There are three possible approaches to take when looking at this latest game in the Pokémon Ranger sub-series: The first being “Not another one...”, the second is “Yay! The previous 98 where amazing! I’m getting this!”. The third? “Ooooh, look. A Pichu playing a Ukulele!”
Yes, that’s right. At long last, everyone’s favourite little mousey thing that stands on two legs and evolves into Pikachu has finally gone and got himself a silly little guitar-esque instrument! You haven’t heard the best bit yet, though, as the Ukulele Pichu isn’t just a daft little thing that Game Freak decided to chuck into the background for a laugh, but a major part of the game. Yes, you heard us right. The entire game revolves around a mouse who can make music.
The game is set in the Obliva region, new to this game, and begins with a couple of blokes who want the rare Ukulele-playing Pichu for themselves but a Pokémon Ranger (You) stops them, and then acquires the ‘Mon. Throughout the entire game you have to protect it, as the little blighter follows its new owner everywhere. However, it can use its’ electric (And presumably now sonic) powers to assist you, making life a little easier. Supposedly, the instrument can only play if there’s plenty of electricity running through it, but then we can’t read Japanese.
Gameplay-wise, the big new addition is the Ranger Sign system. This is a new addition to the Capture Slider (The tool that you used throughout the previous two games. Basically, it means you have to draw circles around the Pokémon instead of tossing Pokéballs at it once it’s worn down. It’s the same again here.) giving you the ability to call up any previously-caught Pokémon and use them via. A symbol you draw on a pad, or the touch screen. Think of it as a bit like the warping points from the frogs/gates in the two DS Zelda games. For example, if you call out Sulcaine, the Ranger can walk on water. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like Entei will turn Water into Wine.
We’re surprisingly excited about Path of Light. We know very little about it, and do kinda wish that Nintendo slowed down on realising Pokémon games, as they no longer feel like a remotely special event, but the more musical instruments handed to the ‘Mon, the better. Colour us relatively excited.