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Pokemon Dream Radar Review February 16, 2016

Posted by Maniac in Reviews.
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The original version of this review was written by our site’s Editor-in-Chief and published for the Poké Amino community. It has been republished here by its author in honor of Pokémon’s upcoming 20th Anniversary!

I would like to start off this review by asking the reader two very simple questions. First, do you have a copy of Pokémon Black 2 or Pokémon White 2 that you are either playing or plan to play? Second, do you have a Nintendo 3DS system? If the answer is “yes” to both of those questions you need to download this program right now.

Pokemon Dream Radar is a downloadable title for the Nintendo 3DS. It is an Augmented Reality (AR) game which uses the 3DS camera to project Pokemon and in-game items over a live video feed. In the game, you play as a researcher for a Pokémon Professor investigating the dream world for rare Pokémon. The player is expected to burst dream clouds which can hold dream orbs, Pokemon and items. The game does not make use of the 3DS’s 3D feature, so anyone playing the game on a 2DS should have an identical experience to anyone playing on a 3DS.

Any orbs the player obtains can be used to upgrade their equipment, making the game easier, and any items or Pokemon the player obtains can be transferred to the player’s save game for Pokemon Black 2 or Pokemon White 2 using either game’s Pokémon Link feature. New dream clouds spawn on a timer, giving the game a passing similarity for players who enjoy free-to-play titles, but unlike a FTP game at no point are you ever prevented from playing the game, nor are you ever asked to pay more money than the initial cost needed to purchase the game on the eShop. You can, however use 3DS play coins, obtained by walking with your 3DS system on, to respawn dream clouds to their maximum. Five play coins will automatically respawn the full amount of dream clouds you can currently hold, but you can only redeem coins three times a day. Otherwise clouds automatically respawn on their own over time. My advice would be to play Dream Radar in between play sessions of Pokemon Black 2 or White 2.  Once you’ve depleted your clouds, go back to the game while they respawn. Rinse, repeat.

I found the AR gameplay to be a lot of fun. I’m a huge fan of AR games like Spirit Camera, and I think the 3DS works really well as an AR device. While the gameplay experience is nothing like what you’d find in a traditional Pokémon generation game, I grew up playing FPS games and found it to be a nice change of pace.

If you want to use the app just for capturing Pokémon and using them in your game, the process to perform a data transfer with this app is pretty easy. Here’s a video showing you how it’s done.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep regularly sending your capture data from Dream Radar. The app can only hold six captured Pokémon, six items, and six legendary Pokémon in the transfer queue. If that content is not transferred to a physical retail copy of Black 2 or White 2, it will override the oldest captured data to make room for new captures, and whatever data it dumps could be lost.

It’s important to know that you can get some pretty powerful exclusive Pokémon with this app, and that should not be underestimated. All in all, this game was essential for me as I started my journey through Pokemon Black 2. If I didn’t have my Slowpoke with me, I don’t think I would have had as easy a time defeating the first Gym as I did, and my Thunderus was instrumental in helping me defeat the Elite 4 and the Pokémon League Champion.

The game does have an ending, and I was able to reach the ending of Dream Radar before I completed my first play through of Black 2. As the credits began to roll I felt a strong sense of accomplishment, as I knew the special Pokémon I obtained playing the game would join me as I continued to play Black 2. Perhaps if this game was a completely isolated experience which did not tie into any other Pokémon titles I would not find myself as willing to recommend it as I am, but given its low price of $3.99 US, fun gameplay, and the Pokémon Black 2/White 2 connectivity, I have to give this game my recommendation.  Enjoy, trainers!