(3DS eShop)

Pokédex 3D Pro (3DS eShop)

Game Review

Pokédex 3D Pro Review

Europe PAL Version

Posted by Mike Mason

It's evolution, baby

Admit it – if you were ever a fan of Pokémon, you probably wanted a Pokédex. The best-forgotten LCD-screened plastic versions aside, the 3DS eShop's Pokédex 3D was the first time you could hold the all-knowing electronic encyclopaedia in the palm of your hand – the catch was that it only contained the 150 Unova-region monsters from Pokémon Black and White.

Pokédex 3D Pro has got you covered. It brings together the vast majority of the 649 Pokémon, plus their various alternate Formes, in one package for your viewing pleasure. The most recent two species, Meloetta and Genesect, haven't made the cut – though there are two conspicuous spaces at the end of the 'dex just waiting to be filled in – but all your other favourites, from Abomasnow to Zweilous, are present and correct. You no longer have to unlock them either; they're all available from the very start.

Just as in the first eShop Pokédex, each Pokémon gets the 3D modelling treatment. Most of the creatures look phenomenal; the models are beautifully smooth and match up to our expectations of how Pokémon in three dimensions should be. It's quite exciting to look through them all to see how they've been converted, spotting new details that might have been missed in their previous incarnations, and it's easy to imagine that these models are early glimpses into future games in the series; if Pokémon is going to go down the 3D route at some point, we want to see Pokédex 3D Pro's interpretations along for the ride.

Press a button and they emit their traditional Game Boy-style call – some things are harder to let go of than others, apparently – and do a little jig or launch an attack. The art team has clearly had some fun with these: some are ridiculous, others the very definition of adorable, and many of them take advantage of stereoscopic 3D. Water Pokémon spit out bubbles, Fire types scorch the air before you and more physical monsters swipe out. A special mention has to be given to the utterly disgusting Grimer, which wobbles and drips toxic goo as it stares at you. You can change the backgrounds around to see them all in fancy different lighting settings, too.

Pokédex 3D Pro isn't just there to look pretty, though: each Pokémon's page is packed full of information, from statistics (only presented in vague meters rather than actual numbers, unfortunately) to evolutions, abilities to egg groups, move lists to heights and weights. It's nothing that you can't already find on the Internet, but to have it in an easy to navigate, attractive 3DS application is quite nice.

The entries are all smoothly integrated; if you're on Pidgeotto's page, you can check out the evolutionary information – what it evolves from, to and the conditions for each transformation – and then click on Pidgey or Pidgeot to move to their pages instantly. Similarly, you can tap on any move to be taken to information on the attack, listing its type, base power and a list of every Pokémon that can learn it and how.

Both Pokémon and moves can be searched, sorted and filtered in just about any way you'd want to from an ever-present tab at the bottom of the touch screen. You can find only those Pokémon in the Dragon egg group or with a certain ability, for example, or sort them by height or region if you prefer. The options for moves are more limited, but still useful: they can be flicked through alphabetically or according to type and attack kind (physical, special or status changing).

Augmented Reality also returns from the original Pokédex 3D. Each Pokémon and individual Forme comes with its own unique AR code on its profile; sketch the marker out, display it on a screen or print it onto a piece of paper and aim your 3DS' outer cameras at it to bring all your favourites into your living room for photo opportunities (the AR markers from the first Pokédex 3D are still compatible as well). Pictures can be saved to the SD card and up to five can be added into the Pokédex database for each creature. You can also display monsters at scale size; the instruction manual even advises you to keep this box ticked and make an AR marker of one metre square to take photos of Pokémon at "life size." Finally, our dreams of posing with a Charizard can come true!

Several AR markers can be tracked at once, so you can create a little army on your floor if that's what you're into. In addition, when using AR mode you can test out attack types on Pokémon: aim at the one you want to assault, click the attack and you're told how such a move type would effect that monster, whether it's super effective or not useful in any regard. If you have a few Pokémon hopping about, you can ask how they all stack up on a number of stats too, which is a cool touch. Press the "speed" button, for instance, and number rankings pop up to show who's the quickest among the currently displayed beasts.

Finally, there are 36 quizzes to test your knowledge. These start simply – name this Pokémon, name that Pokémon – before expanding to test you on everything from Unown shapes to matching cries, heights and Pokédex entries (some of the easiest to answer, as several of the questions actually directly give you the correct response). These multiple choice trials will really separate the elite trainers from the bug catchers; you can take them as many times as you want, and each time 10 new questions are generated at random. As well as getting the right answers, part of the challenge is also to complete each set as quickly as possible.

There are also a couple that ask you to survive 100 rounds of mixed queries or last as long as possible. Do well on the long exams and you'll be well on your way to becoming a Pokémon professor. On top of that there are a few custom slots that let you make up new challenges of varying difficulties and question types, but the contents are only determined by entering messy character strings; it's not very intuitive at all and at complete odds with the rest of the package.

Unfortunately there is one huge problem that prevents Pokédex 3D Pro from landing a critical hit: the price. It's a great package with a lot of information, but for what it is – essentially a database with plenty of pretty 3D models and search options, plus some AR distractions and quizzes – it's far too expensive at the current price point of £13.49/$14.99. It would be costly at half that price but would at least be more in-line with other eShop releases; when you consider that a content-rich game like Pullblox is available on the eShop for about 40% of the price, it's a bit of a problem. No doubt it took some time and money to pull together all those lovely Pokémon models, but the resulting price does not sit well at all.

Conclusion

Pokédex 3D Pro pulls tons of data and some fun asides together in a stylishly presented, smooth application, and the brand-new 3D Pokémon models are just delightful. However, the price point is far beyond what we'd expect to pay for such a package — especially when so much of the information is freely available online — and so, despite its quality, comes difficult to recommend to all but the most enthusiastic of Pokémon masters.

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User Comments (88)

BenAV

#2

BenAV said:

Normally this would be an instant download.
But at $19.50, it's a really tough choice of whether I want to waste that much money on it.
Besides from the price, it all seems pretty good.

AcesHigh73

#5

AcesHigh73 said:

Yup, completely agree with @BenAV. If this was say, £5.40 (max), I'd snap it up for sure. But I just can't justify such a whopping price tag. Particularly so with the likes of Fallblox, HydroVenture, NightSky, Dempa Men, and Crimson Shroud due to hit the EU eShop in the coming weeks!

Nanoline

#6

Nanoline said:

Come on Nintendo, how on earth could you be that stupid to charge that much for this? I could buy the average Pokemon game (as in full game) used for that much money.

Really?

Trikeboy

#7

Trikeboy said:

I'm going to get this, but will wait for a reduced price version. There is no guarantee that there will be but Nintendo have lowered prices before. Until then either Bulbapedia or Serebii.net will provide me with my Pokedex needs.

kurtasbestos

#9

kurtasbestos said:

I've never played a Pokémon game (though I've always been kind of interested in maybe thinking about the possibility of trying one out), but $20 doesn't sound like a bad deal to me... obviously a TON of work went into this thing, and if the actual factual games have over 600 Pokémon types it seems WAY less tedious to browse through them leisurely than to try to collect them all in possibly several games, which I know I would never have the free time or patience to attempt. I suppose that sort of defeats the entire point of the games, though.

Prof_Clayton

#12

Prof_Clayton said:

Did you say I can become a Pokemon Professor?! :D
I would have preferred this differently, maybe a dlc for the original Pokedex 3D, because now people have to go and delete their original Pokedex 3D.

Lalivero

#14

Lalivero said:

The price isn't really a bother to me(although it would have been if it was priced like a new retail game). Usually the books cost slightly less than this in stores, but this comes with other fun additions and is in 3d.

It's just going to be my portable glimpse of the future of pokemon on the 3ds.

BlatantlyHeroic

#15

BlatantlyHeroic said:

Well, with how much work you have to put into the models, I think this price is justified. You guys need to start considering exactly how much work goes into a game and stop being spoiled brats.

GameLord08

#17

GameLord08 said:

Judging by the amount of development, resources and finishing that were put into this, I'd say the price is somewhat justified. It's unfair to compare this to a mere online Wiki resource - this is a handy professionally-designed 3D Pokedex with a lot of noteworthy additions. It's understandable that as consumers, we aren't liable to consider the other side of the spectrum (and that in no way renders us "spoilt brats"), but it's a legitimate novelty. You might not feel the need to spend $17 on something of the sort, but it is worth the price for something of its kind. I'm surprised it's not even retail.

Trikeboy

#18

Trikeboy said:

The online wiki's are more useful since you have it displayed while playing the game.

gundam00

#21

gundam00 said:

How is this different from the existing Pokedex that was offered for free over the last year?

JayceJa

#22

JayceJa said:

the free version had less than a quarter of the pokemon the new one does

ill buy it, but it will be one week when i dont have anything else i really need to get with a spare 20 bucks

Late

#23

Late said:

I'd like to buy it but the price is way too high. I wouldn't use it as a Pokédex, I'd use it for drawing. It has so nice 3D models and some animations that would be a great help at drawing Pokémon from different angles. I've used free Pokédex like that and drawn all kinds of 5th Generation Pokémon while somewhat doing what I'm supposed to be doing in class.

nick21

#24

nick21 said:

I'd just like to know how someone can actually go about purchasing this? It just says "Coming to Nintendo eShop". Am I going to have to wait until 11:59 tonight or something before it can be downloaded? Or am I just the only one who can't download it?

rjejr

#25

rjejr said:

nick21 - USA update is noon eastern time, sorry I don't know about the other 23 time zones.

Good to see so many people complaining about the price, but my 2 sons are still going to get it, despite owning every paperback 'dex, and they never turn 3D on.

On Android I found a good FREE Pokedex called Pokedextra. Not 3D but can be filtered and sorted by region, type, attack, etc. I also had a couple on my iPod Touch but the Android one seems better than either of those.

Mr_Nose

#26

Mr_Nose said:

This looks interesting, and well worth the asking price, but I was hoping it would have a storage feature similar to Pokemon Box Ruby & Sapphire.

When is someone going to bring back this incredibly useful tool?

Ecto-1

#27

Ecto-1 said:

I'm kinda on the fence on this one. The way I look at this is it is pretty much a stand in for the Volume 2 guide coming out later this month. It pretty much contains the same information as that guide plus a few little extra features and tools. I don't love the price, but it is covering the same info as a $20 guide, so I might look into it.

@SirGreatNose

I don't get that either. That would be an excellent way to streamline the process of transferring pokemon from one game to another! I would love for them to create a small app to provide this function without having to play the annoying little mini-game thing.

Lalivero

#28

Lalivero said:

It would also be interesting if, when the main games arrive for 3ds, they have some way to switch between the game and this 'dex that's smoother than having to completely exit one to access the other

OracleOfTruth

#29

OracleOfTruth said:

This sounds like a wonderful, well made application. However, I cannot justify spending $15 on this at the moment.

DaveGX

#30

DaveGX said:

I'm actually having trouble finding this on eShop; Went under recent arrivals, new software....no icon. I did a search....nothing under the options to purchase it. Am I missing something??

nick21

#31

nick21 said:

rjejr - thanks for the info

Dave, look a few posts up at what rjejr said

Sam_Loser2

#32

Sam_Loser2 said:

This sounds great but as expected not worth the price. But it Pokemon, so I'll just have to get it anyway.

DreamyViridi

#33

DreamyViridi said:

Some of you sound like real cheapstakes, y'know. It is a bit expensive but there's most likely a reason for such a price that no-one thinks of. Not all downloads have to/will be cheap, some are good enough to be retail priced.

I'm gonna get it as soon as I put more funds on the eShop. :)

Xilef

#34

Xilef said:

Really want this, but don't have the money. After the Wii U release maybe... I agree it's a bit expansive, but i doubt making those 3D models was cheap.

Sonic260

#36

Sonic260 said:

Well, if it contains information on Gen IV as well (Diamond/Pearl/Platinum ; HeartGold/SoulSilver) then I might buy this.

ultraraichu

#37

ultraraichu said:

Nice review, was going to get it even if it had 5/10.
I feel like the only one who was waiting for this app and is unphased by the "high" price. I guess the value of something is based on the individual and not the money.

Raiin

#41

Raiin said:

I am going to get this. It's pretty cool and probably cheaper than if they would have made a stand alone pokedex

bluecat

#43

bluecat said:

Aww I was really looking forward to this but $14.99? Ehhh.

Well...I was expecting it to be $9.99 so I guess five more bucks doesn't make much of a difference. :/

TimeGuy

#44

TimeGuy said:

I'm getting the physical paper guide instead, seeing as I will actually be able to peruse it while playing the game on my 3DS.

Nekketsu3D

#45

Nekketsu3D said:

and these are the things that kill the eshop, when we could have NES games 3DS Classics, more virtual consoles of Gamegear, Turbografx, more DSiwares ... release these products left over in the eshop... sigh...

Xiao_Pai

#47

Xiao_Pai said:

Yup...amazing app...was going to nab this as soon as it came out...until they showed off the price. :c

LittleKing

#48

LittleKing said:

There are several problems with this. One is that all the info is available online. Not only the move sets, evolutionary trees and egg groups, but more.

Instead of a wimpy imprecise bar, you can find out the maximum and minimum possible stats the Pokemon can have at level 1, 50 and 100, exactly. You can find out how many EVs different species award you on defeating them. You can find out not only the egg group, but specifically what Pokemon needs to be any given Pokemon's father to give it any given egg move. In case you've forgotten all of the type matches, each Pokemon has a list of how every type matches up, for those complicated dual-types, as well as what moves give STAB. Anyone who would ever need a Pokedex could use the internet to find out ten times more about any given Pokemon.

Also, if any 3DS Pokemon games ever come out that would need a Pokedex, this would be useless; you can open the internet browser without closing your game, but not another app/game.

Hokori

#51

Hokori said:

I'll still get it, I mean you can't be unhappy with an app, I mean I think Nintendos just trying to compete with the smartphone apps (calculator, pokedex, clock, the beauty clock)
Not to mention if your a die hard ninty fan they have given you 33 free titles in the past year, and if your going digital with WiiU you'll make that $15 back by buying 3 WiiU eShop titles

TeeJay

#52

TeeJay said:

No wonder it's set at this price. The app is huge! A ton of time and effort must have been put into this. Bought.

WesCash

#54

WesCash said:

That price is ridiculous! :O I just want to see 3D pokemon. None of the database stuff can match what is already available on the internet via smogon, bulbapedia, and serebii. AR and quizzes don't interest me either. The most I'd pay is $5.

RaylaxStaff

#55

Raylax said:

It was a tricky sell, but I bought it. I usually tend to buy the frankly enormous print Pokédex references (which tend to be full of errors and not exactly the most manageable tomes) which generally sell for the same price. This is a smaller and much more readily available reference, especially as I aren't always sat at my PC.

Nevergreen

#56

Nevergreen said:

I'll get this if the price drops.
On a different note, I see there's been another reviewer taking a potshot at old Pokemon having their original cry. What would you want them changed to? Granted that Pokemon Stadium experimented with updating the cries, but it seems to me that Nintendo are treating the Game Boy cries as part of Game Boy Pokemon's identities, and I quite like that.

RaylaxStaff

#57

Raylax said:

I agree with @Nevergreen about the cries. Would hearing them cry their names like the anime be cool? Yes. Once. After that, it'd quickly be hideously irritating to anyone over the age of 10.

Sound effects don't seem to have the same effect on our ears as voice acting - we can all listen to the barrage of coin jingle in Mario (NSMB2 in particularly) without wanting to punch out our speakers, but even the infectiously cheerful voice of Charles Martinet does rather start to grate after a while.

Holly

#58

Holly said:

Well my prediction was way off the mark. I was guessing it'd go for less than five bucks!

DerpSandwich

#59

DerpSandwich said:

This is pretty cool. I always assumed that the reason not every game had animations, or the reason that they might not make the jump to 3D models for a long time was that designing each and every of hundreds of models would be such a huge chore. But it looks like they did it! I've always been against 3D models in my Pokemon games, but if they can make them look this good then I say bring on Pokemon Rainbow and Grey, 'r whatever!

Aqueous

#60

Aqueous said:

Sale or Club Nintendo reward, just going to wait for one of them on this one. I have a large chunk memorized as it is and online always has a few hints for anything I don't know.

TheDreamingHawk

#61

TheDreamingHawk said:

I still will get it when I get an eshop card.

For all of you complaining about "I CAN GET THIS FOR FREE", you could say that about any 3DS VC game, or any wii VC game. Just support the devs! Plus it's the same price as one of the book pokedex, so it's still good, it includes the Egg group and other details like their attack or other stats, and everything that it would in a book. What makes it being on the eshop so tragic? Also, the internet won't be with you EVERYWHERE, so this is good as you can just whip it out to get info on the pokemon evolution.

Squid

#65

Squid said:

That is definitely a lot of money for such a simple app. It would be more worth it if there were more Pokemon games specifically for 3DS, because then it could be useful for quick information (if say, you were unable to look it all up online), since the usual DS Pokemon games available now can't use the game suspension feature, thus rendering this app pretty useless to anyone with Internet connection.

Zombie_Barioth

#66

Zombie_Barioth said:

@DerpSandwich Is right about that. The reason Monster Rancher games don't have very many monsters is because each monster takes about a month to fully animate, including sub-breeds. MR4 only had 290 monsters. Now just imagine animating 649 monsters.

The thing here is these sprites seem to be the same as what they're using for the new mystery dungeon which means they would have to make them anyway. So chances are this isn't as much extra work as it seems, for all we know they had already made them.

FonistofCruxis

#67

FonistofCruxis said:

Even if I did like Pokemon, I wouldn't get this at that price, especially when you can get all the information in it for free on the internet.
@TheDreamingHawk Actually, if you have a phone with 3G, the internet will be with you everywhere (almost) which makes there be even less point in buying this app as you could play a Pokemon game while having your phone beside you with the internet browser open on a page that has all this information on it.

MagicEmperor

#68

MagicEmperor said:

At first, I was like :D. Then I saw the price, and I was like D:. Pass, sadly. I'd love to have it, but I'm strapped for cash and saving every last bit for other things.

AceGrey

#69

AceGrey said:

As a big Pokemon fan I can say this app is georgeus. The price is way to high but if you really want something you will get it, no matter what price.. a full pokedex in 3d, I'm more than happy.
because im sick of all that searchin for poks on the i-net.
The information about the monsters isnt new but I like the overall nintendo design on this produkt.
Guess I'll have to play B/W2 on my old ds, so I can juse the pokedex on my 3ds.

For all fans out there: "Buy it"
Everyone else : "15 bucks is waaay to much"

SMW

#70

SMW said:

I admit I only got the original Pokedex since it was free. It was great for testing the 3D effects out on. I don't even like Pokemon! lol

$15 seems like quite a bit of money considering the first one was free, but to each his own.

Sakura_Moonlight2421

#71

Sakura_Moonlight2421 said:

x-x God that's easier than carrying the freakin dex guild. {Yes I'm dedicated to Pokemon that I carry the huge dex guide with me everywhere.}

sillygostly

#72

sillygostly said:

My only disappointment is that we cannot see the differences between the sexes of the Pokemon as well as their shiny forms (which will only require a palette swap). I hope that these will be included in a future update.

chucknorrmis

#73

chucknorrmis said:

lol. $15 is justifiable? The info you really need is found online. this is just a 3d model slideshow. hell, a dictionary (something that's actually useful) costs less than this. $15 is waaaay too much. if it were dropped to $10 or quite possibly even $5, then it'd have a ton more buyers; which will cover up the difference.

Marioman64

#74

Marioman64 said:

rating a game by factoring its cost in? I don't think that's right.
when I get some more money on me I will definitely get this for sure, because AR eevee's everywhere :3

Marioman64

#75

Marioman64 said:

@Tomatoboxer things are rated based on their content and how well they pulled off what they were trying to make, not how fun it is. For a complete pokemon knowledge database with some extra features and spiffy 3d models nintendolife felt nintendo did a 7/10 job. seems fair to me, even if they may have put price in as a factor

Kitsune_Rei

#76

Kitsune_Rei said:

I got it, and I do not regret it. I liked the free app, I primarily like using it for drawing reference since its really nice to be able to see any angle (and I don't always have a strategy guide or the internet handy), though I don't like the 3d models as much as the actual art, they're very geometric. Its also quite cool to see the little animations for each.
I think its frankly just cool to have an actual real-life Pokedex even if it doesn't have every single detail on each Pokemon (I kinda wish it had at least locations too.)

One annoyance I did have is I just have the default SD card, and its takes up 3300+ blocks of space. I had to delete all my demos, so now I can't get anything else until I get a bigger card :( I have a handful of other games, but not a lot.

My question is, is there any point in me keeping the free version? I think they ported all that stuff over and just added a bunch more. I think I'm going to delete it to recover some space unless there's a compelling reason not to. I almost wished there was an easter egg for those who collected all the old ones, but it looks like not.

TKOWL

#77

TKOWL said:

As much as I want instant access to the move tutor learnlist, it's not worth $15, even for someone into the competitive scene.

Pass.

SnackBox

#79

SnackBox said:

I can buy the pokedex pro, or spend less on the official guide OR just go on bulbapedia for free.....

Kitsune_Rei

#80

Kitsune_Rei said:

Everyone keeps saying "I can just find that info online". If its info you want, then yeah, you can find more detailed data online. However, you can't find 3D models that you can drag to any angle, or easily click to hear a cry. So its more if you're a fan in general and like the novelty. If all you see it as is data reference, then this isn't for you.

chucknorrmis

#81

chucknorrmis said:

@Kitsune_Rei
that's why everyone does not think the price is worth the purchase... even big pokemon fans as myself and a lot of others on this page don't find the $15 price tag worth it just to see 3d models or to hear pokemon cries.

14Xailel

#82

14Xailel said:

I will get it later, Since I spent all my money on the Wii U.... :)
I am only iffy on how much I would use it vs. price. It is cheaper than buying a new pokedex players guide, But I haven't looked at it in a long time..... Hhhmmmm :-/

Hamsterism

#84

Hamsterism said:

I'm going to buy it. The free version only let me have like 20 Pokemon before it stopped updating, and I don't always have access to the internet. I'm just wondering how I access the AR codes?

AceTrainerBean

#87

AceTrainerBean said:

I got some Christamas money and I hate that I am gonna pay that price for the pokedex 3D Pro but it just looks amazing and plus I love pokemon to much to pass up on this!

stoffangadd

#88

stoffangadd said:

It's even worse for me, I'm Swedish and it's 150 SEK in Sweden instead of 15 $ or whatever it is in America

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