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Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs (JP) is a Nintendo DS video game released in 2010. The third game in the Pokémon Ranger series, Guardian Signs takes place in the Oblivia region in the Pokémon universe. The player's partner is a Pichu which has a ukelele. A new four player mode is available that lets players catch Pokémon together.
The game plays similarly to previous games in the Pokémon Ranger series. New features, however, are present. Perhaps the most notable addition is that of the new four player multiplayer mode, which allows up to four people play the game together cooperatively. Players are now able to draw signs on the ground that will summon Legendary Pokémon. Deoxys is also obtainable in this game and can be traded to fourth generation games including Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Pokémon Platinum, and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver. All of the Pokémon in Guardian Signs can be brought over to those games, but this is the first time that Deoxys is available in a fourth generation game without the use of Pal Park.
Unlike in Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, the game uses a new styler modification system instead of having quests reward the player with power-ups for the player's styler. The modification system allows the player to obtain Ranger Points by completing missions, finishing quests, and catching pokémon with an S rank capture. The Ranger Points can then be spent on power-ups for the styler. Power-ups include increase max styler energy, increase styler power, increase max line length, decrease damage, decrease charge time, increase styler energy gained after each capture, and increase power when health is low. After a power-up's level can be increased until it reaches its max level, however higher levels cost more to increase.
Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs is an action role-playing game in which gameplay revolves around capturing Pokémon with the Capture Styler by drawing circles around them. If the Pokémon breaks through the drawn circles by using attacks on them, then the styler's health goes down, and runs out of energy. When energy reaches 0, the styler breaks and the game resumes from the last save point. However, if, for example, the Pokémon walks through the styler's line without using an attack, the styler's line will break, but the styler does not take damage. Capturing Pokémon and completing missions increases XP, which can lead to styler upgrades, such as power upgrade and energy upgrade. After a certain point, the styler can be charged in order to be more effective.
One of the new features lets you call out your Pokémon for support and to help in captures. The player can use "Guardian Signs" (also referred to in the game as "Ranger Signs" or "Emblems" by drawing certain symbols, to summon Legendary Pokémon like Entei, Raikou, and Suicune and use them outside of battle. Other features include hb four player cooperative play with unique missions. The game also includes Wi-Fi mission downloads, one of which gives you access to Deoxys, which can be moved to the DS's other Pokémon games.
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The game takes place on the island region of Oblivia. The player, and a friend and fellow Ranger, Ben (Summer, if the player is male), are flying on Staraptors in the clouds, chasing after Pokémon Pinchers after Latias (Latios for male players). The player allows Latios/Latias to escape by distracting the Pinchers. However, when their squad leader, Red Eyes comes in, the player's partner taunts Red Eyes.
He responds by shooting a plasma gun. The player moves forward and shields their partner from the blow, and is sent into the sea below, where the player loses and eventually recovers their styler. (The player's partner is then kidnapped.) The player washes up on a beach- the shores of Dolce Island. The player meets a Pichu with a ukulele,who is known throughout the game as the Ukulele Pichu.
This Pichu becomes the partner Pokémon of this game. It will join the player as their Partner Pokémon, after they fix its broken ukulele. As a newly recruited Pokémon Ranger, the player would go on various missions and encounter friends, foes, and rivals, not to mention hordes of Pokémon. The new enemy, the Pokémon Pinchers, are controlling Pokémon and using them to their advantage. With newly found Pokémon companions at his side, the player begins his journey to put a stop to the Pokémon Pinchers and restore peace in Oblivia.
Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs was developed by Creatures Inc. for the Nintendo DS. It was first revealed on January 13, 2010 by Japan's CoroCoro Comic, which had first details about the games. On January 15, Nintendo Japan made an official announcement for the game, and provided screenshots and artwork.
The game received mixed or average reviews, with Metacritic and GameRankings giving it a 68/100 and 69% respectively. GamePro rated the game 3/5 stars, stating "Guardian Signs isn't much of a departure from the last two titles in the series".
IGN's Kristine Steimer rated the game 7/10, stating the graphics of "the different environments look really sharp" and "The music depicts the mood of the story very well". GamesRadar rated the game 6/10, stating "Guardian Signs is a great game for small children, but is too simplistic for the rest of us."
GameZone rated the game 6.5/10, and commented "The visuals of Guardian Signs actually surprised me... both the characters and the world of Oblivia contain more details than the main Pokemon games."
It was the top selling game in Japan for the week of March 1 through March 7, selling 161,000 copies. It stayed at the top the next week, selling 65,000 copies. It continued to stay on the charts, selling 360,000 copies in the game's first month.
- The Japanese name for Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs is Pokémon Ranger: Tracks of Light.
- U.S. information about this game was revealed in an E3 conference. PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure and the original Nintendo 3DS were also revealed.
- This is the only game so far where a pokemon is seen using human technology.