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Official Nintendo Magazine
If you've already put hundreds of hours into Explorers Of Darkness or Time it's not really worth starting all over again for a few new dungeons and additional side-quests. However, if you haven't gotten round to buying a Mystery Dungeon game yet and fancy trying one out, this is definitely the one to go for.
Le genre dungeon-RPG est de retour sur Nintendo DS avec ce Pokémon Donjon Mystère : Explorateurs du Ciel. Si les amateurs apprécieront toujours de se balader dans de sombre grottes et d'effrayantes forteresses pour dézinguer tous les monstres qui se mettront sur leur chemin, les joueurs néophytes ne tomberont pas forcément sous le charme du soft. Assez répétitif et austère, le jeu ne permet en effet pas de se plonger très aisément dans l'aventure et il faudra assurément une bonne dose de courage pour profiter pleinement de l'aventure. C'est dommage, car quelques éléments auraient pu faire en sorte que le soft s'en tire mieux, comme ses graphismes mignons et sa bande-son de qualité. Dommage.
Particulièrement avare en nouveautés, Explorateurs du Ciel décevra sans doute tous ceux qui avaient déjà craqué en 2008 pour Explorateurs du Temps ou Explorateurs de l'Ombre. S'appuyant sur un système de jeu vieillissant et sans surprise, cet opus ne parvient décidément guère à se faire passer pour autre chose qu'une simple opération commerciale.
It's not hard to fathom why this genre lurks on the fringes. Something is missing from this game, and that something is meaning. Purpose. There is scant depth to the tactics, and while the repetitive act of sweeping through dungeons is mildly compulsive, this just can't compete with the majesty of the latest Zelda game, which also recently arrived in stores. A little too simplistic for its own good, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky is a game for the very young ― gamers barely aware of what they're doing. For a more rewarding dungeon-crawling epic, Spirit Tracks is a better bet.
While Explorers of Sky boasts a few new features "new playable characters, cut scenes, and unlockable story episodes, etc." these are fairly trivial in the grand scheme of things. If you played EoT or EoD thoroughly and enjoyed them then there’s not a great deal of incentive to play this as well. Likewise, if you didn’t enjoy the original games, there’s nothing here that’s going to change your mind. Ultimately, most players are probably still better off sticking to 'purer' roguelikes such as Shiren the Wanderer or standard RPGs such the core Pokémon titles.
Explorers of Sky is a bizarre mix of child-like presentation with hardcore gameplay mechanics which have long since been abandoned by most other hardcore games. It's simultaneously simple and obtuse, easy and challenging. Somehow it manages to juggle incompatible ideas while still managing to be charming and addictive - just be aware that the addiction comes at a price; you'll be frustrated that you want to keep playing it.
I just can't recommend Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky to anyone that has played the previous games in the series. It looks like a GBA game, and is chock full of lazy and somewhat dated gameplay. Developer Chun Soft is a talented team, but it'd be nice if they didn't keep making the same game over and over packaged differently each time. There is a lot of post story gameplay, and special episodes to complete, but I’m afraid it’s simply not enough to keep most gamers happy for any length of time.
Cheat Code Central
The team at Chunsoft simply phoned in the code to Nintendo, knowing that the throng of unsophisticated youngsters that is their demographic will eat it up regardless of its lack of value. What's worse, they were probably mandated to do so by the publisher. While Explorers of Sky would be a decent game if it were judged in a vacuum, when viewed alongside Explorers of Time / Darkness, there simply isn't enough unique, quality content to make it relevant. This is perhaps one of the worst values in gaming I've ever seen.
This doesn't change the fact that Explorers of Sky is still nothing to write home about, unfortunately. If you want a challenging RPG, you're better off with Mystery Dungeon: Shiren the Wanderer (still available for DS); if you want a superior Pokémon experience, you should opt instead for Pokémon Platinum. And if you've already slogged through Explorers of Time/Darkness, the small additions on offer here aren't really compelling enough to make the game worth playing again. It's not a terrible game by any means, but as the progeny of two classic series, it really ought to be better than merely OK.
No parece haber ninguna razón para hacerse con Pokémon Mundo Misterioso: Exploradores del Cielo en caso de que ya hayamos jugado a alguna de las dos anteriores ediciones del juego, aparte de la inclusión de cinco nuevos episodios con algunas mazmorras más (muy similares, eso sí, al resto de mazmorras del juego) y al añadido de algunos personajes exclusivos. Eso sí, en caso de que no tengamos especial interés por alguno de los personajes que nos ofrece la nueva edición de la segunda entrega de Mundo Misterioso, con haber jugado a alguna de las dos entregas anteriores nos podemos dar por satisfechos, ya que el juego no amplia ni mejora en ningún aspecto la aventura original, cayendo en la reiteración de contenidos muy rápidamente y sin pulir ninguno de los aspectos técnicos más flojos de las ediciones originales del juego.
*Read summary of Explorers of Darkness*
Addition: If you're looking for a game that separates itself from the games it supposedly enhances, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky is not that game. Players who have never played the series before may find this game enjoyable but other than that, only the most hardcore Pokémon fans (who enjoy even the least critically acclaimed games from the franchise) will enjoy playing this title after playing through any of the previous ones.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Esploratori del Cielo è una espansione che si può benissimo evitare se si è in possesso di Esploratori del Tempo o Oscurità. L'aggiunta degli extra, tutti separati dall'avventura principale, che ripropone senza alcuna variazione lo stesso contesto narrativo, non valgono assolutamente l'acquisto di questo gioco.
Il titolo, che nell'ottica del giocatore esperto non raggiunge la sufficienza, acquista invece alcuni punti nel caso di utenti che per la prima volta si avvicinano alla serie Mystery Dungeon. Ma anche qui bisogna andarci con i piedi di piombo, visto il genere di nicchia e il livello tecnico non all'altezza delle produzioni Pokemon tradizionali.
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.
A livello tecnico e contenutistico Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Esploratori del Cielo non aggiunge nulla di rilevante ai precedenti episodi dei quali dovrebbe rappresentare una sorta di evoluzione, invece che un estremo "more of the same". Si tratta chiaramente di un spremuta al franchise, puntando agli utenti più piccini che adoreranno quest'ennesima incursione nel mondo dei pokémon. Per tutti gli altri, le pochissime features inedite non valgono un nuovo acquisto e non resta che aspettare un Pokémon Mystery Dungeon che appartenga veramente alla nuova generazione.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky suffers from one-sided characters, an annoying mission structure, and the often-confusing menus. Suffice it to say that unless you enjoy Pokémon enough to endure the randomized dungeon wandering ad nauseam, the weak story won't be enough to keep you interested. If you want a Pokémon game, wait for the release of Heart Gold and Soul Silver in 2010. In the meantime, this is a mystery best left unexplored.
I just can't recommend explorers of Sky to anyone that has played the previous games. Hell, I don't recommend it even if you've never played Explorers of Darkness/Time. The game looks like a GBA game, and is chock full of lazy, dated gameplay. ChunSoft is a talented developer, but it'd be nice if it didn't keep making 15-year-old game designs. It feels like the only reason this game has a third version (or a second version for that matter), is because Nintendo knows kids expect it, and will snatch it up. It's a rip off, plain and simple.
Tirant sur la corde de sa série jusqu'à la défaire totalement, Pokémon Donjon Mystère : Explorateurs du Ciel est un épisode éminemment dispensable. Certes, les amateurs y trouveront des Pokémon inédits et le toujours actuel plaisir de la collection, mais devant un fonctionnement général aussi redondant et laborieux, il n'est pas garanti que ces derniers fassent plus de quelques pas dans ces grottes et ces forêts aux mystères plus très excitants.
All together, I don't think the Explorer games are particularly well done, at least not for someone within my age demographic. If you're a hardcore fan of the franchise I'm probably not going to talk you out of picking this one up, but if you're just a fan of rogue-likes in general, or RPGs for that matter, then I'd suggest avoiding this one. It's definitely geared for a younger audience, and the gameplay gets pretty boring a few hours in. The story isn't interesting enough to keep you involved, and the gameplay doesn't elevate past mashing attacks for combat. All together, it's a disappointing title, and not one that I suggest checking out.
There's one other thing that kept bugging me during this game: It's just Pokémon for the sake of being Pokémon. This world is a far cry from the typical regions like Kanto or Johto. Gone are the trainers and their tiny spherical prisons, letting their poor Pokémon out only to battle each other in fluffy gladiatorial combat. In Mystery Dungeon, Pokémon have built their own society complete with buildings, gates, and bridges. (Can you imagine the little scamps from Pokémon Red and Blue doing that ten years ago?) I can't help but think that these games would make more sense and perhaps be more enjoyable if Chunsoft didn't use the Pokémon brand to make them. Of course, that would likely cut profits in half, and if I could make a lot more money while putting in a lot less effort, I'd probably do it too.
All it does is add a few new pokemon and eight new dungeons. Most of these are in a set of side missions - but they can only be unlocked by playing the main game, which is otherwise near identical to last time round. Which means this isn't worth a fan's investment in either time or money.
We're being fair in giving Pokemon Mystery Dungeon a 2 out of 5, because it's not as dreadful as some of the crappy RPG fare we've dealt with. Still, that doesn't make up for the lazy recycling. There's barely any new content to sift through in this third chapter, and most of it fails to impress. Nintendo needs to rejuvenate this brand or scuttle it entirely. We're sick of going through dungeons. Show us something new.
Het huwelijk tussen Pokémon en Mystery Dungeon kan wat ons betreft niet snel genoeg op de klippen lopen. Er is op geen enkel vlak getracht de game te verbeteren ten opzichte van Explorers of Time en Explorers of Darkness. Het spel schiet zichzelf in de voet door een niche concept te versimpelen voor een doelgroep die weinig met deze hardcore tak van role-playing games heeft. De enige positieve kanten voor het spel zijn de schattigheid van de Pokémon en de Bonus Episodes, maar dit is natuurlijk lang niet genoeg.