I wanted to say my take on Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. Firstly, its a kids game and I recommend it as such. Some of the reviews critiqued how long it takes to get the plot going or see the purpose and I agree, but if you look at it strictly from a parent’s perspective, its a heart warming game that teaches good morals and is fun without too much violence. And when I say heart warming, I mean – I cried during every cut scene because its so heavily coated in warm fuzzies. The theme is that by inspiring hope in others you can make your community a better place to live (and save the world). Spoiler: The game is not saved by grinding your pokemon into a hard calloused fighting machine, its binding together with your friends and beating a fairly easy battle against an inanimate object that threatens to end the world. You don’t kill bad guys, you defeat them and then warm their heart with your hope for the future so that they too join you. I think its great, and if kids have the focus to make it through the plot and no get bogged down in town building, it has a great ending.
Here’s some screen shots (Sorry, the 3DS makes funny lines when photographed..)
Like I said, feel good hopeful messages!
Who doesn’t like an ending with crazy rainbows to signify that good has prevailed!?
The cast of playable pokemon is pretty vast. The center mechanics of the game is you choose your pokemon and your best friend from a limited list. I went with Axew and a sidekick Tepig (which I thought he was great because the role is a kinda dorky personality). I was disappointed that none of your core team members evolve.. But you go explore randomly generated dungeons with those main two and any other members your recruit along the way. The game will take you on linear plot arcs called “adventuring” in which you can’t return home from until you meet sucess. During these missions, your pokemon team selection is limited to only plot driven team members, but thankfully all pokemon in your team (I mean ALL of them, even the ones at home base) share experience form every battle so even if you get stuck having to use a non-prefered team member – they’ll be of equal level, although maybe still weak and annoying..). Another neat option, which I figured out really late in the game, was switching modes. You can switch from your main pokemon character to a random one left back at home and run simultaneous operations. That allows you to continue building your town, harvest helpful items, play mini games and do side quests, all while your main team is out adventuring. I got stuck in the last levels by one of the final battles and could switch to the other mode and buy a bunch of revive seeds which then int he main campaign helped me win the battle.
The cut scenes helped build teammate relations and inspire a laugh or cry. Although the plot was simple, there was one plot twist that really caught me off guard. The way it ends I found very emotional too. I cry at everything though.
The best part of the game was the moves system. Pokemon gained their typical move sets as they evolved, but you could level up each move the more you used it and all teammates benefited from the moves development. I enjoyed increasing the efficiency of low level moves that I had trained in and sometimes opted to keep them over the moves learned at a higher level. Leveling up a move gave you more PP, accuracy and power. I liked it so much I see it as a way to evolve the pokemon games in the future and wish with all my little heart that its part of X and Y.
The worst part of the game was the AI. You could control your main character and give guidance to the three NPCs on your team, but the AI lacked most intelligence. In the later levels, when you earned powerful attacks, I normally ended up turning them off, because the AI would use them and kill my teammates off faster then the enemies. I thought it was stupid that they would use attacks with recoil when they were low on hit points and kill themselves as well.
It took me a couple week to beat and I enjoyed it and would recommend others give it a try if they enjoy pokemon!