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WARNING: SPOILERS FOR ALL FOUR MAIN SERIES POKEMON MYSTERY DUNGEON GAMES.

I’ve been growing as a gamer over the years; having busted from my Nintendo-safe bubble and branching out into other genres and exposing myself to worlds I’ve never known. My Top 10 continues to change as I discover games that manage to click with me and draw me in, such as the viscerally enthralling BioShock Infinite, to the work about fun of Stardew Valley to the insanely absorbing Persona 5.

However there is only one game that will always sit at the Number 1 spot. No matter what games I play in future, I highly doubt there is any game out there that can usurp the love I feel for my number one.

And that game is Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky.

For now I’m going to take a look back at the Mystery Dungeon series as a whole; in what parts does it work so well, why a lot of critics seem to hate it, and what the later games lacked. I’m going to be spending the next 25,000 words talking about a series where you are a human who has been turned into a Pokémon and traverse through wondrous lands. In order to make it easier I’m going to divide the games into “series.” Series 1 pertains to Blue and Red Rescue Team, Series 2 pertains to the Explorers games, Series 3 is Gates to Infinity and Series 4 is Super Mystery Dungeon.

Before we get out of the way, I have to face the first obstacle: criticisms. This series is one of the most underrated gems in existence, but ultimately I get why so many people can be turned off (though IGN are still really stupid for giving Sky a 4.9.)  Most importantly, if you’re not into dungeon crawling, you will not enjoy this series.

The main problem with the all the games is that it can be very boring and repetitive for those who aren’t into dungeon crawlers, and becoming bored can happen if you’re not invested. The levels can be very tedious to grind through; especially the maze-like ones that have me searching through 20 different rooms before finding the stairs on the last one. The difficulty curve is unforgiving at times, being both too easy and remarkably hard. The fact you lose items when you are defeated is of itself very frustrating. The framerate likes to dip when you rush through sections, and the game loves to spawn really tough enemies when you’re on your last legs, making dungeons with 99 floors monstrously difficult to navigate. Also the quiz-mechanic that chooses your starter Pokémon in the first two games was something I’m glad they got rid of, having to restart over and over just to get the guys I wanted. In all four games the touch controls are just kinda…there I suppose. The pixel based art from the first two series was pretty much on its last legs, though there is a sense of charm to it. Again, each game has its own unique set of issues which some have been fixed to varying degrees of success. However, there is a reason Mystery Dungeon is so well loved, and I’m going to go through the games one at a time and talk about their strengths and weaknesses.

And we begin with series one: Blue and Red Rescue Team.

I remember being at a 10-year Pokémon anniversary event in 2005, and I fondly remember Pokémon Mystery Dungeon and Pokémon Ranger being touted. Even being the transformation enthusiast I am, the premise itself was intriguing enough for me to be excited for it. The DS was brand spanking new, and it was a great way to get introduced to the thing.  

Rescue Team has issues pertaining to something that’s common with the first game in any series; it feels more like a proof of concept. Again, with new idea like this, turning Pokémon into a dungeon crawler, there were obviously hiccups. While I do remember my time with the games fondly (I had Blue in case you were wondering,) it’s hard to go back to them because of the issues that came with the developers trying new things out and experimenting.

Firstly, the Friend Areas were a complete waste of time, having to essentially buy areas just to recruit new team members just seemed dumb, while making the recruitment rates so low that you’d have to kill ten enemies before even one offered to join. There’s also the issue of the fact that if your new teammate were to be defeated they’d immediately leave, as well as the fact you couldn’t gain any more once your team was full.

But the biggest niggle I had was the fact your team dissolved after every single mission, meaning before you went on an adventure you’d have to return to each different Friend Area to gather them all back up. Also this is just nitpicking, but I often intentionally left the mailbox full because I was sick of waiting close to a half a minute for Pelipper to deliver the mail. Despite all of these criticisms, the base game was still fun to play, and it served as an important backbone for the rest of the series; with unique and challenging dungeons letting you recruit all the major legendaries, and some pretty interesting side-stories to coincide with the main one.

Overall, there were many issues that made me question the developers, but what I can’t deny that Rescue Team did deliver in the place that defines the Mystery Dungeon series as a whole: the story. The story still holds up, and it’s just as touching as it was when I first played it. The twists and turns it took the player, and having the kind of ending it had still proves that the people behind it were fully committed to not just writing this as a spin-off, but an actual game for anyone to enjoy. I really did feel for the player as they were forced to flee for their lives, uncovering the cause of the natural disasters and their role in the world. It’s a special story that really does make you feel for the player and the partner and the world they live in (though the post-game completely relegates the player character to the side for the rest of it.)

But while Rescue Team had issues, it was a very important milestone. It was the first step into achieving something greater, something that would surpass it.

Series two: the Explorers series, in my opinion is the best of the four.

It’s the one that combines the most balanced gameplay with the most engaging story. Granted it’s not the best story out there, but it terms of both they work together in a way the other games haven’t achieved. I choose Sky over Time and Darkness because Sky not only fixes the issues with T/D, it also added in a whole bunch of new content that improved the story and makes it hard to return to T/D. It’s the height of the series and still unmatched in terms of story quality and gameplay elements.

Time and Darkness does deserve recognition for the changes it made to the formula; they were able to fix a lot of the issues I had with Rescue Team, though it too had problems of its own. The reworking of the recruitment mechanics were much needed, with the removal of the Friend Areas any Pokémon could join you at any time. The game also focused more on exploration rather than rescuing, allowing for more variety of missions you could do, such as hunting down criminals or looking for treasure.

To keep this review succinct I’m just going to go over the problems I had with T/D that were fixed in Sky. Firstly it gave us new Pokémon to play as; such as Riolu, Phanpy and Vulpix to mix up the usual batch of starters (and yes I always choose to be a Riolu.) A new save system at the crossroads meant you didn’t need to backtrack through the guild to save the game; they removed the damage animation from weather effects, meaning you didn’t get stopped every five feet to see yourself take 5 points of damage. You could also switch out party members with members you’ve recruited, unlike before where members were merely sent back automatically. And most importantly you only lost half of your money instead of all of it if you are defeated.

Sky also introduced further gameplay elements that expanded on T/ D’s structure to make the game more involving: Spinda’s Café and the Recycle Center were both amazing ways to use unwanted items, quests that were once locked behind codes were given away freely, an additional post-game mission Shaymin Village was included as well as new items called the Lookalike items. But most importantly it gave us five side-story missions, each with its own well-crafted tale that expanded on the lives of the characters we’ve grown to love; from the origin of Wigglytuff’s start as an explorer to the closure of what happened to Grovyle after he returned to the future.

This pertains to all three games too; but the postgame is probably the best I’ve played so far. It’s basically another story campaign that continues from the end game and just leads to a new adventure. This essentially fixed the problem with the protagonist’s role I had with Rescue Team, because the player and partner remain the stars of the show, even if you decide to brush them aside. Though to be fair it is easy to miss if you just play to story end and not know there’s essentially another game waiting for you afterwards.

But the one thing most people remember about this series is its incredible story. This wonderfully engaging tale which never fails to make me cry when I reach its conclusion even years after I first played it. It’s why everyone considers it such an underrated gem, the story was written by people who knew how to write a story, that knows how to play with your emotions and make you care about its world and characters. It also knew how to pull off a really great twist, with Dusknoir and Grovyle, and knew how to properly foreshadow and pay off certain plot details.

The game had this wondrous sense of camaraderie with the guild members, creating a wonderful relationship with the NPCs, each with their own eccentric personality that made them likable. Wigglytuff in particular was well handled; his overly naive and oblivious nature hid a very intelligent and quite frankly frightening persona. The only weak-link I would say is Chatot, his attitude (especially in Chapter 6) did grate a bit, though a later chapter does help rectify this.

But there are two characters that drive the story. Firstly we have Grovyle. As everyone knows by now Grovyle is introduced as a villain who turns out is a secret protagonist. Grovyle cemented my love of the species as well as an inspiration for my own character Reggie. He was an idealist who was determined to save the world at any cost; willing to kill anyone who stood in his way as well as knowing he’d sacrifice his own life in the process. The fifth side story “In the Future of Darkness” gave us the closure we didn’t get in T/D, expanding on his character, showing us his distrustful and cautious nature, but how his heart is set in making the world better for the future, and how he believes that life isn’t just about living: life is all about what you do with it.

The second is the partner themselves. I know I haven’t talked about the other two games in the series quite yet, but it needs to be stated that the partner in Explorers is still the best of the four. The partner characters in both Gates to Infinity and Super Mystery Dungeon have similar problems; they don’t necessarily grow or develop much, and therefore aren’t that memorable. Both have dreams that are their sole focus, but their dreams coincide with the gameplay rather than build on their characterization. In GtI, your partner’s dream is to build Paradise, which you do in-game. In SMD, your partner wants to draw a map of the world, which again is accomplished by branching out to more and more Pokémon. The partner in Explorers however is given a unique character development. Your partner in Explorers is what drives the story element. They start off as a coward; they have dreams of exploring uncharted lands but can’t even work up the courage to even sign up for Wigglytuff’s Guild. It’s really by teaming up with the player do they develop and become not only braver, but earning the strength to continue on and become a leader. When you get trapped in the future, and everything seems hopeless, your partner gains the will to not only find hope, but the resolve that you both will eventually make it back home. Ultimately the sad ending is well earned: your partner became who they were because of you, and that’s why their grief over your “death” is ultimately the most tragic thing in any of these games. Rescue Team’s partner was also pretty well liked, and the ending of that game did too have me in tears, but again Explorers built up on the base and made it truly shine.

There is one last thing I also need to mention, and its something I feel the Mystery Dungeon series needs to remember, is that the music in the first two games is really good. Music is an important part of creating the tone and atmosphere of your game, and the soundtrack of Explorers is what makes it special. The lively jaunty theme of Treasure Town, to the uplifting marching beat of Mt. Horn, to the ticking time clock of Temporal Tower, each soundtrack was masterfully woven into each scene, elevating it to something more.

As much as I love Undertale, and as amazing as that game’s soundtrack is, I can’t say it surpasses the pure emotion that wells up in me as when “Memories Returned” plays over a montage of your partner’s memories and grief for you. This is something the next two games lack, as for the life of me I can’t remember any of the songs that played during them, ultimately making each dungeon seem less memorable.

Ultimately Explorers was a high point of the series; and when a third installment was announced, I was excited to see the series brought to newer heights as we transitioned to 3D and introduced the fifth generation.

And then Gates to Infinity came out.

And it wasn’t what we thought it’d be.

This is the point where Mystery Dungeon ultimately falters. The next two games aren’t bad per say, but both lacked an element that made Mystery Dungeon work so well. And first up, we have Gates to Infinity.

I wouldn’t say Gates to Infinity was bad. Not by a long shot. But it’s wasn’t great either, and that was its biggest sin.

I’d say there are moments in the story that actually supersedes Explorers in certain aspects, especially when it comes to dealing with feelings of hopelessness and despair. The twists too were properly built up and actually managed to surprise me on my first play through. The twist of Munna being evil and Hydregion being good seemed reminiscent of Dusknoir and Grovyle, though it still managed to throw me off guard. I did like the themes of the game; feeling like there’s nothing to hold onto and that the world is hopeless and empty, learning to trust others and that there really aren’t truly bad people anywhere. And as far as the “sad” endings go, I did appreciate the way it was handled; with everyone you’ve met promising to never forget you. Plus, making the final boss a giant malevolent ice crystal was a pretty cool twist, which is something I do give it over Explorers. However, it must be said that the post-game is pathetic, and once you do the obligatory post-game mission, the game merely rewards you with legendary boss fights and challenge missions, though none were able to keep me playing for long.

However, where Gates to Infinity falters is in its gameplay, the crucial glue that holds the game together. If you’re not enjoying the gameplay the story is meaningless. I would compare GtI with Silent Hill 4: The Room: both had a very decent story that did try new ideas, but the gameplay’s mismanagements led to the games being poorly received, which is a shame because there was a concerted effort to improve the mechanics, but the few positive changes we had don’t counterbalance the issues it brought up.

Lets start off positive; what I did like about the gameplay. Firstly, it was cool to experience a Mystery Dungeon crawler in 3D, though it did sometimes make it harder to navigate. I thought the V-Wave mechanic was an interesting way to decide when it was appropriate to explore with certain teammates. The idea of Team Attacks was a pretty well-thought out idea as well as the way your attacks “level up” the more you use them. Speaking of which, I love the way the moves are mapped to the L button, meaning you no longer had to open the menu to attack as in the previous two games. But I think my favorite thing they added was the fact that all of your recruited Pokémon gain EXP, not just the ones in your party. However, these are small bits of positivity in a sea of criticism I’m going to throw at the game.

The first and most glaring issue is that they restricted the pool of player characters to the three Gen V starters, Axew, and Pikachu. I would even say Pikachu and Snivy are useless because you get Emolga and Virizion as part of your team in-game. They boiled down the number available Pokémon to just Gen V and a handful of Pokémon from other generations, but it feels like the world is just…less with fewer chances for recruitment of Pokémon you may like (and yes I am annoyed they didn’t add Riolu and Lucario.)

The second issue is that unlike in previous games you could only do one mission at a time: whereas in previous games you could knock out several missions at once if they took place in the same dungeon, in GtI you’re restricted to only doing one at time, which doesn’t help the already grindy-feel of the game. Even so, most of the rewards you get are building supplies. This makes traversing through the game seem tedious, like each mission is just an obstacle rather than an adventure.  

I think another issue with the game is…well the dungeons themselves. As I’ve said I remember each location in Rescue and Explorers due to each having a unique music track and each with a unique layout. The dungeons in GtI and in SMD are a wash; I can’t remember a single location because none stand out. All of them kinda…blend into one another and it seems like the namesake of the game are just obstacles rather than locations to explore through. And again, because of the one-mission mechanic, it made the normal dungeons seem unnecessary.

This comes to my final criticism: the game is too easy. It’s not easy in the sense of it’s unchallenging, but rather than give us any true difficulty they just made the levels longer and the enemies more tedious to fight. Somehow, the game is both too easy and frustratingly difficult. The removal of the hunger feature removed the need to travel through smartly, and introducing dungeon evolving seemed like a way to kick the play while they are down.

Now we get to talk about the most controversial mechanic they added: Pokémon Paradise. If you don’t know Pokémon Paradise was a town building mechanic where you were given a plot of land which needed to be landscaped and have facilities built onto it. Overall I didn’t think this was all that bad; the town building gave a sense of freedom and some of the mini-games were pretty fun and often rewarded the player for keeping up on it. But ultimately it really didn’t feel like it was needed, nor did it match the style of game Mystery Dungeon is.

Oh and also if you point the camera at a round thing it gives you a random dungeon to explore. I maybe used this feature like twice before realizing it wasn’t adding anything.

In retrospective Gates to Infinity isn’t the worst game I’ve ever played, but it can’t be denied it was let down by high expectations and poorly implemented decisions. But the pieces were there for a great Mystery Dungeon game: all they needed to do was take the warmth and heart of Explorers and fuse it with the updated graphics and new mechanics of Gates to Infinity.

And now we get to our final game: Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon.

Super Mystery Dungeon was probably (personally) the biggest disappointment in the series, especially because I stupidly let the hype get to me. It had so much going on for it, and it did so much right, but it couldn’t live up to the hype. Strangely enough, this game is an inverse of Gates to Infinity. To put it simply: Gates to Infinity has a good story but mismanaged gameplay, while Super Mystery Dungeon has improved gameplay but a mediocre story. The two counterbalance the other, and I just wish that GtI’s story was fused with SMD’s improved game mechanics to make the perfect Mystery Dungeon game. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like we’ll ever get it.

But first we’ll talk positives, because there are a lot more compared to GtI. This is probably the dungeon crawler’s most evolved gameplay yet; all 720 Pokémon (at the time) were available in fully rendered 3D and they removed the quiz’s necessity allowing you to be any of the starters in previous games. They reallowed you to take on multiple missions, once again allowing you to knock out several quests at a time, with the Connection Orb being like a mobile job board that can be accessed at anytime. The Looplets and Emeras allowed players to gain pretty useful abilities while exploring dungeons, which also stacked onto each other. Wands were a new item that I found pretty useful, even using them more than the Wonder Orbs. Alliances were a great evolution of Team Attacks, making the game’s pacing a lot faster, all while keeping the evolutions from the previous game. Super Mystery Dungeon also allowed for evolution right after the game’s story, which was a criticism for the other three games. Overall it was an improvement over the mismanaged mechanics of GtI. Now all it needed was an amazing story and we’d finally get our perfect game.

…Oh right.

You can have the best mechanics you want, but when it comes to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon the story is everything. When your gameplay is naturally grindy and tedious, story engagement is the most important part of your series, and SMD just barely made it over the finish line in that regard. The story isn’t that bad honestly it had me invested long enough to see it to story-end, but plenty of people I know didn’t like it, and after considering it, I know why.

Throughout Super Mystery Dungeon, I couldn’t overcome this sense that the game was “trying too hard,” in certain areas especially when it came to the twists and turns as per usual. Again, like all Mystery Dungeon games the story has its plot twists and villain reveals…but it doesn’t feel as genuine as the ones from the past. Having the final boss fight being against another object born of hatred seems to just be a copy of the last boss from GtI.  However the biggest area where this problem exists is in its “sad” ending. SMD tried to pull a twist on the standard formula and make the partner disappear instead of you at the end once you beat the game. However it completely falls flat, not a single quiver escaped my lips as it happened (well a little quiver, but definitely no tears came out.)

This holds true to one of the game’s biggest flaws: the partner. Your partner in SMD is annoying. Not just to all the NPCs, but to the player as well. They really came close to overstepping the boundaries of likability. Unlike in the other three games, the partner in SMD just comes off as oblivious and reckless, wandering into trouble without the foresight of their actions. And while they do grow throughout the adventure, it’s not enough to offset this feeling of “wow I’m stuck with this guy.” Again, it’s not as bad an issue after a few hours, but if you’ve lost investment by then, it’d be hard to say that I blame you.

Another huge issue with SMD’s story is that it takes far too long to anything to happen. In the past three games, you’d have a day or two before the game moves on to the next story section, but the beginning of SMD is a really long drag, especially when it comes to the school segments. Explorers was smart enough to keep the story flowing very fast; often only one or two free missions would pass before the next story section. This kept the guild life from feeling like a slog. Eventually you do move out of the starting village and into your new residence, but again it does take a while for you to even get to that point.

Still I have to give props to the team for all the little references and nods to the older games, a move that rewarded those who are already invested in the series and gives a bit more content featuring characters we’ve grown to love (though the appearance of Grovyle and Celebi from Explorers confuses me timeline-wise.)

And once again, the post-game is pretty pathetic, with another obligatory “post-game” mission that resolves the final act, but again once it’s over there’s nothing left to do but complete the Connection Orb and just unlock every dungeon. I do wonder why in these past two games the post game is so weak, especially when Explorers had an amazing post game that provided hours of content.

Now while I just hurled a lot of criticisms, I did enjoy Super Mystery Dungeon a lot and don’t regret buying it; but sadly I’ve only played through it twice. It’s not a bad game at all, and it was definitely something that series needed after Gates to Infinity. But I guess a combination of nostalgia and over-hyped expectations just makes anything seem lower in quality when it stands next to what Explorers accomplished.

Overall, I love the Mystery Dungeon games, and will always open my wallet for any new one that comes out (if they even still want to make them anymore.) I can’t deny that the love I have for the series stems from nostalgia, but its nostalgia that was earned through amazing story-telling and pushing beyond the bounds of being a simple spin-off game. Explorers of Sky will almost certainly never be overstepped in my mind because while it isn’t perfect, it manages to stir up feelings that few games can even come close to producing. And while every game has flaws, we are able to look past them to find the shining diamond in the center, with characters we love, to the adventures we went on; to the lives we’ve changed for the better. Mystery Dungeon isn’t just a spinoff of Pokémon, it’s something that anyone can enjoy, and anyone can pick up and get sucked into, and I humbly thank the writers and programmers who went out of their way to make this series something special.


…and also screw IGN.
Well guys, I originally wanted to make this a journal but it was far too long. For the longest time I've wanted to talk about Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, why I love it, why I hate it, and why Explorers of Sky will forever sit at number one on my games list. In this review of the whole series, I discuss the strengths and weaknesses of all four main series starting with Rescue Team and ending with Super Mystery Dungeon. I hope you guys find this review enlightening, and if you want I'll be inclined to make more of these if you guys show enough support!

So for now, enjoy!
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:iconpineapplegem:
As a fellow Pokemon Mystery Dungeon lover, this relates to me on so many levels.

I never played SMD, but I did play the other three "serieses", and they were all very good games, even with their own flaws.

First things first, I thought that the difficulty of the games were pretty fair and unfair at the same time for me. The early-game was pretty easy, since you don't have to deal with difficult enemies. But the mid-game/end-game were both kicking my butt to next Tuesday...

But I loved the games anyways, and I'm glad to see someone who agrees, even with it's flaws.
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:iconbenmeman:
BenMeman Featured By Owner May 12, 2018
I completely agree with what is spoken of in the restrospect, faults and all. Explorers of Sky was and will likely always be my favorite mystery dungeon game and favorite game in general. It was just after I played it that I had uncovered PokĂŠumans. (I was kinda late to playing it)
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:iconslimmario2:
slimmario2 Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2018
but explorers of sky is bad IGN said so ... said no one ever
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:iconjsekela77:
Jsekela77 Featured By Owner Mar 17, 2018  Hobbyist Writer
Dear GOD Explorers of Sky was my SHIT dude - I re-played that game at LEAST 20 times from "tap this bow bitch" to "git gud Darkrai" xD

Did you know you can actually get Darkrai to join your team if you go to the 3rd floor of one of the lategame water dungeons with a specific golden item and he's impressed when you beat him like any other NPC? YOU CAN FUXXS WITH DARKRAI I N  T H E  P O S T  G A M E  >:V
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:iconquietdenne:
QuietDenne Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2018
That was... well written. I do remember watching a walkthrough of PSMD, and I felt the same way you did. I think another core problem is the 3D, since it doesn't leave the player much room for imagination about how his or her character acts.
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:iconlucariotrainerj:
LucarioTrainerJ Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2018  Student Writer
I honestly love the Mystery Dungeon series, faults and all.  Your analysis on each game felt very thorough and managed to give some fairly good points.  I can agree this series isn't perfect, but surprisingly, I don't let the flaws ruin my overall opinions on them.

Red and Blue Rescue Teams are purely there as a set-up idea, experimenting to find what would work.  When I first played these games as a child, I was blown away by them!  Nowadays, I did notice the flaws, and I would like to address them from my point of view.  I feel as if the controls (GBA controls, so maybe not a fair assumption) were too restrictive, the story was pretty bare bones, and the mechanics of recruiting new team members in those games felt cumbersome.  Apart from that, I felt as though these games were a pretty decent starting point.

The Explorers games were a series I've been thinking about, and I will say this.  I think that Explorers of Sky is the better game out of these three, only because it felt more complete.  It's like the Pokémon Crystal, Emerald, or Platinum of the three, where it feels like a more complete experience, pretty much making Explorers of Time and Darkness feel obsolete.  I never even bothered picking up my copy of Explorers of Darkness again after playing Explorers of Sky, so it pretty much just sits in its case as a glorified drink coaster.  I do think the story is the strongest aspect of these games, but everything else shouldn't be discouraged either.  The gameplay has improved greatly, and the presentation is fantastic.

For Gates to Infinity, I can see where this game has its problems.  For one, the story felt like a downgrade, and the characters weren't as interesting as previous installments.  The gameplay felt like both a step forward, and a step back, with the meat of the gameplay in dungeons feeling remarkably improved, but because they had to add in the Magnagate feature, AND limit our options to choosing out of only 5 Pokémon, this game felt too easy.  When I play a game, I usually expect some form of challenge.  Did I ever get that in this game?  No.  And because of a much weaker story, this game just bored me to the point where I just stopped giving a shit!  Overall, Gates to Infinity is my least favorite Mystery Dungeon game.

Super Mystery Dungeon I have sort of a polarizing feeling towards it.  I love the fact they improved on and removed gameplay mechanics from GTI, but there still exists the problem of the game having several points of tedium and/or flawed game design.  I'm perfectly fine with the story, almost to the point of considering it close to Red/Blue Rescue Teams in terms of giving us some interesting characters, but nowhere near the emotional storytelling of Explorers.  But despite several problems with the narrative, I always found a way to gravitate back towards it.  It's a slow start, but it doesn't really hold your hand for two thirds of the game like Final Fantasy XIII did years before.  It's challenging, but gives us a chance to breathe and understand the mechanics.  Sure, it's slow, but I'm not exactly going to complain about it either.  My thoughts on SMD say that despite improvements in some areas, there's problems in others.  Polarizing, yes.  But awful?  In my opinion, not exactly.

Despite what I've said, I still love the Mystery Dungeon series.  And if they ever release another game, I will definitely go and pick it up.  Your little retrospective was insightful, and I commend you for that.  With that said, I hope that the next game in the series is something people will enjoy.
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:iconlobo91:
lobo91 Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2018
I can tell you got alot of love and hate for the PMD series. I myself have played PMD Red and Super Mystery Dungeon. I didn't get the game out of Hype, but mainly because I really wanted a PMD game I played legit. PMD Red I played over a decade ago on an emulator.

PSMD is a fun game and I can agree on the mechanics. As for the story, it was compelling enough for me to like it, but there could've been more to it. Personally, it would've been an amazing twist if Dark Matter was connected to Bittercold somehow or better yet, Bittercold was one of Dark Matter's creations (which would've implied that GTI and PSMD are indeed connected more than via simply characters you meet). So I agree the story could've been fleshed out and drawn connections from other games. If it did that, it would make for some amazing story.

I mean, how cool wouldn't it be for your character and partner to visit the Explorer's Guild at some point as a part of the plot? Or even Pokémon Square. And perhaps Pokémon Paradise to see how it has come along. And what if you could (re)make the characters from PMD Red/Blue, PMD Explorers and PMD GTI to appear in the storyline? THAT.. would've made the storyline quite awesome and connect the PMD games together more firmly than just characters like I mentioned above.

Infact, I had a picture drawn by Kurtis where in one such AU the teams I played in PMD Red and PSMD do meet each other ala SRW Generations style (along with new OCs for PMD Explorers and GTI, since I didn't play those games yet).

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Generations by lobo91

Now obviously, this is just fan art, but imagine if PSMD had been this way, where your old characters from previous games had met your PSMD characters and possibly teamed up to fight Dark Matter?

Okay.. I am probably getting a bit ahead of myself, but.. still an idea that could've fleshed out the PSMD story immensely. Also it would've made the connections to the characters of those games to be alot more logical this way.

What are your thoughts?
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