Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness

UK chart: Smash Bros. still victorious

Buzz! PS3 playing catch-up.

There's little change at the top of the UK all-formats chart this week, as Super Smash Bros. Brawl continues to fight off opposition from Battlefield: Bad Company at two and LEGO: Indiana Jones at three.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Explorers of Darkness

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Explorers of Darkness

Gotta rescue 'em all. By exploring dungeons.

Okay, so I have to declare an interest. My favourite game in the entire world, ever, ever, is a game called Rogue. It's a game created in 1980, in which you play the part of an adventurer who is represented by an @ sign. This adventurer explores randomly generated dungeons made out of ASCII characters and fights monsters represented by letters, and the game itself spawned a whole genre of 'roguelike' games - more complicated imitators that are enormously popular on the internet, where they can generally be downloaded for free.

We've been here before, of course. That paragraph above is exactly how I started my review of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue/Red Rescue Team. I could go on. I could simply reprint the entire thing here. But that would be a little bit cheeky wouldn't it? Passing off old content as new, trying to hoodwink your audience into enjoying something twice. But that's precisely what Nintendo has done with the new Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness. More so than any of the other incrementally differentiated Pokémon games, the new Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games are indistinguishable from the last lot of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games.

Yep, that's right: not content with releasing two different versions of the same game, Nintendo has seen fit to release four different versions of the same game - a bit like when Spider-Man #1 came out in umpteen different foil covers and everybody went out and bought them all because they'd be worth so much money! Except they weren't, and the comic was perfectly average, so it was difficult not to be disappointed. Similarly, although the game underlying Mystery Dungeon's shameless marketing-led makeover is decent enough, it's difficult not to be disappointed, playing through it for the third and fourth time, at the sheer rapaciousness of it all.

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Pokémon Explorers dated

Why July? Because Nintendo said so.

Nintendo has decided to release DS game Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness in Europe on 4th July.