Pokemon Tower Defense 2
Pokemon Tower Defense 2
Any even remotely into the world of gaming in the past decade or so would probably be lying if they told you that they hadn't at very least heard of Pokémon. Coming in behind only Mario/Super Mario in the best-selling video games of all time list, Pokémon is one of the staples of Nintendo's handheld market, keeping fans coming back year after year. It's probably no surprise then that Sam Otero's tower-defense spin-off of the classic Pokémon franchise became a bit of a success.
Though not many people would have thought the grinding RPG genre of Pokémon would be able to gel with the highly specific tower-defense style, it more than did just this and made Pokemon Tower Defense a staple of the online flash-gaming community. And so a sequel to such a successful original seemed inevitable, though its even greater success wasn't automatically a given. Instead, Pokémon Tower Defense 2 is a game that earns its place in the hearts of Pokémon, RPG, and Tower-Defense gamers alike, bridging gaps between genres and doing things that the original PTD didn't get around to.
For the uninitiated, Pokémon Tower Defense 2's gameplay looks rather similar to that you would see on the old official Pokémon games Nintendo Gameboy Colour, pixels and all. The retro 8-bit style is something that makes Pokémon Tower Defense 2 a nostalgic endeavour, but the tower-defense serves to contrast with the traditional Pokémon battle format, making for a familiar yet fresh experience. After choosing between a male or female character Pokemon Tower Defense 2, your task is to roam the region of Johto, catching and battling against wild Pokémon as well as against other Pokémon trainers and other main characters. You'll notice plenty of familiar references to the Pokémon cartoon as well as the games themselves, with the whole experience being somewhat tongue-in cheek, often following the mood and whims of Sam Oterio himself, who is the game's creator.
So what can you expect from the gameplay? Well, you use the arrow or WASD keys to move your character around, the Z or Spacebar key to interact with items/people, and the mouse to control the menus, which allow you to sort your Pokémon, navigate through their abilities/moves, and choose your perfect 6-Pokémon team for the situation at hand. All of the type-matchups from the real Pokémon series apply during battles: electric Pokémon still dominate over the water type; Fire Pokémon can destroy Grass Pokémon with ease; even the different abilities of the Pokémon such as levitate (makes you immune to ground-based attacks) apply here. The only difference is that battles aren't exactly a straightforward turn-based affair as they are in the main series. Instead, each battle consists of several empty squares on the screen in which you can place your Pokémon and they will attack the enemy automatically using the attack displayed at the bottom of the screen. It takes a little getting used to, but it is obvious that this sort of approach is vastly superior to some other flash-based Pokémon spinoff such as Pokemon S.T.A.R. Version.
What makes Pokémon Tower Defense 2 utterly unique (as well as superior to the original) is that the storyline and the boundaries which you are able to explore within are evolving on a regular basis. Sam of Sam and Dan Games ensures that new Pokémon are added regularly, that shiny Pokémon are available for a mystery gift giveaway every week, and that the storyline develops as the map you are able to explore becomes larger and larger every week. On top of that, there is a 1 v 1 battle mode (where you do nothing but battle increasingly difficult trainers with a limited selection of Pokémon and items), the ability to trade your Pokémon in an online community known as the PTD Pokécenter, breed Pokémon, and also a Pokéresearcher section that lets you mess about with the different Pokemon to see how they react. Sam's really got all the bases covered here, and dedicated a huge amount of time to ensuring that Pokémon Tower Defense 2 is the best and the most up-to-date Pokémon fan game out there.
Pokémon Tower Defense 2 both plays and looks the part, being reminiscent of the old Gameboy style when visible pixels were an expectation as opposed to an error. Even the music is taken from the original Pokémon games, and brings back memories of grinding for levels hours on end. Almost all the aspects of the original Pokémon games can be found here as well: levelling up, type matchups, boss battles, engaging (and humour-filled) storyline, move sets, abilities, capturing Pokémon, and just about anything that you can think of. There is even a hacked version of PTD for those who want all of the fun but none of the commitment to levelling up. It is strongly advised that you check out both the first and second of the PTD games at - http://www.pokemontowerdefense.net/ to experience the best RPG-Tower Defense-Pokémon combination of all time.