fundamentalist. As a fundamentalist, I believe Nintendo should always develop games exclusively for their own consoles. In all likelihood, I will always remain a Nintendo fundamentalist. Not surprisingly, any Ideas that suggest Nintendo should begin a business model that involves mobile gaming immediately grinds my gears. I am not going to lie it genuinely does anger me. In truth, I am frightened that my favourite games such as Zelda, Mario, Donkey Kong and Metroid would lose their magic – if Nintendo begins to move into mobile gaming (just look how the mighty Square Enix and Capcom have fallen).   However, after playing Pokemon Link: Battle (known as Pokemon Trozei in North America) – I finally understand why investors and business analyst alike – want Nintendo to enter the mobile market. It is simple actually -games like Pokemon Link: Battle could make Nintendo millions, perhaps even billions in cash if they were available on Smartphones and Tablets.

Pokemon Link: Battle is another prime example of Nintendo’s mastery in the gaming space. It is a curious mix of old ideas of the Puzzle genre and new ideas from Nintendo. I’d describe Pokemon Link: Battle as the love child of Bejewel and Pocket Monsters. The basic premise of Pokemon Link: Battle is to connect to connect 3 or more of the same Pokemon icons horizontally or vertically to create a “Link”. Succeeding in creating a Link will cause you to chip away the enemy Pokemon’s health. On paper – the fundamentals of the game sound simple and easy to grasp – however; there  are multiple layers of depth woven into the game that elevates Pokemon Link: Battle over the generic puzzle games of this fashion.

pokemon link battle 3

(Image Source: Expert Reviews)

I discovered soon after playing Pokemon Battle: Link that this is a game of “kill before you get killed”. The foe Pokemon will attack periodically with each move reducing your meter on the side – once that is depleted the game is over. The saying “kill before you get killed” perfectly fits the strategic play in order to succeed in Pokemon Link: Battle. To knock out the opposing Pokemon swiftly before they can deal significant damage – speed and precision are needed to create multiple links to perform a combo – the longer the combo the more damage is dealt to the foe. I must admit that it took a while to get into the grooves of things, however, with practice I was able to make long combo’s without problems. As an extension to the “Link Combo’s” you are able to create a “link chance” by Linking 4 or more of the same Pokemon followed up by another “Link”. Once the “Link Chance” is activated – links only require two of the same Pokémon instead of the minimum 3. With the smaller number – large combo’s are easier produce, thus more damage can be dealt.

The essence of Pokemon is incorporated into the heart of the game. The most apparent is the rock- paper formula of weaknesses. Just like the core Pokemon games – types can be exploited in order to deal super effective damage to the opposing Pokemon. For example – if you are facing the HP heavy and ultra-defensive Regirock  - then starting a combo with a powerful fighting type such as Pangoro would be ideal. On the other hand – starting a combo with Mismagius to attack  a Registeel would result in petty damage irrespective of how long the combo is. Furthermore, there are nuisance that you must recognize like Link chancing with Chansey will restore health, Pokemon specific abilities and selecting the right Pokemon buddy to take into battle.

pokemon link battle 2

(Image Source: God is a geek)

When the aforementioned layers are working in tandem and harmony – Pokémon Link: Battle is an engaging and an incredibly fun experience when played in bite size pieces – perfect for gaming on the go.  I found the key to success – in particular against legendary Pokemon was setting up  long combo’s and link chances two or three moves ahead ensuring every millisecond was not wasted. Furthermore, I felt that my hand eye coordination improved – as swiftness and pinpoint accuracy with the stylus was necessary for the succes. At times – I simply could not put my 3DS down – because I was so entrenched into Pokémon Link: Battle. Games like this remind you that you don’t need multi-million dollar budgets and hyper realistic graphics to enjoy a game. While playing Pokemon Link – I could not shake the thought that this game would be a commercial phenomenon if it were to be released on Tablets and Smartphones – as a small downloadable game – it easily trumps 90% of games on the mobile market in quality.

Unfortunately, Pokemon Link: Battle is thin on content – I reckon the game can completed in one afternoon sitting. Stretching over several Zones – with 5-6 battles in each – it would not take an average player long at all to finish the game. Of course – the game can be stretched if you attempt to capture all 718 Pokemon. There is a multiplayer mode – without doing any prior research  I was convinced that you could play online spending a few minutes at the lobby waiting for someone to turn up – however upon further research- this is strictly a local multiplayer affair – which is a total disappointment as it would have increased the value of the game.

pokemon link battle 4

(Image Source: Metro)

Closing Comments

If you can’t already tell – I really enjoyed Pokemon Link: Battle. A downloadable title it may be, but that did not stop me from having a blast. The layered gameplay is exceptional for its genre, and the Pokemon aesthetics is the cherry on the cake. Although in terms of content the game may be thin – regardless of this – Pokemon Link: Battle is certainly worth the download.

 

mii-gamer 4

 

 

More Awesome Reviews by Mii:

Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze

Super Mario 3D World

The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds 

Injustice: Gods Among Us

Batman Arkham Origins

About - Starting out with an original NES and brick-gameboy, Dan has been a gamer all his life. He intends to be a gamer until the day he dies, and aspires to amass a great gaming collection in the process. He has been a long-time follower of gaming media and hopes to bring more to Mii-gamer’s table as he continues his (long) studies towards earning dual doctorates as a MD/PhD after which he intends to continue research in immunology and autoimmune diseases.

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  • Navaell

    Hey!

    Your article is really well done. It’s true that you can finish it in an afternoon if you rush through the game without trying to unlock every level and pokemon, but maybe you should have mentionned the real potential behind the game.

    I’ll try to explain in my words:

    So basically you want to catch every pokemon (you do, right?). To do that you want to unlock every level. To do that you need to “find” each hidden pokemon in every level. That’s the hard part!

    Each level is a succession of pokemon(s) battles, and each battle might hide a pokemon battle (sometimes there will be a hidden pokemon battle after a hidden pokemon battle, is it not crazy?).

    To get to that hidden pokemon battle, you’ll have to defeat the current pokemon(s) in a certain way.

    Here are some of these ways:

    - Defeat the pokemon(s) in one hit
    - Defeat the pokemon(s) with one of the effective types (so water on fire for example). Please note that you’ll have to find the correct efficient type in the efficient type list (so instead of water, you’ll have to use ground or even rock).
    - Defeat the pokemon(s) with one of the non-effective types (so grass on fire for example). Same note here (but this time there will be more possibilities: bug, steel, fire, psychic, fairy).
    - Defeat the pokemon(s) with the exact same pokemon
    - Defeat the pokemon(s) with a pokemon that loves you (after battling a lot with the same).

    Now, here is a little combination:
    - Defeat the pokemon(s) in one hit, with one of the effective types, with a pokemon that loves you.

    You see where I’m getting? There are a LOT of possibilities to try out.

    Also, you didn’t talk about the fact that you can clear an entire grid. And I think this is a very fun aspect of the game, don’t you?
    So how to clear a grid then? What you need to do is to start a “Link chance” (explained in the article). From that point, no more block will be added to the grid, so you’ll have the possibility to clear the entire box by linking each one of them. But wait, what happens when I clear a grid, you ask? The grid will be entirely refilled, so you’ll have to start a new “Link chance” and thus, keep your combo going! Clear a maximum of boxes to deal a maximum of damage! (there is a rank for each level: S, A, B, C, D. With S being the best possible rank)

    Sorry for the long post, but I had to say something, given that nobody had posted anything and that I still have fun with this game :)

    • miigamerz

      I didn’t realize there was so much hidden strategy. I will definitely try them out later :P

      i really enjoyed the game as well, I hope they make a sequel for the Wii U complete with online play.

      Thanks for the compliment?

      • Navaell

        Yep they should make a sequel maybe :) With new modes or something
        And online play of course :)