Review - Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky

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A new addition to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky was released last October, as the third version of the Nintendo DS Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series preceded by Explorers of Darkness and Explorers of Time. This game can be defined as a “third, improved version”—similar to Pokémon Crystal, Emerald, and Platinum version on Nintendo handhelds.

However, how much change is given by this game? Is this game worthy as the third version, or can we just consider this as a mere gimmick?

Changes and additions

These are what Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky promised as a change from its predecessor:

  • New, harder dungeons
  • New “Special Episodes”, a prolog of the game showing the lives of the main characters before the game starts.
  • Addition of Shaymin in game, cameo of Arceus
  • New areas (Spinda’s Café)
  • New missions
  • Increased difficulty

New areas (3 out of 5)

There are some new areas within this game, such as the Secret Bazaar and Spinda’s Café. Both of the new areas helps the player in different way. Spinda’s Café will eventually give the players access to the Unexplored Lands. There is also the new Recycle Shop in which players can give their excess items and get new items in change.

The addition of Secret Bazaar would surely help the player in surviving certain hard dungeons, that is, if they are lucky enough to find it.

Increased difficulty (5 out of 5)

If something can be said about Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky, it would be the increased difficulty presented in this game. At the beginning of the game, the player will be asked whether they have played the series before. If the player answers yes, the game will start at an increased difficulty, in which enemies will appear more and cause more damage.

Increased difficulty can be considered as a welcoming change for this game. For the more experienced players of the series, adding a degree of difficulty would provide new challenges and prevent the game from being tedious and dull.

New dungeons (4 out of 5)

The addition of the new dungeons can also be considered as a welcoming change. There are a few new dungeons in this game accessible after finishing the main story of this game.

The new dungeons are designed to be much harder compared to the dungeons of the main game. This would provide a new degree of challenge to both new and old players alike.

However, there is no real incentive from finishing the dungeons other than being able to recruit new Pokémon to join your party.

Special episodes (2 out of 5)

While creating the new Special Episodes will provide new perspectives on the lives of the main characters, it provides nothing for the players. The new Special Episodes did not have any increased difficulty, and it has the average difficulty—where your main character even seemed imbalanced at times due to it being too strong at some points.

The problem of the inclusion of the Special Episodes is that it should not have been included in the first place. Most people playing this game played it due to it having a title of Mystery Dungeon, which is already a well-known franchise. Some players play it due to the game being a Pokémon game, and Pokémon games never have any in-depth storylines. The developer could have included more useful things rather than the use of Special Episodes.

Is it worth it? (4 out of 5)

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky is a welcomed addition to the Mystery Dungeon series. Although the developer could have put less emphasize in the story and add more features to this game, the game itself could stand with some of its new features. Overall, it is a good game.