I own each modern console including the 3DS and I’m always looking for something I can play on the go. Whether it’s in the car or on a flight, I would much rather play a dedicated system than something on my phone where it could use all my data (although, I really enjoy some Hearthstone).
When I first purchased my 3DS there was a deal going on where you could get some games cheap with it, one of which was the first 3DS Pokemon mystery dungeon game, Gates to Infinity. My primary interest in this series is the interaction of Pokemon without humans being involved whatsoever and getting to play as a Pokemon. Now, that game is very low on my list of games I enjoyed and it wasn’t well received in general because it was mostly encompassed by the fifth generation of Pokemon, which again, wasn’t well received. So when Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon (PSMD) came out, I waited for the reviews to go up and heard that it was much better and included all 720 species. So I decided to give it another try.
Initially I was very happy with the choices of all the Pokemon starters and decided to go with Torchic, by my wife’s suggestion, and Bulbasaur as my partner because of my history with Pokemon Blue (good story but I won’t tell it here). Now I won’t spoil the story beats but what I did really enjoy were the twists and turns that it takes as the story climaxes. They have a heart warming message about never giving up and building the bonds of friendship. The story is honestly good and I can say that I didn’t expect what was coming.
Now fans of the series will know that at some points in these games, it can be a little bit of a grind. I hate that part. I really wanted to pick up this game as an easy way to engage with the Pokemon universe and the stories going on inside it. What I got, however, I was a little disappointed in. The story takes its time to say the least. I’m just pumping through dungeons to get to the next cut scene. Maybe this a fault of my own and maybe I should just go watch a Pokemon movie if I want more story but I really think that the actual structure of exploring dungeons is grindy and the mechanics never really change. I pretty much did the same thing the whole time until I stared to lose.
And man did I lose. One thing that is great for people who enjoy this kind of game is that it does get pretty difficult! I lost several times and had to start dungeons over. That was frustrating for me because like I said, I just wanted and easy jaunt through a Pokemon story line. There were several times that I just put an over-leveled Pokemon in my party so I could hopefully make it through the dungeon with ease. I also learned how to use wands quick in order to warp those FREAKING DRIFBLIMS away from me.
One thing I will say (that totally disqualifies me from this review but whatever) is that I didn’t choose to engage in the post game content. I know that fans will say that its where the game truly shines and gets good but I really care more for the story and not catching them all (I guess I’m not a true poke-master). So I have nothing to say about it other than if its more of the same, count me out.
Overall, although I did not enjoy the mechanics past hour 10 (out of 25 total), the story stands up well and teaches a great message. The grind is long and tough but it’s worth it for the twist and turns that the story provides. In the end I give it 2.5 /5 Poliwags (my wife’s favorite).