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Pokémon XD Gameplay, European Release Details Snagged
08.30.2005

IAN ELLER
STAFF REPORTER


Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness / Nintendo

A recent press release from Nintendo revealed a European release for Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness. Along with this, RPGamer brings gamers information on the title's story, game mechanics, and a number of gameplay modes.

Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness will see the return of the CIPHER organization, the main antagonistic group behind the events of Pokémon Collosseum. Shadow Pokémon are, once again, threatening the land of Orre, and the only one who can secure the fate of the world and its people is a young, spikey-haired boy. This time around, though, CIPHER is determined to close the hearts of Pokémon forever and make them completely immune to purification. Also, newer and more powerful Shadow Moves -- the likes of which include Shadow Mist and Shadow Half -- make these corrupted Pokémon an even more dangerous than before, especially since such moves are unavailable to regular Pokémon and are equally effective against all types. Complicating matters is Shadow Lugia, CIPHER's Ultimate Shadow Pokémon, who wields a set of exclusive moves and is supposedly eternally corrupted.

As in Pokémon Colloseum, the player will travel the world in search of Shadow Pokémon and attempt to re-open their hearts, this time with the Pokémon Eevee as their companion. This is no easy task, but luckily the main character's mother is employed at the "Pokémon HQ Lab," where the brilliant Dr. Krane has developed the proper technology to "Snag" and "Purify" the Shadow Pokémon. To snag a Shadow Pokémon, players must encounter an evil Trainer utilizing the said Pokémon and capture it with a special type of Pokéball. Once one of the blemished Pokémon has been snagged it will remain in its impure state -- with all of its Shadow Moves -- until the player has purified it. Thankfully, Dr. Krane has developed a much quicker method of purification than was used in the previous Gamecube title: the Purify Chamber. To use the Chamber, one simply places the Shadow Pokémon inside with up to four of its already purified brethren; the more compatible the Pokémon's types are, the faster the purification will go. Once purified, the Pokémon will forget its previously known Shadow Moves and, in their place, a number of special moves will be made available.

An interesting addition to the game is the ability of the player to capture non-Shadow Pokémon, an ability that was completely absent in the previous title. To do this, players need to venture to Poké Spots and leave special food items to entice them.

Beyond Story Mode, Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness sports a Battle Mode, a number of mini-games, and some connectivity features with the current GBA Pokémon titles, Pokémon FireRed & LeafGreen, Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire, and Pokémon Emerald. Battle Mode will allow players to engage in two or four-way battles. The minigames, the likes of which haven't been seen since Pokémon Stadium, include such diversions as Battle CD, which lets players experience virtual battles in a variety of situations and which can only be completed by fulfilling certain conditions. The connectivity features enable players to import the human characters from the GBA titles into Gale of Darkness; also, once the game has been beaten one will be able to exchange Pokémon between the Gamecube and GBA versions.

Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness is slated for a Japanese release on October 4, a North American release on October 3, and a European release on November 18. RPGamer will report more on this title should any further information surface.



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