Pokemon Advanced Vol. #8: Jump for Joy - 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: C+
  • Age Rating: 3 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Viz Media
  • MSRP: 14.95
  • Running time: 110
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Pokemon

Pokemon Advanced Vol. #8: Jump for Joy

By Luis Cruz     March 04, 2005
Release Date: January 25, 2005


Pokemon Advanced Vol. #8: Jump for Joy
© Viz Media


What They Say
The Spheal of Approval
Ash and his friends arrive at the Oceanic Museum, only to learn that Team Magma is after a rock formed by a legendary Pokemon Groudon.

Jump for Joy!
While Ash and friends are on their way to Mauville City, Ash decides to get his Pokémon healed at a cliff-top Pokémon center, but only to find Nurse Joy missing...

A Different Kind of Misty
When a young trainer from Misty Village has a foggy notion that Ash is a legendary hero, it’s Ash’s job to show him the light!

The Review!
Team Magma makes another rare and brief appearance in the eighth installment 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:
Shiftry and Spheal 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 Shiftry.

Inside is a one page insert with the chapter listings and the Pokédex entry for Spheal 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:
Included with this volume is a bonus DVD; on the DVD is one whole episode from the Master Quest series. The only other items on it are two clips that total to a three minute commercial for the card game. This is the exact bonus DVD that was included with volume seven.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Friendship and trust seem to be the dominant themes for every episode of Advanced, and the trend shows no sign of abating any time soon. Our heroes find themselves taking a bit of a breather in Slateport City before heading off to the next gym battle. May and Brock go off to do some shopping while Max and Ash head off to a museum. Despite the tourist guide saying that the museum is always open, Max and Ash find the place closed for the day.

Max attempts to sneak a peek inside and is confronted by Marius who thinks Max is a thief. Marius tries to use his Spheal to capture the evil Max and Ash but is unable to control his Spheal in battle. Fortunately, Captain Stern, the head of the museum, shows up to straighten the whole matter out. Stern opens the museum up to Max and Ash and shows them why the museum was briefly closed.

Stern has recently acquired a mysterious rock from deep below the ocean; the rock may contain clues about the origins of Pokémon. Cue the entrance of Team Magma and Team Rocket. Both try to steal the rock, but only Team Magma succeeds. Fortunately, a small piece was left for Stern's research, and Marius learned a valuable lesson about friends helping friends.

On the way to Mauville City and the next gym battle, Ash and the gang face three more adventures centered on friendship. First, a Shiftry kidnaps Nurse Joy in order for her to help a sickly Nuzleaf. Next up is an encounter with Thatcher, a young caretaker of a lighthouse. Thatcher believes Ash is a legendary hero and learns from Ash how to befriend and trust his Pokémon in battle.

Finally, the group comes across a trick house contest where the prize is a years supply of Pokéblock. The house contains many traps, and it is only through the power of friendship and teamwork that the gang manages to get through it. The most amusing part of this particular episode is a random Jiggleypuff that fancies itself a singer. Its singing puts people to sleep making it mad, and when this Jiggleypuff gets mad, it draws funny faces on the sleeping people.

We end the volume with Ash arriving at the Mauville City gym; the gym leader enjoys making the entrance to the gym feel like an amusement park ride complete with a robot replica of a Pokémon. Pikachu destroys the robot but becomes overcharged with electricity. Unaware of this, Ash battles the gym leader and manages to score a quick victory to earn his third badge.

Distraught, the gym leader decides to leave the gym for good and mope about his favorite spot in the city. In the middle of his moping, he makes a new friend, but that friend is quickly captured by Team Rocket. Ash feels bad for winning in such a cheap fashion and went looking for the gym leader. He arrives in time to help defeat Team Rocket yet again and save the leader's new friend.

Along with friendship, the lesson learned here is that honesty is the best policy. Ash attempts to give back his gym badge, but the leader tells him to keep it as his fight with Team Rocket showed that Ash has what it takes to be a strong trainer.

In all, this was another standard volume for the franchise that does little to deviate from the formula. The brief appearance of Team Magma continues to push my desire to see this plot thread be integrated more in each episode. There is some good material there that would make this series more enjoyable for a wider age range.

In Summary:
Once again, the Team Magma and Aqua plot is briefly touched upon in this volume, but it still has yet to make much of an impact on the series overall. Ash and the gang continue to simply trudge from one city to the next in search of badges and contests. This repetition does little to make each volume of the series something worth purchasing rather than just catching the episodes as they air on broadcast television.

Features
English 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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