Charming game

User Rating: 10 | Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity 3DS

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity fits nicely in the roguelike genre. I did not have expectations from the game as nearly every review site gave the game poor ratings. Of course I tried the game anyway, it looked fine based on the videos I saw. Popular game reviews generally mean nothing as StoryRichSkyrim received nothing but glamorous reviews, even though the game is a broken mess(especially at release).

When the game begins, you chose a Pokémon to act as your physical form. You can choose between: Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, Pikachu, and Axew. I went with Snivy as that smug look on his face makes him the clear choice. You then chose your partner who is one of the other five, I picked Axew.

When you begin the game it’s immediately obvious that there is a lot dialogue. If you have a pulse, then you should realize that holding B down makes the text auto skip without having to tap A.

The game begins with a nightmare where the player is asked for help to save the Pokémon world. The world that the Pokémon reside is overrun by violence and anger and this has taken a toll on the residents in the main town. It is clear they suffer from mass hysteria, and you can’t help but want to shove a glass jar up their ass. Luckily your teammate stays positive through the game and wants you to be his partner to help build a Pokémon paradise. The paradise is the main focus of the game, and its goal is to restore peace. It's a difficult task considering the towns people are too busy sucking their thumbs. The premise is presented well and keeps the game interesting.

As for the gameplay, it’s simple. Go through dungeons and move to the next floor. You can have a maximum of four party members, each with four moves. Your teammates are strong, and they automatically level up. There are items you can use in your inventory which give abilities ranging from team power ups to berries which restore health. These will be used often so make sure you have enough of everything. It’s quite frustrating if you lack a revive seed. If one of your teammates loses their health, you have to start from the beginning of the dungeon and some items are lost. There are many times in this game where you are in multipart dungeons, so you cannot restock at a store.

Unfortunately the gameplay is probably the worst part because of the lack of level design. The levels are auto generated, and the algorithm is bad. Frequently the stairs to move to the next area are directly beside you. The levels mostly consist of corridors, so your team just ends up doing nothing a lot of the time. Thankfully you can make your teammates all go in their own direction, but your map’s line of sight does not update based on their location. There is no variety. If the floors had distinct features that were handcrafted, then this game would be significantly better. Everything looks the same and each floor is no different from the last.

Fortunately roguelike games are addicting, so you will most likely not be overly bothered by this unless you have played a lot of them. The music in the game helps alleviate the monotony.

I played this game with some quality headphones, and the music in this game is fantastic. The songs are playful and never became repetitive in the twenty hours I played the game. Here are three songs of many which I liked:

(They’re really good.)

If you’re a Pokemon fan and looking for an adventure, you should play this game. The story is well crafted, particularly the ending. Just a hint, make, sure you continue after you think you finished the game, there’s more. The playful music in this game stands out as one of the best in recent years, and keeps the game fresh. That being said, the gameplay is the weakest point in this game. The sheer laziness of using an algorithm to create the levels keeps the game from its true potential. If visuals, story, and music do not make a game for you, then look elsewhere. I was able to overlook the level design while completing the main story. However, I was unable to look past it in the postgame. There were no creative elements left to look forward to.

The game won my heart when it played this song at the end: