I’m betting that many of the hardcore Pokémon fans that are based in the Western hemisphere sometimes wish that they could just up and move to a little east of their current location, specifically to the colourful, crazy, and downright surreal surroundings of Japan. After all, it seems that they always get the jump on us western slackers in terms of the release dates of Pokémon games, which is now more upsetting than ever before for fans of the Mystery Dungeon series Having announced the release of Pokémon X and Y which is set to hit shelves later this year in October, Nintendo have just gone and dropped another P-bomb on the Pokémmunity (patent pending) in the form of the (relatively) imminent release of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. Due for European release on May 17th, Gates to Infinity will be the very first Mystery Dungeon title to take advantage of the 3DS’s capabilities and from the screenshots looks to be an aesthetical light-year away from the relatively basic appearance of the previous games that were restricted to the hardware limitations of the lowly DS. You can just feel the smugness emanating from the Pokémon fans of Japan from here since they’ve been enjoying the game since November last year.
Unveiling the Mystery
As well as using the 3D capabilities of the 3DS, Gates to Infinity takes advantage of the console’s camera in order to bring the game into the age of augmented reality, allowing the camera to recognised round objects which will become Magnagates (this function is still speculative at this stage, but is mentioned in official descriptions), which in terms of the gameplay translates into the player being able to access yet more dungeons of mysterious nature.
The adventure itself is played through the eyes of a main and a partner Pokémon, and you get to choose between Snivy, Oshawott, Axew, Tepig and Pikachu. The Pokémon in the game will apparently be taken from the fifth generation of critters, and featuring relatively small numbers of Pokémon from previous generations. Thankfully, Pikachu is a dead certain, which at least means I can now sleep soundly tonight in the possession of this knowledge.
The game will possess a few debut features, perhaps the most notable of which is the ‘Companion’ mode which allows you to enter into cooperative gameplay with up to three of your friends, allowing you to play the game locally with anyone else who may own the title and a 3DS.
A first for the Mystery Dungeon Series, it looks like downloadable content will also be available from the time of the game’s release, allowing you to download some extra mystery dungeons from the Nintendo e-shop that contain additional Pokémon to encounter and extra items to discover.
Until May Cometh
Any further information I divulge to you would simply be wild speculation or recitation of facts from other sources, so until May 17th, I guess we’ll just have to settle for living our actual lives in actual 3D until Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity has us pounding the 3DS buttons once again.