3DS Nintendo

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates To Infinity Review

pokemon_mystery_dungeon_gates_to_infinity_artThe Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series is back, but Gates to Infinity comes with a pop and a fizzle instead of an explosive bang.

Marking its ninth release in the spin-off series, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity for the Nintendo 3DS begins with such promise; gorgeous 3D settings, vast dungeons and cute, lovable characters. But it’s this tremendous style which gives way to its lack of substance.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity starts in a similar way to its predecessors – you’re sent down to the Pokémon world to save them from a great evil, but you must have a quick costume change along the way by turning into a Pokémon yourself. Yet unlike its past entries, Gates to Infinity allows the player to choose their starter – Snivy, Oshawott, Tepig, Pikachu and Axew – and gives much more freedom from the get-go. By choosing a partner from the remaining four, a new journey can begin to save their world from impending doom.

The main storyline opens up in a place named Post Town, where fights break out needlessly between Pokémon due to thievery, mistrust and evil-doers in the community. Your designated partner, however, sees it as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and create a peaceful paradise for Pokémon. In a series of game tutorials, you start to build Paradise with your partner, with your first task to produce a house. But as a request from a fellow Pokémon, you must venture into the darkness and descend into a mystery dungeon to gather materials.

pokemon gates to infinity
Poor Oshawott is scared, but Tepig’s too captivated by the gold at his feet to notice.

Those new  to the series will enjoy exploring the first few dungeons immensely, collecting new Pokémon to add to your ever-growing team through requests, but series regulars may find the lack of dungeon variation disappointing and, at times, cumbersome. Exploring the dungeons to their full potential gives you little other than extra and rather unnecessary loot, and the layouts – for the most part – remain unchanged. However, the game’s saving grace is its wonderful graphics and art style, enhanced beautifully by the 3D, turning its regular 2D sprites into all-animated and loveable 3D versions. Pokémon moves such as Gust turn into mini moving whirlwinds, Razor Leaf cuts straight to the bone and String Shot strikes halfway across the room, allowing the enemy to slink casually to its prey.

The title also allows a unique feature with the 3DS camera, which is great for younger players. Using the camera, you can capture a portal, or ‘magnagate’, by finding circular objects around the house or nearby. These magnagates allow you to step into another dungeon, giving the game a boost in variation. Add to this the wireless mode to team up with other players, and the main storyline begins to pale in comparison.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity promises an extraordinary dungeon-crawling experience like no other in the series, but its distinct lack of dungeon variation, coupled with the monotonous requests and a storyline that screams for more drama, leaves you feeling sucker-punched.

6/10

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62 comments

      1. No it wasn’t. Red was the GBA version and Blue was the DS version. Check if you don’t belive me.

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    1. Have you ever played the other ones? If you have, you’ll notice that these ones are ‘dumbed down’ from the others. A shame, really.

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    2. for the game is instantly not worth buying because of your starting characters…. and also how you can choose em

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  1. I have to agree with the rating. PMD:Sky is my all time favorite DS game, hands down, but there were a lot of things off about this one. I mean GtI is a really good game, pick it up if you have money, but there are a lot of places it could improve. Good review.

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    1. After playing around 30 hours of the game, I enjoyed it as a fan of the series, but critically it just wasn’t up to scratch. And it had so much potential as well.

      Glad you liked the review. :)

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      1. I’m glad you’ve played the other ones. Hopefully Nintendo can learn from what they did here and give us the real Sky sequel they know we all want.

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      2. After seeing the game played online and looking at other reviews, I had calculated a 7/10 myself so I was surprised at the 6/10. But, I never played the game so I guess I can’t fairly judge. Nice review! :D Kisses! 💋

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  2. They need to start changing the formula with these games, the original ones were awesome! But now the are repetative, and the storylines are starting to get boring. Instead of making games just for money, why not make a games for money AND fun.

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    1. Time and Darkness were definately NOT boring. That story had me on edge the whole time I played it — especially when Dusknoir kidnapped you. Unless you mean pokemon as a whole. then you’re generally playing for the wrong reason.

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    2. Well, the reason is people keep buying the games and accepting them the way they are. If fans were to step up and say “You need to do MORE with the Mystery Dungeon franchise or we aint buying no more” then they would change. But, right now, the Pokemon Company thinks everyone is loving them and that what they are doing is working. Thats the problem with fanboyism. It can counter work against you. Sometime you just gotta let Nintedo know something isn’t working instead of always praising them. 💋

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      1. Considering this is the first major disappointment on terms of the mystery dungeon franchise, I wouldn’t really say it’s exactly people accepting them as they are. This game went below standards they have set with the games prior to it: lots of variety, RANDOMLY generated dungeons every time, the ability to take on several tasks at once as long as their in the same dungeon (only being able to do one at a time in gates to infinity annoyed the hell out of me), and a story that tugs at your heartstrings.

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    1. There is local multiplayer through IR. It’s all turn based and I believe you can only do single floor “hunt-down and punish” type missions, but it’s fun to have everyone yelling at each other like “OH GOD WATCH OUT” or “SWEET CHRIST I’M COMING HOLD ON”.

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  3. YAY!!! YAY!!! NINTENDO!!!! ^_^ \o/

    Another masterpiece from the best devs ever!!!!!

    Another nail in the coffin of theDRMBox720 repairments per day and the clonestation4 copies per game.

    Come on Nintendo we will make Clony and Microcock go out of business!!!!!

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      1. Movies have become somewhat of a joke too. and OH GOD!! The music industry is filled with some of the worst artists to date right now. Awful rappers, little 12 year old girls who think they can sing about Easter and Friday. I think all of pop culture has just gone down the poop chute lately. I hope it can rebound…. preferably soon!!! 💋

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    1. Actually, I prefer Mystery Dungeon to the main series. Core Pokemon games have always been to slow for me and Mystery Dungeon keeps everything fast passed and dynamic with some of the best stories to boot!

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  4. I fondly remember the first Mystery Dungeon game. I loved it so much. The story was great and the ending was kind of sad. Great game :) Explorers of Darkness was the last one I played before I quit playing Pokemon.

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  5. I thought it was pretty solid personally. Like the previous ones it still had the ability to tug at your heartstrings. My major problem was when I eventually realized every time you enter a dungeon, it’s actually the same. It’s not randomly generated unlike previous games in the series.

    I personally think it would be really hard to top Time/Darkness though. That ending, man. One of very few that literally brought me to tears. Not something you’d expect from a pokemon game at all.

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  6. I gave up on mystery dungeon after the one with Grovyle as a main character. Now I only play main series Pokemon games. Pokemon Conquest was amazing though. Probably the best Pokemon spinoff to date. I would definitely play a Conquest 2. 💋

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  7. It’s the first pokemon game im playing, im preparing for X & Y and trying to get famiiar. Dungeons here are really boring and repetitive and tiring, but the story is very beautiful, and graphics in some places are very cute

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    1. If its your first, yay! But seriously, Red/Blue Rescue team were the best by far. Also get Sky. they are much more difficult with numerous 99 floor dungeons. And you gotta play emerald btw :D

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  8. I really wanted to love this game, but I have to agree with the score. This game had WAY too many repetitive, long, dialogue full cut scenes. It seems like every time your character wakes up, someone HAS to talk to your team for 10 minutes. After about 20 hours of the game, I stopped reading. You could gather everything they took forever telling you simply by exploring.

    Also, this had some of the worst super easy to impossible difficulty switches I’ve ever seen. The first time I found a colored gate (and had a key for it) I was psyched. Now I’ve always been one of those players who hoards reviver seeds, but what was behind those gates was not what I had anticipated. Those Pokemon SLAUGHTERED my team; I had no idea what was going on.

    My last complaint is the pacing. The story seemed slow to me up until my party went to go find the Pokemon who was appearing in my dreams, but after a few dungeons of that, the story slowed down again. I was just pretty dissatisfied with this. I LOVE PMD:Sky, so I picked this game up day 1. I kinda wish I had picked up Luigi’s Mansion now.

    Okay, /rant xD

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  9. This game isn’t worth buying, it pales in comparison to the GBA&DS series. A lot of the options were removed in this version including the critical feature of choosing both you & your partner’s gender. What? How much is this thing retailing at? …WHAT?!

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    1. I’m glad I tried the demo&did major research, most reviews don’t even tell you the truth. At first I thought only the demo did this, but then I relized the game, too. Seriously, why would you add gender option only to remove it in the “impoved” version..?

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    2. The game keeps reminding you you’re playing as a male by repeatedly refering to you as ‘he’. This is definitly a problem for me as I’m a female& this industry doesn’t even consider that someone w/o a dick could possibly be purchasing their games.

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    3. I would have to agree w/IGN’s rating of 4.5. For this&other mechanics I’d say this game is only worth skipping. I’m so glad to I’m not alone on thinking the GBA&DS versions were way, way better. Thanks so much! Can’t wait for X&Y!

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  10. It’s funny the mystery dungeon games always get scores of 5 or 6 but I’ve always loved them. I don’t have much fate in reviewers when it comes to the mystery dungeon series.

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  11. I’ve got to say, I’ve played this game for about two hours now, and so far, I’m extremely disappointed. Let me start off with the issue everyone has mentioned: the fact that, unlike EVERY previous entry to the series, you cannot choose the gender of yourself or your partner. Why would they remove that? What did removing it contribute to the game? Nothing. Nothing at all. All they achieved by doing this was a bunch of angry fans.

    Secondly, why have they removed about 80% of the Pokémon from the main games? I’d be okay with it if Gen V had more great Pokémon than I could count on one hand, but sadly that’s not the case. Because of this, I’m already finding the fighting repetitive due to the fact that I keep running across the same enemies. The removal of almost EVERY starter was also extremely disappointing for me, since Snivy is now the only starter available that I like.

    The text. Oh my god, the text. I never thought something so trivial as not being able to speed up the scrolling text would bug me, but combined with the ridiculously long, dialogue-crammed cutscenes every five minutes, the text becomes one of the most irritating parts of the game. I quickly find myself getting bored of the cutscenes, whereas in Explorers of Sky I couldn’t NOT pay complete attention.

    You know what, I’m getting frustrated now, so I’m gonna stop here. This game is okay, as a standalone game, particularly considering the beautiful graphics, but as part of a long-running series, this game is a huge disappointment for me. The team have gone with style over substance this time, and it shows through the obvious drop in quality. I’ll think twice before blindly buying another Mystery Dungeon game again.

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  12. I downloaded the Demo version a couple days ago, to check it out before I even thought about really buying it. I’m glad I did. As soon as I got to the part where I chose my characters, I was instantly disappointed. I have always LOVED the fact that you did this quiz to find out what pokemon you were. It gave me this sense of mystery and it was just fun to ask myself “If I was really a pokemon, would I be /that/?”. But then they took that away by just giving me the option to pick. I’m not sure if they just did that because people were whining about not being their favorite pokemon every time they restarted or if it just seemed more convenient to the players. Either way, I was disappointed.

    As I went through the next part and met my partner, I saw the new shading on the icons of the pokemon. I was really disappointed in how they shaded it. Especially on Timburr and Gurdurr. They just looked..no. I also missed the 2D world. It’s what I had grown up with in terms of PMD. The story seemed to be lacking as well. Nothing really seemed “We gotta save this world NOW” or “Something seems wrong” other then Quagsire and my partner telling me that everyone was being a jerk towards each other.

    The dungeons didn’t seem to have as much variation to them and using moves seemed difficult(maybe I didn’t set it right or something). Also didn’t seem like there was a whole lot of items.

    Anyway, over all, I think this game was/is a major disappointment. The story seemed lame, certain shading was bad, couldn’t choose your gender(I noticed this because the text box color was blue), and a lot of things just seemed repetitive. My favorite will still be Red Rescue Team. Even though RRT didn’t have as much story as Darkness/Time/Sky, I still loved that game. And Darkness being my second favorite. I cried at the end of both. I still do when I decided to restart. I hope that they improve it later down the Nintendo road.

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  13. I’m not satisfied with the game, nor am I disappointed. Unlike a lot of the people here, I enjoyed the game. It was fun, but it gets boring. Also, is there a second story to this game? I haven’t figured it out yet and I doubt there will be. -sigh- I really miss those second stories.. They always made the game much more exciting and always made me wonder : “What’s going to happen? Let’s find out!” I mean, seriously. what happened to that?! This better not be the last mystery dungeon. If any of you know if there is another story, PLEASE let me know. I just don’t want to believe that a Pokemon game has failed me.

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    1. There is a small story where you get your starter back, but other than that, the only post game content is wireless with friends or doing requests on the request board to expand your paradise, which is just fine for me because I love doing that stuff.

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  14. I have no idea what anyone is talking about. I absolutely loved Gates to Infinity. I thought the Mystery Dungeon games before this were terrible. Gates to Infinity is my absolute favorite with a superior story – shorter doesn’t always mean worse – graphics, and new mechanics. 9.5/10 in my opinion, because I didn’t like the music much.

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    1. Oh, and I also liked that this game was easier than the others. One of my gripes with the previous PMD games was that the difficulty was too high for my skill level. Gates to Infinity is right in line with my level of skill.

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  15. I hated the ending where u can’t play as ur former self that was the worst I have to say ovr played all pokemon mystery games and I just hated this so much due to the worst ending of pokemon history

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  16. Haha it say a 5 out of 10 dude, I love the game besides. One. Thing. You go BACK to the human world then, you are the partner (if you want my partner is Tusks). When you go back, you go your party to change it…. Then BOOM! Your real chararter is there you can’t play as him but he is there you can see all that you did, that completely pissed me off! At the end I was crying, when as tusks I woke, saw the empty nest I started again. I never cry at games, so seeing the assembling thing with him I am like: WTF!!! So… yea hope X and Y pokemon is better..!

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