Does the latest Mystery Dungeon open the doors to fantastic dungeon exploration? Find out in our review!
The Mystery Dungeon series is an intriguing companion to the flagship Pokemon titles, offering a different sort of challenge beyond simple catch, battle, and evolve mechanics. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity makes the series' very first 3DS departure, thrusting players once more into the shoes of an actual Pocket Monster. How's that for a change?
Having suddenly found yourself in the body of a creature normally carried around in a small ball, treated like a pet, and used in battle between humans is a pretty jarring experience for anyone. But you soldier on, get over it, and soon make friends with the other Pokemon around you. Your predicament isn't entirely dire: you can choose which Pokemon you'd like to embody out of Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, Axew, or fan-favorite Pikachu, each outfitted with special attacks and various stats. Once you've become acquainted with your new body, your fellow Pokemon and the strange new world you find yourself in, it's off to save it, becoming entangled in a weird "paradise" plot along the way.
That said, these games are the Pokemon version of roguelikes, with heaps of randomized dungeons rife with danger, waiting for you to conquer them. Alongside the monster partner of your choosing, you wander around these randomized dungeons to tackle various wild Pokemon, collect items, and earn experience points -- eventually growing a small squad of monsters to aid you in your quest. AI partners are controlled via basic tactics, with no direct control for you to exert, but for the most part they can fend for themselves, acting as valuable companions when spelunking in more challenging dungeons later on in the game.