Over at WonderCon 2013, I headed over to the Nintendo exhibit to check out the newest Pokemon game, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. I played the demo and Terry Chan, product marketing coordinator for Nintendo of America, walked me through this next addition to the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series. (Terry also confirmed that, yes, he IS buddies with Joel Simon from last year’s E3 coverage)
As you can see, all of the PMD: GtI demos were served to the ravenous WonderCon crowds on a shiny Pikachu 3DS XL platter (which are a lot more difficult to obtain as of recent), but what really matters is what’s on the inside, so let’s talk about Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity.
This is the second full Pokemon 3DS game that we’ve seen so far (with the first being Pokemon Rumble Blast) and this game, by itself, unlike its predecessors, makes up the fifth generation of the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. What’s new in this new PMD game?
Well, the first thing Terry wanted to tell me was that in GtI, you get to pick your starter pokemon and your partner pokemon instead of taking the usual personality quiz that picks your starter pokemon for you as in previous PMD games; this is the first North American-released PMD game to implement this feature. After that, though, the game begins quite similarly to its relatives: you’ve mysteriously woken up in the body of a pokemon, so you need to figure out how and why this has happened to you. There are five different pokemon that a player can start as and pick their partner from: Pikachu, Axew, Snivy, Tepig, and Oshawott. During the course of the game, Emolga, Dunsparce, and Virizion will join your team as well. Most of the pokemon featured in this game are from the fifth generation of pokemon, but there are also pokemon from previous generations included.
The two main, non-dungeon locations in GtI are Post Town and Paradise. Post Town is a town of pokemon that contains various NPC’s and shops for your pokemon to access. Paradise is a location for your pokemon to build a house and dojos, it also contains mini-games, seed harvesting, and the Paradise Center, where you can pick up missions. Those dojos are pretty important, and there are 17 different ones to build, so guess what they’re related to; each dojo has its own pokemon type, and your team’s pokemon can visit the dojo to use moves of that type in order to power up those moves’ strength and accuracy. The Paradise Center also includes another important aspect of the game. In addition to being a mission hub, you can use the Paradise Center to gift Revival Seeds, an in-game item, to other players using the 3DS’s Streetpass function. Players consume these revival seeds to restore their party if they lose in a dungeon.
There are a few different play modes in GtI, outside of the story mode. The first of which is “Discover a Magnagate.” This mode takes advantage of the 3DS’s camera and uses AR; when you find a circular object or space a “magnagate” opens within it. When you enter it, the game generates a random dungeon and starter; playing through this lets you keep all your earnings and loot for use in story mode. Another play mode is called “Companion Mode.” This section of the game contains various side quests where you can play as your party’s recruits in bonus missions. To provide a true multiplayer experience, the game features a “Local Wireless Mode” where you can cooperate with four other PMD-players, using wireless, to battle a boss pokemon.
This new PMD game also makes use of the Nintendo eShop. The DLC includes new dungeons with exciting themes and special items. Currently the Poke Forest dungeon can be downloaded for free in the eShop until the end of April; this dungeon’s special feature contains large amounts of money to earn (If only I could earn large amounts of money by navigating a forest, see: Tour Guide, Big Sur, CA).
Playing through the main story took Terry around 35-40 hours, but he mentioned that the play time can vary greatly from person to person depending on your preferred playing style.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity was released on March 24th, 2013, and is currently available for purchase on the 3DS. If you would like more information on PMD:GtI, you can access the official website at: http://www.pokemonmysterydungeon.com/gates-to-infinity/
Thank you very much, Terry Chan, for providing the information for this article. Hopefully, PE2K can work with you in the future on some of the great Pokemon games to come!
Thanks for reading!