As the Nintendo 3DS gains popularity in North America, it is only fitting that a new “Pokémon” title be made available during the handheld’s upswing. Although it may not be a new entry to the main franchise, “Pokémon X” and “Pokémon Y” will release in Oct., the “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon” titles have a loyal following of fans and the newly released “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity” for Nintendo 3DS takes the series in a new and promising direction.
“Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity” is like previous “Mystery Dungeon” entries as it features simplified roguelike gameplay, a pleasant story, and numerous dungeons worthy of exploration. Likewise, familiar battle mechanics, the ability to add Pokémon to your team, and the delightful demeanor of “Pokémon” games remain present.
Fans of the Nintendo DS entries of “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon” will find plenty of entertainment value from “Gates to Infinity” on Nintendo 3DS. Meanwhile, new concepts help broaden the series’ range to a new audience.
“Gates to Infinity” begins just as any “Pokémon” title: you choose which Pokémon critter you wish to control. Following this decision the adventure begins in which you will recruit other Pokémon to join your team and explore the game’s randomly generated dungeons. Though exploration is the game’s core topic, battling remains import, and you will find that the combat system is similar to that found in other “Pokémon” games, but with an original twist.
As any fan of “Pokémon” would come to expect, each Pokémon creature has four attacks, can learn new skills, and level up. “Gates to Infinity’ makes use of the traditional “Pokémon” turn-based battle system; however, you battle in real time. Battle begins immediately upon moving next to any enemy. You then select your attacks and watch things unfold in real time. It is essentially the same battle system found in other “Pokémon” titles but at a faster pace.
One of the key selling points of “Gates to Infinity” is that every dungeon is randomly generated. The idea is to deliver an ever changing world that continues to feel different and is never the same. When used properly, this idea creates a sense of endless discovery and wonder. “Gates to Infinity” successfully delivers on this concept as each dungeon looks and feels different from the last.
There are a few new features found in dungeon exploration, which make the experience more enjoyable in “Gates to Infinity” than previous “Mystery Dungeon” titles. Checkpoints are now more frequent allowing you to save and manage inventory often. Likewise, you can quick-save from anywhere. These additions make the game less frustrating, but, as a result, some of the game’s challenge is removed.
Nevertheless, it makes the title more portable friendly and longtime fans should not be bothered with such a change.
When you feel tired of exploring dungeons, players can visit Pokémon Paradise. By spending money you earned during your dungeon crawls, you can buy shops and unlock mini-games. It is easy to devote a lot of time in Pokémon Paradise and enjoy the mini-games.
A cool feature created especially for “Gates to Infinity” is the Discover a Magnagate mode. By pointing the 3DS’ camera at a circular object, you will open a portal and have a new mystery dungeon to explore. These dungeons have better items in them than what the main game offers. It is a neat feature, but you will need the object to be in good light in order for the 3DS camera to detect it properly.
“Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity” has an overly cute storyline and is one “Pokémon” fans will appreciate. The game has fun dungeons to explore and a fascinating world to discover. With plenty of Pokémon to recruit and battle with, this is “Pokémon” game the younger fans will enjoy.
Overall: 7.0 / 10
(Editor’s Note: A download code was provided by Nintendo for review purposes. The game was completed for review.)