Playing Pokémon Shuffle reminded me that I've had its predecessor, Pokémon Battle Trozei (aka Pokémon Link: Battle!), for a while but haven't really spent much time with it. I'd been pretty unimpressed with Pokémon Trozei, which appeared on DS, and really wasn't expecting much from the sequel. My complaint about the original game was that it was a typical match three but felt very simplistic and repetitive and had very little variation. At that time I'd said, "all in all the game could work as a 'my first puzzle game' for young pokemon fans, but hard-core puzzle-game fans should pass this one up even if they’re fans of all things pokemon."

Pokémon Battle Trozei introduces a few new elements, but ends up being even more of a snoozefest than the original. In this game you have target pokémon that appear at the top of the screen, and the first match in your chain determines the type effectiveness of your "attack" (using the by-now familiar type hierarchy of the games). You can also bring one of your captured pokémon into battle, and some have special effects that provide small benefits. The chaining system is the same as the original, and is as easy/mindless. Clearing the entire board nets you many more points, but even after playing the game for several hours it still felt like whether or not I had the right pieces to clear the box was more a matter of luck than skill. Some stages have secret requirements for unlocking extra 'mon to collect, but the requirements can be completely obscure and stupid, which was annoying to say the least. Getting an "S" rank on a stage does take multiple tries, but there are no immediate rewards for doing so.

In the end I had to give this game much lower marks than the original Trozei game, and far lower than Shuffle which I found generally enjoyable (although also mindless). There are only a handful of new mechanics, and they don't help in the least in keeping the stages from all feeling completely identical. The game doesn't even have the unique presentation of the first game, or any other hint of characterization for that matter. It's at times like these that I lament my completist tendencies as this was one that I, and the world, would have been better off without.

Match these Pokémon Battle Trozei links:
- Review at NintendoLife: Apparently there are some people who really enjoy this game. The mind boggles.
- Miiverse community
- Entry at Bulbapedia

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