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4.3 out of 5 stars
Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness
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84 of 88 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon October 16, 2005
[Note: This is coming from a 21-year-old reviewer]

I don't see why people are having a problem with this game. Personally, I was a big fan of the 3d-cartoony style of RPGs from when they first made big splashes on the Dreamcast. Games like Grandia, Skies of Arcadia... I just love how these games are done, and Pokemon XD is no exception.

So what the XD for? An "extra dimension" of play. Apparently, all this really means is that you get a new character, a new storyline, and get to set out on the usual Pokemon adventures. Which isn't bad- I haven't played a Pokemon game yet I didn't like (excluding the smaller spinoff games, of course). This game supports the full cast of characters from Sapphire / Ruby / Emerald, and that's a whole lotta Pokemon.

You start as (since you name yourself, I'll call the character Hero), a kid who finds out, as usual, that you're responsible for saving the world by battling cute little monsters with monsters of your own. This time, you're given a sort of cybernetic arm attachment and headset that allows you to analyze and capture Shadow Pokemon- who must be converted back to the "light side" through love and affection in order to regain their former power.

What's new? If you played Colliseum, basically nothing. There's a new story, and the new Shadow Lugia Pokemon wandering the continent. Other than that, however, you'll only want this game if you just enjoy "catching them all" that much.

For fans like me who missed Colliseum, but have played the original games, you get to experience Pokemon in a well-thought-out 3d setting that's just gorgeous. Shadow Pokemon come equipped with Shadow type moves when you get them, so Pokemon you never would have thought about bringing out before suddenly become extremely useful as you'll always have Shadow moves to fall back on. Very nice. Speaking of which- yes, you have to steal Shadow Pokemon from the villians who use them for battling. What you'll really do is defeat all of the opponent's other Pokemon and from there, it's no different from capturing rare Pokemon in earlier games- only this time, the enemy can't run away, and if you accidentally defeat it instead of capturing, you can re-battle almost any time you want!

Never played Pokemon? It's an extremely easy to learn game, complete with insanely cute and cool Pokemon to battle, and it's family-friendly, as not even the wildest situations would rate above PG.

A lot of reviewers have said you can't catch wild Pokemon- and that's not exactly true. There are many "spots" where you can leave out treats and try to capture wild Pokemon- leaving more treats means Pokemon stay longer, so they're easier to capture. It's not quite like crawling through the grass in the old games, but it gets the job done. I saw a few other reviewers comment that converting the Shadow Pokemon takes too long- just through battling in the early game, I was able to cleanse more than one Pokemon per hour of play, and that included time it took to unlock an area to complete the process. Doesn't seem so bad to me! Plus, I haven't even opened up the secondary cleansing method available in the game.

Overall- It's another Pokemon game, and a pretty good one. It's colorful, it's cute, and it's been extremely fun to play. If you're plopping down money for a Pokemon game, isn't that exactly what you expect? Sure, stealing Shadow Pokemon and cleansing their hearts is a little different- but it's fun. The only people I wouldn't reccomend this game to are Colliseum fanatics who don't feel like starting the experience over- the two games are basically very similar. My girlfriend played Colliseum tons, and I could barely pull her away from the Gamecube on this one, but apparently other Colliseum fans feel otherwise.
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90 of 98 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2005
A fun trip back to the land of Orre with some familiar faces and some new friends. If you like Colosseum, you will find the upgrades in this game to be a godsend. I still don't enjoy the GameCube versions as much as the GBA ones, but everything that I WISHED I could do in Colosseum can be done in XD.

The main differences are as follows:

1. What we all wished for has happened .. you can SAVE the game anywhere, anytime, as often as you like! This was by far the most annoying thing that I discovered when I first bought Colosseum. I was so used to saving my game before any major battle, or before trying to catch a "one-shot-only" Pokemon. With XD, you no longer have to seek out a PokeCenter or a computer to save the game. This makes all the difference in the world. I am no longer "afraid" of what's lurking around the corner because I can always start over if I wasn't ready for what was lurking in the darkness! LOL

2. You can catch WILD POKEMON in XD. Another thing that I could never get used to in Colosseum. In XD, you are shown three "Poke Spots" where you leave treats (bait) for wild Pokemon. You have a Pokemon-detector that goes off if any wild Pokemon are munching your treats at a Poke Spot. Again, with the new "save feature", you can save the game and THEN go hunting. If you kill the wild Pokemon by accident, just restart.

3. There is a cool new Purification machine so you can purify up to NINE Pokemon at the same time. Very much a time saver. No more dragging around Pokemon that you never intend to use just to open up their hearts.

4. New story line. Some old towns, some new towns, but an interesting storyline throughout.

5. Graphics. Graphics are noticibly better in XD.

6. Shadow Moves. Instead of one shadow move, all shadow pokemon automatically come with at least two. There are many possible shadow moves .. all with different strengths and effects. Much more interesting.

7. New Pokemon. There are (at least) two new Pokemon. You can't catch them, but I think their appearance foreshadows a new batch of Pokemon which will probably be available in the next version of the game. One character even mentions that new Pokemon are being spotted all over the land.

All in all, much better than Colosseum. Just adding a few simple changes (most notably the "save feature") brings a whole new enjoyment to an older game. Pokemaniacs will not be disappointed with this purchase.

NOTE: As I have suggested in my other reviews, buy the NINTENDO POWER guide instead of the Prima guide. MUCH more complete.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2005
When I first read the online reviews about this game, I was really hesitant to buy it. Every review I read was negative, and seemed to concentrate on how you couldn't catch wild pokemon. This was very discouraging, because catching wild pokemon was the main reason I was going to buy XD. Anyway, I bought the game (after talking to the experts...my nephews), and I am here to tell you, that all the reviews are wrong (RTFM) you CAN catch wild pokemon. Granted, the way you catch them is not the same as in GBA games, but would you really expect the same thing on a 3-D GameCube game as you would on a GBA game? I hope not. You expect something different when you move from a handheld system to a home console. It's like comparing apples and oranges. They are meant to be different. The main issue is that the GBA games have been around forever, and people have gotten used to the same old way of doing things. If can learn to accept the fact that some things change as they get better, you will love this game.

That being said, here are 10 main differences between XD and Colosseum:

1. You start out with one level 10 base evolution pokemon (Eevee) instead of two higher level, already evolved pokemon. (I like this because it gives you the oppurtunity to chose the evolution of your Eevee and also allows you to power up "from the bottom").

2. You don't have to go to a friggin computer to save the game. You can save anywhere anytime. That was a BIG improvement.

3. Purifing pokemon is made a lot easier. The cool new thing with this is the purification chamber. Theoretically, you can purify 15 shadow pokemon at once (9 in the chamber 6 in your party).....not going to go into more detail...buy the game...check it out.

4. You don't have to wait until the end of the game to catch shadow pokemon you accidently knocked out (They brought back Miror B for this).

5. Pokemon storage system has been updated to be easier to use.

6. Music and XF are WAY better in XD than in Colosseum. They have also updated the move animations (and the trainers do a cheesy "rats" air punch when you hurt their pokemon).

7. You do not have a constant partner tagging along with you throughout the whole game.

8. Overall story is longer than Colosseum

9. Pokemon spots...you CAN catch wild pokemon. Once you progress enough in the game, you will be able to go to Pokemon spots and put out food (kind of like putting a pokeblock in a feeder at the safari in the GBA games). Go on about your business, and sooner or later, you get a beep on your P*DA saying a wild pokemon has appeared. Go catch it!

10. Shadow pokemon in Colosseum only know one move when you catch them and have a state called Hyper mode. The one move has recoil and hyper mode increases your critical hit ratio. In XD, the shadow pokemon have at least 2 moves when you catch them. One is a physical attack, the other is a stat modifier. The actual attacks vary. I have seen 7 different physical attacks and about 5 different stat modifier attacks. Also, the attacks do not have recoil. When you enter reverse mode (hyper mode in colosseum), it does not seem to raise your critical hit ratio, but you do recieve damage after every turn your pokemon stays in reverse mode. I guess this compensates for the no recoil attacks.

All in all, XD beats Colosseum hands down. It keeps the good parts of Colosseum and changes the bad parts. As for if XD beats the GBA games......don't get me started.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 10, 2005
Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness is the sequel to Pokemon Colosseum. (I think the "XD" stands for "Extra Dimension".)
It's not a "Pokemon Stadium"-type game; it's like Story Mode in Pokemon Colosseum.
The plot involves the unexpected return of Cipher, five years after its defeat in Colosseum. Cipher has returned with a vengeance, as is evidenced by its suddenly showing up with a massive Shadow Lugia. The Lugia steals a ship transporting Pokémon one night, causing numerous news reports, and when it turns out that Cipher is involved, a young boy with great Pokemon Trainer skills sets out to save the day from the bad guys.

Here are the pros:

1. You can now save wherever you want, like in the Game Boy Advance games! WAHOO!

2. The graphics have been improved since Colosseum. There are a lot of really nicely done "cutscenes", and the trainers react to what's happening in the battle--
i. e. the trainers act triumphant if they win, frustrated and/or anguished if they lose, etc.

3. The music and sound effects are quite good, as is the writing.

4. There is a lot to this game--I like games with a lot in them (unless I'm really anxious to find out what happens at the end).

5. Not terribly violent--if a character is defeated in battle, they just faint (they never die or anything like that. Actually, this holds true for all Pokemon games, and I think it's a really nice touch).

Cons:

1. Like with Colosseum, you can't play as a girl. But I really like the character you get to play as, so it's not really that much of a problem. (He looks like Lan Hikari from MegaMan Battle Network.) I also imagine it would be really hard to have to animate the entire game twice over--once with the girl character and once with the guy character--so it's sort of understandable.

2. You can't revisit cutscenes. Really, though, this is true for almost all video games, but still, I'd like to be able to see them again.

3. If you want to start a new game, it erases everything you did. I can't stand this, and it unfortunately holds true for all Pokemon games. They should let you start a new game and keep the one you have in progress at the same time. (AAAAAAAARRRRGGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!)

In conclusion, Pokemon XD: Gale Of Darkness is a must-have for any Pokemon fan, and the expense is well worth it.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2006
Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness is very fun. It has much better graphics than Colliseum. This time, there is an actual story. Brand new cities, brand new characters, and brand new pokemon. You can also catch wild pokemon and save anywhere in the world, anytime! It is much easier to purify, with the new purify chamber that has nine chambers. More moves, especially shadow moves. If you have a GBA or a DS, you can trade your pokemon onto XD, and you can crush. With all new minigames and 4th generation pokemon, this is a full fledged game.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2006
This game is adventurous and fun. You can kick Cipher bu**. You have to capture and purify shadow pokemon. After playing a while you can enable Pokemon trading with your GBA games. However, you can't trade shadow pokemon. You can also battle with GBAs if you have the right cable. The game has a story line and you might have to go online to find clues when you get stuck or buy the guide. It's not easy to purify Lugia. Once you snag Lugia that is. XD is a lot like the GBA Pokemon games but the graphics are much much better and you have to catch shadow pokemon and purify them in order to purify Lugia. You can still trade with your friends if they have Pokemon GBA games like Ruby or Emerald. The GBA games have to have access to the Hall of Fame before they can start trading. This game is a lot of fun if you are already a fan of the Pokemon games. There is enough new stuff and things to do and a new story line to keep you interested for hours and hours of fun.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2005
Finally, we get a gamecube Pokemon game that's worthy of five stars! But that doesn't mean it's the game pokemon fans have been waiting for - just a simple gamecube version of the gameboy RPGs - but it is enjoyble for sure! In this game you start with a simple Eevee instead of Espeon and Umbreon - I think this was probably a better idea, the "eons" (Vaporeon, Jolteon, Flareon, Espeon, and Umbreon) are some of the best (and best looking - my opinion) pokemon in the game, and while you only have one now, at least you can get any Eevee evolution you want! There also seems to be more pokemon and a better variety of pokemon to snag in XD than in Colluseum. I am much more pleased with my team that I was in the latter game! This game seems to flow much more smoothly, and seems better done overall. Simply just more fun to play! True, it does have a few, long, boring parts - but not as many as the game before it. Many of the battle and attack animimations have been redone (example: in Colluseum Flareon didn't move when it attacked with Shadow Ball, here it does that same jump thing it did in Stadium 2) as well. But I do have one major complaint - the only place where you can battle using your gameboy pokemon is in 2player battle! (As opposed to Battle Mountain and the Colluseum mode in Colluseum). But since this game is better and I actually can "snag" (err, incase you don't know, Colluseum and XD have you well, stealing "Shadow Pokemon" from dark trainers, which you have to purify) most of my favorite pokemon I don't feel the urge of wanting it that much. There are a few "wild" pokemon in this game, but the selection is so few I don't really count it for anything. The music is largely simular to Colluseum, as are most of the graphics. The story is better though, taking place five years since we last saw Orre. Overall though, the cons in this game aren't as big as the ones in the Colluseum. And while not as good as the gameboy games, XD is a HUGE step up from Colluseum!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2007
I mean i've played this awesome game before and it was one of the best video games i've ever played. I'm one of the biggest pokemon fans ever and really thought this game would be exactly like Pokemon Colosseum but I was totally wrong what I think is that the game needs no improvements except that sometimes you get stuck into walls and all you can do is reset the game. But overall this game is one of the best videogames ever.

Here's what my team on there is:Flareon,Ursaring,Shiftry,Aggron,Ampharos,and Tyranitar. My pokemon rock and I'll bet all yours do too. I recommend this game because of it's awesome graphics, it's sweet pokemon you can collect,and how it displays.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2006
Pokemon xd is great,even better that colloseum because you can save at anytime except during battles and events you can't do anything but watch.Also there are 83 pokemon to snag!

I know a way to purify shadow lugia.First snag it with the

master ball prof. krane gave you then in the purify chamber

make the tempo go to the max, then put lugia in the chamber

-doesn't matter if other pokemon are in the chamber purifying-

and viola! lugia's purified!
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23 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2005
Pokemon XD is one of those games that would be good if we didn't know there could be something better. It's basically a refit of Pokemon Colliseum with a few updates and a new story. Which is good, right? Well, if you like Colliseum, yes. Then it's great. If not ... well, you still might have issues.

The idea of shadow pokemon is, to put it bluntly, gimmicky and annoying. The purification process still takes far too long, and catching only certain pokemon from trainers (which sounds cool) exists only because of the major flaw that exists in this game.

Once again, you can not battle wild Pokemon, like in the Game Boy versions. That means no catching them in the wild, and (my biggest issue) no battling wild pokemon for experience. Instead, you have to fight trainers, and these battles are long and frustrating. I hate to say it, but Pokemon is the kind of game where grinding through dozens of quick, wild pokemon battles is an integral part of the game. Having to fight the harder, longer trainers for experience that in the end is not proportionately higher as to make it worth it, makes the experience nothing short of boring.

It makes me sad, because if a game was perfectly translated from Game Boy to Gamecube, it would be wonderful and entertaining. The story in this is better than any Pokemon before, and the areas beautiful. Its' just those 'improvements' in the battle system that spoil it for me.

Again, I recommend this cautiously. If you like Colliseum, then fine, this will be fun for you. If you don't, stay away. And for those of you who never played Colliseum, I would suggest renting, or trying Colliseum first (it's only $20, certainly an amount that can be risked on a maybe game).
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