Imagine a Pokémon game interpreted for a demographic of Wii owners and you get PokéPark Wii: Pikachu's Adventure. It's the family-friendly, mini-game-riddled interpretation of the Pokémon franchise: a game that takes the cuteness of Pikachu and the numbing simplicity of befriending Pokémon repeatedly over the course of hours, and then corrals the two into a park.
The game's primary feature isn't "Adventure" as it says in the title, as much as it is a parade of cuteness that envelops about 80 per cent of the screen at any given time. It's a fact you quickly become aware of when within the first four minutes of entering PokéPark you're faced with the Poke-equivalent of a bunny. The park is filled with a variety of cute, shuffling Pokémon who you befriend throughout the game, and who serve as the basis of all mini-games.
Actually, the game is based, at least in name, on an existing PokéPark. It originated as a travelling theme-park that had made its way through Japan and Taiwan around 2005 and functioned essentially as a promotional tie-in for the franchise, featuring attractions such as Dancing Pokémon Mini-tour and Pichu Bros. Rascal Railroad. And similarly PW: PA is more of a theme park than it is a game. You walk around, you stare at animals, and the mini-games generally have the strategic qualities of a Whac-A-Mole.
PokéPark is the generic, grassy village that houses all Pokémon. You're told that the park is in danger after the Sky Prism was shattered, and the only way to set things right is to complete a total of 14 mini-games while collecting prism shards when you succeed in the relevant mini-games. It's a conventionally nonsensical plotline, punctuated by your introduction to the place. You begin the game as Pikachu, who falls through a hole in the ground and into the park located directly underneath.
After falling through the world your primary task is to befriend each Pokémon throughout the zone, which involves talking to them, reading their extensive monologues, and taking part in one of their "Skill games". The game's localisation is a bit rough so most conversations read like they've been passed a few times through wheels and cogs of an online translator, each sentence weighted down with its own brand of awkward, robotic friendliness. "Have you lied lately?" says a fellow Pokémon. "I never lie! I don't want to play at all now! You still want to play hide and seek don't you? Yeah! I don't want to play hide and seek either! Actually I'm lying. Play with me another time!"