Nintendo Reviews Rating:
Age 6+
Posted: July 24th, 2006
By: Webmaster-Josh
Pokemon Channel brings Pikachu back to the spotlight of attention, now with a TV. This game is a spin-off of Hey You!
Pikachu, but nothing to do with speaking to it. Can the game be as bad as the premise? Find out in this review.
Sound

Yes, the sound effects. Well they are mostly non-existent. Okay, there are some here, but mostly bland and boring
effects. The developers weren't very risky with trying new sound effects, and in some cases none at all. They may have
tried overusing the Pokemon's cries as an excuse for not having ample sound effects. This works terribly, in fact you'll be
rather annoyed by hearing the same exact cries over and over. When I say over and over for some games, it usually isn't
very pervasive. Here it is nonstop. I can't even see little kids liking the same stuff over and over. Well, maybe...
Then there's the music. There's hardly anything here, but what's here isn't quite as bad as the sound effects. I'd like to
compare it to The Sims because it seems that a lot of the style of the music is similar to The Sims. Your room has a piano
playing while the TV is not turned on. And when it is turned on, the music tries to capture the scene. It doesn't fail in that
part. It fails from repetition. Even The Sims had developed music, instead of doing the same things for repetition. The bad
music only gets worse as you progress through the game. And I think that the lack of Dolby Surround sound is a bad
decision. I don't like the controls in this game (read more about that below), but when you have viewpoints that allow for a
lot of noise both in front and behind you, you may as well take advantage of it with the sound aspect. This game doesn't
take any risks, if you can believe me now. I hope you do, because otherwise you'll have to hear it for yourself, and you
won't like it.
Control

Another aspect that wasn't given adequate risks. When I say that, I am referring to the fact that the game is basically
point-and-click in a somewhat 3D environment. Why you can't freely move around in this game like you could in the
previous iteration from this company (Hey You! Pikachu) is way beyond me. And just having free movement isn't risky.
It's rather easy. Developers have only been doing it for...I don't know...the last 10 years! Seriously, this hurts the game.
You find yourself with a lack of viewing area, and it is really irritating navigating through environments. You are just
moving left and right, while trying to actually click on something standing still. But as you try, it just moves you. And then
when other Pokemon or objects get in the way...well good luck!
And that's just the main controls. When you look at the other game mechanics, it only gets worse. Pikachu becomes more
of an annoyance than someone you want to hang around. He basically does random things, like changing channels when
you might actually want to sit down and watch something (read Design for that part). I honestly don't know anyone who
would actually tolerate that in real life. I hardly ever watch TV (because I'm playing games...playing...not watching) but
either way, if someone is flipping the channels when I'm watching stuff, things don't go over well. And I guess you could
use the excuse that "Pikachu is just a Pokemon and doesn't know any better" (said in a cute voice). Ummmm...no! Games
are fun when you are in control. Pikachu controlling the game makes you feel you're not playing at all (another aspect in
Design).
And to wrap it up, the loading isn't so great, and the interface isn't so great. You have this really fat mouse that you use to
click everything, and dragging it around feels like extra weight. Considering this game could have been 3D, this really
brings down the game. The bottom line is that you're not going to have fun controlling this game, if you can.
Graphics

The graphics are subpar. I don't need to say much else.
The environments are seriously lacking in detail, and
sometimes in a constant framerate. Pokemon is known
to be a series filled with creative artwork, but it never
shows in this game. Rather, we get high-resoluted stuff.
That's not a bad thing, but without some more creativity,
it looks outdated.
I think the real problem is that when you are using fixed
views, there is no excuse for not making more details.
You have so much to work with from a fixed view, why
not exploit it. If you've seen older Resident Evil games,
you know what I mean when I say that the graphics
could be a lot better.
Replay

It gets real ugly from here on out. Replay? Hardly existent. This is being very conservative when I say the game has about
8 hours of gameplay. 6 of those 8 hours is spent watching TV. So there really is only 2 hours of actual gameplay. And if
you hate the Pokemon TV show, a fair warning that at least one of those 6 hours is spent watching a special called Pichu
Bros. in Party Panic. Yeah, it's bad. Really bad. The very first thing you watch in this game is a portion of this program.
The opening song to this program is probably about the most annoying thing I have ever heard in my life. And from there,
you are stuck in the room watching some of the worst programs ever.
Okay, I'm starting to bleed into the Design portion. All in all, if you get a kick out of watching TV, you may think this
game is long. The only real thing to do after you've beat the game is play some Pokemon Mini games, which is already
included in the replay anyway. The whole real-time thing doesn't work as an excuse, either. It doesn't get much worse
than this, folks.
Design

Well, if you like watching TV, you may like this game. Okay, that really isn't a fair statement. Here's a more accurate
one. If you like watching video games, you may like this game. If you like playing video games, stay far away from this
game. This game consists of watching a few channels for at least 20 minutes every day, and then waiting until tomorrow
for three more channels. Throughout the entire process, sheer boredom ensues. Absolutely nothing in this game is fun.
But wait, some hope!
The game actually gets what I would call a dungeon by the end (a very, very small dungeon). This dungeon is about two
minutes long. You solve two extremely easy puzzles and that's it. Why couldn't they fill the game with a bunch of these
puzzles? And I almost regret saying that, because it would still probably be boring. I can give the Design like .1 more of a
score for actually putting these two puzzles in the game. It hardly saves the Design from the fated terrible score that it
receives.
Come on. I like to play my games, not watch them. This game doesn't really sink any lower in the boredom level, and it is
rather annoying at the same time. And who wants to play point-and-click games on a console. This game could have easily
been saved for the DS (or now looking back, the Wii), where it might have been a little more suitable. This amounts to one
of the worst designs ever.
Scores
Sound

4.9
Control

4.2
Graphics

5.4
Replay

3.3
Design

2.8
4.1
Final Words

This is just about the worst game I have ever played. Or watched. Or whatever! Let's get something straight. Just because
the game is aimed for kids doesn't mean it has to be this bad. I thought maybe that could justify how bad this game is. It
doesn't. The Pokemon Game Boy games have always been fun, and they have also always been aimed at kids. This game
doesn't get any credit anywhere, except for being boring and annoying. I would recommend this game only for really young
kids who are hardcore Pokemon fans. Too bad we all grew up.