Pokedex 3D Hands-On
Andre Segers
June 2, 2011, 1:07 pm

During our visit to Nintendo’s San Francisco office earlier this week to check out the eShop, we were allowed to play around with the previously unanncounced Pokedex 3D. When it launches on June 6th alongside the eShop, players will be able to download it for free, giving them instant access to in-depth information about the 156 Pokemon that appear exclusively in Black and White, in addition to several other fun features.


Here’s how it works: upon downloading the game, you’re provided with every mind-boggling detail about 16 Pokemon. “Wait...” I hear you asking, “what about the other 140?? Like the Pokemon games themselves, you’re going to have to work for them. The easiest way to obtain new Pokemon is to use SpotPass, which will automatically add three random Pokemon to your collection via the Internet every day. If you’re doing the math, this means it’ll take about a month and a half to collect them all. Although the Pokemon you obtain via SpotPass are random, you can increase the chances of obtaining a certain kind by scanning their “AR Markers,” but more on that later. Luckily, for more dedicated trainers, you can also connect wirelessly with a buddy to share Pokemon, instantly adding them to your collection.
The main hook of the Pokedex 3D is the highly detailed information listed for every Pokemon, which is much more in-depth than the Pokedex included in any Pokemon game before. Not only can you view the basics, such as the Pokemon’s name, type, and description, but you can now discover details such as what levels they evolve and learn moves at, and the exact statistics for each of those moves. Heck, you can even tap on one of the Pokemon’s attacks to see a list of every other Pokemon that also has access to that move. In fact, this may be the Pokedex 3D’s greatest strength: the ability to search and sort the Pokemon by almost any means imaginable, whether it’s by type or weight. And to make things even easier, you can add shortcuts to your 6-favorite Pokemon (the same amount as you can have in your party in the game’s) to make comparing and contrasting stats a breeze. 

Besides the super in-depth statistics, you are also able to view each Pokemon in full 3D, where you can rotate the camera around them for the perfect angle and take a picture that will be saved to your SD card. But if you feel the 3DS is a bit confining, you can also take the Pokemon out with you into the real-world using cards, called Pokemon AR Markers. Simply point your 3D’s camera at one of these cards to make the respective Pokemon appear on the screen as a part of your world, where you can take even more pictures. One neat little option is the ability to drop out the real-world background and replace it with one of three virtual ones built into the game, or even overlay the Pokemon onto a picture you’ve previous taken, such as onto the forehead of a sleeping friend. You can also throw apples at the pokemon (like in Pokemon Snap) to trigger its attack animation. Inexplicably, the AR mode does not take advantage of the system’s 3D-depth capabilities.

Unfortunately, while the Pokedex 3D is filled to the brim with content for the Black and White exclusive Pokemon, there is no support for the remaining 493 Pokemon that are also accessible in those games. We’re also not entirely sold on the concept of unlocking Pokemon for what is, at its core, an elaborate database (which you can probably find something similar to online), which will limit its utility. Regardless, it’s a fun and informative little program, and of course, it’s free. Give it a look when it launches alongside the e-Shop on June 6th.

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