The beauty of the Pokémon RPGs is that anyone can enjoy them, with older fans getting stuck into strategic online battles while the younger ones coo at Pickachu. PokéPark is clearly aimed at the really young ones who think that Pikachu is the cutest of 'em all.
For them, wandering around the park and bumping into other Pokémon might well prove entertaining enough but hardcore Pokémon fans will find the game's simplicity insulting. It's all a bit Early Learning Centre.
PokéPark is in danger and it's up to Pikachu to save it by collecting the 14 pieces of the shattered Sky Prism and putting it back together. Conveniently, each of these pieces can be earned by completing the fourteen mini-games located around PokéPark. Unfortunately, it's all a bit of a slog...
Most of PokéPark Wii involves walking around, talking to Pokémon and playing one of a few 'skill games' they suggest. These usually consist of playing chase (where you're given a minute to run after a Pokémon and bump into it) or having a battle (where you dodge to the side to avoid a Pokémon attack then use Thundershock or, well, bump into it). Occasionally you'll be asked to play Hide and Seek or answer some trivia questions instead, but for the most part you'll be chasing and battling. It gets dull and repetitive extremely quickly, but it's essential to befriend every Pokémon in the park and fill your book of friends.
Each zone of the Park has a few problems that need solving. At one point a Bidoof needs help building a house for its family, for example, but this is just a case of carrying wood (at a painfully slow pace) over to it. In fact, most of these missions involve either carrying things over to certain Pokémon or, more annoyingly, being told to find other Pokémon and do the usual "chase or battle" thing with them.
As for the mini-games, Pikachu can take part in most of these but he rarely excels in them, which is where the befriending comes into play. Each Pokémon you befriend can take part in specific games and each has their own strengths and weaknesses. If you befriend a Rapidash, for example, you can finish Bulbasaur's Daring Dash (a 100m sprint mini-game) easily, whereas doing it with a Magikarp is much more difficult.
These 14 mini-games, while fun to a degree, don't do enough to justify the game's price tag. They're too few and far between, and despite their presence you still spend the vast majority of the game doing the old "find Pokémon, chase or fight them, befriend them" routine.
If your age is in double digits then you're rarely going to be challenged here, as PokéPark Wii is clearly aimed at very young gamers and you should keep that in mind before deciding to buy this game. Kids under seven will probably find something to enjoy here, so you can't say that PokéPark has completely failed to deliver. That said, more experienced gamers would need to be a complete Pokémon nut to get all the way through this without doing a Snorlax and falling asleep.