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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game review

Ready to transform into a Pokemon? These two brand-new games put you into the skin of one of 16 Pokemon as you play a twisting, turning adventure full of dungeons to explore.


Nintendo for DSpokemon.jpg


Sound: 8.0

Gameplay: 7.5

Replay Value: 8.0

Overall Score: 7.5

Pros: Living life as a Pokemon is fun; scenes between gameplay are gorgeous; WiFi lets you e-mail your pal for help.

Cons: Gameplay feels old and sometimes like the same thing over and over again; very little use of the touch screen; gameplay graphics are too small and aren’t nicely done.

But that’s not all. In either game — Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness — you’ll meet 490 Pokemon. Gonna catch ’em all? Not this time. It’s more like, Gonna remember ’em all?

And you get serious gameplay for your money: over 40 hours. That’s a lot of Pokemon to deal with.


This isn’t the first time you’re allowed to transform into Pokemon. That happened a while back with Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue. Like those games, there’s no need to buy both since the games are pretty much the same. However, if you’re a diehard Pokemon collector, there will be a few extra Pokemon and items in the second game for you to treasure.

You’re given a personality test at the beginning of the game to see which Pokemon would be best matched to the way you act in real life. You’re asked questions such as, If you went into a graveyard and saw a creepy lady drenched in water, what would you do? After that, the DS analyzes your aura. Just place your finger on the lower screen, relax and … you’re analyzed. Then you’ll choose a Pokemon sidekick to help you on your way.


Immediately, you’re thrown into the adventure. Your ship hits a storm and you’re thrown overboard. Weak after swimming to shore, you rest on a sandy beach: the land of the Pokemon!

VIDEO: Watch Pokemon Mystery Dungeon in action.

You’ll see Krabby blowing bubbles at sunset. But your future sidekick is depressed, sitting and just watching the world go by. It gets worse when two bad Pokemon steal his personal treasure.

Once you regain your strength, you begin a journey of true friendship by helping out your new buddy. During this time, you’ll join the Pokemon Guild, get a job and hunt down criminal monsters to bring them to justice. You’ll go on a few rescue missions, too.


As you move through the game, you’ll find various dungeons and caves. Defeat the Pokemon by taking turns hitting them or using a power-up item you find along the way, such as a Blast Seed that makes you spit fire. Even in the first few levels of the Beach Caves, you’ll level up and increase your strength significantly on your way to a level of 100. Some Pokemon are made to fight other Pokemon much better than others. So a Water type such as Squirtle will more easily defeat a Fire type such as Charmander.


In the middle of the game, the monsters begin to get really strong. Here, your ability to link four moves together at once will really help. Usually, three attack moves and a good defense move will give you an advantage. But never get too injured by your enemies, and don’t let your Pokemon partner get too injured, either. If that happens, you’ll faint and lose the powers you’ve gained on the level. Plus, you have to start the level all over again.

If you see that you’re about to faint from Pokemon attacks (by looking at the info on the top screen), you can send an e-mail to a friend via the system’s WiFi abilities. Send your S.O.S. to his PC or even his cell phone, and your pal can help you out.


Nintendo says the graphics in these games are much better than before. Well, not really. The Pokemon characters are tiny and often seen on a little grid on the touch screen. The only pieces of the Pokemon puzzle that have really cool graphics are the story scenes you get in between gameplay. These are really beautiful, full of pretty oceans, beaches and sunsets.


While the games are generally good role-playing experiences, they don’t seem completely ready for the DS system. You use the cross-pad to move around and your letter buttons to fight and check your inventory, not the always-fun touch screen. In fact, the touch screen isn’t put to use much at all.

These games would have been great for the Game Boy Advance when that system was state of the art. Let’s put it this way: These Pokemon games are not even close to the brilliance of The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass.

Also, while you meet many Pokemon in the dungeons, each dungeon isn’t very interesting to explore after the first few hours, since you see them as a maze from above. You might get tired of them since there isn’t that much new to see. The game makers try to make up for this with new Pokemon for you to fight each time you enter a dungeon, but the pocket monsters aren’t very exciting. There isn’t even a graphic on the top screen featuring the monster and its powers and abilities.


If you’re a big Pokemon fan who enjoys the card and video games, you have to get these games just to see all the hundreds of Pokemon appear and to be part of another epic journey. If this is your first Pokemon game, make sure you read the included instruction booklet before diving in.

28 Comments on Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game review

  1. what the next boss after u beat darkrai

  2. if any body wantsto see the walkthrough just go to

  3. dont listen to team aqua herb.after you beat darkrai you can recrute all the legendarys and get the secret slab and mystery part. trust me its a fun but challenging challenge.p.s. its possible to get manaphy

    • Tigerstar // May 14, 2010 at 5:01 pm // Reply

      You can get manapy after doing five outlaw/mission quests. (p.s. you unlock marine resort after about 2 quests or outlaw quests if you allowed manapy to join your team.

  4. this game is awsome. Trust me, if your a pokemaniac like me youll love it.And pepole who have beeten diagla(1st time) darkrai is the one who starts the planets paralysis.

  5. Team Geckos // August 17, 2008 at 5:08 pm // Reply

    man am I the farthest one here?

  6. I loved this game!

  7. master chimchar // August 10, 2008 at 10:07 pm // Reply


  8. master chimchar // August 10, 2008 at 10:05 pm // Reply

    how do u beat wigglytuff and the guild after mystyrieos forest

  9. lil miss skitty // August 9, 2008 at 1:36 pm // Reply

    game is brill , graphics could be better but some good twists in plot like dusknor and darkri …

  10. The Answerer // August 8, 2008 at 9:14 pm // Reply

    Yes you can get Darkrai! But only with a cheating device or maybe you can download it off of the web!

    PS: What is 112288? I’m confused!

    PSS: I suppose I don’t really live up to my name… 😦

    • Tigerstar // May 14, 2010 at 5:03 pm // Reply

      No, you can get darkri or mew two after beating darkri and have obtained the secret slab or mystery part.

      PS am i the only smart one here?

  11. How can you start all over your Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness because mine has lots of glitches?

  12. team aqua herb // August 7, 2008 at 5:00 pm // Reply

    don’t beat darkrai. if you do there will benothing to do unless you get the 7 tresures codes by WM ( wonder mail ),but after that theres nothing to do. i just re started my game over.

    try it if you don’t bielive me.

    • Tigerstar // May 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm // Reply

      Ya right, beating darkri lets you do alot! like….. geting manapy!….. and marine resort!…… and getting darkri to join your team!

  13. How do you beat palkia, I am stuck in the spatial rift!!!!!

  14. very good game

  15. Mikdude Totodile // July 30, 2008 at 2:35 pm // Reply

    Miracle sea is hard

  16. Mikdude Totodile // July 30, 2008 at 2:29 pm // Reply

    I vote lucario

  17. which mystery game is the most fun?

    blue team

    red team

    explorers of darkness

    explorers of time??

    cause i am thinking of getting one but can’t choose






  19. game freak // July 26, 2008 at 9:40 pm // Reply

    in pokimon diemand there is a secret pokimon called arceas not a lie you can only get it

    with action replay .

  20. game freak // July 26, 2008 at 9:31 pm // Reply

    can you get darkrai ?

  21. pokemaster375 // July 26, 2008 at 5:49 pm // Reply

    what would you rate the game 1-10 because to me it sounded like a 2 by the way you described it

  22. I cant get passed Dark Hill. Ive beat the game twice and now its become impossible. Also for those who cant beat Dialga its good to use items like a sleep seed or stun seed than attack with something like a blast seed. if you run out start using your most affective attacks and only use berries when you have very very little HP.

  23. IT’S A COOL


  24. How do you evolve???

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