I am a Pokemon fan. I love Pokemon games (and the TV series to some extent). So when I got this, I thought I'd find something great. That never exactly happened. I was disappointed within a few minutes. There are quite a few flaws, but those will be explained in the section appropriately titled...flaws. As for everything else, it will be separated into my common five categories. If you've read any of my other reviews, skip ahead. If not, then the categories are: Plot, Graphics, Sound and Music, Gameplay, and Aftermath Fun. Again, Aftermath Fun is how fun a game is after you've beaten it. Afterwards will come the total score, then the flaws, then the conclusion, in which I will tell you whether or not you should rent it or buy it. (But then again, this is the end of 2007, and Nintendo 64 games are, well, extinct.)
"Pick any basic old puzzle game, and you've got the same thing as this."
PLOT: 4/10. The opening movie shows Ash and Pikachu relaxing when Prof. Oak rings Ash up and tells him that the Puzzle League Tournament nearby is about to begin. Ash sets off, and the plot advances no further. It's just a puzzle game, after all. If this opening movie had been removed, I would not have put the Plot down, but it's there, so...you don't really earn any badges, and you have access to about everything from the very start. ...Pretty pointless.
GRAPHICS: 7/10. The graphics are the common graphics shown in the TV series, although this is just the background. The blocks and menus look okay, nothing special. I barely even need to comment on this more. The artwork in the background doesn't move, but that's no big deal. The blocks have elemental pictures on them (fire, water droplets, leaves, etc.).
SOUND AND MUSIC: 7/10. The tunes are the songs for the Pokemon TV series (e.g. "Viridian City" and the Pokemon TV theme song). They've either had the lyrics stripped off of them or are slightly remixed, it depends. Usually it's a remix. Most of the noise you'll hear coming from your game is the music. Few other sounds are heard except a few blocks vanishing and a kid saying "Who's the best." The songs are catchy, but few other sounds are heard. Ever. Ever. The meat of this category is the music. I might as well call this _____ and music.
GAMEPLAY: 3/10. Ooooh...what went wrong? Now, see, I'm a guy who doesn't like it when a video game is the exact same thing as the other one unless there are significant differences. Super Mario Sunshine uses the same style of Super Mario 64 but is significantly different. This isn't Tetris--Tetris uses a different style of play--but it's the same as any game you'd find on the Internet. The blocks come up, switch them around to combine three or more. That's it. There's also a mode in which you have to use your smarts to remove all of the blocks in a certain number of moves. This is what I don't like about products today. Lysol is the same as Oust, so what's the difference? Unless you can PROVE that it is VERY much better than Lysol, instead of flipping your lips without showing any proof, there only needs to be one cleaning product. Same with video games. Unless it is VERY much different--better, even--than the last thing, there's no need for it. Theoretically, there is a 2-player mode, but I have yet to find out any way of making a human player able to play--so far, it's only been a computer. The 1-player mode has you choosing a character and picking which Pokemon for what battle. Frankly, it doesn't matter which Pokemon or character you choose--they all do the same things. I mean the EXACT same things. Nobody cares if you pick Bulbasaur, Pikachu, or Squirtle, because they do nothing at all. When you do a real big combo, a block falls on the opponent's block section. There is no difference with any other Pokemon that lays a block down. It's the same. If there's a difference, there sure ain't much of one. So unless you are a big fan of Pokemon and will take any puzzle game like this, you might want to shy away.
AFTERMATH FUN: 1/10. 1 out of 10? That's the lowest score I have ever given for anything. Again, there really is no way to beat the game, but there ain't anything else to do, anyway. Complete a couple of puzzle in the academy, take on higher difficulty levels...otherwise, you sit there and rot. There is no reward, no joy in beating the highest difficulty level. Only a lot of simmering in your head going on when you tried for the twenty-second to beat Giovanni and finally won. There is no satisfaction in that.
OVERALL SCORE: 22/50. Holy cow. Ho-lee cow. That is one of the lowest scores I have ever, ever, ever given a review. It's ridiculously low.
FLAWS: Nothing new. Nothing new at all. It's like inventing a game called Ponomoly that plays the exact same as Monopoly, only it has a new name. Sure, Monopoly has various versions, like Dinosaur Monopoly and whatnot in which only the locations have been changed, but THAT'S more exciting than this. Also, selecting characters and Pokemon matters not, because each one is exactly the same as the other. There's also little to do. Very, very, very little to do. A marathon, a Team Rocket thing, a useless 2-player mode, a puzzle challenge, and a stupid, frustrating 1-player mode. Everything is available to you from the start, so there is no unlocking of this and changing of that.
CONCLUSION: Fortunately, Nintendo 64 games are extinct by this time, so you have almost no hope of buying this game (or renting it). I suggest you neither buy nor rent it, but if absolutely faced with it, I'd say rent. Don't listen to me only, though. If you like those kinds of puzzle games and like Pokemon as well, then maybe you'll enjoy it. ...But I don't. I like things that are new. In fact, I plan to be a video game designer when I grow up. And I know all kids these days do, but seriously. I've got some good game ideas, things that'll turn the game industry around. Like controlling a Pokemon in a 3D RPG, blasting your enemies with moves and unlocking so many things. So my point is, new is better. Usually. At least make that "new" better. But this is no different.
Overall rating 3.0 - Average