Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 27
  2. Negative: 2 out of 27
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  1. Nintendo Power
    With the phenomenal graphics and custom rule sets, XD provides a perfect environment for battling friends. [Nov 2005, p.102]
  2. Catching new 'recruits' is as addictive as ever, and the range of missions is impressive - whether retrieving stolen Pokemon or saving friends from the extra dimension, XD always feels fresh and exciting. This is the Game Boy classic fully reborn as a top Gamecube RPG. [GamesMaster]
  3. Pelit (Finland)
    Goes back to basics and melts your heart as easily as before. If only there were some depth and new ideas, Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness would be a true gem. [Nov 2005]
  4. Gale of Darkness is one of those games that will use its claws to grab you by the gonads until you complete it.
  5. This title does have a weaker story when compared to the other Pokémon RPGs, which only helps to expose the fighting engine for what it is: a monotonous series of button presses resulting in a win and a quick trip to the Pokécenter to get your Pokémon ready for the next fight.
  6. I can only hope that with advent of Revolution, as well as the DS solidifying itself as a innovative portable machine, that future releases of this fan favourite will finally advance beyond its staple gameplay and provide those who want to hunt Pokémon with a new style of play along with all new looks.
  7. Fails to stand up to typical console RPGs in terms of story telling and game mechanics. It simply does not offer the complexity that console gamers would expect and hope for in an RPG title.
  8. AceGamez
    Older gamers may find Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness simply lacks the challenge that they're used to in an RPG, meaning that this is a title best left for those youngsters that were toddlers (or not even born yet) when the series first made its mark on Japanese shores.
  9. Very much a by-numbers title that regurgitates most of the gameplay (and indeed, Pokemon) from previous instalments in the long-running franchise.
  10. 70
    And the staggering amount of collectible Pokémon and items will preoccupy you for weeks, if not months.
  11. Gale of Darkness retains the basic monster-battling formula as its predecessor, but with a longer single-player game and a few minor gameplay tweaks to address some common complaints about the previous game. As a result, the only people who will really appreciate this game are those who are already familiar with the series.
  12. 68
    Pokemon XD has merit on its own for players who may not have experienced the first GameCube design, but as a sequel this one doesn't have nearly the same "oomph" as the original.
  13. You'll have to complete a few too many fetch quests, and listening to the in-game tunes is about as pleasant as Sandshrew's nails on a chalkboard. Even so, if you haven't spent quality time with Pikachu for a while, Gale is a good series re-entry point.
  14. 65
    An overall unimpressive title from people who should know better, Pokémon XD feels like a quickie cash-grab.
  15. netjak
    While Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness certainly has an improved tweaking of the battle system from the previous game, the story is insufferable and there's very little in the game beyond Lugia to justify picking it up over any other Pokémon title – and pretty much every Pokémon fan had that information in hand well before the game itself came out, really rendering this review pointless.
  16. With the franchise failing to replicated its handheld success on the console, XD is hampered by linear gameplay and limited options.
  17. Saccharine, ultra kid-friendly situations and plot lines.
  18. The GameCube only serves to illustrate how basic the gameplay really is. It just doesn't translate well onto a more powerful system. Much of the problem is that the developers don't know what else to do with all the left over processing power.
  19. 60
    A competent RPG that has some remote appeal but it doesn't take enough of the things that made the Game Boy versions so enjoyable.
  20. 60
    The game is addictive, fun, and quite lengthy, but these half-fledged console outings are wearing thin, if only because the franchise has the potential to be something great.
  21. Game Informer
    I think it's worse than its predecessor. [Nov 2005, p.163]
  22. Whether it's the glaring lack of cinematics (the story is told mainly with endless screens of type to read) or the lack of exploration -- the adventure babies gamers, basically leading them by the hand from one area to the next -- "Gale of Darkness" is a low point for the Pokemon series, a sequel that doesn't offer updates or improvement.
  23. 50
    Maybe it would be more exciting if there was some actual challenge involved, but most of the battles amount to a rock, paper, scissors competition where your opponent is limited to 'rock' for their arsenal.
  24. 50
    XD is a decent enough effort, and it's certainly not a bad game, but considering how well crafted the handheld RPGs are, the unrealized potential and missed opportunities of XD become all the more apparent.
  25. The presentation disappoints. It seems bafflingly incongruous that fans have to endure the same simple and repetitive animations and sound effects from the handheld versions when playing on the technically superior GameCube.
  26. If the graphics were reverted to the Game Boy look, people wouldn't notice the difference.
  27. As far as Nintendo seems to be concerned, at least until the first DS outing, Pokémon begins and ends with the Game Boy. Pokémon XD is tedious and restrictive. The message is clear: if you want Pokémon, crack open a GBA.

Awards & Rankings

#6 Most Discussed GameCube Game of 2005
#2 Most Shared GameCube Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 167 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 167
  1. Oct 17, 2012
    Outstanding. This sequel fixed all of the problems Colosseum had while keeping the fun elements of Pokémon that we all know and love.Outstanding. This sequel fixed all of the problems Colosseum had while keeping the fun elements of Pokémon that we all know and love. Sure, you can't catch any Pokémon you want, but I honestly like the Shadow Pokémon system. For those who don't know, the plot revolves around and evil organization called Cipher returning from the events of the first console game and using Shadow Pokémon to accomplish their goals. Shadow Pokémon are simply Pokémon whose hearts have been sealed off allowing them to become more powerful than they were before(but with a few usage drawbacks). It's the job of the silent protagonist, Michael, to capture and purify all of the Shadow Pokémon he can and destroy the revived Cipher organization. I do believe this game is worth giving a shot: Pokémon XD, it's a different Pokémon adventure, but a damn fun one. Full Review »
  2. Dec 30, 2014
    Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness is probably the best console Pokémon game that has a lot of fun and a lot of flaws. It has great environments,Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness is probably the best console Pokémon game that has a lot of fun and a lot of flaws. It has great environments, fun gameplay, and a gripping story. However, the game gets repetitive after a while and I would have liked a little bit more freedom on the exploration aspect. However, this is still a good game and worth your time. Full Review »
  3. Jul 7, 2014
    Absolutely terrible. I expected it to be a 3D game like Pokemon X and Y, but it just turns out that you can't even catch Pokemon you wouldAbsolutely terrible. I expected it to be a 3D game like Pokemon X and Y, but it just turns out that you can't even catch Pokemon you would like without a handheld game. It sucks! Where's my Charizard? Full Review »