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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity - First Impressions

Posted by: Russell at 3/22/2013 12:40 PM
This Sunday, Nintendo will be releasing the latest entry in the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity.  While a review is definitely forthcoming, I still have a little ways to go before that occurs (like figuring out what the Gates to Infinity actually are), so in the meantime I figured I'd make a little post about what I think so far.

Admittedly, this is the first time I've played a Mystery Dungeon game outside of small bits of the first Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, but so far I'm having a blast with it.  In a nutshell, you're a human who has a dream about a Pokemon in trouble.  Then you end up turning into a Pokemon (you pick which one from a selection of five) and fall into the Pokemon World...yes, you literally "fall" into it.  From there you partner up with another Pokemon (pick one of the four you didn't choose earlier) and begin to build what's know as Paradise, a place where Pokemon can live and play.  As you complete more story quests and requests off of a request board (introduced a little ways into the game), various events progress the story.  In between story events though, you can complete various requests from other Pokemon to gain money, items, and materials to help improve Paradise.

That's the gist of how the game works, and I'll go more into that in my review, but I've actually had more fun so far with this game than the core Pokemon games, probably because it's different in a way.  You still have your party of Pokemon (you'll eventually have the ability to have four Pokemon in a party), you battle other Pokemon to level up and gain new moves, and you can occasionally have other Pokemon you encounter ask to join your team, which plays to the typical collection aspect of the more traditional games.  It is similar to the core games in a sense, but it's still different in that you're not going to gyms, there are no badges (well, no gym badges anyway), and you're actually controlling the Pokemon in a Real Time RPG-type setting.

I really only have a couple small gripes that I'll mention in my review, but the main one is that your teammates can occasionally wander off in a dungeon on their own for some reason.  I've figured out that this is typically because an enemy came up from behind them, and if a teammate is near an opponent, they'll typically set out to defeat them.  That's fine, but it can be annoying when they decide to continue whatever way they're facing instead of turning back around and rejoining the team.  It's nothing to bad, especially if they're strong enough to handle themselves, but it can get kind of old every time you have to turn around to fetch your teammate who's wandered deeper into the dungeon on their own.

Thus far, I've enjoyed the game and I'm looking forward to getting it finished soon so I can get a review up as soon as possible (not easy with the NCAA Tournament going on, but I digress).  However, if you're a Pokemon fan looking for something different from the core games or have enjoyed past Mystery Dungeon games, Sunday probably can't get here fast enough for you.