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Joystiq presents

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon review [update 1]

Is it us, or is IGN scoring tougher? Not that we think this a bad thing. In fact, we admire brutal honesty if a game is not up to par. Just because the title says Final Fantasy Pokemon, doesn't mean it will be great. Just look at Final Fantasy X-2 Pokemon Dash.

From the sound of it, turning into an actual Pokemon seems pretty rad. After all, Ash and the others shouldn't have all the fun. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon is throwing a different ball your way by showing the softer side of these normally lightening-hurling captured creatures. And as the good Pokemon you are, you join the Rescue Team and help out any pals in danger while trying to figure out why you are a Pokemon. Best thing about it -- you finally understand what the heck those little guys are saying when they scream "Pika!"

While IGN gave the game compliments for Pokemon doing what it does best in gameplay, they were disappointed in the game as a whole, claiming it hasn't really evolved in the direction they had hoped. Their main complaints rest in the repetitive battle system, rarely used touch screen and drab GBA appearance.

Best way to describe it -- Pokemon Mystery Dungeon is a mere placeholder until the real Pokemon comes out on DS.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon was rated a 6.5, making it a "passable" game.

[Update: Fixed a typo]

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Reader Comments (Page 1 of 1)

Zuko1

9-25-2006 @ 4:12PM

Zuko said...

I preordered this game and got it the day it came out, and I am very satisfied with it. IGN simply doesn't base their final score on anything, they will be tough on games because of the genre and not the actual game. Honestly, I don't really take IGN's reviews as anything dire, they ever say it is not an average, and they give a 9.5 to NSMB, but only a 7.8 to Phoenix Wright(and the bar wasn't set very high, without many good games out at that time).

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20XX2

9-25-2006 @ 4:21PM

20XX said...

I don't want to get into review scales and why 7.5 games can be more fun that 9.5 games, so I'll just say this:

if you want a Fushigi no Dungeon game, get Nightmare of Druaga for PS2. I got mine for $2 new.

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truplaya3

9-25-2006 @ 4:46PM

truplaya said...

I don't care what they say....I'm getting this game.

Besides, reviews are only their opinions anyway.

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DCFC Fan4

9-25-2006 @ 5:05PM

DCFC Fan said...

I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you. While this is certainly a different type of Pokemon game, being it is a Chunsoft game, it is also the most fun I've had with a Pokemon title since Gold/Silver. I too saw low review scores and nearly changed my mind, but was able to pick it up for $24 so I gave it a shot.

I think IGN (as usual) somehow missed the essence of this game. The battle system is much quicker and streamlined than previous titles, but yes it is a tad repetitive. Aren't all turn based RPG's? It's this quick battle mechanic (and the improved run function) that make this title for me.

I'm also glad to point out that this is the first Pokemon that actually feels like a new story line. It's not some random trainer going to fight team rocket. I also enjoy the way this title more easily allows you to be able to get regular use of and level up the various Pokemon that join you on your adventure.

At it's heart, this game is a dungeon crawler, which I normally see as a bad, not-fun, mind numbing experience. This is not the case, in my opinion here. Chunsoft has enough experience in dungeon titles in the Land of the Rising Sun that they have been creative enough with the extras and interfaces that this doesn't feel like a dungeon crawler. Even the actual dungeon crawling, goes quickly, allowing you to clear any dungeon in just minutes and yet still not feel monotonous. Did I mention the every dungeon respawns each time it is played? All maps, items and stairs are randomly created with each entrance. Good stuff.

They have also implemented a local wifi and password system that interacts between all Blue and Red Rescue Team copies. They allow you to send items, unlock special missions and rewards or even be rescued by a friend should you fall in a dungeon. Sure you could just continue, but if you get a friend to take your Rescue Code, run your dungeon, find you and return an A-OK code, then you can get up and continue on without losing your money or items. Convenient, huh?

All in all, this is the best $24 I've spent since... Well, I won't say that. I'll just say if you're remotely a Pokemon fan, you should absolutely check out this title. The sheer replayability of the title is enough to justify the purchase alone.

Cubone! Torchic! I choose you!

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DS_UBERFTW5

9-25-2006 @ 5:06PM

DS_UBERFTW said...

Wow, not only is yet ANOTHER Pokemon game an incredibly innovative and original addition to the DS library of all-original and never-ported or sequel or rehash games, but it's apparently a GREAT game, just like ALL the other PERFECT DS games. Because, you know, the DS has more GREAT GAMES than ANY OTHER SYSTEM, EVER!

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20XX6

9-25-2006 @ 5:06PM

20XX said...

Who... who are you disagreeing with?

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DCFC Fan7

9-25-2006 @ 5:07PM

DCFC Fan said...

Hey, since I gave a little review rebuttal there, can I plug the Yahoo! Group for Rescue Code exchange? It beats having to cruise message boards. Thanks!

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/rescuecodes/

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DCFC Fan8

9-25-2006 @ 6:23PM

DCFC Fan said...

I was disagreeing with IGN's reviewers comments in the sourced article.

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RupeeClock9

9-25-2006 @ 6:41PM

RupeeClock said...

I looked at the reviews last night but that didn't stop me from importing the game, looking at GameFAQS this looks to be an extremely popular game right now that many people enjoy.

I haven't exactly played the supposed Final Fantasy version either, so it's new to me!

Incase anyone cares, I imported Megaman ZX as well.

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Archaic10

9-25-2006 @ 6:52PM

Archaic said...

I'd like to plug the board setup by famed german Pokémon fansite filb.de, for worldwide trade of rescue codes. Don't worry, it'll read in English to people like you and me.

http://dungeon.filb.de/

Sadly, the game hasn't yet been released here in Australia (it comes this Friday...the same day my Japanese copy of Diamond should arrive. Damnit.), but I've yet to hear a bad review of it from fans on my board, other than the usual complaints about repetitive battles (which any RPG will have). I'm surprised by the mention in the IGN article that the touch screen is under-used. I've been told by everyone to buy the Blue version specifically because the touch screen interface makes things significantly quicker and easier.

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Josh11

9-25-2006 @ 8:51PM

Josh said...

Archaic, I have the Blue version for DS and have quickly switched from using the touch screen to using the buttons for play, just like I did with Advance Wars DS. These kinds of 2D RPGs and things just don't feel right using the touch screen. Plus, moving is a lot faster with buttons.

Anyway, it's a good game, and it's pretty fun, but I'm only two hours into it so far (I explore every floor fully).

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20XX12

9-25-2006 @ 8:56PM

20XX said...

DS_UBERFTW or whatever: seriously, you picked the wrong series to mock. The Fushigi no Dungeon series, which this is a part of, is way older and more rehashed than Pokemon.

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Archaic13

9-25-2006 @ 10:53PM

Archaic said...

I wonder how many people actually realised that the Fushigi no Dungeon series is a seperate franchise to Pokémon, before you pointed that out?

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Capt. Castellanos14

9-26-2006 @ 1:00AM

Capt. Castellanos said...

i would buy this game if i wasn't already saving for mario vs donkey kong...


also,
year 20XX

thats such an awesome name.


..in the year 20XX...
need i say more??

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CitizenGeek15

9-26-2006 @ 11:49AM

CitizenGeek said...

Heeeey, FFX2 was an amazingly brilliant game. Why do you 'dis' it so often?

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nakedsushi16

9-26-2006 @ 4:38PM

nakedsushi said...

I think IGN was disappointed because Mystery Dungeon wasn't a traditional Pokemon game. I'm bored with the traditional Pokemon games, and I love rogue-like games, so I give Mystery Dungeon a thumbs up.

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otakucode17

9-27-2006 @ 12:16PM

otakucode said...

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon is a roguelike game on the DS. That's really all that needs to be said to anyone who knows what roguelikes are.

I'm enjoying the hell out of it and just wishing I had more time to spend with it.

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