Review: Pokémon Battle Trozei for Nintendo 3DS

Gotta match ’em all!

You’ve got to hand it to Nintendo: If you’re interested in Pokémon, there’s no shortage of ways to get in on the action. There are the video games, of course, which spawned an entire empire full of cartoons, manga, movies, and… more games. Which is where the beauty in this enterprise lies.

If you’re not into the “standard” style of Pokémon gaming– that is, the role playing games which gave rise to this marketing and licensing juggernaut, there are still other options out there: Pokémon Ranger, Pokémon Snap, and one of my favorites, Pokémon Conquest. Or this latest entry into the franchise, Pokémon Battle Trozei.

The sequel to the original Pokémon Trozei retail game for the Nintendo DS, Pokémon Battle Trozei is a match-3 styled puzzle game which involves– what else? Catching Pokémon. And with more than 700 from throughout the series, including those which debuted in the recent Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, that’s a lot of Trozeing (i.e. “catching”) to do. (Note: I have no idea if I spelled that right, but seeing as spell check doesn’t recognize “Trozei,” either, we’ll just go with it.)

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Pokémon Battle Trozei is broken up into 13 different zones, each consisting of multiple stages with multiple Pokémon to capture. When you encounter a wild Pokémon, your Trozei box will fill up with numerous Pokémon from your own collection, which you then move and position in groups of at least three matching Pokémon going horizontally, vertically, or even crossing over both ways.

Where things get interesting is that the wild Pokémon can “fight” back, depleting the meters on the sides of your Trozei box, which means your goal is to get them before they get you. What’s more, they tend to travel in packs, some attacking simultaneously, adding a further challenge as you go. As a result, you’ll want to try to create as many combos as you can to pour on the damage. The more combos you make, the easier they become, with “Trozei Chance” activating and allowing you to create matches with only two Pokémon.

It can be rather exhilarating, especially as you still have the ability to keep moving Pokémon while other combos are activating.

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As one might expect, an actual working knowledge of Pokémon is a useful tool here. You’ll receive tips (often after losing) regarding what type of Pokémon another is weak to; naturally, if you have that knowledge beforehand, you’ll know which Pokémon in your Trozei box to focus on grouping together. For instance, a fire-type Pokémon would be weak against a water-type, so you’ll want to try to focus on grouping as many water-types as you can, versus– say, grass-type. To stand a chance at the outset of a match, though, it really helps to know what type each Pokémon is, though the game does help you out a bit for the less familiar.

Things get even crazier as you progress, and the wild Pokémon are more willing to take you head-on. They’ll attack not only you, but actually invade your Trozei box, knocking a ton of pieces aside while preparing their own assaults. With even fewer pieces to use at that point, the Trozei battle becomes even more frenzied!

Success has its rewards, however, as the Pokémon you successfully Trozei will then be added to your Trozei Box, allowing you to use them against new challengers, much like the standard Pokémon games. What’s more, certain Pokémon possess special traits you can take advantage of within the Trozei box, such as Chansey restoring your health, or in the case of Ditto, acting as a wildcard.

In addition, you can join forces with up to three other players to take on wild Pokémon cooperatively, and StreetPassing other players will allow you to share your designated favorite (and vice-versa).

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Pokémon Battle Trozei isn’t the most sophisticated game out there, but its depth can nonetheless surprise those who might be tempted to give it little more than a passing glance. What’s more, it’s ideal as portable games go, with most rounds lasting only a few minutes or less– terrific for playing in short bursts on the go, or for taking on multiple rounds while trying to pass the time. And as noted, while a knowledge of Pokémon can be an asset going in, it’s not essential– the game has enough information to see you through, and perhaps even make you a little wiser in the ways of Pocket Monsters before you’re done!

pokemonbattletrozeithumbPokémon Battle Trozei was released for the Nintendo 3DS on March 20th, 2014 at a price of $7.99.

A review code was provided by Nintendo of Canada.

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David Oxford

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you're interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.