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Pokemon Dash Review - DS

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Pokemon games have come in all shapes and forms, and we still remember battling through Pokemon Red and Blue in Japanese. The franchise is now bigger than ever, and of course it's all in English now, so all the young kiddies can play! This is where Pokemon Dash comes in to play. Pokemon Dash is Need for Speed for kids. Control Pikachu through dozens of different courses through different environments to win every race and be crowned king of all Pokemon. Watch out for Miowth though!


The gameplay in Pokemon Dash becomes bland very quickly. There's not that much to do apart from looking for Lapras, balloons, Power-ups, or scraping the touch screen with your stylus like there's no tomorrow. For those unfamiliar with Pokemon, a Lapras is a water Pokemon that you use to travel across water with, especially in Pokemon Dash. The main aim of each race is to get to the checkpoints before the other Pokemon in the race. There's always around eight to ten checkpoints, and they're not always as in order as you would hope them to be. That's not necessarily a bad thing though, because it means you'll be traveling from one end of the map to the other a lot.

Battling it out through the roughest terrains is what Pokemon Dash is all about. There's all sorts of different rules in the Dash world, for example, if you're flying with the balloons, you can't land in a forest area, however you can skydive onto normal grass by popping the balloons. If you land on a hard terrain from popping the balloons however, then you'll be paralyzed for a few seconds while you scrape the hell out of your touch-screen to regain consciousness. Pokemon Dash is not a pretty game for your Nintendo DS, and if you get agitated you may find that you're scratching your screen by pressing too hard. Usually a quick brush over with a cloth will get rid of all marks made though.

As you battle through the 'one player' mode, you'll find that there are three different GP's, and gaining 3rd or better in that cup will unlock the next one. Inside a GP is five different cups to race through which all have six to eight races within. The races of course get harder as you progress, and the competing Pokemon get a lot faster. The screen above shows the map, where you can see what sort of terrain you're going to come across and how far away the next checkpoint is, whilst the touch screen shows Pikachu racing along as fast as his legs can go, as you use the stylus to make him run. In the bottom left corner you can find your speed, but there's really not much point paying attention to that as there's so much more going on that you need to pay attention to in order to win.

When you find some balloons, you simply slide the stylus on the side of the screen to be ... (continued next page)