Pokemon Advanced Vol. #6: A Three Team Scheme - Mania.com



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Mania Grade: C+

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Menus Rating: B-
  • Extras Rating: N/A
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 14.99
  • Running time: 110
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Pokemon

Pokemon Advanced Vol. #6: A Three Team Scheme

By Luis Cruz     February 22, 2005
Release Date: November 09, 2004


Pokemon Advanced Vol. #6: A Three Team Scheme
© Viz Media


What They Say
Turning Over A Nuzleaf:
When Pikachu and pals are captured by a group of grouchy green-leafed Pokemon, can they escape before Team Rocket catches them all?

A Three Team Scheme!
Our heroes stumble onto Team Aqua and Team Magma's evil plot. Can they be stopped in time?

Seeing is Believing!
May's Silcoon evolves into a bodacious Beautifly. Will Jessie's Cascoon get the same chance or will she keep wading in denial?

The Review!
The stage is set for another badge battle, and the larger series plot pokes it head out for a brief period in another volume of Pokémon Advanced.

Audio:
Featuring only an English audio track, this volume provides a simple but solid stereo track. There were no distortions, dropouts, or other problems. Everything comes through the center channel with no directional effects; action, dialogue, and music are balanced well providing an adequate experience.

Video:
The video provides an adequate experience; the transfer has no issues with artifacts, cross coloration, or print damage. While colorful, the picture feels flat and lacks much detail; it looks decent but there just is not much detail to catch the eye.

Packaging:
Nuzleaf and Mudkip grace the front cover accompanied by a rather large series logo at the top. The volume number and title is at the bottom along with a sizable banner indicating that the disc contains two bonus episodes. The back cover features the requisite screenshots, episode synopses, and disc information. Also included on the back is the Pokédex entry for Mudkip.

Inside is a one page insert with the chapter listings and the Pokédex entry for Nuzleaf on one side. The opposite side contains only a brief advertisement for the Pokémon web site.

Menu:
The menus are very simple featuring only a static image and no background music. They are quick and functional but also quite boring; at the very least, they could have looped a piece of the theme song in the background.

Extras:
None

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
As this volume opens up, we find our band of Pokémon trainers walking through a cave. A non-Team Rocket related accident occurs that send nearly all of the Pokémon being washed away by an underground river. They find themselves in a forest with no idea of where to go. This setup leads to the most painful episode to watch.

Most of the episode revolves around Pikachu and the rest interacting with some wild Nuzleafs. What makes this episode painful is the fact that there is a lot of dialogue between the various beasts; this dialogue is done entirely in Poké-speak making it feel like an episode of the Tele-tubbies. If anyone in the target audience could sit through an episode like this, I would be greatly surprised; mercifully, Ash catches up to them and rescues them from another Team Rocket scheme. In the end, the Nuzleafs and everyone else learn that friends help each other out.

The second episode is a drop in the bucket for the actual series plot; Ash, et. al. find Professor Birch doing research in the Hoenn region on Pokémon. Into another cave they go, and they find a young boy's hideout. After they leave, Team Rocket takes over the secret lair but is then ousted when the members of Team Magma show up.

They burrow a huge hole into a mysterious cavern that might be the "cave of origin". Team Aqua shows up there as well leading to standoff between the two leaders. Both teams leave when their surveys show that this is not the "cave of origin". It is a shame that this plot is more central to the series from episode to episode; these encounters and clues are few and far between but make for an interesting story.

Ash could be following a trail of clues that result in a lot of training but keeps him searching for this cave as well. Both Aqua and Magma could become his rivals throughout giving the series a solid villain to go up against. However, these encounters are random at the moment and tend to get lost in the endless amount of training by Ash and capering by Team Rocket.

The rest of the volume goes by the numbers introducing new creatures and hammering home the message that having friends is a good thing. Along the way, May's Silcoon turns into a Beautifly, and Jessie's Silcoon turns out to be a Cascoon that evolves into a Dustox. And the stage is finally set for Ash's rematch with Brawly for his second badge.

In Summary:
The episode featuring Team Aqua and Magma represents what could make a series like Pokémon Advanced tolerable to an older audience. The episode featuring nothing but eighteen minutes of Pokés;-chatter swings the pendulum the opposite way and will have that older audience searching for earplugs. Ideally, the Aqua/Magma plot thread will take up more of the focus along the way giving the series a larger sense of purpose. It still would not make this a hit with me, but it would certainly make it easier to sit through volume after volume.

Features
English 2.0 Language

Review Equipment
Mitsubishi 27" TV, Panasonic RP-82, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Bose Acoustimass-6 speakers, generic S-Video and audio cable

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