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Pokémon Mini
Pokémon Mini Party Mini
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Pokémon Puzzle Collection
Pokémon Zany Cards
Pokémon Tetris

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Pokémon Puzzle Collection Vol. 2
Pokémon Race Mini
Pichu Bros. mini

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Togepi's Great Adventure
Pokémon Breeder Mini
Legacy

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Pokémon Puzzle Collection Vol. 2 (ポケモンパズルコレクション Vol. 2) - Pokémon Mini (2002)

Japanese Pokémon Mini Cover

The first of five Japan exclusive titles, Pokémon Puzzle Collection Vol. 2 actually came very close to receiving a western release. The localisation was fully complete and the game was given an ESRB rating but it was cancelled, likely due to the Mini's poor sales. As you would imagine it plays very similarly to the first game, with 80 new challenges to complete and 80 Pokémon to capture. Motion Puzzle and Shadow Puzzle both make a return (though this time the latter must be unlocked) and there are two new games, Stretch Puzzle and Pick-Up Puzzle.

Stretch is a number puzzle in the vain of Picross or Minesweeper. You are given a grid with a set of numbered tiles and these tiles must be 'stretched' in order to fill all empty parts of the grid. The number on the tile dictates how many squares it can cover and it can only be stretched to an adjacent square. For example, a five tile can cover two squares above, two to the right and one below. Strangely there is no undo button so if you make a mistake you have to start the whole puzzle over. It's not that big a deal since the puzzles are pretty small and you're not likely to accidentally stretch a block but it would have been an easy feature to implement so it's a slightly baffling omission.

Pick-Up Puzzle involves picking up a series of Pokéballs in the correct order. You can pick up any Pokéball that is in your direct line of sight no matter how far away, but you can't move diagonally. You also can't move back the way you came, though you are allowed to overlap your previous path if you come at it from a different angle. Picking up all the Pokéballs on screen will reveal the outline of a Pokémon. Thankfully this time you can undo your last move with a simple press of the B button.

The two new puzzles are more interesting and more challenging than those included in the previous game and this makes Puzzle Collection Vol. 2 superior to its predecessor. It is however considerably harder to find and - as with all the Japan exclusive Pokémon mini games - it comes with a hefty price tag. There is a fan translation available but you probably won't need it as the game is simple enough to be easily playable in Japanese.

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  • Jupiter

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Pokémon Puzzle Collection Vol. 2

Pokémon Puzzle Collection Vol. 2

Pokémon Puzzle Collection Vol. 2

Pokémon Puzzle Collection Vol. 2


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Pokémon Race Mini (ポケモンレースミニ) - Pokémon Mini (2002)

Japanese Pokémon Mini Cover

The idea of a Pokémon racing game has fantastic potential and it's somewhat strange that the concept hasn't been more fully explored. The only racing spinoffs in the series are the rather mediocre Pokémon Dash for the DS and this Japan exclusive Pokémon Mini title.

Pokémon Race Mini is a racing/platforming hybrid where you must leap and dash your way through a series of side scrolling courses. In Grand Prix mode you control Pikachu and must take on other Pokémon such as Diglett or Magnemite in a one-on-one race. There are multiple routes you can take through each course, ala Sonic the Hedgehog, and there is a certain amount of strategy involved in picking the most efficient one, particularly as your opponents each have unique special abilities that allow them to take a few shortcuts. Pichu, for example, can fit through small gaps while Wooper can swim quickly through water.

The controls feel a little ridged at first, particularly if you're expecting it to play like a standard platformer. Here momentum is key and if you come to a stop your jump distance decreases dramatically. Once you get the hang of it and manage to keep a consistent speed though, it feels very responsive. To begin with the game seems overly simplistic, if your play on the Rookie difficulty setting you can blast through all four cups in Grind Prix mode without breaking a sweat. However you'll soon discover that you need to do more than just hold forward and jump.

There are a few special moves which are crucial to success on the harder difficulties. Pikachu can perform a lightening dash with a press of the B button, this can only be done 3 times per race and figuring out the optimum time to use it can give you a big advantage. You also have a quick dash at your disposal which can be used by pressing forward when landing a jump. You can give yourself a boost at the start of a race by jumping during the countdown and landing a quick dash just as the timer hits zero. The timing for the quick dash is extremely precise and the game is not shy about making you utilise it. On the hardest difficulty setting you are expected to execute each lap perfectly, quick dashing at every possible opportunity, otherwise your opponent will leave you in the dust. It does make for a slightly punishing experience but since you're given unlimited attempts at each race you're not expected to nail four courses in a row at least.

While Grand Prix is the main attraction there are other game modes to keep you occupied. In Challenge mode you navigate small obstacle courses instead of larger race tracks and there is more intricate platforming involved. Each stage requires you to master a certain technique like wall jumping or the afore mentioned quick dash. Master is the operative word, you are only given a few seconds to complete the stage and if you are a fraction of a second off the optimum possible time you will fail. The challenge is stern right out of the gate and even the first stage demands an obscene level of precision, for a game ostensibly designed for children it is rather unforgiving. Pleasingly in this mode you are given control of all the Pokémon you raced against in Grand Prix. This adds a bit of variety and means you not only need to learn Pikachu's moves but those of several other Pokémon as well. Unfortunately there are no in game tutorials so unless you have the manual to hand (and can read Japanese) there's a bit of trial and error involved.

The best place to get acquainted with the different playable Pokémon is in Time Trial mode, where you can replay courses in an effort to whittle down your best time. You can even record ghosts of a run, and race against them later in Ditto mode. While there's no multiplayer as such you can transfer ghosts between games via inferred, so in this way you can race against a friend.

With 16 courses and 24 challenge levels to play through there's a decent amount of content here, and the highest difficulty setting will take some time to conquer. All in all Race Mini is a unique and enjoyable racing game, and one of the stronger titles in the console's library. There is an English fan translation available which makes navigating the menus easier but is not essential to enjoy the game.

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  • Jupiter

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Pokémon Race Mini

Pokémon Race Mini

Pokémon Race Mini

Pokémon Race Mini

Pokémon Race Mini

Pokémon Race Mini


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Pichu Bros. mini (ピチューブラザーズミニ) - Pokémon Mini (2002)

Japanese Pokémon Mini Cover

Pokémon Party Mini received a spiritual successor in Pichu Bros. mini Though the name is different the formula is identical and there are 6 new games to choose from.

Pichu's Skateboarding is an endless runner where you shake the console to jump off a series of ramps.

In Magby's Balloon you pilot a hot air balloon, and must land on an island target with a timed press of the A button. A timer starts counting down from ten but disappears half way through and you must keep counting at the right speed in order to predict the timing of the landing.

Hoppip's Jump simply involves holding down the C button, and releasing it to rocket into the sky. The hight of your jump is affected by how long you hold the button and when you chose to release it but it's not very intuitive or predictable.

Teddiursa's Shaking Fruit is very similar to Boxing Frenzy from Pokémon Party Mini. A plate of fruit appear in front of you and you must shake the console in order to eat it. When all the food is gone you must stop shaking while you wait for more to appear.

Smoochum's Angel Kiss is like whack a mole, Digletts pop up out of the ground and you must dive in and kiss them by pressing A, hitting the D-Pad, or shaking the console (depending on where they appears.) It's ridiculous, and easily the most fun game on offer here.

Finally there is a multiplayer game, Cubone's Bone Club, which involves two players throwing a bone to each other, catching it by shaking the console at the correct time. There is also a Battlefield tournament mode like in the first game.

While Pokémon Party Mini was basically a glorified tech demo its simplicity could be forgiven since it came bundled with the console. As an introduction it served its purpose. With Pichu Bros. mini the lack of compelling content is harder to ignore. Not only is it undercooked for a stand alone title it's not even as strong as the first game and the new mini games are largely unintuitive or frustrating. Perhaps due to its low quality, Pichu Bros. mini is the only Japan exclusive not to have received a fan translation.

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  • Denyusha Co

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Pichu Bros. mini

Pichu Bros. mini

Pichu Bros. mini

Pichu Bros. mini


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<<< Prior Page

Next Page >>>

Page 1:
Pokémon Mini
Pokémon Mini Party Mini
Pokémon Pinball Mini

Page 2:
Pokémon Puzzle Collection
Pokémon Zany Cards
Pokémon Tetris

Page 3:
Pokémon Puzzle Collection Vol. 2
Pokémon Race Mini
Pichu Bros. mini

Page 4:
Togepi's Great Adventure
Pokémon Breeder Mini
Legacy

Discuss on the Forums!

Back to the Index