Enough Isn't Enough
Pokemon? Surely the world's seen enough Pikachus, Zubats, Clefables, Riolus, Staryus, and Bunnelbys to last a lifetime, right? Wrong. Pokemon is often at its best when it's interpreted in a new and original way by talented people. Luckily for us Pokémon fans, Sam and Dan (some very talented developers) have a tower defense-draped Pokémon experience for you and I, and it's called Pokémon Tower Defense 2.
Pokemon Tower Defense 2 is an RPG title that's steeped heavily in the tower-defense format. Embarking on an adventure in the Johto region, you must conquer many wild Pokémon by assembling your very own team of them. Fight evil, train your Pokémon, and enjoy one of the best tower defense games on the internet in Pokémon Tower Defense 2.
Now, sceptics will quite rightly be, well, sceptical about the whole mixing of two seemingly chalk-and-cheese genres - the RPG nature of Pokémon and the very niche style of tower defense - that ordinarily wouldn't get along if their figurative lives depended on it. However, when you've got talent like Sam and Dan (get on over to the Sam and Dan funding page if you haven't already been generous and support the real talent out there) laying their skilled hands on the chalk and the cheese, the magic really happens and Pokémon Tower Defense 2 is the well-balanced game that emerges from the dusty, fromage-y cloud once it settles.
It's Familiar, But it's Fantastic
If you've already played the original Pokémon Tower Defense then you'll be quite in the know about what to expect from Pokémon Tower Defense 2. It involves a whole load of Pokémon battling as in the original, but already improvements are seen in the fact that PTD2 has an open world that you can explore much more freely than in the original. Use the directional arrows to walk around and explore the Johto region as you discover the brand new adventures (not just rehashes of the main-series Pokémon games) that developer Sam has laid out for you, and which are actually updated on a regular basis to keep things fresh and the storyline developing.
As you explore the region, you will encounter both wild Pokémon that skulk around doing stuff that wild Pokémon do, and also Pokémon Trainers: you can initiate battles with both. Battles take place in a fairly standard format. Wild battles involve placing your Pokémon team in certain positions on the screen (they're little boxes that you drag your Pokémon into) whilst an entire swarm of the live Pokémon you encountered passes through. The selected attack is initiated automatically when Pokémon are in range. Trainer battles are a little more intense and involve battling against an opponent's Pokémon team which is often comprised of creatures that are of fairly high level compared to the wild Pokémon you'll encounter.
Loyal to the True Pokémon Way
The tower defense format lends itself surprisingly well to the RPG nature of Pokémon itself. The different properties that the Pokémon already have (such as Pokémon type, abilities, and moves that are learned as you level up your Pokémon) serve as a great set of variables for your Pokémon, which are essentially the towers in Pokémon Tower Defense 2. The best part about the whole thing is that the aforementioned variables are loyal to the real Pokémon games, with types such as Fire being vulnerable to Water types, Steel types being weak against Fire types, and Water Pokémon being damaged heavily by Electric types.
If you get a little tired of levelling up your Pokémon in the main game, then there's always 1 Vs 1 mode to try your hand at (take a look at our 1 Vs 1 strategies guide here). This consists of a series of battles against opponents of increasing difficulty, much like the format of the original Pokémon Tower Defense. You get to choose from a limited selection of Pokémon (in a similar manner to the Pokémon Stadium: World of Chaos game) and items between battles, and with these you must emerge victorious over your opponents, or else you must being again from the beginning.
Pokémon Tower Defense 2 is indeed an adventurous project from Sam and Dan. It combines the RPG style of Pokémon with another genre that wouldn't initially seem to work well with it, but the development of the game has been so meticulous that any objections are quashed almost from the get-go. The gameplay is addictive, the adventure is updated on a weekly basis with special Pokémon to win and new parts of the adventure to conquer, and its similarity to the real Pokémon games is unrivalled. Even the game's pixelated design and original chiptune Pokémon soundtrack is sublime, so there should be no delay in finding out what the hell all of the above fuss is about.