Spin-off Tier List

First Ranger in B(etter) and the rest of then in A (Almia and uhhhh, Guardian Signs) those games were awesome. I did a full pokedex in Almia and all the missions, everything was somewhat unique to fight, and the replayability is freakin insane on the latter two. First ranger was much more frustrating though. I'm also not so familiar with the initial ranger. Guardian Signs had tons of replaybility, and some really good speedrunnable sidequests in the thing with a Celebi in it (my memory is really hazy with this game for some reason). When it comes to Almia, it featured a lot of fun things and sometimes challenging things in it. The starting assists were shit though :(
Actually I thought that Guardian Signs was the worst of the series. I think B(adder) is the place for it, whilst almia and original can go in B(etter). Neither are incredible games keeping them out of A.

The problem with Guardian Signs was the story was predictable, there was too much boring backtracking and every side quest seemed like I was doing the same thing over and over. Either you are taking something from one place to another or you are catching a specific Pokemon, with a couple different ones but none of the "original" ones were very imaginative or fun. Pichu was also really disappointing because he aids captures far too well.

It's still a fairly enjoyable game, just not great.


used substitute
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So, I'm gonna take a more contrary view to most and say that I think Conquest should actually be in B or even C tier. To me Conquest is a good game, but it simply is not up to snuff with what is out there in its genre. Indeed, if it weren't for its Pokemon motif, it would be entirely forgettable. See, here is the thing: I don't think it is really possible to compare all these different games directly. Some people just like different types of games more, and they will naturally think them better than others. However, what I think you can more accurately compare is how good the games are in comparison to similar non-Pokemon games. When you look at things in this light, while I believe Snap and TCG and Mystery Dungeon still hold their own, Conquest becomes a lot less attractive.

I mean, Conquest is a tactical rpg, and I think that games such as that are naturally more attractive to the core Pokemon crowd. As such, I think people here have a natural inclination to see it as better than things like the D tier games. Yet, when compared to the other similar games out there (think Fire Emblem), frankly, Conquest is a mediocre at best game that uses its Pokemon facade to sell cartridges.

Don't get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed the game, but the point is, it is just not that great at what it is, and I find it hard to then rank it equal to or above other games that I think compare more favorably to their competition.
I haven't actually played the Pokemon Conquest games but I have been following them and have seen people play them and I would think they are about B rank.

I support main-stream series' stepping outside of the box and being different and all that pretty stuff, and Pokemon Conquest did that well, however it is basically Pokemon Ranger with more thinking from my experience, which may appeal to some but not others. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad game but I just think the placement should be up there with the Pokemon Ranger games in B(etter).
Pokemon Puzzle League is a solid B[etter], in my opinion. There isn't a whole lot of single player gameplay, and it's a shame only two people can play at once. But, the puzzle section is fantastic and both the main game and puzzle section are incredibly difficult. I still haven't finished the game on Super Hard. Add the alternate way to play in the Team Rocket Spa and an excellent, fun, replayable tutorial mode, and you have a great N64 game.
I'd place GTI in B(etter).

Honestly, it might not have as much content as the other PMDs which is a shame, but it's as solid as any other PMD with great and fluid gameplay, correct difficulty, good storyline which is more based on the differents pokemons around the hero, and not solely on the hero and his closest friends.

Also I don't see the point of splitting B in 2 just for placing one game in each and I highly disagree with the S tier : Trading Card Game is just a video game version of the Trading Card, how hard and original to do and Snap isn't that much of a video game in my opinion, even if novel, I really don't understand how those are over fully fledged games such as PMD or Pokemon Rangers
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Alas poor Yorick!
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One of the reasons I probably will not put the TCG game lower is also that it's a miracle they fit the card game into a GBC game. Just take a look at its closest competitor the Yu-Gi-Oh trading card game for GBC and how messed up that game was. It was weirdly based on the anime in some parts and made certain cards really OP. If there is a mistake in the TCG game I'm not aware of it (there might be that Ditto thing but that's all).

One thing to also keep in mind for the MD game is that the Pokemon ones are far from the only versions: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Mystery_Dungeon_video_games Just look at how many releases there are. So when they are good they've had enough past titles to have perfected the basic formula. The same goes with Conquest http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nobunaga's_Ambition aka Nobunaga's Ambition except for what I have seen those games involve much more politics and looking at a map along with resources.
I pretty much agree with the placement of things as they are currently (although I'm personally not that fond of the Myster Dungeon series).

Are we not going to bother tiering the Pokémon Mini games? I have 4 of them (Pokémon Party Mini, Pokémon Pinball Mini, Pokémon Puzzle Collection and Pokémon Zany cards) and I'd probably put Party in D and the rest in C ...just.

There are only 10 games on the whole system, but half of them are japan only, and whilst Pokémon Shock Tetris made it to Europe it's really rare.
Can we get Pokemon Pinball RS for B(etter) tier and Pokemon Pinball for B(adder) tier?

Mainly because RS had a smoother framerate/hit detection that made it easier to play in general, but also because of all the additions that made it a complete game.
I think the pinball games belong in B because although there isn't much depth to them, they accomplish their goal of being a satisfying pinball game perfectly well and neatly included every available Pokemon. Infinite replayability due to pinball's high score nature kept me coming back and its one of the only Pokemon games with zero "grinding" and all skill.


Poet, take my measure now
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@Layell I nominated Pokemon Puzzle Challenge last page and you mentioned you were taking a look at it; is there an update on where it's going to be tiered?


Alas poor Yorick!
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I think to judge it fairly I also need to play Puzzle League on the N64 but it's a good Tetris Attack a game as any.


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Please for God's sake more Hey You, Pikachu to E[asily the worst video game of all time] tier. If a Pokemon game failed to entertain me at age eight, I can only imagine the amount of seconds it would take me to give up if I tried playing it again. The only appeal to that game was telling Pikachu to fuck itself and watching its reaction.


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You must have been a very naughty eight-year-old. :oops:
hey, to be fair
This game sucks. This is probably one of the worst games I ever played. But why do I think it is important? A few reasons:

It taught me to swear - I'm not joking. My friends and I refer to this game as Fuck You, Pikachu! You spend 90% of your time yelling at Pikachu to do something, which he never does, and it's easy to start yelling at him. When you say "Fucking pick up the stick" he'll run into a wall for the next minute.
It wasn't just me. :oops:
Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia is definitely A tier. It has a lengthy, enjoyable storyline, at not point do you get a sense of grinding or drudgery, and the limited quests are a nice distraction. Also, Pachirisu is an OP mofo.

PMD RRT / BRT however, indisputably S tier. The storyline is the best I've ever seen in a game I've played, period, no competition. It is quite simply fucking amazing. Gameplay is enjoyable, lots of depth, extremely customizable, lots of challenging bosses without going too far, etc.
i didn't really like rescue's gameplay (having to deal with just 20 items really limits how flexible you can get with your storage, though it does teach how to strategise your items better etc), the iq system was messy as all heck (but good), but it kind of got bad when multi-hit moves began to trivialise the game (groudon+rayquaza got like 3hko'd by leer+fury attack farfetch'd, and that combination is available within like 5 levels of recruiting farfetch'd) and skitty > everything in existence because of attract.

the plot was fantastic though, and i'd put that in A tier. though honestly, it just kind of feels to me that gengar was the main guy all along and the player is just there to drive the plot.

explorers probably deserves an S (S tier for sky plz), a lot of new features (egg moves, no more auto-party disband, no more annoying quicksave-before-entering crap) and some balancing (multi-hit attacks have shit accuracy now, skitty is helpless against ghosts), and the plot was once again fantastic. sky should get an S imo since it improves on all these aspects (plus you can actually truly catch em' all in sky!)
I was actually curious to see how these games ranked according to critics, so I fished these up:

Legendary (S)
Pokemon Puzzle Challenge (90.20%)

Great (A)
Pokemon Puzzle League (82.65%)
Pokemon Conquest (81.97%)
Pokemon Pinball (81.73%)
Pokemon Trading Card Game (81.36%)
Pokemon Pinball Ruby & Sapphire (80.83%)

Good (B)
Pokemon Stadium (78.60%)
Pokemon Snap (75.48%)
Pokemon Stadium 2 (74.10%)
Pokemon Trozei! (73.78%)
Pokemon Colosseum (73.46%)
Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia (71.00%)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team (70.83%)
Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs (70.11%)

Meh (C)
Pokemon Ranger (69.63%)
Learn with Pokemon: Typing Adventure (69.22%)
Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness (67.13%)
Pokemon Rumble (66.20%)
PokePark 2: Wonders Beyond (64.92%)
PokePark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure (64.80%)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team (64.01%)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time (62.39%)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity (62.34%)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness (61.25%)

Bad (D)
Pokemon Rumble Blast (57.86%)
Hey You, Pikachu! (56.04%)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky (55.84%)
Pokemon Battle Revolution (53.19%)
Pokemon Dream Radar (52.00%)
Pokemon Channel (51.97%)
Pokemon Box: Ruby and Sapphire (50.00%)
Pokemon Stadium (Japan) (50.00%)

Terrible (F)
Pokemon Dash (49.21%)
Pokemon Rumble U (48.92%)
My Pokemon Ranch (43.11%)

Legendary (S)

Great (A)
Pokemon Puzzle League (81)
Pokemon Pinball: Ruby & Sapphire (81)
Pokemon Conquest (80)

Good (B)
Pokemon Stadium 2 (78)
Pokemon Snap (77)
Pokemon Trozei! (74)
Pokemon Colosseum (73)

Meh (C)
Pokemon Ranger (69)
Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia (68)
Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs (68)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team (67)
Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness (64)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team (62)
PokePark Wii: Pikachu's Aventure (62)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time (60)
PokePark 2: Wonders Beyond (60)

Bad (D)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness (59)
Pokemon Rumble (59)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity (59)
Hey You, Pikachu! (57)
Pokemon Rumble Blast (56)
Pokemon Channel (55)
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky (54)
Pokemon Dream Radar (54)
Pokemon Battle Revolution (53)

Terrible (F)
Pokemon Rumble U (49)
My Pokemon Ranch (47)
Pokemon Dash (46)

GR has a bigger database, since it generally goes back further, is less picky about what sources it uses (more fansites), and doesn't have the "4 reviews minimum" rule that MC does. Neither site has any scores related to the Japanese-only games (except Stadium 1 J).

The biggest thing I'm seeing is that the Mystery Dungeon games are generally scoffed at by the press, even if the fans love 'em to death. This is mostly a Western thing, since I'm pretty sure they score much higher in Japan, but I think it's more of a widespread hatred of anything within the "dungeon crawler" genre, and the fact that most reviewers have never been properly introduced to the whole "Fushigi no Dungeon" series or Chunsoft before now. Personally, I'm a big fan, and it's one of the only PokeSpin-off's I actually care about besides the Trading Card Game.

Speaking of, I've seen posts of people wondering it warrants a spot at the top, and I'm here to tell you it does. The Japanese-only sequel you can take or leave (it has a bigger selection of cards, but good luck finding a patch), but the original was really addictive. I'm speaking as a fan of the actual TCG (even if I haven't touched a physical card since the Team Rocket set), so I have no idea if the appeal transfers over to anyone else, but the idea of being able to "own" every card up until that point without spending hundreds of dollars on boosters was splendiferous. Totally. There's an actual game in there too, with a rival and everything, but you're beating him with tiny pieces of cardboard. You were only limited by your imagination and a coin-flip system that I'm positive wasn't completely fair, but whatever. The music was catchy too.
a screwed up attempt at an interactive game (hey you pikachu) scoring higher than an actual game with an actual plot and features that improve on what could've been done on its predecessors (explorers of sky)?

brb fucking out of here
Out of the Rumble series I only have signifiant experience with Rumble Blast, but it is definitely my favorite Pokémon spin-off to date (which is saying a lot). I think the thing that drew me into the game the most was the level of customization that rivaled that of main series games. Unlike DPPt/BW where the "catch 'em all" mantra has lost a lot of its charm, it is definitely possible to collect every single species in Rumble Blast which also ramped up the appeal for me. You don't have to dedicate tons and tons of resources to buying Poké Balls and tracking down the 'mons—you just need a decently powered Pokémon with Gutsy/+/++. It helps that are able to "capture" multiple Pokémon at the same time in each course. You have incentives to play in the post-game due to recently unlocked legendary Pokémon and World Ranks. The latter World Ranks are a bit expensive, though.

One downside I can see to the game is that there isn't much variety: you essentially use the same strategy to defeat every Pokémon in the game, all you have to do is worry a tiny bit about type effectiveness and the range/power/speed of your moves. While not incredibly difficult, the game is still reasonably challenging and incredibly immersive. The removal of shiny Pokémon in the transition from Rumble (Wii) to Rumble Blast was also another "negative," albeit one that doesn't really affect game play.

Everything considered, the game is solidly A rank. (S for me personally, but it is hard to overlook its misgivings.)
Rumble Blast is a really fun game. The only problem I have with it is that it has pretty much zero replay value unless you want to delete your hard earned save file (which I did, but then never bothered re-finishing the game). After collecting all of the Pokemon there's absolutely nothing to do besides beat the Ex. challenges over and over with different Pokemon or go through areas you've already cleared, both of which get stale after a while. Not to mention the pain in the ass that is trying to get every Arceus form.

If only the game had some kind of endless mode in the post-game, it'd be fun to pick up once in a while. But I put my 70+ hours into the game, and now I just can't stand it anymore. I agree with A rank though, due to its simple and addicting gameplay. I could settle for lower though.

Moving on, I was really disappointed by Mystery Dungeon: GTI and kinda wish it would burn in E-tier, but not comparing it to the first two it's still a half-decent game which could fit into C tier or so. The amount it was dumbed down compared to the first two was just too much though.

I haven't played many of the others besides the TCG game, which I really liked, but everyone's going to have different opinions on the spinoff games so deciding on the tiers is gonna be pretty hard. I'd personally just make a recommend/not recommend list instead.


Alas poor Yorick!
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Considering the holidays I'm ready to keep working on this.

I've had some time to invest in Puzzle Challenge and it is solidly A tier for sure, considering the modes. It has a good amount of Pokemon related content although it could easily not be a pokemon game at all. I'm going to see how Puzzle League shapes up in the coming week.

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