Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky
Explorers of the Sky proves one thing: Pokemon's a fantastic classic RPG, but it still doesn't work as a dungeon crawler.
- Interesting-yet-hokey stories, tonnes of Pokemon, gorgeous graphics...
- ...until you get to the dungeons (which are bland, confusing, and maddeningly repetitive)
Seriously, it's like slaving through the dungeons in Legend of Zelda, except all the levels look exactly the same and you don't know where anything is.
Price$ 69.95 (AUD)
When it comes to video games, spin-offs are almost never as good as the original material. Pokemon, on the other hand, has actually been pretty damn lucky with the polish and high-quality gameplay of titles like Pokemon Snap, Pokemon Puzzle League and the lesser-known Pokemon Trading Card Game for the Game Boy Advance. Heck, even the Pokemon Ranger series isn't all that bad. That's why I continue to be surprised at the lackluster Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series, the Jan Brady of the Pokemon Family. It's not as successful as the rest of its siblings, and any fan can tell it tries really hard to stand out. Maybe one day, it'll grow into its place, but Explorers of Sky is just a reminder that day hasn't come yet.
For people who don't know, Mystery Dungeon is the series with the following plot: "I've lost my memory and turned into a Pokemon!" Moreover, Explorers of the Sky is the remake of the second round of games in this series, Explorers of Time & Darkness. After you take an introductory personality test to determine what Pokemon you'll awaken as, you begin a journey as part of a Pokemon guild, which is exactly what it sounds like: you embark on epic adventures to help fellow Pokemon, seek out treasures, and battle other Pocket Monster trouble makers over hours and hours of semi-addictive dungeon crawling. People make a lot of comparisons between this and Shiren: The Wanderer, but I prefer to think of it as Final Fantasy XII's Monster Hunts -- with Pikachus instead of Chocobos. But the question is, as a Pokemon fan, is Explorers of Sky even worth your time?
Well, that depends on the type of Pokemon fan you are. Explorers of Sky does bring a few new game elements into play that weren't present in the last two titles, like new starter types, a bigger roster of playable Pokemon, more plotlines involving different characters, tweaked difficulty, and adjusted gameplay rules (for example, you no longer lose all your loot if you crash and burn in a dungeon romp). But in the end, these are all minor improvements and add-ons that don't address the real problem of Mystery Dungeon -- it's just not a compelling dungeon experience. In fact, the main problem I had with the last few Mystery Dungeons is that the core gimmick -- the actual dungeons -- are the worst part of the game. If you're the kind of player that draws Pokemon fan art and prints out the characters on computer paper for your scrapbooks, I'm sure that you're probably not going to mind the bland dungeons, cookie-cutter missions and repetitive combat.
For what it's worth, I actually really like the concept of being able to recruit so many different types of Pokemon, micro-managing their movesets, and assigning stylized teams to tackle certain missions. That alone just barely echoes the appeal of customizing your own Pokemon Team in D/P and Platinum, but it's still not as good as the real deal. If only you didn't have to send in extra teams to rescue your fallen comrades (it's easier to just restart the game), I'd definitely enjoy the dungeons a lot more.
However, if you're the Pokemon fan who mainly dabbles in the core series, Explorers of Sky will frustrate and annoy you enough that you won't care how interesting the main story arc gets. Usually, I can get through 10 to 15 hours of a Mystery Dungeon title before it loses my interest. Explorers of Sky did that in less than six. If you own Explorers of Darkness/Time, you're probably better off saving your cash for Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, which I'm sure is going to be freaking awesome. But don't worry, Jan: I'm sure you'll get better at this when you're just a little bit older.
Join the newsletter!
Bang and Olufsen Beoplay A9 Speaker
Ballistix Sport AT
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver Watch
Samsung QLED 8K TV
Ballistix Tactical Tracer RGB 3000
Apple iMac Pro
Toys for Boys
Oregon Pro WMR500 Weather Station
Nix Pro Colour Sensor
Tivoli PAL BT
ESET Cyber Security Pro for Mac
ESET Internet Security
Osmo Coding Awbie Game
Little Bits DROID Inventor Kit
ESET Smart Security Premium
Ikea RIGGAD work lamp with wireless charging
TimeFlip Magnet Simple Time Tracking Device
Naztech Xtra Drive Mini + 256GB microSD Card
Ultimate Ears Wonderboom Bluetooth Speaker
SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3
If you own an action camera, it’s probably a GoPro. But if you are planning on sharing any footage of your latest outdoor adventure with friends and colleagues, you will need more than just hardware. You will need software.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R17 Pro review: Oppo's thriftiest flagship yet drives a hard bargain
- 2 Nokia 7.1 review: A modest and modern mid-tier option
- 3 Tenda Nova MW6 review: A gateway drug for mesh Wi-Fi
- 4 Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Expensive, but probably the best phone you can buy right now
- 5 Apple iPhone XS review: Astonishment at a price
Latest News Articles
- Fortnite and PUBG could be banned in China
- Epic Games cuts the once-loved 'Infinity Blade' series from the App Store
- Resident Evil 2 Hands On Preview
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards Nominees Announced
- Support for AUD finally comes to Steam (with a catch)
PCW Evaluation Team
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
- PC World 2018 Editor's Choice Awards
- Huawei Mate 20 Pro review: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?