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GoNintendo Impressions - Pok'�©mon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness

by rawmeatcowboy
15 April 2008
GN 1.0 / 2.0

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness is…well…it’s a sequel to the first Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. That means that you get more dungeon crawling, more Pokemon than you can shake a stick at, and another chance to really dive into the world of the Pokemon…from their perspective. PMD:EoT/D doesn’t really do all that much different from the first title, but that’s not a complaint. I am getting more and more into the dungeon crawling genre, and I found the first PMD to be quite a worthy entry into the long line of dungeon crawling titles. If it takes Pokemon for North America to embrace the dungeon crawling genre, I am all for it. I sat down with the title to find out just what Pokemon I would be, and to make my way through the first dungeon.

Just like the first title, PMD:EoT/D has you take a quiz in the beginning of the game. You are asked multiple questions that determine just what Pokemon you will play as in the game. Once that Pokemon is determined, you cannot change it. Answer these questions honestly…you’ll be stuck with your decision for the rest of the game! I went through my set of questions, placed my thumb on the touch screen so that it could be ‘analyzed’, and then my Pokemon was presented to me. After all that hard work, I came out to be…Pikachu. I am the damn Pokemon that everyone knows! Couldn’t I be something a little less predictable!? How about Mr. Mime…can I be him?!

After that I chose my partner Squirtle, and we set off on our adventure. Well actually, Squirtle helped me up after I had passed out on the beach. I was lost at sea, only to find myself turned into a Pokemon when I washed ashore. Now Squirtle and I are off to find out just what happened to me. You meet up with a couple villain Pokemon (Koffing and Zubat I believe), which steal some of your goodies, which gives you a good reason to chase them into their hideout cave. In here, you’ll learn the ropes of dungeon crawling.

Everything really is exactly the same as the first title when it comes to fighting. There are a few minor differences, but nothing that will really come into play until later in the game. You have your team, you explore the randomly-generated dungeons, and you make your way to the bottom floor to fight the boss. Enemies take one step for every step you take, and when you meet up, you fight in real time. Well…turn-based real time that is. You have a menu of attacks you can choose from, including a simple attack. You also have items and other goodies you can use while fighting. The enemy eventually dies, and you continue to explore. Once you find the stairs downward, you continue on on your randomly-created adventure. There are panels scattered on various floors to help heal status effects and overall health, which become few and far between as you get deeper into the game.

The biggest change in PMD:EoT/D comes from the visuals. PMD:EoT/D is a very nice looking game, when talking from a sprite perspective. Everything is gorgeously detailed, vibrantly colored, and much more fluid. Dungeon crawlers aren’t exactly known for lush graphics, but PMD:EoT/D is one of the better 2d sprite games I’ve seen in a long time. It’s really nice to see some new sprite art that can still impress.

PMD:EoT/D will sell by the boatload, and I’m not saying that it shouldn’t. It provides another solid dungeon crawling experience with a Pokemon coat of paint. I really am looking forward to the game, even if it doesn’t revolutionize the series. Still, this is only the second entry in this line of side Pokemon titles. We will have to see what happens with the inevitable PMD3, once that is announced.