Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness User Reviews


Explorers of Excellence? Quite possibly.

The good:

A clear step up from the previous two Pokemon Mystery Dungeon (henceforth PMD) games, Red and Blue Rescue Team. Many of the more qualms I personally had with the previous PMD games have been remedied, and some things I hadn't personally thought of were added.

It's a Pokemon game with a plot. Yes, that's right, a Pokemon game with a plot. Okay, I'll be honest, it's not up there with the likes of J.R.R Tolkien and David Eddings, but it's definitely a marked improvement from the usual "Be the most awesome trainer ever, and stop these guys while you're at it". The twists, for the most part, were also well pulled off and I didn't expect them, apart from one which was far too drawn from the previous PMD 1 (As I shall henceforth refer to Red and Blue Rescue Team).

Recruitment is far easier than in PMD 1. Those abominable Friend Areas are gone, and you can now recruit Pokemon even when your party is full. (They are sent straight back to the Guild with the Explorer Badge) However, on that note, a fair amount of the main story is spent unable to recruit Pokemon, and for the most part it is only doable on side missions.

More Pokemon. Admittedly, this is only a good point if, like me, you liked a fair amount of the new Sinnoh Pokemon, and for the rest of you it just means yet more to catch.

A generally longer and harder game. At points, it might be hard to the point of frustration, but the main story at least is far longer than the story in PMD 1. It is also more of a story, but I won't dwell on that now. More of the elements only seen in post-story PMD 1 have managed to creep into the main PMD 2 (As I shall refer to Explorers of Time/Darkness) storyline.

Ever changing dungeons. Even going through the same dungeon ten times in a row, while very tedious, granted, still feels vaguely fresh (though there is always something much better to do than just plough through one dungeon ten times).

There is always a sidequest to do if you get bored of the over-arching story or simply need to get a few levels before moving onto the next dungeon. Some sidequests may also reward you with Pokemon eggs, or even the Pokemon asking for help will join the ever-growing team.

More storage space. Oh, god, more storage space, the one thing I was praying for above all else when I heard that this game had been announced. It is still limited, granted, and the bigger Treasure Bags only come as you progress through the game, but it's much better than well prepared attempts on the post-game dungeons meaning only a few treasures.

Greater variety in missions. The standard rescue, escort and item fetch missions from PMD 1 are back, but the Outlaw hunting missions are much more fun, relying instead on just reaching one floor of a dungeon and defeating a particularly strong Pokemon, as opposed to further hunting, which may also fail in this game (You may get a message that a target Pokemon could not be found when entering a destination floor).

The bad:

It's still a paired Pokemon game, and there is frighteningly little to distinguish the two games. Sorry Nintendo, not all of us have the money to spend on what is basically the same game twice.

The plot has it's bad points. The final "twist" is a rehash of PMD 1's ending, and I would like to stress that PMD 1 did that one much better. Also, the cutscenes just can't be skipped. Which is a shame, since you could just talk to the partner and double-check what you were supposed to do next instead of wasting good time that could be used on dungeon crawling. Also, while on the subject of the partner, I would like to say that s/he has some of the world's worst dialogue, only just scraping in above bad fan-fiction.

Even with the speed up to maximum, it is still a bit on the slow side. It's not slower than PMD 1, but it's not faster either. The story also takes a while to get going, forcing you to rely on side missions to pass time in many instances.

Hard to the point of frustration at times. The final story dungeon in particular is incredibly frustrating, and made me at least want to throttle a certain cybernetic duck. Remember who the main market of Pokemon games are now (or at least, who we are so constantly told are the main market, I still maintain that it's not completely for small children). Hint: It's not the gamer who started with Red and Blue back in the day, it's the one who is half the previous person's age, if that. If I struggled, I'm sure the "target audience" is going to have a hard time with most of the game.

Sidequests are not really optional. A fair part of the game is just doing the side missions to pass the time, and there will be times where you need to abandon the plot and just take some extra missions to give a reason to go level up some more. You could avoid them, but... why bother? It's a way of earning money and items, and with multiple jobs in one dungeon, probably more than you got while going through said dungeon.

An annoyingly large amount of the story is just the hero and the partner, with MAYBE plot relevant characters you have no control over. Thankfully, they can hold their own, and two are even far more powerful than you will be by the time you have them with you- one is also with you for the majority of the story missions from when you first have him with you. However, I would like to be able to have my fresh recruits gaining exp with me, and I always seemed to be a few levels above them.

There is still only one save file. I like to be able to try a new way of going through a game without destroying all of my current progress. Okay, it's a flaw in nearly all of the Pokemon games (Only Battle Revolution has multiple save files, to my knowledge), but I'd like to think we were past games with one save file. Apparently, Pokemon isn't, and I'm certain that the idea is to make you buy the second game just for a second save file, which as far as I'm concerned is a waste of £30/$30.


Summary: Should you get it?

Honestly? If you're still an avid Pokemon fan, you've probably got it. The rest of the world, though, it honestly depends on your tastes in gaming. It is a decent challenge, there is a reasonable plot, and is quite a good little dungeon crawler. If you can get past the fact that it's all comprised of Pokemon, it's a good game that will take a while to get everything done in. However, the game is very Pokemon-centric, so be warned if you just want an old-school dungeon crawler, and be warned that the game is very slow to pick up and get the momentum going. All in a...


Pokémon Mystery Dungeon - A Series to Continue?

The good:

The good aspects of this game greatly outweighed the bad. This is partly in due to the massive improvements since last generation, along with welcomed new additions.

The good properties included:

- The inclusion of more Pokémon, making for a total of 491
- Massive storyline
- Much larger ring of characters, both in terms of protagonists and antagonists
- New items, including game exclusives
- New Dungeons
- Ever changing Dungeons
- Wigglytuff's Guild
- Bigger Treasure Town with more shops
- Beautiful graphics for the cut scenes
- Belly (filled)

The bad:

Bad aspects were, luckily, at a minimal. Thought in all honesty contributive to the game, they were still an annoyance none the less.

The bad properties included:

- Overly long cut scenes, with a lot of talking between main characters
- Time consuming missions
- Stronger bosses


So, how does Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness fair in terms of in comparison to the last generation and as a game?

The inclusion of more Pokémon was, in all honesty, going to be an obvious inclusion with the new game. Having previously released Pokémon Diamond/Pearl, it was clear to see the new Mystery Dungeon would have a lot more to offer. Sadly since Diamond/Pearl did not offer any new types, neither did the new Mystery Dungeon. Having said this, however, the inclusion of so many new faces lead to a much richer game and a lot more enjoyment.

The storyline was extremely enj...


Mystery Dungeon Mania

The good:

There were many, many good things about this game. Such as the advanced story line, and even some exclusive items that could only be found in Darkness. With the next generation pokemon added in, and more dungeons to travel, this game is at the top of my most rated games. New items to use, and new pokemon to use makes this game one of the Mystery Dungeon out there!

The bad:

Although the good does outweigh the bad, there are a few bad things about this game. The stronger bosses, and long adventure without being able to buy items or save ALL the time really hurts my view on this game. Also, having to give most of the money you make doing jobs to the Guild really made me upset. The more challenging battles also was a take on me.


Chun Soft really out did themselves here. Compared to the original Mystery Dungeons, this one beat them by a mile with better graphics, sound, bosses, and even wonder mails!

Each boss was set into the story in a unique way, excluding the wonder mail bosses such a Groundon and Rayquaza. Most of the bosses you met in the story mode only needed to be fought twice to recruit, but some of them you needed to recruit like any other pokemon. Even though I am sad they don't give experience points, unlike the ones in the original Mystery Dunegon did, they still are much better in power and health.



Mystery Dungeon Two: A Unique Spin-Off

The good:

There are many, many, good things that have been put in to this game. First off, they have added many new Pokemon, for a grand total of 491. The two Pokemon that are not included are Shaymin and Arceus, although that is not a big letdown.
ChunSoft and Nintendo have added many new items, Gummis, and dungeons. They have coded the game so a dungeon will never be the same, and always have new, and exciting thrills.
There is a great system to ensure your team isn't too strong, which I will talk about later.

The bad:

Some of the dungeons were a bit hard for me, but hey, that's just me.


At first, when you start your game, you must take a quiz. This quiz determines the Pokemon you will turn into and who your Partner will be. You will be met by your partner on the beach, knocked out with no memory except for your name and the fact the you were once a human. Your Partner, who has always wanted to join the guild and make an exploration team, asks you to make one. You say yes, and so it begins. Your partner shows you his personal treasure, a Ruin Piece, which is eventually used in the game. But, as soon as it is set down, thieves take it. You go off into Beach Cave to find them...

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