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Review: ‘Pokémon Quest’ finds new take on classic franchise

Latest game in saga unexpectedly debuts

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Review: ‘Pokémon Quest’ finds new take on classic franchise

A student plays

A student plays "Pokémon Quest" on the Nintendo Switch.

Photo by Edna Hernandez

A student plays "Pokémon Quest" on the Nintendo Switch.

Photo by Edna Hernandez

Photo by Edna Hernandez

A student plays "Pokémon Quest" on the Nintendo Switch.

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Deciding to surprise fans around the world, Nintendo and Game Freak released a brand new game titled “Pokémon Quest” on the Nintendo Switch late Tuesday, May 30. The game, which is free to start, is both fun and addictive.

“Quest” is a departure from the typical role playing game format of the main “Pokémon” titles and is much closer to a “Pokémon: Mystery Dungeon” title in gameplay, with a “Crossy Road” art style. The game features the original 150 Pokémon as both playable characters and enemies, each with their own cubic sprites.

Rather than use inputs to move, “Quest” allows Pokémon to move on their own and allows players to input which attacks they can use or choose when to evade oncoming attacks. Once a player gets a good grip on the mechanics, combat in the game is fun and fast paced.

“Quest” also introduces its own unique features, mainly power stones and the cooking pot. Power stones are used to upgrade a Pokémon’s stats and can be swapped between any Pokémon. These stones are found by completing missions within the game and give substantial power boosts to whatever they are equipped to.

Also new, the cooking pot provides a new and unique way of capturing Pokémon to add to a player’s party. By mixing ingredients in the pot, one creates a brew which attracts wild Pokémon, who become allies after they arrive.

Traditionally, each Pokémon utilizes a standard type chart, which determines weaknesses and effectiveness of moves. “Quest” decides to adapt that in a unique way, by making certain types gain a bonus in certain environments, depending on the type of Pokémon present. This mechanic adds a new layer of strategy to the game and makes having a wide variety of Pokémon available a must.

“Pokémon Quest” also has the bonus of being free to download. The only part of “Quest” that involves monetary transaction is the in-game currency of “PM Tickets,” which can be earned through the in-game achievement system easily.

Also among the highlights of “Quest” is the wide range of starter Pokémon choice. Rather than the traditional fire, water and grass choices usually provided, “Quest” allows players to choose from the original three starters: Charmander, Bulbasaur and Squirtle. This adds the option to select Eevee or Pikachu, most likely as a tie-in to the two new games, “Let’s Go Pikachu” and “Let’s Go Eevee.” This wide range of choice for starters is sure to please, as the two Pokémon are fan favorites.

“Pokémon Quest” is a solid game and one of the most interesting games in the franchise. It is by far the most unique, taking the throne from the crossover adventure “Pokémon Conquest.” To those sad that the game has only been released on the somewhat pricey Nintendo Switch, don’t fear. The game will release on both iOS and Android in the coming months. This game is stellar and as such it must be awarded a 10/10.

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Review: ‘Pokémon Quest’ finds new take on classic franchise