Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon - Explorers of Darkness

No mystery that this game is great.
Review By KeyBlade999

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon was originally a spin-off of Pokemon, being released on the Game Boy Advance some time back. Then, it was also a one episode anime series, which disappointed many. When Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red and Blue Rescue Teams were released, they were a hit. Not as much as the main Pokemon games, but good enough. Afterwards, Nintendo and Game Freak sticked mainly on other spin-offs and the main series, seemingly never returning to Mystery Dungeon. Well, not too far back, the Mystery Dungeon got its waited for sequels - Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Darkness, and later Explorers of Sky. These games also got a one episode anime, which made many angry, but still, have to happy for the game, right? Well, I've played the whole series, and I do believe that this one was the better.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness's gameplay is the as the prequels' gameplay. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games are turn-based games, as well as an RPGs, or role-playing games. Turn-based games like this let you move, then the enemy moves. This game upped it up a notch. You and the enemy BOTH move around at the same time, giving the game a faint element of real time. Simple, right? Well, you don't know whether you're about to be attacked or moved closer to, so you have to strategize you movements carefully.

There is also an option for this game, like in the previous games, that allows you to "pick" a mission by entering a code (see the game's Cheat's section). This will allow you to pick a mission with specific, great awards, some even one-time only. This option, though cheating (sort of), gives a semi-challenging mission. Useful for the great items and unlocking unknown dungeons, including those with legendary Pokemon in them!

A thing that is also here is a sort of multiplayer function. Using Wi-Fi or passwords, you can help another team out for rewards, such as a 50,000 purchase points. Most people wouldn't do that, but someone might be that grateful. You can even get or give a Pokemon for help to the finish. A very useful function. The game also uses Nintendo WFC for the same function as Wi-Fi - trade Pokemon and help each other out.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games are all RPGs, and the same remains here. An RPG is characterized by two major things - a story in which you save something, and a system that allows growth and powering up. The story is here, and yes you do save something. Stories like this are usually saving something big, such as the world, or accomplishing a huge task, like becoming the Pokemon League Champion. The story is pretty simple. The powering up system is your basic level up system, seen in most RPGs, namely Final Fantasy and Pokemon. By defeating enemies, you get experience points, or EXP. Enough EXP. will allow you to gain a level, which gives you higher stats and more moves at times. In most Pokemon games, you would evolve at a certain level. You can here, but a certain task must be completed.

The story in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness is virtually the same from the previous games, and you need not play the others (although you should - they're pretty good!). You haven woken up in an unknown area as a Pokemon, with no memory of anything, except your name, and the theory that you were a human. Another Pokemon finds you, and you becomes friends quickly. You both decide to make a exploration team to search out adventure. While doing this, you figure out about your past, and realize some stuff about you that have to be stopped, as well as a Pokemon that has been going out of control. Well, that is the gist of the story. Pretty interesting, eh?

The graphics haven't really changed from the previous games. Yes, the graphics are more colorful and such, but rather the same. You can see the attacks as they are conducted, such as Pikachu's Thunderbolt or Charmander's Flamethrower. There are some changes. Back in the original, all there was was Hoenn, a limit of 386 Pokemon, some of which I never saw, such as Deoxys (well, my game broke before I possibly could, but I don't think he was there). Now, you have almost every Pokemon, almost all of the 493 Pokemon. However, there are some still not seen, such as Arceus or Deoxys (AGAIN?!?). Alas, you must make a few sacrifices. Oh well... You still see many legendaries. The dungeons are also more colorful, and there are many with many looks and items inside them. This alone can teach you how to identify an item upon sight.

The sounds of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness are also the same, almost, as the previous games' sound effects. You can hear the sound of any attack, such as static sound upon hearing Thunderbolt, or the rush of water with Hydro Pump. The sounds are clearer, as there are two speakers on the Nintendo DS, and not just one like on the Game Boy Advance. The music stills fits the mood of your current location or situation. Outside of a dungeon, the music is rather calm. In a dungeon, the music is rather calm, too, but with an ominous hint in it. In battle, it goes up tempo. It really jumps higher when you enter a room with dozens of Pokemon in it. The final boss (either one) gives even an more ominous tone, one that kind of hints "Be careful." For a Nintendo DS game, the sound effects are so-so.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness and Time (and presumably Sky) takes a while to finish. I finished it in about a week, give or take a few days. However, there is a lot (A LOT) more after beating the "final boss." You have more to do, if you wish. To finish the real final boss will bring your total to at least three weeks. To become the Master Rank exploration team, it will take several months. In essence, a good game cannot be easily rushed or finished quickly. If it takes a month or two to finish a game, it is probably good. This game is also good to replay. In fact, I recommend it. This will allow you to understand the facts that you were told on your original adventure. So then, you should replay it.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness and Time, as well as Sky, are very good video games. This game has a few silent improvements on the previous games, as well as more Pokemon being the obvious one. The story, sound effects, and graphics have remained the same, but also slightly better. It takes a while to finish, but is very much worth the time to play, for any person, not just Pokemon fans. The game was $40 when I bought it new (as you should), and is probably going for $20 at minimum, when brand new. Ih hope you got this as Christmas gift, mainly because I had to use my Christmas money just to get it. Bad deal. Anyways, buy it brand new. There is virtually no other option, as I have never seen it used. There aren't very many in stock at most retailers, so buy a copy.

SYSTEM: Nintendo DS



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