Something happens after the first few hours of Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon that you won’t expect, especially if you haven’t played the series before- it becomes engrossingly fun. In spite of some control issues, a weak opening scene and at times awful writing, the game, in a John Hughes meets Little Rascals sort of way, grows on you and becomes a fun little excursion from the main Pokemon games.
It’s far from a perfect game, but it ultimately wins you over in a way that will make it a perfect little distraction from what “other” game you’re playing. Not as sexy as the main Pokemon series or say Yo-Kai Watch or Super Smash Brothers on the 3DS, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon is that change of pace you bring with you when that “go-to” game gets a bit boring. Never the star, but a dependable pal, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon may not go down as one of the most enjoyable games of 2015, but with no new original series Pokemon title this year, it’s a worthwhile quest hardcore Pokemon fans can and will enjoy, if they give it a chance.
Much like Pokemon Rumble World and Pokemon Conquest, it’s a different type of Pokemon game. Those expecting similar battle mechanics will be sadly disappointed. It takes time to master the added strategy of battles, but by the time you add a partner to the game, the turn-based fighting becomes less involved and more enjoyable. While the clunky controls don’t help, they are never bad enough to make you quit, once you’ve been bitten by the game, which will happen right around the time you and your partner go on your first real quest together.
At the heart of Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon is a fun story that makes the gamer feel a part of the action and it’s here where Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon works great. Although it’s your partner that you’re initially drawn to, the events around you unfold nicely and all of a sudden, there are legendary Pokemon everywhere and stuff is happening. Rather than give anything away, let’s just say you’ll have fond memories of your interactions with nearly every Pokemon in the game- another reason to play through. Plenty of side series Pokemon games in the past have tried to incorporate as many pocket monsters into their titles, but Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon does the best job of making you feel immersed in its universe.
Again, while the world isn’t perfect, (the belly system is annoying to say the least) the battle system is solid enough and the story and other gameplay mechanics are enough to give you at least 30 hours of gameplay, but with randomly generated dungeons and the option to start over with a new character, you can easily double that number. Unforgiving and even brainless at first, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon unveils itself to be a nifty and charming 3DS title once given a full opportunity.
A Fun Story: It starts off very Sesame Street, but quickly evolves into a charming coming of age story that encapsulates what Pokemon is all about.
Weak Controls: Clunky and fidgety, it takes time to get the right spaces to launch attacks and navigate through dungeons.
Awful Opening Sequence: The opening scene has you “tapping” the screen repeatedly in order to aid your transformation into the Pokemon world, but if you simply tap the screen you can and will be doing it for minutes- enough to get you extremely frustrated. A simple rub of the screen instead will start the teleportation process, but that’s something the game never tells you to do.
Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon takes time to grow on you and many will give it up before it truly attaches itself to you. But if given a chance, Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon can be and is a solid RPG will plenty of depth in terms of story and fun.
A review code for Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon was given to ReviewFix.com for review purposes.
Patrick Hickey Jr.
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