What is Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon?
Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon is a dungeon crawling role playing game - and one that's a little bit different to your normal Pokemon adventures. Rather than taking control of a team of Pokemon as human, in Super Mystery Dungeon, you are a Pokemon, as chosen by a brief personality quiz (although you can always choose to override the result if there's a particular Pokemon you want to play as). With a choice of 20 Pokemon to play as, and over 720 Pokemon to meet, battle, and befriend, you set out on an adventure to discover the cause of a mysterious curse that seems to be plaguing the land - and turning legendary pokémon into stone!
How do you play Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon?
Known as a "roguelike", Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon is a story driven adventure, with turn based battles. What this means in a nutshell is that you'll spend most of your time working your way through dungeons, exploring, collecting items, and taking part in turn-based battles with enemies as you go. The twist is, as the game is a "roguelike", enemies within the dungeon will only move when you move - so you can take all the time in the world in-between battles to plan your next moves, or where you want to go next, without having to worry about being jumped by an enemy. It's a bit tricky to explain, but easy enough to get your head around when you start playing (especially as the Mystery Dungeon series is aimed at younger players).
As you play through the story, you'll come across plenty of pokemon that have an issue they want you to solve, and, if you help them out, they'll become your friends. You can then take any Pokemon you befriend along with you as part of your team, in a squad that contains up to four 'mon. Like other Pokemon games, defeating enemies will earn you experience points, making you stronger, increasing your level, giving you more HP (hit points - or health), and letting you learn new moves. Perhaps the biggest difference to a normal Pokemon battle is that here, you can move your Pokemon around mid-battle freely - but doing so will use up your turn.
If you get defeated whilst out in a dungeon, you'll be sent back to your home to try again, and will lose a few items. However, should you faint, you also have the option of sending out an SOS to your friends should you get into trouble. Doing this will effectively create a brand new mission for your friend, where they have to find you, and rescue you - at which point, you can carry on with your mission, without losing any items!
How easy is Pokemon Mystery Dungeon to pick up and play?
While roguelikes are traditionally very, very hard, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon is designed to be accessible for a younger audience, and as such, has ramped down the difficulty. It's easy enough to pick up and play, with tutorials that take you through what you need to do when you come across an activity for the first time. You can save the game at any point when outside a dungeon, but when you're still exploring, you have to wait until you reach a level that has a save option. However, there is a time limit in the dungeons, and if you take too long to get to the end of one of the levels, you'll be kicked out by a mysterious force. A dungeon consists of multiple levels, and the overall completion of a dungeon has no time limit.
For younger players, as there's no speaking in the game, a strong reading ability is a must. With the story being almost completely relayed through text-based conversations between the characters, you'll need to be able to read to understand the plot - and what you need to be doing next! - especially as the conversations can sometimes be quite lengthy.
- Apparently there have been a rash of incidents of Pokémon turning to stone!
- I guess you must have passed them by at some point or another.
- "Any allies assigned this tactic will battle alongside the leader! This is a good basic tactic that will make allies follow the leader and battle nearby enemies."
In terms of mature content, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon has little parents will want to be aware of. There's no swearing in the game at all, no sexual references, and only mild cartoon violence. Although you'll spend a lot of time attacking and defeating other Pokemon, physical attacks don't have realistic impacts (you barely even clip the other Pokemon), while special attacks simply make your foe flash. When a pokémon is defeated, they collapse and fade until they disappear. The idea of a "defeat" in this game is similar to other Pokemon games, in the sense that you never die, but just faint until revived.
Format Reviewed: Nintendo 3DS