Pokemon Mystery Dungeon made it’s debut on the Nintendo DS and GBA in 2005. Over a ten year span there’s been three “pretty awesome” games in the series, and one “not so awesome” game. I’m sure many fans including myself, were disappointed when the last ‘PMD’ game was released back in 2013, ‘Gates to Infinity’. It didn’t spark my interest at all and it didn’t have that charm the previous games had. Luckily, there’s a new ‘Pokemon Mystery Dungeon’ game in town, and its “SUPER”!
‘Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon’ starts off like the rest of them do. You wake up in a mysterious place and realize that you’ve been turned into a Pokemon! There’s a short quiz to find out exactly which Pokemon you will be. Veteran players of the series will be VERY happy to know that if you do not like the Pokemon chosen for you, you can now switch to whichever one you prefer to play as. This was a big relief, I used to have to restart my game and try different answers so I could get the Pokemon I wanted. There are 20 species to choose from this time. I chose my favorite, the adorable yet fierce, Charmander. You also get to choose your partner. This will be like your sidekick throughout the story.
As I said before, the adventure begins with the player not knowing how they got here, or why they’ve been transformed into a Pokemon. Luckily the locals have taken you in without question. Seeing as you have lost your memory and all, you decide stay here a while and try to find out what’s going on. For some reason everyone assumes you’re a child (because you haven’t evolved yet) so they insist that you enroll into the nearby Pokemon training school. Here you will learn the basics of exploring mystery dungeons. For those of you who don’t know, a mystery dungeon is pretty much a labyrinth that changes each time you enter. The layout will be different, the items you collect will be different and any Pokemon you encounter are ready for a fight.
To finish a dungeon you must find the stairs and proceed to the next level. After fighting your way through however many levels (it changes depending on your location), you can finally exit the dungeon. But this isn’t always an easy task. Mystery Dungeons are also filled with numerous traps and triggers, not to mention the many Pokemon that are lurking around waiting to attack. Some of them will change the status of you or other Pokemon in your group while others will just take HP. If you fail to finish a dungeon and all the Pokemon in your party faint it’s game over. Not only that, but you also lose all the items and money you have on you at that time, which sucks. There is an alternative option where you can be rescued via Pelipper Island (located in the main menu). Here you can request help from other players using QR codes, local wireless or passwords. If you don’t want to wait to be rescued and you don’t want to lose all of your items you could just go back to your last save. Whatever floats your boat.
That’s pretty much the basis of what you’ll be doing in Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon. You will be traveling though TONS of different dungeons, usually fighting a boss or a gang of Pokemon on the final floor. You don’t get too deep into the storyline until a little later in the game. Everything’s a mystery until you absolutely need to know. After you progress about halfway through the story you’re able to explore a bit more and unlock missions as a Pokemon Expedition Society member. During these missions you’ll be retrieving lost or stolen items from dungeons and doing other miscellaneous favors for Pokemon in distress. After completing a mission the Pokemon that posted it becomes your friend, you will also receive some coins and an item. After they befriend you, you can add them to your party and have them go on expeditions with you. They will attack enemies and collect items for you. This helped me out a lot with harder missions, especially after I got the level 50 Dragonite.
Battling is done by pressing the L button (to view your attacks) then pressing whichever button goes with the attack you want to use. Everyone takes turns attacking like in previous games. Some of the attacks have a further range than others so you don’t always have to be right next to your enemy. You can move up, down, left, right and horizontal, so as long as your lined up with your enemy your attack will hit them. When you successfully beat a wild Pokemon you will receive EXP and level up overtime. You can learn new attacks by leveling up and later on in the game you’re able to evolve. Overall the battle system is done well, and its a quick process since you don’t have to watch a cut scene every time you engage a new foe. It’s fun to encounter new Pokemon. I also like how they are all scaled to size, like Onyx for example. He’s a lot bigger than the rest of the Pokemon.
Visually this is the best looking PMD game I’ve played. I would actually compare it to “A Link Between Worlds”. The way the characters look and the top down visuals in the dungeons. Each location you travel through has different back ground scenery and music, which is nice. Even though the layout changes it can get a bit repetitive if you play for a while. But overall its a smooth, good looking game. Not to mention all of the colorful detailed Pokemon you encounter. The storyline and dialogue can drag a bit, which is nothing new to PMD games. While it is interesting and sometimes even funny, I found myself holding down the B button to speed things along periodically.
‘Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon’ is everything ‘Gates to Infinity’ wishes it was. The graphics are better, the gameplay is better, the story is better. While it does stick to the old style of the series there are also tons of new improvements to be happy about as well. Players will also be excited to know that there’s a whopping 720 Pokemon this time around. That’s right, EVERY Pokemon is available to play as in “Super Mystery Dungeon”. So catching… I mean “befriending” them all, will take you a while this time around. Oh and did I mention that you can MEGA evolve?! Because you totally can! Not as much as most people would like, but its there and its pretty cool. I highly recommend checking out Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon. It’s the PMD game we should have got on the 3DS the first time around and a great new installment to the series!
Review: Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon (3DS)
Explore tons of different dungeons as your favorite Pokemon and battle with 720 other Pokemon in this “Super” mystery dungeon adventure. Collect items, money and befriend other Pokemon along the way. This is definitely a big step up compared to the last installment, so if you’ve lost faith in the series this might be just what you need to restore it.