Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: “A Hidden Gem”
Pokémon is without a doubt one of the most influential franchises of all time, particularly the video games. While many players have earned eight badges, fought villainous teams, and (at least tried) to “catch ‘em all”, there are many spinoff Pokémon games that may have gone unnoticed, games that are hidden gems. In particular, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is a series of dungeon-crawler games that has been around for over a decade, with four installments. Rescue Team, Explorers, Gates to Infinity, and Super Mystery Dungeon.
In Mystery Dungeon, players become a Pokémon, which one is determined by a personality test at the start of the game, and they choose a partner Pokémon to accompany them. They form a team that explores Mystery Dungeons, which are randomly generated levels so the player never sees the same things twice, so these games have a ton of replayability to them. Exploring dungeons requires teamwork and strategy, as the player must lead their team as they face enemy Pokémon and traps as they carry out jobs to rescue other Pokémon, escort them, or find items. The game retains many elements from the core series, such as turn-based combat, having four moves, items, and passive bonuses in the form of abilities, but the gameplay is only the tip of the iceberg.
The best part of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is easily its storytelling. While the main Pokémon games have good but fairly unordinary stories, Mystery Dungeon games have fantastic storytelling with great characters that players from bonds with. Without spoiling any plots, I think it’s safe to say that Mystery Dungeon has some of the best storytelling among video games, with moments that will tug at the heartstrings of players. So any Pokémon fan who hasn’t experienced Mystery Dungeon should consider picking it up, it’s an excellent game.