Game Review

PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Joe Walker

Pikachu's vacation

While the main Pokémon games have rigidly stuck to their tried-and-true formula, the spin-offs have gone into some pretty interesting territory. Rather than focus on the life and tribulations of being a Pokémon trainer, PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond once again lets you step into the shoes of the franchise's lovable mascot Pikachu, and this time he's brought some friends.

The story begins with an oddly serious scene of Reshiram and Zekrom discussing an ever-growing darkness which serves as an odd contrast with the series' usual bright, cheerful tone. After some very cute scenes with Pikachu and his best friend Piplup, players are again blindsided with more drama as Pikachu must find a way to rescue the 'mon being hypnotised and held captive in the mysterious Wish Park.

It's all a bit jarring, honestly. The main bulk of the game is so sweet you'll probably get cavities, but some of the story scenes are actually quite heavy — it's never fun to see Pikachu cry, especially when he's at his most helpless. While younger fans probably won't notice or care, those who are able to fully grasp the story will be more engaged than they had probably expected before popping in the disc.

The first PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure only let players take the role of Nintendo's iconic shock mouse, but this time the starter trio of the Unova region get to share the spotlight. As the story progresses Oshawott, Snivy and Tepig can be swapped in at any point, allowing them to use their unique talents to help. While it would have been easy to make all four characters play exactly the same and hope players are satisfied with false variety, each Pokémon's skillset is necessary to traverse PokéPark and find all that's tucked away. Oshawott can swim, Snivy can jump high and Tepig is able to bash through certain barriers.

The main bulk of the game is simply exploring and interacting with different Pokémon, who will occasionally send you off to find a lost item or ask you to play tag. The rest will ask you to battle, and there are no menus or turn-based systems to be found here. You'll be jumping, dodging and attacking in real time, which is refreshing for a Pokémon game. If you lose, it's no big deal; you just have to get up and try again.

The graphics are full of life and vibrant; they're good, and not just for a Wii game. The world of PokéPark is well designed and full of colour, and you'll often forget what you need to do to continue the story because you'll be having too much fun exploring. It's a lot of fun to see Pokémon just being Pokémon, outside of Pokéballs and free from the rigours of life with a trainer.

The music is an aural feast as well, with catchy, upbeat tunes adding to the sense of fun and adventure, and you'll often find yourself nodding your head along with the music without realising it. It's the kind of game music where sometimes you'll just stop and stand there so you can listen to it a little bit longer.

Conclusion

PokéPark 2: Wonders Beyond is a simple game, but that's not a bad thing. The warm, welcome graphics and fantastic music are the perfect frame for a game of this type. It's simple but it's fun, and at the end of the day that's all that really matters. Those who aren't Pokémon fans probably won't be as enamoured as those who can sing the Pokérap from memory, but for Pikachu's devoted followers this is super effective.

More Stories

Game Trailer

User Comments (23)

LadyStarstorm

#3

LadyStarstorm said:

I'm really enjoying what I've had a chance to play of this game!! The battles are simple, but not having them be turn/menu-based is really refreshing, and much more reminiscent of the anime series. I've always thought it was silly that the games are still turn-based. I'd love to see an actual Pokémon game done in an advanced form of this style of gameplay!

Great review!! ^_^

bboy2970

#4

bboy2970 said:

Hmmm...wasn't really considering this but now I think I might buy it! I have a bunch of gift cards for various places burning a hole in my pocket anyway :)

Flowerlark

#5

Flowerlark said:

Kinda wish I'd gotten this instead of Rumble Blast. It was a blast at first but became a chore near the end. This one looks like more my kind of game.

Yrreiht

#6

Yrreiht said:

Ooh! a 7 :O I might have to look into it after all.
However... i'll wait 'till i played KIU long enough :P

DarkKirby

#7

DarkKirby said:

I find it odd how the developers of the main line of Pokemon games Gamefreak design all these Pokemon and have them portrayed in their game as almost nothing more then tools used for combat, then the anime and other developers take Pokemon and really bring them to life and show "this is what it would really be like if Pokemon were alive".

KaiserGX

#8

KaiserGX said:

I was just asking about this today, GETTING IT! I guess i will skip out on the first one.

Retro_on_theGo

#9

Retro_on_theGo said:

Loved the first one so I'll get this one. I was worried it wouldn't be good, so this review was very helpful. :)

sinalefa

#10

sinalefa said:

Sounds interesting. I would like to know the average length of a full playthrough and if it has other modes besides the main story.

KaiserGX

#11

KaiserGX said:

SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!!

(After you beat the main mode there are still a couple things you can do)

Pixel-Perfect

#12

Pixel-Perfect said:

I'm not really interested myself, but my nephew is starting to get into Pokemon and this might be perfect for him.

Katzii

#13

Katzii said:

So... What exactly did this version bring to the table that warranted an extra three points over the first one?

KaiserGX

#14

KaiserGX said:

It's not a mini game fest, 3 more playable characters with distinct characteristics, more involved story line, and more fun,

SpaceKappa

#15

SpaceKappa said:

@Katzii I haven't played the first one, so I don't really have a way to compare them. I'm just going by how PokéPark 2 stands up as its own game.

Sean_Aaron

#16

Sean_Aaron said:

My daughter has recently discovered the Pokemons; I have no doubt she'd love this game. Seems like a decent idea for a birthday gift!

Katzii

#17

Katzii said:

@SpaceKappa - that's fair enough. I liked the first one, myself, save for the control scheme, but it just confused me that this one didn't seem to add that much more, but got a much higher score. Thanks for the clarification.

TheDreamingHawk

#19

TheDreamingHawk said:

This game looks WAY better than the first one. This is what the Pokepark games should have been in the first place. I hope I can pick it up one of these days...

HiddenKey

#20

HiddenKey said:

I just love how you get to be a pokemon. I wish you could be which ever one u wanted. Hopefully you can recruit members like pokemon mystery dungeon.

Obito_Tennyson

#22

Obito_Tennyson said:

I never bought this because the first one was too frustrating. Some of the activities such as the chasing the Pokemon around were annoying. I was also tired of Pikachu constantly being the star of EVERY GAME that does not take the main role of a human.

Even in the Mystery Dungeon games, Pikachu is always an option, although Pichu is the primary form. Every other Pokemon is in their primary form... Even in the recent installment where there are only FIVE playable characters... Pikachu is the ONLY Pokemon from recent Mystery Dungeon installments to be in Infinity... At least you aren't forced to choose him in this game or the Mystery Dungeon games... he is there occupying Aipom's space.

Obito_Tennyson

#23

Obito_Tennyson said:

I never bought this because the first one was too frustrating. Some of the activities such as the chasing the Pokemon around were annoying. I was also tired of Pikachu constantly being the star of EVERY GAME that does not take the main role of a human.

Even in the Mystery Dungeon games, Pikachu is always an option, although Pichu is the primary form. Every other Pokemon is in their primary form... Even in the recent installment where there are only FIVE playable characters... Pikachu is the ONLY Pokemon from recent Mystery Dungeon installments to be in Infinity... At least you aren't forced to choose him in this game or the Mystery Dungeon games... he is there occupying Aipom's space.

Leave A Comment

Hold on there, you need to login to post a comment...