Author Topic: Pokemon Bank/Transporter review  (Read 3268 times)

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Offline Shaymin

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Pokemon Bank/Transporter review
« on: February 17, 2014, 09:47:58 PM »
Much like a Surfing Rhydon, Nintendo's first cloud service does the job but could be so much more useful.

After multiple delays, largely centered around the fact that the original version of the app was so server-intensive that it helped take the entire eShop offline for a few days, Pokemon Bank has finally arrived to give Western players the opportunity to like Mudkips once again. Unfortunately, the delay did not allow for some serious user interface errors to be corrected, especially when it comes time to bring in your old friends.

Upon first boot, you are greeted by the server admin named Bridgette, who gives a quick introduction to the service and brings you to a menu while reminding you that yes, in 30 days you have to start paying for this. Until then, you can download the separate PokeTransporter app for moving your Pokemon from the DS games so long as they have “Black” or “White” in the title, or start reading the save file of the card in the slot or download and strip-mining it for all it's worth.

Bank does provide little bonuses for your use of the service – a bonus Pokemon valid through the end of September 2014 of high rarity, and a mild form of interest where you earn one of two varieties of points. You can earn PokeMiles, which can be used in the main X and Y games or on the Pokemon Global Link to buy items, or Battle Points, which unlock rare items and moves in the post-game. Sadly, the interest rate on the former is far higher, and you only get large quantities of either from storing a lot of Pokemon. The Bank tracks everything via Nintendo Network ID, so you can use multiple games on the same ID to add to your balance and even use it as an option to restart the game if you want to play through the story again.

The application does have a great deal of user interface errors to contend with, and no option to manage it except from the 3DS itself. Since the Bank's boxes – all 101 of them – are on the top screen, you can't use the stylus to choose the selection modes as can be done in the games. Instead, this option is placed on Start and Select, which is both redundant and a marked change from what veteran players are used to. The Transporter app is even more limited, as for some reason it's a separate app that requires switching games on the 3DS home screen if you're among the majority who went retail. And it can only pull from Box 1 of the Black/White game you have inserted, which makes moving large groups of Pokemon an incredibly time consuming and frustrating procedure. Moving a large quantity of Pokemon involves the following steps:
  • Place all the Pokemon into Box 1 in a Black/White game
  • Insert Black/White game into the system
  • Run PokeTransporter app, which dumps the Pokemon into a “Transport Box” (Box 101) in Bank
  • Insert X/Y card (if applicable) and run Bank
  • Move Pokemon from the Transport Box into a Bank Box or your game
  • Repeat 1-5 until all Pokemon are moved or you're ready to say “screw it” to the entire process
One of the major promises of the process was that it would weed out illegitimate Pokemon from the service and strand them in old games where they can do less damage. In testing, although it caught the clearly illegitimate Pokemon and a Pokemon from an unreleased event, it allowed almost a full box of Pokemon modified to have “legal” stats through. As well, there have been reports of rarer event Pokemon from older games being blocked, though it appears that the server is being updated to allow them as they are reported.

For a first attempt at a cloud service, Pokemon Bank can be usable once you're used to its many quirks. And since the other major promise is that the service will be used for future generations of Pokemon, fans will have to get used to it. Hopefully, there will be some major usability improvements going into future games, as 1.0 almost makes you long for the days of Pokemon Store-exclusive storage and moving 6 Pokemon per cart per day. Almost.


+Majorly enhances the replay value of Pokemon X and Y
+Finally, Pokemon transfer that doesn't involve a lame minigame or time restrictions

-No support for direct transport from Pokemon Platinum and other inferior 4th generation Pokemon games
-PokeTransporter limitations seem designed to make people with physical versions of X and Y miserable
-Not yet revealed how long you have to clear out if you don't pay the yearly fee
Donald Theriault - News Editor, Nintendo World Report / 2016 Nintendo World Champion
Tutorial box out.