Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon - Explorers of Time

So... I heard that you like Mudkips?
Review By Thecheese103

Hello! I am reviewing Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time, for the Nintendo DS system. This game is mainly a sequel to Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue and Red Rescue Team, and also has a similar counterpart, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness. In my opinion, this is one of the best Nintendo DS games out in the world to date. Now, I'm going to talk about why.

STORY: Well, before the actual story begins, you take a personality quiz in order to determine which Pokemon you will become, and who your partner will be. It also determines your Aura color, which doesn't have much to do with the story however. The story of the game begins with a cutscene of two voices talking to each other, telling the one to hold on. The one character is you, unknowing at the time. We then open up to a Pokemon (your partner) going over to a Wigglytuff shaped building, but is identified from the watchman under the ground, were he is scene from a grate covering a hole. Your timid partner runs off, and two shady pokemon follow him. Your partner goes over to the beach, where he finds you knocked out. You then wake up in this world, where you had once been a human, but are now turned into a Pokemon! When you tell your partner this, we has some trouble believing, but accepts it none the less.

He shows you an item called the relic fragment, he says that it is his prized possession, which is stolen by the pokemon following him (this item actually plays a large role at the end of the story). You then give chase, going through the games first Mystery Dungeon, and defeat them to obtain his item back. He notices how good you worked and asks if you would like to form an exploration team together with him. You accept, and go to the Wigglytuff Guild, but you go inside. You are taken to the cheery Guildmaster Wigglytuff by Chatot, another Pokemon. Wigglytuff presents you with things for an exploration team, such as the Wonder Map, Exploration Team Badge, and your Treasure Bag.

It contains the Item that I mentioned Earlier, which is a Bow(color depends on your DS color). You and your Partner Fall asleep in your beds in the crew room, where you live in the guild for the majority of the story. As things progress in your story, you are told that the flow of time has became out of balance, because a mysterious Pokemon is stealing the Time Gears, which are glowing gear shaped objects that maintain the flow of time. I'll leave you on a cliffhanger there, so that you can get the game for yourself to play it and find out what will happen next and so on!

But there's a certain concept to the story that it played with by this game and the Mystery Dungeon games preceding it. That is, how emotionally touching this game can be. You're probably laughing reading something like that for a Pokemon game, but this game introduces concepts that Nintendo hasn't tried since the Mother Series. Fears like abandonment, not being able to remember who you are, loss of loved ones (by death or otherwise), and ceasing to exist whatsoever, are all brought into the game. All of this, may I add, cleverly placed within an E rated Pokemon game. 

The game has a nearly perfect story (that left me in tears at the end), something that many recent games have trouble with developing. and deserves nothing short of a 10 out of 10.

GAMEPLAY: The Game Play of this game is mostly based upon the many things I mentioned in the story. After becoming a Pokemon in this strange new world, you and your partner Pokemon form a Pokemon Exploration Team, and you take on various jobs as an Exploration Team. Many of the jobs include things like helping lost pokemon in Dungeons, exploring with Pokemon for certain objectives, escorting them, finding items for them, and even things like defeating outlaw Pokemon and bringing them to justice. You can accept several of these Jobs on your job list, and then do them in dungeons. The jobs reward things from items of all shapes and sizes, money, even pokemon you help might want to join your team!

There are many different dungeons that can be explored, in fact there are well over 60 different dungeons in all! In the dungeons, you, your partner, and even helper Pokemon that you can recruit in the Dungeons can be part of your team for that dungeon. You move along floors battling Pokemon in turn based battles, trying to find the stairs on each floor to get to the next floor. Eventually this will continue until you either reach your objective for a job, fight a boss pokemon, or go through the entire Dungeon itself. The fighting system in this game is a lot less complicated and a lot more fun.

First off, instead of training by battling hoards of Pokemon for EV training as in previous Pokemon games, the stats you gain are determined but can be increased with the help of certain items. Next, you no longer have to go to some cheap store to buy Pokeballs that, if you are lucky enough, can catch the pokemon. In this game you get new pokemon by having your team leader defeat them in battle, and then, although it is still luck based, the Pokemon may become impressed by you and ask to join your team.

Another thing within this game is the IQ system. IQ, well, in the game at least, are some of the more exclusive skills to a pokemon that are called IQ skills. When you feed a Pokemon a gummi, it's IQ will increase. With that, it will come to learn new IQ skills, from weak ones like Dedicated Traveler to superb ones like PP saver and Trap Avoider. And on a different note, there is a Mini Game called Sentry Duty, where you are the sentry who checks the footprints of Pokemon from underground to determine if they are let inside of the guild or not. Although minigames are something many gamers are divided on, you really get to enjoy small things like this. The many things covered here are the basics of the Game Play. I give the Game Play a perfect 10/10.

CONTROLS: The game also has great controls. It's controls are not the best thing that you can imagine, but at the same time they did not to anything wrong with them. As with many common DS games, you can move your characters with the control pad. You can also use the touch screen of the DS to move around as well. You use the A button to talk, check and confirm things, and much more. You can use the B button to cancel options, go back in a menu, and more. The Y and L buttons only work in dungeons, to check the grid and use set items and moves respectively.

You use X to open up the menu, in both town and dungeons. And I should mention that you use most of the above buttons for different functions in dungeons. The SELECT button and START buttons aren't used, but you can also use START for the menu as well, thought it is easier to use X. The touch screen can do all of the above, all you need to do is tap what you are going to do with your stylus. I give the Controls a 9/10.

SOUND: The game has awesome sounds, don't get me wrong, but it's just that it doesn't seem to have enough different sounds. By this I mean that things like the noises that the pokemon would make in previous games are no longer available, accept for some cut scenes where a pokemon screams during an attack. Some of the attacks also do and do not have sound effects to go with them, while most are just the sound a pokemon getting hit in some way or another. On the other hand, the game has some great music tracks. Throughout cutscenes you'll see just what I mean, there are some very dramatic ones during and before bosses, and cheery, fast tracks playing in safe areas like the Guild. I give the sounds of the Game a 7/10.

GRAPHICS: The graphics were amazing. You might not think that the 2-D graphics are that impressive, but they actually are. For example, almost all of the moves have their own unique animations. Just look at the animation to Aura Sphere and Tell me it isn't beautiful compared to other DS graphics. All of the pokemon have their own animate sprites too, which are equally cool, even seeing as how they added the male and female pokemon differences, such as Pikachu's tail and Hippowdon's color. The aspect of the graphics... clearly the cut scenes in the story. Like how at Fogbound Lake there is an inspiring scene of all of the Illumise and Volbeat(basically Pokemon fireflies, pretty lights) around the geyser... it's something that you really need to see it to understand what I'm talking about.. I give the graphics a 10/10, amazing work by Nintendo for an intended 2D DS game.

OVERALL: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time is an awesome game. You might not care about pokemon that much, but trust me in saying that if you look at this as a game, not something by Game Freak or Nintendo, you'll be able to enjoy it to the fullest.

SYSTEM: Nintendo DS


1 comment:

  1. I really like the mystery dungeon spin off series!