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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.

50 Comments on Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game review

  1. oops i messed up i was thinking of another dungeon 30 floors my bad

  2. team waterfall // March 2, 2009 at 5:44 pm // Reply

    team wolf aide U R wrong mew is on floor 49 or 50!

  3. team waterfall // March 2, 2009 at 5:39 pm // Reply

    If anyone is wondering how to get stones once you defeat darkrai and his minions sometimes in dungeons you will see a kekleon on a mat selling stones. For example i bought a thunderstone to evolve my partner,pikachu,.Now I have a raichu wih the move hyper beam!P.S.You need to recruit palkia to evolve.


  5. I am a lvl 39 Piplup with a partner lvl 37 charmander Need WONDER MAIL CODES LOTS OF THEM FOR THE level up +5 Item like 20 of them please respond in 10 mins

  6. bgdcbj gjnsf // February 28, 2009 at 3:00 pm // Reply

    anyone need help i can help with a sos misson

  7. how do you get a thunderstone in darkness

  8. 30 floors for mew and mewtwo with secret slab you cant get celibi in darkness

  9. furious piplup // February 21, 2009 at 5:26 am // Reply

    sorry guys ‘n gals another question im thinking of starting the game again and would like to know what the best team to beat dialga is. thx for ur help!

    ps. is chimchar and turtwig good?

  10. Furious piplup // February 20, 2009 at 6:14 am // Reply

    i vote deoxsys!!

  11. Furious Piplup // February 20, 2009 at 6:08 am // Reply

    is it possible to beat dialga as piplup(me) and turtwig(partner) because we r lv33 each. it sooo hard!!

  12. Oh, I never thanked yoyoman for helping me beat Palkia. Thank you!

  13. Guys, I think that the thing about Team Raider is nothing. I honestly don’t think that seeing Team Raider on the beach unlocks anything. It’s just a random thing they made to get you excited.
    Which Pokemon is the best: Post which Pokemon is your favorite; in other words, if you could have only one Pokemon in every game INCLUDING Mystery Dungeon games and the Ranger games, not just the regular games. Mine is Torterra.

  14. I love this game

  15. palkia rules // February 16, 2009 at 1:29 pm // Reply

    how do u get past hidden land

  16. Umm… has anyone noticed that Marine Resort has much less gummies than what manaphy said it had? Oh, I can’t decide between Deoxys and Lucario. Do you mean Deoxys in his normal form or in another form? And if so, which one?
    One more thing. Have you ever thought that Duskull, from the bank, is Duskclops from the future?

  17. Today I recruited Lugia. Woohoo! 🙂

  18. Umm… All I can and want to say is this: If you eat a pure seed, you will automaticly warp to the room which the stairs are in
    One more thing: I beat Mew and got one of the… umm… 7 treasures?!

  19. what do you do after you beat the gyaridos

  20. i vote for deoxys

  21. it took me like 10 tries to beat dialga

  22. it took me like 60 tries to beat darkrai

  23. it took me 1 try to beat Palkia

  24. i now have suicune

  25. i now have phione.

  26. i like all the pokemon except magikarp.

  27. i like spoink .

  28. this game is AWESOME!!!!!

  29. my starter was a chimchar and now it’s an infernape and my partner was a turtwig and now it’s now a torterra

  30. to answer your question poke rocker you need a thunderstone.

  31. i have moltres,regice,regirock,registeel,regigigas,uxie,mesprit,azelf,dialga,palkia,manaphy, and cresselia

  32. i now have 12 legendaries

  33. i have a tip on darkrai.You don’t get Cresselia in a fight with a mismagius or darkrai.

  34. i beat the whole game!!!!!

  35. i have 10 legendaries

  36. PokeFan i vote for deoxys

  37. what is a wonder mail?

  38. team waterfall // February 9, 2009 at 5:30 pm // Reply

    I vote for lucario everyone knows he is cooler.

  39. team waterfall // February 9, 2009 at 5:17 pm // Reply

    I know about all of the people who are stuck on beating dialga.let me give you a few tips.Dialga has about 800 hp!!!!!!!!!Here are the things that you probaly need, about 5 xeye seeds,some sleep seeds,and a whole lot of reviver seeds!Those items come in handy.You probaly need to have the hero or the partner use moves like dig.Your team would need to be at least level 50.Remember ground type moves and fighting type moves are super effective.I hope this helps you defeat dialga!P.S.I hate to admit it but i haven`t even defeated dialga myself.

  40. to sparky how do u evolve i cant figure it out

  41. pokegirl,use a sleep seed on palkia. Then,attack![hint,use tms or remember moves at electrive shop.HAPPY HUNTING!

  42. Um.. can anybody help me in pokemon mystery dungeon explorers of darkness?i have secret slab and mystery part and im searching in amp plains bf7 for zapdos and cannot find him.Can anybody help?

  43. Hello. And yes, I love Pokemon and I’m a girl and what I want to know is: How in the world do you beat Palkia? I am a Mudkip and my partner is Treeko. My Treeko has no helpful moves. It only knows Mega Drain, Giga Drain, Detect, and Quick Attack:P
    I only have Hydro Pump and Mudslap to attack with. Palkia never misses, and I have yucky items. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

  44. funk master nickie nick // January 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm // Reply

    You cant get mewtwo in the game unless you have some kind of action

  45. grease lightnings aide // January 22, 2009 at 10:08 am // Reply

    just bring tons of reviver seeds i mean TONS

  46. team wolf aide // January 22, 2009 at 10:07 am // Reply

    mew is in mysteryous forrest floor 100 as for the others i dont know but mew guards one of the “seven tresures of wonder” withc helps you recruit grass type pokemon easier

    and you shoulds just do missions something will pop up soon!!!!!!!!

  47. grease lightning // January 21, 2009 at 9:45 pm // Reply

    i need to know how to beat dialga too.

  48. me,raichu and my partner,feraligatr,are both lv.100, so we can beet anyone!

  49. what do you do after manaphy leaves, I went on google maybe 3 different places and none say the rite thing please help

  50. Yo peoples i don’t know what to do after team Raider!! Help me Please and can you get mewtwo in time? where is Celebi to recruit and how far do you have to go to find mew?! Help!

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