Review: Pokémon Battle Trozei

An Onix-pected pleasure.

By Anthony Vigna. Posted 03/24/2014 09:00 2 Comments     ShareThis
The Final Grade
grade/score info
1-Up Mushroom for...
Addicting, fast-paced gameplay; Every single Pokémon is available; Extensive amount of content.
Poison Mushroom for...
Gets repetitive quickly; Some Pokémon are hard to capture due to hidden requirements.

As a longtime Pokémon fan, I’ve started to grow more of an appreciation for the spin-off titles than the main entries in the series. Of course, Pokémon X and Y still look fantastic and I’m glad that people are enjoying them, but I think that I’ve personally outgrown these games over the years. I’m still fond of Pokémon’s universe, though, and seeing it applied in unique ways always piques my interest. So naturally, when a game like Pokémon Battle Trozei (known as Pokémon Link: Battle! in Europe) is unexpectedly announced during a Nintendo Direct, I get excited to try it out.

Upon seeing it for the first time, I thought it would play a lot like the iPhone RPG Puzzle and Dragons, and I was right to a small extent. The basics of the game are similar, which involves matching three or more of the same Pokémon inside the Trozei Box to initiate an attack. Each Pokémon has a type that carries its own strengths and weaknesses against other Pokémon, so it’s important to strategically match the right types in every battle. Another similar mechanic is the Scatter Attack, which hits all enemies on screen when players string a combo of five or more. This is a life safer against hordes of Pokémon, since they also have the ability to fight back and deplete your health bar.

This is where the similarities end, however, as the combo system helps differentiate the game from other Match 3 puzzle titles. When you assemble a match of four or higher and then make any kind of match immediately after, you will initiate a Trozei Chance. In a Trozei Chance, the objective is to clear the entire Trozei Box by matching at least two Pokémon instead of the usual minimum of three. If you’re fast enough, you can clear the entire Trozei Box and continue to chain multiple Trozei Chances together until you mess up. While a Trozei Chance is really easy to start, the challenge comes from creating the biggest combo possible in order to do the most damage to your opponent. Once I started to pull off really long combos, I felt a huge amount satisfaction and accomplishment.

But, the Pokémon you face can also mess up your combos before you initiate a Trozei Chance. For example, some Pokémon have the ability to shuffle the board or can break and enter the Trozei Box itself to roll around in it. Thankfully, your team also has its own special abilities as well. Pokémon like Chancey can heal up your party and others like Mr. Mime can reinforce the Trozei Box to prevent opponents from breaking through, which are both vital abilities in the more difficult stages in the game. Of course, not every Pokémon has a special ability, so it’s important to select your team wisely before entering each stage.

Unfortunately, Pokémon Battle Trozei runs into a common problem that plagues its genre: repetition. Sure, it’s rewarding to string a massive combo together and take down a boss in one attack, but when that’s the only thing you’re doing for an entire playthrough, then it can become a tiresome affair. Because of this, Pokémon Battle Trozei is best played in short bursts, which is perfect for the game since it’s on a portable console.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, then you’ll be happy to know that the game provides an extensive amount of content. Every single Pokémon is featured in this game, giving you 718 different critters to capture. But the catch is that the game doesn’t tell you how to capture every single one. There are certain Pokémon
that only show up when certain requirements are fulfilled, but the game never tells you what those requirements are. Personally, I found this frustrating without the help of an online guide, giving me less incentive to try and catch them all.

Despite its tedious shortcomings, Pokémon Battle Trozei is still a fantastic game that’s worth playing. This fast-paced combo frenzy is extremely addicting to pick up and play, making it an excellent addition to the existing Pokémon spin-offs. The game’s mechanics are Exeggcute-d perfectly and the Mew-sic is extremely catchy, making it easy to Raichu this positive review and hard to put it down during every Eevvee-ning I play it.

…I’ll see myself out now.

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