Pokemon Link!

Pokemon Link

Pokemon Link

Worth a poke.

Despite our best efforts to remain impartial here at EG Towers, we often find ourselves challenged by our preconceptions, such as when reviewing a new title in an established franchise. Pokemon Link (aka Pokemon Trozei), for example, leads us to imagine a puzzle game saturated with the Pokemon series' insufferable anime style, and therefore of no interest to anyone who isn't already enamoured with Nintendo's carpet bomb approach to cute. It's nice to say, then, that Pokemon Link is a truly pleasant surprise.

The game takes the interesting decision to completely discard the Japanese anime style of every Pokemon game released so far, replacing it with the American anime style of Genndy Tartakovsky's Samurai Jack (and others). It's an absolutely brilliant touch, with the smoothly animated cut-scenes exciting, even if there are only a few. Personally, I would have liked to have seen more, and it's a rare thing for me to be asking for more cut-scenes. Particularly in a puzzle game.

Not only that, but developer Genius Sonority has come up with the most spectacularly forced justification for the Pokemon theme. As secret agent Lucy Fleetfoot, you must infiltrate the secret pokeball storage locations of the evil Phobos Battalion, and with Lucy's Link Beamer device, you must scan and beam away the stolen pokeballs. But it's not as easy as it sounds, as the signal isn't strong enough unless you link four pokeballs in a row. From that point the signal is powerful enough to send groups of three, then groups of two in any arrangement, within a period of time known as the 'Link chance'.

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Pokemon Link to May

Slight slip for puzzler.

It's hard not to get a sense of déjŕ vu when you read a Nintendo press release these days. "The wait for the interstellar bounty-hunters, and gaming's toughest heroine is finally over," the platform holder hurrahed yesterday, announcing a Metroid Prime: Hunters release date you've all known about since January. Sometimes though you can find a tiny scrap of news in one of them - and "tiny scrap" is certainly the operative in this here news item, which is telling you that Pokemon Link is due out on May 5th, not April 28th as previously stated. [That's "Journalist of the Year" in the bag then. - Ed]