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Pokemon Mystery Dungeon 3DS is surprisingly good

Blog: Serebii's Joe Merrick delivers his verdict on Magnagate and the Infinite Labyrinth

I have never been a fan of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, and so I wasn't looking forward to covering the new 3DS game Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Magnagate and the Infinite Labyrinth for my website After spending a week with the game following its Japanese release, I have been pleasantly surprised.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Magnagate & The Infinite Labyrinth is the first Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game to be released in the UK since Explorers of Sky came out in 2009. As such, many Pokemon fans have high expectations for this game and it certainly boasts some cool features for them to enjoy.

I'm not going to spoil the story, but it has the same twists and turns you'd come to expect from the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games, some which even stunned me.

As usual, you play as a human who has been turned into a Pokemon but unlike past games, you get to choose both the Pokemon as well as your partner. This time though, options are limited to the Pokemon Black and White Starters plus Pikachu and Axew.

The first thing you'll notice is that the game is in 3D and it features the same 3D models of the Pokemon that were in Pokedex 3D Pro.

This results in great cutscenes featuring a range of emotions that would be completely impossible with sprites. An example is a brilliant cinematic when a Pokemon comes to rescue you and your partner and flies away with you both.

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The rest of the game is pretty much the same as before - going through dungeons, battling Pokemon and rescuing any if you're on a mission, but there are a few changes.

Firstly, the Hunger feature has been removed for the majority of the dungeons, so you'll never have to worry about feeding your Pokemon.

Secondly, as you progress through the story, you'll encounter dungeons where you actually have to go outside. Here, the randomised dungeon mechanics are dropped as you solve puzzles. You can also avoid Pokemon here but should you interact with them, the battle will commence. I personally love this bit of the game.

However, the features that keep bringing me back are the new special missions, which include Legendary boss battles, and the Pokemon Paradise.

The Pokemon Paradise works similar to Join Avenue in Pokemon Black And White 2, but without the connectivity. Here, you can customise the various stores, upgrade them when they've done well and build up the area how you please. Not only that, but you can see all the Pokemon you've recruited dotted around the area.

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The bad thing about this game is that it seems that not all the Pokemon are in the game, which does affect the variety of the dungeons somewhat, but the sheer amount of features added to the game makes up for it.

If the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon spin-off series continues on this path, then I'd definitely be willing to give the spin-offs another shot rather than shuddering whenever they're announced. It's a good sign for the future.


9 comments so far...
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  1. lrwr14 Tuesday 4th Dec 2012 at 17:44

    Love the mystery dungeon games, one of my favourite pokemon spin off, might have to get this when it comes out.

  2. Waldy565 Tuesday 4th Dec 2012 at 18:04

    mmm, I do like the mystery dungeon games, but I think at the time I was playing em, about the same time platinum came out (I was probs not gonna get it, but I have a trend: couldn't play Ruby properly, save didn't work, so bought Emerald. I lost Diamond when I got to the Elite 4, so bought Platinum :P) anyway, back to the main story (:D) yeah, I think all the hype of the main game over-powered Mystery Dungeon and I just never got round to really playing Explorers of Time, and sold it. However, a few months back, me and my mates went camping, and my friend had bought Explorers of Sky, and WOW, I love the series. I think my fave spin-offs are still Ranger, but yeah, I'll defo check out this game thanks to the addition of features ONM and my Poke-crazy mate have been telling me about.
    EDIT: Btw, listening to pokemon music, does anyone else think that the music in the game corner, especially in the older games, sounds very similar to sonic music? I smell a game company collaboration coming! (yeah, a little early I know, in the grand scheme of things)

  3. ThePokekid78 Tuesday 4th Dec 2012 at 18:07

    Hhm, my interest is certainly piqued...sounds like there are some good and bad things here.

    I like the sound of going outside, and the 'special missions', but the fact that not all the pokemon are here is kinda a, you only get a choice of 5 pokemon as a starter??
    The Unova starters are immediately discounted for me (they're just so awful) which means I already know exactly who I'm gonna have to have...that sucks!

    That said, I've always known the Mystery Dungeon games are highly flawed...and yet, I always enjoy them! So maybe...

    P.S. Hey Serebii, how do you like my avatar? Comes from a certain advent calender I found somewhere...

  4. C00LI098 Tuesday 4th Dec 2012 at 19:29

    If you didn't enjoy the previous games then I find it hard to imagine how this one would change your view drastically.

    I'm not particularly looking forward to this entry in the series. I loved being able to make the adventure feel unique (as in the main series games) by choosing from many starters. Choosing from Pikachu, Axew and the three Unova starters (how innovative; it's not like we've had to put up with them being marketed so heavily over the past two years (far more for Pikachu)) just isn't satisfactory. I'm sure I'll like the game, but, to me, it feels like there's something important missing.

  5. maartenpitt Tuesday 4th Dec 2012 at 22:03

    Is it really going to be released in the UK and Europe? This is the kind of news I wanted to hear after New Year, because now I can't wait and I have studying to do. Yeah!

  6. Neoware Wednesday 5th Dec 2012 at 15:19

    I LOVE The PMD games and i'm absolutly pysched for this.Looking forward to it! :D

  7. stealth20k Thursday 20th Dec 2012 at 23:35

    "This results in great cutscenes featuring a range of emotions that would be completely impossible with sprites."

    Sprites provide soul and the same range of emotion and are better

    thank god game freak wont use them

  8. Lil Gracie Saturday 22nd Dec 2012 at 16:42

    Wow, this looks great! Love the new design.

  9. CyberGW Monday 24th Dec 2012 at 11:26

    I loved Darkness to bits and I've been really wanting a new Mystery Dungeon for ages.
    For some reason I keep thinking that this won't have the same in depth story that made me cry one second, and make me laugh my head off a few minutes later (the credits and then Wigglytuff and the King of all things Bad). Maybe it's the cartoony art style that makes me feel like this will be much more shallow, but this is putting my mind at rest.
    I should be in for another amazing Mystery Dungeon, and I cannot wait!

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