Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team

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.

Why does that matter? Because the latest Pokémon title is sort of the same game, except with pretty pictures in place of ASCII characters, and cute little Pokémon instead of letters and @ signs. It's the latest in developer Chunsoft's Mystery Dungeon series of roguelike games, most of which feature characters licensed from other videogames such as Dragon Quest and Final Fantasy, and most of which have only really been very popular in Japan. Now that the series has been allied to Nintendo's cash cow kiddie phenomenon on the Nintendo DS and GBA, it's set to hit the big time over here too.

The first departure from the RPG formula that characterises the core Pokémon titles comes right at the start of the game: instead of taking on the role of a trainer, the player is transformed into one of 16 Pokémon, on the basis of a personality quiz. Answering truthfully, because reviewers never lie, your humble correspondent ended up as Machop because of my braveness and a strong sense of right or wrong (perfect qualities for a videogame critic, I think you'll agree - but I digress). Once transformed into a Pokémon you'll choose another Pokémon as your first companion and from there you're on your way to forming a Rescue Team.

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