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About Literature / Student Official Beta Tester Brandon Chan23/Male/United States Group :iconpokeumans: Pokeumans
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Literature
A Retrospective of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR ALL FOUR MAIN SERIES POKEMON MYSTERY DUNGEON GAMES.
I’ve been growing as a gamer over the years; having busted from my Nintendo-safe bubble and branching out into other genres and exposing myself to worlds I’ve never known. My Top 10 continues to change as I discover games that manage to click with me and draw me in, such as the viscerally enthralling BioShock Infinite, to the work about fun of Stardew Valley to the insanely absorbing Persona 5.
However there is only one game that will always sit at the Number 1 spot. No matter what games I play in future, I highly doubt there is any game out there that can usurp the love I feel for my number one.
And that game is Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky.
For now I’m going to take a look back at the Mystery Dungeon series as a whole; in what parts does it work so well, why a lot of critics seem to hate it, and what the later games lacked. I’m going to be spending the next 25,00
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Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Episode 4 - Part 1 by pokemonmanic3595 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Episode 4 - Part 1 :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 7 9 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 3 - Part 3 by pokemonmanic3595 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 3 - Part 3 :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 5 6 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 3 - Part 2 by pokemonmanic3595 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 3 - Part 2 :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 10 4 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 3 - Part 1 by pokemonmanic3595 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 3 - Part 1 :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 6 12 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 2 - Part 2 by pokemonmanic3595 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 2 - Part 2 :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 6 8 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 2 - Part 1 by pokemonmanic3595 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 2 - Part 1 :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 9 5 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 1 - Part 2 by pokemonmanic3595 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 1 - Part 2 :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 7 8 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 1 - Part 1 by pokemonmanic3595 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Ep 1 - Part 1 :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 7 11 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV New Teaser by pokemonmanic3595 Pokemon Challenges Gen IV New Teaser :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 7 12 Anime North 2017 Lucario Cosplay by pokemonmanic3595 Anime North 2017 Lucario Cosplay :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 5 24 Anime North 2017 Ryu vs. Brandon by pokemonmanic3595 Anime North 2017 Ryu vs. Brandon :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 14 10 Lucario and Renamon Anime North 2017 by pokemonmanic3595 Lucario and Renamon Anime North 2017 :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 17 4 Anime North 2017 Pokemon Photoshoot by pokemonmanic3595 Anime North 2017 Pokemon Photoshoot :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 5 7 Anime North 2017 Meetup! by pokemonmanic3595 Anime North 2017 Meetup! :iconpokemonmanic3595:pokemonmanic3595 6 5
Literature
Pokeumans Chapter 21 Sneak Preview~
Darren, Zygarde and I flew over the treetops, past many other villages and settlements as we followed the aura trail back to Otium Village. My perspective was very different now, I could feel a sensation of…presence surrounding me, like a veil of aura that covered the world like a fine thin sheet of fabric, awakened by the last gift Xerneas had given me before she was captured. Occasionally when I would peek down, I would see rising plumes of smoke from the burning villages, and could sense fear and anguish coming from the victims of the Pokéxtinction raids.
“Mew…how are we going to fix this mess?” I asked solemnly, the wind rushing by drowned out my words, but I’m sure he was able to hear me.
“We must have faith that we will be able to overcome these trials…” came his reply. It was empty at best, but it did make me feel a little better.
Zygarde was silent the whole time, moreso than it usually was. The canine creature squirmed uncom
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Dragon's Eye Sneek Peek
It was 10 o’clock at night at the Toddson residence.  Crickets were chirping cheerfully in the warm summer air, quietly playing their soft, familiar tune.  A cool night breeze occasionally blew past, ruffling the leaves on the trees for a moment before continuing on its way.  A golden retriever sniffed about, looking for some small furry animal to harass.  Inside the faded white farmhouse around which all this was happening, a sleepy Maddy Toddson was watching TV.  
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Literature
Children of the Revolution Ch. 3
A lone shadow moved its way around an empty room. Well, not quite empty. There were screens, a giant table, and a few chairs, but no one was in sight. For now. Soon, officers under Paula’s command would be arriving for a meeting, and the shadow wanted to make sure the room was well prepared for them. Or rather, just one in particular.
Mentally humming to itself, the shadow raised the height of the chair with its lever and mess with it a bit more. If it was correct, and it always was, this would be Art’s chair for the meeting. He was so going to get it.
Dashing under the table and phasing into the shadows, the first Pokémon entered the room. Kirlia and Gliscor. Despite appearances and personality, the two were quite the pair. Kirlia took a seat opposite the one the shadow had tampered with, and Gliscor clamped his tail to a beam in the ceiling behind and to the left of the lone chair, hanging upside down. The incorporeal shadow listened as Kirlia looked under the table,
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Journal
Guys... I need to tell you about something...
Last night, I was surprised by one of the most touching and amazing displays of love and friendship I've ever experienced in my life...
As I mentioned, the (attached) cord to my drawing tablet was severed inexplicably a couple of days ago and I was absolutely heartbroken about it. Singstar and Solarknight, my cherished, wonderful loved ones...
...I'm already getting choked up again...
...They gathered several people together and everyone chipped in to buy me a brand new tablet. 
I really don't know what to say. I cried for several minutes last night and could easily cry again about it before I know it. From the bottom of my heart, I sincerely want to thank the following people, who did this wonderful, miraculous thing for me:
Singstar
Solarknight99
Corbyn
Whoisthisgit
MirroredCroutons
Brandon Chan
Lade1rex
Skybluefox
Nimono
FlareZ
Words can't express how grateful I am. I'll try to find a way to express my gratitude to you all. I'd also like to thank my roommate, who helped me fina
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Literature
Please Come Home (Village Contest Thingy)
It isn’t the right weather for viewing a disaster and yet, here he is.
For this sort of catastrophe, you’d have expected it to be a dark, grey, dreary, cold day; overall, something that went well with the wrench in his gut. But today – well, today is the complete opposite, an almost comical contrast. There isn’t a cloud in the sky, and the lines of buildings stand crisp against a backdrop of dazzling blue. It’s a warm day, yes, but it doesn’t boast the kind of muggy moisture that sucks the life out of anything and everything that dares to go outside. A cool breeze blows through his fur, and the sheer beauty of the day keeps his gait relaxed.
Almost.
It’s a one–two–three–pause–four, an ugly hiccup in his step, courtesy of some rogue idiot who thought it’d be funny to shoot him up, see how far he got. The sound of his walk is painful to listen to in the silence of the street, or at least
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Critiques


This is by far your best animation. It's the perfect combination of a simple story-line and the crazy things you can do in the world of...

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My DA Family

Greatest People Ever

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I love each and everyone of you guys even if you aren't on this list! :iconbestbuddiesplz::iconsays2plz::iconpokemonmanic3595:

Please click here --> pokemonmanic3595.deviantart.co…


EMOTICON RAINBOW

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Shoutbox

QuietDenne:iconquietdenne:
Can we get more birthdays in the shout box? They save clutter. Anyways, have a good one Brandon :)
Mon Mar 5, 2018, 9:05 PM
Symburst:iconsymburst:
This is a message. Thank you, that is all.
Mon May 8, 2017, 6:41 PM
Personenamedguy:iconpersonenamedguy:
Hello persone who creates pokèumans stories. I am a young 14 year old Aussie / Malaysian / chineese who is very intreagugued with your work and I would like to see more form you. Your writing has inspired me to start working writing my own books And
Tue Apr 11, 2017, 4:22 AM
Flintpokemaster718:iconflintpokemaster718:
NOTICE MR
Wed Nov 23, 2016, 12:00 PM
Flintpokemaster718:iconflintpokemaster718:
SWIGGITY SWOOTY I BEAT A LEVEL NINE CPU
Fri Nov 18, 2016, 7:13 AM
Flintpokemaster718:iconflintpokemaster718:
KNOCK KNOCK IT'S KNUCKLES except not really its me
Mon Nov 14, 2016, 7:58 AM
HellHaunter02:iconhellhaunter02:
hi i'm new but i hope we can be friends (p.s i am starting a pokeuman story the first is out now check it out pls)
Fri Jan 15, 2016, 7:01 AM
PokeumanHybrid:iconpokeumanhybrid:
SHOUT! :p
Sat Jan 3, 2015, 3:05 PM
MegaLCRO:iconmegalcro:
CLOBBAH DAT DERE KIRBY
Mon Nov 17, 2014, 2:20 PM
TiffanyVaporeon1:icontiffanyvaporeon1:
hi!
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Why I haven't been working on Pokeumans.

Journal Entry: Sun Oct 29, 2017, 3:31 AM


Hey guys, it's been a while. And I have stuff I need to say.

So as some of you may have noticed; I have not uploaded a chapter of Pokeumans in over a year. In fact, I haven't written anything over the past year. I wanted to give you guys a few reasons why I haven't worked on the series at all lately and what's stopping me from continuing the story. 

1. My personal life - As you guys know I'm working in the restaurant industry and am holding down two jobs. These jobs eat a lot of my free time; I'm working basically 48 hours a week. This had left me drained, especially on weekends where I usually do nothing but sleep. The old chapters were written while I was at school or riding the train, I had free time back then and I don't have it now. 

2. My involvement with the group has dropped - I made a journal a while ago explaining this, but yeah. My involvement with Pokeumans has diminished over the year and I have left most of the work to the admins. As you all know I handed control over to :iconspoonerdog123: because I felt I couldn't be a leader. And honestly it's hard to feel that same passion for the group as I did when I was 16 years old. 

3. The flaws of OS itself - I have stated that the series has a number of flaws in it that are holding it back. The request characters, plot points, and other things I regret adding into the story. Because the story was written before it all blew up, the group has changed over the years, and this makes the flaws glaring. Yes, I had an Azelf in it; yes I allowed a Lucario with super powers into it, and I can't go back and fix it. One of the biggest things that are holding me back is the fact I brought an ensemble into the PokeDimension; my relationships with these people are no longer the same and I feel uncomfortable with the fact I made them important in the story. And honestly, I hate it when people try to use the OS as justification for their own rule-breaking ideas and trying to weaponize it against me.

4. I keep getting asked - This is nobody's fault in particular, but when someone asks me when the next chapter is coming out, it makes me not want to do it. It's a psychological issue I deal with.

5. I'm growing out of it - I think the main issue with me is that I'm simply growing out of Pokeumans. It was a huge part of my life, and something dear to me, but I'm getting older and working on other projects. I'm currently working on a murder-mystery novel called The Rats of the Sewer (which I may or may not post to dA) and continuing work on other sites. I still love Pokemon with all my heart, but I guess I don't love Pokemon as much as a I used to. It's been nearly 8 years since I wrote chapter one, and a lot has happened to me since then: I've changed interests, gained new friends, lost some as well. It just seems that the passage of time is affecting my love of the series. It's also affected my viewers as well; I'm not getting the same feedback as I used to. I feel like my work isn't being noticed anymore.


Now please don't take this journal as a sign I'm quitting the series. I really don't want to and I'm trying to gain more motivation (which is why I restarted Pokemon Challenges) to keep it up. But I hope you all understand why I felt I needed a break from the series and why I'm having a hard time writing more. Thank you for understanding everyone.

  • Listening to: Undertale soundtrack
  • Reading: Redwall
  • Watching: YouTube sketches
  • Playing: Super Mario Odyssey
  • Eating: Cocoa Pebbles
  • Drinking: Water

Activity


#Pokeumans Chapter 1 turns 8 years old today! Be sure to celebrate! :party:
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR ALL FOUR MAIN SERIES POKEMON MYSTERY DUNGEON GAMES.

I’ve been growing as a gamer over the years; having busted from my Nintendo-safe bubble and branching out into other genres and exposing myself to worlds I’ve never known. My Top 10 continues to change as I discover games that manage to click with me and draw me in, such as the viscerally enthralling BioShock Infinite, to the work about fun of Stardew Valley to the insanely absorbing Persona 5.

However there is only one game that will always sit at the Number 1 spot. No matter what games I play in future, I highly doubt there is any game out there that can usurp the love I feel for my number one.

And that game is Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky.

For now I’m going to take a look back at the Mystery Dungeon series as a whole; in what parts does it work so well, why a lot of critics seem to hate it, and what the later games lacked. I’m going to be spending the next 25,000 words talking about a series where you are a human who has been turned into a Pokémon and traverse through wondrous lands. In order to make it easier I’m going to divide the games into “series.” Series 1 pertains to Blue and Red Rescue Team, Series 2 pertains to the Explorers games, Series 3 is Gates to Infinity and Series 4 is Super Mystery Dungeon.

Before we get out of the way, I have to face the first obstacle: criticisms. This series is one of the most underrated gems in existence, but ultimately I get why so many people can be turned off (though IGN are still really stupid for giving Sky a 4.9.)  Most importantly, if you’re not into dungeon crawling, you will not enjoy this series.

The main problem with the all the games is that it can be very boring and repetitive for those who aren’t into dungeon crawlers, and becoming bored can happen if you’re not invested. The levels can be very tedious to grind through; especially the maze-like ones that have me searching through 20 different rooms before finding the stairs on the last one. The difficulty curve is unforgiving at times, being both too easy and remarkably hard. The fact you lose items when you are defeated is of itself very frustrating. The framerate likes to dip when you rush through sections, and the game loves to spawn really tough enemies when you’re on your last legs, making dungeons with 99 floors monstrously difficult to navigate. Also the quiz-mechanic that chooses your starter Pokémon in the first two games was something I’m glad they got rid of, having to restart over and over just to get the guys I wanted. In all four games the touch controls are just kinda…there I suppose. The pixel based art from the first two series was pretty much on its last legs, though there is a sense of charm to it. Again, each game has its own unique set of issues which some have been fixed to varying degrees of success. However, there is a reason Mystery Dungeon is so well loved, and I’m going to go through the games one at a time and talk about their strengths and weaknesses.

And we begin with series one: Blue and Red Rescue Team.

I remember being at a 10-year Pokémon anniversary event in 2005, and I fondly remember Pokémon Mystery Dungeon and Pokémon Ranger being touted. Even being the transformation enthusiast I am, the premise itself was intriguing enough for me to be excited for it. The DS was brand spanking new, and it was a great way to get introduced to the thing.  

Rescue Team has issues pertaining to something that’s common with the first game in any series; it feels more like a proof of concept. Again, with new idea like this, turning Pokémon into a dungeon crawler, there were obviously hiccups. While I do remember my time with the games fondly (I had Blue in case you were wondering,) it’s hard to go back to them because of the issues that came with the developers trying new things out and experimenting.

Firstly, the Friend Areas were a complete waste of time, having to essentially buy areas just to recruit new team members just seemed dumb, while making the recruitment rates so low that you’d have to kill ten enemies before even one offered to join. There’s also the issue of the fact that if your new teammate were to be defeated they’d immediately leave, as well as the fact you couldn’t gain any more once your team was full.

But the biggest niggle I had was the fact your team dissolved after every single mission, meaning before you went on an adventure you’d have to return to each different Friend Area to gather them all back up. Also this is just nitpicking, but I often intentionally left the mailbox full because I was sick of waiting close to a half a minute for Pelipper to deliver the mail. Despite all of these criticisms, the base game was still fun to play, and it served as an important backbone for the rest of the series; with unique and challenging dungeons letting you recruit all the major legendaries, and some pretty interesting side-stories to coincide with the main one.

Overall, there were many issues that made me question the developers, but what I can’t deny that Rescue Team did deliver in the place that defines the Mystery Dungeon series as a whole: the story. The story still holds up, and it’s just as touching as it was when I first played it. The twists and turns it took the player, and having the kind of ending it had still proves that the people behind it were fully committed to not just writing this as a spin-off, but an actual game for anyone to enjoy. I really did feel for the player as they were forced to flee for their lives, uncovering the cause of the natural disasters and their role in the world. It’s a special story that really does make you feel for the player and the partner and the world they live in (though the post-game completely relegates the player character to the side for the rest of it.)

But while Rescue Team had issues, it was a very important milestone. It was the first step into achieving something greater, something that would surpass it.

Series two: the Explorers series, in my opinion is the best of the four.

It’s the one that combines the most balanced gameplay with the most engaging story. Granted it’s not the best story out there, but it terms of both they work together in a way the other games haven’t achieved. I choose Sky over Time and Darkness because Sky not only fixes the issues with T/D, it also added in a whole bunch of new content that improved the story and makes it hard to return to T/D. It’s the height of the series and still unmatched in terms of story quality and gameplay elements.

Time and Darkness does deserve recognition for the changes it made to the formula; they were able to fix a lot of the issues I had with Rescue Team, though it too had problems of its own. The reworking of the recruitment mechanics were much needed, with the removal of the Friend Areas any Pokémon could join you at any time. The game also focused more on exploration rather than rescuing, allowing for more variety of missions you could do, such as hunting down criminals or looking for treasure.

To keep this review succinct I’m just going to go over the problems I had with T/D that were fixed in Sky. Firstly it gave us new Pokémon to play as; such as Riolu, Phanpy and Vulpix to mix up the usual batch of starters (and yes I always choose to be a Riolu.) A new save system at the crossroads meant you didn’t need to backtrack through the guild to save the game; they removed the damage animation from weather effects, meaning you didn’t get stopped every five feet to see yourself take 5 points of damage. You could also switch out party members with members you’ve recruited, unlike before where members were merely sent back automatically. And most importantly you only lost half of your money instead of all of it if you are defeated.

Sky also introduced further gameplay elements that expanded on T/ D’s structure to make the game more involving: Spinda’s Café and the Recycle Center were both amazing ways to use unwanted items, quests that were once locked behind codes were given away freely, an additional post-game mission Shaymin Village was included as well as new items called the Lookalike items. But most importantly it gave us five side-story missions, each with its own well-crafted tale that expanded on the lives of the characters we’ve grown to love; from the origin of Wigglytuff’s start as an explorer to the closure of what happened to Grovyle after he returned to the future.

This pertains to all three games too; but the postgame is probably the best I’ve played so far. It’s basically another story campaign that continues from the end game and just leads to a new adventure. This essentially fixed the problem with the protagonist’s role I had with Rescue Team, because the player and partner remain the stars of the show, even if you decide to brush them aside. Though to be fair it is easy to miss if you just play to story end and not know there’s essentially another game waiting for you afterwards.

But the one thing most people remember about this series is its incredible story. This wonderfully engaging tale which never fails to make me cry when I reach its conclusion even years after I first played it. It’s why everyone considers it such an underrated gem, the story was written by people who knew how to write a story, that knows how to play with your emotions and make you care about its world and characters. It also knew how to pull off a really great twist, with Dusknoir and Grovyle, and knew how to properly foreshadow and pay off certain plot details.

The game had this wondrous sense of camaraderie with the guild members, creating a wonderful relationship with the NPCs, each with their own eccentric personality that made them likable. Wigglytuff in particular was well handled; his overly naive and oblivious nature hid a very intelligent and quite frankly frightening persona. The only weak-link I would say is Chatot, his attitude (especially in Chapter 6) did grate a bit, though a later chapter does help rectify this.

But there are two characters that drive the story. Firstly we have Grovyle. As everyone knows by now Grovyle is introduced as a villain who turns out is a secret protagonist. Grovyle cemented my love of the species as well as an inspiration for my own character Reggie. He was an idealist who was determined to save the world at any cost; willing to kill anyone who stood in his way as well as knowing he’d sacrifice his own life in the process. The fifth side story “In the Future of Darkness” gave us the closure we didn’t get in T/D, expanding on his character, showing us his distrustful and cautious nature, but how his heart is set in making the world better for the future, and how he believes that life isn’t just about living: life is all about what you do with it.

The second is the partner themselves. I know I haven’t talked about the other two games in the series quite yet, but it needs to be stated that the partner in Explorers is still the best of the four. The partner characters in both Gates to Infinity and Super Mystery Dungeon have similar problems; they don’t necessarily grow or develop much, and therefore aren’t that memorable. Both have dreams that are their sole focus, but their dreams coincide with the gameplay rather than build on their characterization. In GtI, your partner’s dream is to build Paradise, which you do in-game. In SMD, your partner wants to draw a map of the world, which again is accomplished by branching out to more and more Pokémon. The partner in Explorers however is given a unique character development. Your partner in Explorers is what drives the story element. They start off as a coward; they have dreams of exploring uncharted lands but can’t even work up the courage to even sign up for Wigglytuff’s Guild. It’s really by teaming up with the player do they develop and become not only braver, but earning the strength to continue on and become a leader. When you get trapped in the future, and everything seems hopeless, your partner gains the will to not only find hope, but the resolve that you both will eventually make it back home. Ultimately the sad ending is well earned: your partner became who they were because of you, and that’s why their grief over your “death” is ultimately the most tragic thing in any of these games. Rescue Team’s partner was also pretty well liked, and the ending of that game did too have me in tears, but again Explorers built up on the base and made it truly shine.

There is one last thing I also need to mention, and its something I feel the Mystery Dungeon series needs to remember, is that the music in the first two games is really good. Music is an important part of creating the tone and atmosphere of your game, and the soundtrack of Explorers is what makes it special. The lively jaunty theme of Treasure Town, to the uplifting marching beat of Mt. Horn, to the ticking time clock of Temporal Tower, each soundtrack was masterfully woven into each scene, elevating it to something more.

As much as I love Undertale, and as amazing as that game’s soundtrack is, I can’t say it surpasses the pure emotion that wells up in me as when “Memories Returned” plays over a montage of your partner’s memories and grief for you. This is something the next two games lack, as for the life of me I can’t remember any of the songs that played during them, ultimately making each dungeon seem less memorable.

Ultimately Explorers was a high point of the series; and when a third installment was announced, I was excited to see the series brought to newer heights as we transitioned to 3D and introduced the fifth generation.

And then Gates to Infinity came out.

And it wasn’t what we thought it’d be.

This is the point where Mystery Dungeon ultimately falters. The next two games aren’t bad per say, but both lacked an element that made Mystery Dungeon work so well. And first up, we have Gates to Infinity.

I wouldn’t say Gates to Infinity was bad. Not by a long shot. But it’s wasn’t great either, and that was its biggest sin.

I’d say there are moments in the story that actually supersedes Explorers in certain aspects, especially when it comes to dealing with feelings of hopelessness and despair. The twists too were properly built up and actually managed to surprise me on my first play through. The twist of Munna being evil and Hydregion being good seemed reminiscent of Dusknoir and Grovyle, though it still managed to throw me off guard. I did like the themes of the game; feeling like there’s nothing to hold onto and that the world is hopeless and empty, learning to trust others and that there really aren’t truly bad people anywhere. And as far as the “sad” endings go, I did appreciate the way it was handled; with everyone you’ve met promising to never forget you. Plus, making the final boss a giant malevolent ice crystal was a pretty cool twist, which is something I do give it over Explorers. However, it must be said that the post-game is pathetic, and once you do the obligatory post-game mission, the game merely rewards you with legendary boss fights and challenge missions, though none were able to keep me playing for long.

However, where Gates to Infinity falters is in its gameplay, the crucial glue that holds the game together. If you’re not enjoying the gameplay the story is meaningless. I would compare GtI with Silent Hill 4: The Room: both had a very decent story that did try new ideas, but the gameplay’s mismanagements led to the games being poorly received, which is a shame because there was a concerted effort to improve the mechanics, but the few positive changes we had don’t counterbalance the issues it brought up.

Lets start off positive; what I did like about the gameplay. Firstly, it was cool to experience a Mystery Dungeon crawler in 3D, though it did sometimes make it harder to navigate. I thought the V-Wave mechanic was an interesting way to decide when it was appropriate to explore with certain teammates. The idea of Team Attacks was a pretty well-thought out idea as well as the way your attacks “level up” the more you use them. Speaking of which, I love the way the moves are mapped to the L button, meaning you no longer had to open the menu to attack as in the previous two games. But I think my favorite thing they added was the fact that all of your recruited Pokémon gain EXP, not just the ones in your party. However, these are small bits of positivity in a sea of criticism I’m going to throw at the game.

The first and most glaring issue is that they restricted the pool of player characters to the three Gen V starters, Axew, and Pikachu. I would even say Pikachu and Snivy are useless because you get Emolga and Virizion as part of your team in-game. They boiled down the number available Pokémon to just Gen V and a handful of Pokémon from other generations, but it feels like the world is just…less with fewer chances for recruitment of Pokémon you may like (and yes I am annoyed they didn’t add Riolu and Lucario.)

The second issue is that unlike in previous games you could only do one mission at a time: whereas in previous games you could knock out several missions at once if they took place in the same dungeon, in GtI you’re restricted to only doing one at time, which doesn’t help the already grindy-feel of the game. Even so, most of the rewards you get are building supplies. This makes traversing through the game seem tedious, like each mission is just an obstacle rather than an adventure.  

I think another issue with the game is…well the dungeons themselves. As I’ve said I remember each location in Rescue and Explorers due to each having a unique music track and each with a unique layout. The dungeons in GtI and in SMD are a wash; I can’t remember a single location because none stand out. All of them kinda…blend into one another and it seems like the namesake of the game are just obstacles rather than locations to explore through. And again, because of the one-mission mechanic, it made the normal dungeons seem unnecessary.

This comes to my final criticism: the game is too easy. It’s not easy in the sense of it’s unchallenging, but rather than give us any true difficulty they just made the levels longer and the enemies more tedious to fight. Somehow, the game is both too easy and frustratingly difficult. The removal of the hunger feature removed the need to travel through smartly, and introducing dungeon evolving seemed like a way to kick the play while they are down.

Now we get to talk about the most controversial mechanic they added: Pokémon Paradise. If you don’t know Pokémon Paradise was a town building mechanic where you were given a plot of land which needed to be landscaped and have facilities built onto it. Overall I didn’t think this was all that bad; the town building gave a sense of freedom and some of the mini-games were pretty fun and often rewarded the player for keeping up on it. But ultimately it really didn’t feel like it was needed, nor did it match the style of game Mystery Dungeon is.

Oh and also if you point the camera at a round thing it gives you a random dungeon to explore. I maybe used this feature like twice before realizing it wasn’t adding anything.

In retrospective Gates to Infinity isn’t the worst game I’ve ever played, but it can’t be denied it was let down by high expectations and poorly implemented decisions. But the pieces were there for a great Mystery Dungeon game: all they needed to do was take the warmth and heart of Explorers and fuse it with the updated graphics and new mechanics of Gates to Infinity.

And now we get to our final game: Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon.

Super Mystery Dungeon was probably (personally) the biggest disappointment in the series, especially because I stupidly let the hype get to me. It had so much going on for it, and it did so much right, but it couldn’t live up to the hype. Strangely enough, this game is an inverse of Gates to Infinity. To put it simply: Gates to Infinity has a good story but mismanaged gameplay, while Super Mystery Dungeon has improved gameplay but a mediocre story. The two counterbalance the other, and I just wish that GtI’s story was fused with SMD’s improved game mechanics to make the perfect Mystery Dungeon game. Sadly, it doesn’t seem like we’ll ever get it.

But first we’ll talk positives, because there are a lot more compared to GtI. This is probably the dungeon crawler’s most evolved gameplay yet; all 720 Pokémon (at the time) were available in fully rendered 3D and they removed the quiz’s necessity allowing you to be any of the starters in previous games. They reallowed you to take on multiple missions, once again allowing you to knock out several quests at a time, with the Connection Orb being like a mobile job board that can be accessed at anytime. The Looplets and Emeras allowed players to gain pretty useful abilities while exploring dungeons, which also stacked onto each other. Wands were a new item that I found pretty useful, even using them more than the Wonder Orbs. Alliances were a great evolution of Team Attacks, making the game’s pacing a lot faster, all while keeping the evolutions from the previous game. Super Mystery Dungeon also allowed for evolution right after the game’s story, which was a criticism for the other three games. Overall it was an improvement over the mismanaged mechanics of GtI. Now all it needed was an amazing story and we’d finally get our perfect game.

…Oh right.

You can have the best mechanics you want, but when it comes to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon the story is everything. When your gameplay is naturally grindy and tedious, story engagement is the most important part of your series, and SMD just barely made it over the finish line in that regard. The story isn’t that bad honestly it had me invested long enough to see it to story-end, but plenty of people I know didn’t like it, and after considering it, I know why.

Throughout Super Mystery Dungeon, I couldn’t overcome this sense that the game was “trying too hard,” in certain areas especially when it came to the twists and turns as per usual. Again, like all Mystery Dungeon games the story has its plot twists and villain reveals…but it doesn’t feel as genuine as the ones from the past. Having the final boss fight being against another object born of hatred seems to just be a copy of the last boss from GtI.  However the biggest area where this problem exists is in its “sad” ending. SMD tried to pull a twist on the standard formula and make the partner disappear instead of you at the end once you beat the game. However it completely falls flat, not a single quiver escaped my lips as it happened (well a little quiver, but definitely no tears came out.)

This holds true to one of the game’s biggest flaws: the partner. Your partner in SMD is annoying. Not just to all the NPCs, but to the player as well. They really came close to overstepping the boundaries of likability. Unlike in the other three games, the partner in SMD just comes off as oblivious and reckless, wandering into trouble without the foresight of their actions. And while they do grow throughout the adventure, it’s not enough to offset this feeling of “wow I’m stuck with this guy.” Again, it’s not as bad an issue after a few hours, but if you’ve lost investment by then, it’d be hard to say that I blame you.

Another huge issue with SMD’s story is that it takes far too long to anything to happen. In the past three games, you’d have a day or two before the game moves on to the next story section, but the beginning of SMD is a really long drag, especially when it comes to the school segments. Explorers was smart enough to keep the story flowing very fast; often only one or two free missions would pass before the next story section. This kept the guild life from feeling like a slog. Eventually you do move out of the starting village and into your new residence, but again it does take a while for you to even get to that point.

Still I have to give props to the team for all the little references and nods to the older games, a move that rewarded those who are already invested in the series and gives a bit more content featuring characters we’ve grown to love (though the appearance of Grovyle and Celebi from Explorers confuses me timeline-wise.)

And once again, the post-game is pretty pathetic, with another obligatory “post-game” mission that resolves the final act, but again once it’s over there’s nothing left to do but complete the Connection Orb and just unlock every dungeon. I do wonder why in these past two games the post game is so weak, especially when Explorers had an amazing post game that provided hours of content.

Now while I just hurled a lot of criticisms, I did enjoy Super Mystery Dungeon a lot and don’t regret buying it; but sadly I’ve only played through it twice. It’s not a bad game at all, and it was definitely something that series needed after Gates to Infinity. But I guess a combination of nostalgia and over-hyped expectations just makes anything seem lower in quality when it stands next to what Explorers accomplished.

Overall, I love the Mystery Dungeon games, and will always open my wallet for any new one that comes out (if they even still want to make them anymore.) I can’t deny that the love I have for the series stems from nostalgia, but its nostalgia that was earned through amazing story-telling and pushing beyond the bounds of being a simple spin-off game. Explorers of Sky will almost certainly never be overstepped in my mind because while it isn’t perfect, it manages to stir up feelings that few games can even come close to producing. And while every game has flaws, we are able to look past them to find the shining diamond in the center, with characters we love, to the adventures we went on; to the lives we’ve changed for the better. Mystery Dungeon isn’t just a spinoff of Pokémon, it’s something that anyone can enjoy, and anyone can pick up and get sucked into, and I humbly thank the writers and programmers who went out of their way to make this series something special.


…and also screw IGN.
A Retrospective of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
Well guys, I originally wanted to make this a journal but it was far too long. For the longest time I've wanted to talk about Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, why I love it, why I hate it, and why Explorers of Sky will forever sit at number one on my games list. In this review of the whole series, I discuss the strengths and weaknesses of all four main series starting with Rescue Team and ending with Super Mystery Dungeon. I hope you guys find this review enlightening, and if you want I'll be inclined to make more of these if you guys show enough support!

So for now, enjoy!
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Top 10 Favorite Video Games I've Played
EDIT: I've decided to update this list as I play more games.

Now I have a PS4, my opportunity to play more games has been opened up, so this list might shift every now and again :)

Yeah I decided to forgo the Top 5, since I've been playing more games lately I decided to make a Top 10! I plan on reviewing each of these games in YouTube videos (as soon as I get a decent mic) but for now I decided it would be fun to provide a one sentence review for each game. So, which of these ten are your favorite? Have you played any of them? If not, what are you doing with your life? 

1. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky - One of the most underrated gems of the Pokémon series, Sky comes together to form a wonderful adventure filled with heart, and it'll leave you sobbing at the end.

2. Undertale - A game unlike no other, this EarthBound inspired RPG is masterfully woven with an amazingly written story, characters dripping with personality, powerful emotional resonance, a memorable sountrack, as well as self-awareness that make it one of the greatest games of all time.

3. Persona 5 - Combining dungeon crawling and JRPG combat alongside an intriguing story with deep and likeable characters, along with really good music, Persona 5 manages to create an hours-long experience that's hard to forget.

4. BioShock Infinite - An engaging tale that puts a fast-paced modern shooter in an environment that is both visually stunning and dripping with narrative, with an ending that will really stick with you.    `

5. Stardew Valley - A humble little farming/life simulator that can absorb you if you let it, gives you a list of things to do with freedoms of which to complete it, and provides enough content to leave you coming back for more. 

6. Saints Row 2 - A sandbox crime-game loaded with activities ranging from streaking, spraying sewage and robbing liquor stores in a completely consequence-free environment, Saints Row 2 is the definition of pure mindless fun.

7. The Walking Dead - Strung throughout five episodes is a truly emotional roller coaster filled with real characters that grabs your heartstrings and refuses to let go during the entire heart-breaking journey.

8. Portal 2 - The perfect sequel to a perfect game, Portal 2 retains the charm of the original while building up on what makes the series so great.

9. EarthBound - A JRPG that is both serious and humorous at the same time, EarthBound is like looking at America (and other RPGs) through a fun-house mirror, and never loses its quirkiness or charm.

10. Portal - Humorous, intelligent, challenging, and filled with engaging puzzles and clever dialogue, Portal is perhaps one of the most perfect games ever made.

Formerly on the list

11. Splatoon - A third person multiplayer shooter that only Nintendo could've made; Splatoon is a unique take on the genre and provides us with endlessly replayable chaotic splatterhouse fun. 

12. Papers, Please - This indie game managed the impossible: making paperwork fun and morally tense at the same time.

13. Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story - A great addition to the Mario & Luigi series with improved gameplay elements, but what really sells it is that we get to explore Bowser as a character, both inside and outside. 

14. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - Zelda at it's finest, Twilight Princess takes the formula we're all familiar with and crafts an engaging beautiful story with it; also Link can turn into a wolf, which is awesome.
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Persona 5 is quickly becoming one of my favorite games of all time.
Oh yeah, I also bought a PS4. (Any recommendations?)
Pokemon Challenges Gen IV Episode 4 - Part 1
Welcome back to Pokémon Challenges! Your favorite reality sprite comic series returns with all new updated graphics! But the game is still the same; 16 Pokémon will battle it out each episode to win $1,000,000! And who gets the boot each week? That's up to you guys! Join me as we enter the fourth generation of Pokémon Challenges!

Wowsers, a lot happens in this episode! Granbull gets a prize! And someone gets flushed! And a new twist is introduced! And someone's up to no good! And Team Instinctive still hasn't won! Oh what kind of crazy game has this whole debacle devolved into?!?!?
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Should I make a wikia for Pokemon Challenges? 

64%
36 deviants said Sure, would be cool
36%
20 deviants said Nah, waste of time

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pokemonmanic3595
Brandon Chan
Artist | Student | Literature
United States
My name is Brandon Chan. I'm a human on the outside, but a Lucario on the inside. My three loves are Pokémon, transformation and reality shows. I'm the creator of the Pokéumans and Pokémon Challenges series, both of which I am very proud of. All in all I'm a friendly person and I try to make people smile.

:iconrainbow-pplz::iconrainbow-rplz::iconrainbow-oplz::iconrainbow-uplz::iconrainbow-dplz:
:iconrainbow-pplz::iconrainbow-oplz::iconrainbow-kplz::iconrainbow-eplz::iconrainbow-uplz::iconrainbow-mplz::iconrainbow-aplz::iconrainbow-nplz::iconrainbow-splz:
:iconrainbow-cplz::iconrainbow-rplz::iconrainbow-eplz::iconrainbow-aplz::iconrainbow-tplz::iconrainbow-oplz::iconrainbow-rplz:

Oh and please spell my username right. It's MANIC not MANIAC

I am a Lucario!
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:iconsawuscimitar74:
SawuScimitar74 Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2018
Hey there! Hope your birthday was a good one! I would've replied sooner, but I was busy at the time. :/
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:iconsolarisdragon:
SolarisDragon Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018
Happy Birthday!
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:iconjasperinity:
Jasperinity Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018
Happy birthday! :D
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:iconcalvin286:
Calvin286 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AND TODAY SPECIALS, we hav- *Interrupted* (Mysterious man: We've meet again... Chan-san) ('oh no, that voice...') *turns around* (Amon, I don't have time to deal with you. Can't you see I'm with a customer who's having a birthday?) (Amon: I'm afraid I must end your journey, ONCE AND FOR ALL!!!) ('WHA?' M-Motherf**ker, I don't even want to get involved in your... whatever you called it, didn't I even told you the first time we first met? That I'm taking your challenge as a one-time thing? Look at me, I'm a waiter working in this luxury restaurant, for christ sake! I'm not a f**kin threat to you or your... Amon Clan or whatever) (Amon: That means that you are determined to end us all...) (I'm not even pla-... F**k it, Let get over with this sh*t) *ADVANCING TO BATTLE: youtu.be/caXaMMKKsnU?t=32s*
()=for japanese
''= thoughts
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:iconbirthdays:
birthdays Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018

:woohoo: :party: :iconcakelickplz: !!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!! :iconcakelickplz: :party: :woohoo:


It's March 5th which means it's that time of the year again and your special day is here! We hope you have an awesome day with lots of birthday fun, gifts, happiness and most definitely, lots of cake! Here's to another year!


Many well wishes and love from your friendly birthdays team :love:


---

Birthdays Team

This birthday greeting was brought to you by: GazSpaz

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:iconlovecraftianthoughts:
LovecraftianThoughts Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy birthday!
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:iconpeanutbutterhunter:
peanutbutterhunter Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018
Happy Birthday!! :airborne:
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:iconjjjmadness:
JJJMadness Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
 candlescandlescandlescandlescandlescandlescandlescandles
 Scalpel (Left)Tini EyeEyesTini EyeEyesTini EyeEyesTini EyeEyesTini EyeEyesTini EyeEyesTini EyeEyesTini EyeTini Vintage Syringe
       bunch of smiley facesbunch of smiley facesbunch of smiley facesbunch of smiley facesbunch of smiley faces Eyeball  bunch of smiley facesbunch of smiley facesbunch of smiley facesbunch of smiley facesbunch of smiley faces
       bunch of smiley facesbunch of smiley facesTini Cleaver (Right)  Tini Preserved Heart Moving Eye Ball Cup Cake 50x50 icon  Broken Heart  Moving Eye Ball Cup Cake 50x50 icon  Tini Preserved Heart Tini Cleaver (Left)bunch of smiley facesbunch of smiley faces
       bunch of smiley facesPill AvatarMoving Eyeballs Cake Type 2 50x50 icon Virtual Retro LED - HVirtual Retro LED - AVirtual Retro LED - PVirtual Retro LED - PVirtual Retro LED - Y Moving Eyeballs Cake Type 2 50x50 iconPopsiclebunch of smiley faces
  GHOST HEART Moving Eyeballs Cake 50x50 iconVirtual Retro LED - BVirtual Retro LED - IVirtual Retro LED - RVirtual Retro LED - TVirtual Retro LED - HVirtual Retro LED - DVirtual Retro LED - AVirtual Retro LED - YMoving Eyeballs Cake 50x50 icon GHOST HEART 
Tini Vintage Syringe leftTini EyeEyesTini EyeEyesTini EyeEyesTini EyeEyesTini EyeEyesTini EyeEyesTini EyeEyesTini EyeScalpel (Right)
 candlescandlescandlescandlescandlescandlescandlescandles
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:iconjd22292:
jd22292 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
Happy birthday, Brandon! :D :party: :cake:
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:icon123emilymason:
123emilymason Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Happy birthday!!! Lucario Kicks Lucario Kicks Lucario Kicks Lucario Kicks Lucario Kicks Lucario Kicks Lucario Kicks 
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:iconwolf-rizer:
Wolf-Rizer Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018  Hobbyist General Artist
Happy Birthday! :)

Hope your days are doing well.
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:iconyarrix:
Yarrix Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018  Hobbyist Artist
Happy Birthday! I hope you have a great day^^
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:iconjustafan123413:
justafan123413 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018
Happy birthday!!
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:icona1993:
a1993 Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2018
Happy Birthday!
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:iconpfaccioxx:
Pfaccioxx Featured By Owner Mar 4, 2018   General Artist
Happy almost B-day!
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:iconjoshwilde007:
JoshWilde007 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
I made Augustus Ryukata too powerful. I don't know how to kill him.
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:iconpokemonmanic3595:
pokemonmanic3595 Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2017  Student Writer
Who?
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:iconjoshwilde007:
JoshWilde007 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2017  Hobbyist Writer
Augustus Ryukata, the villain of my piece.
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:iconpokemonmanic3595:
pokemonmanic3595 Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2017  Student Writer
Why should I care exactly?
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(2 Replies)
:iconagentsavant:
AgentSavant Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2017
Hey Brandon. I've always enjoyed your stories and made an account just to follow you so I know when new chapters come out. I want to write stories in the future but I'm still quite unsure about it. Any advice you could give me?
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:iconpokemonmanic3595:
pokemonmanic3595 Featured By Owner Edited Jul 19, 2017  Student Writer
My advice is to go for it and to listen when criticism comes in :)
Nobody starts out perfect, and never take people trying to help you improve as a writer as attackers
But you always have to start somewhere :)
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:iconagentsavant:
AgentSavant Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2017
Thanks for your advice. Looking forward to the next chapter!
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Flagged as Spam
:iconpokemonmanic3595:
pokemonmanic3595 Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2017  Student Writer
Look, being critical of my story is fine. I admit that my spacing was not good in previous chapters. The reason I have not fixed it is because I am working on other projects and do not have time for it. 

But mainly, I do not appreciate anyone telling me how I find my own spirituality. I consider Pokeumans as huge part of my life and you calling it "perversions" and that it's somehow harmful to me is so offensive to me. 

So you are not welcome on this page anymore. Goodbye. 
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