Nintendo have released a demo - the first thirty minutes or so of their new Mystery Dungeon game, Gates to Infinity, is available for download straight to your 3DS if you go here for more information. A combination of much spare time and an unhealthy obsession with the franchise means that I have, of course, cast my critical eye over every second of released gameplay...
- Aahhh, the graphics. They have really utilised the 3D capabilities of the console, and, needless to say, watching the bobbly heads of you and your partner as they bounce up into your eyeballs makes the gaming experience all the more wonderful. The dungeons look incredible, perhaps most importantly, and the menu got a little spruce-up, too.
- This is only a slight modification, but it made me happy nonetheless: in the last game, there was a single move assigned to a hotkey, but in GTI each time you attack, you hold L and then select which of your four moves you would like to use. It will lose you a couple of seconds - which add up - but will encourage tactics for those of us who were too impatient to use any other moves.
- No hunger meter.
- From what I saw, there will be a couple of vaguely Ranger-esque additions to the gameplay, in that now and then there will be a sparkling object that requires your character's input to progress past; such as a tree that must be pushed over a gap. Again, nothing huge, but a combination we've never seen before that could potentially add a couple more interesting aspects into the game.
- One of the main plots of the game is to build up a community from scratch, and that looks to be a lot of fun. Especially as I will get to rule over it, presumably, and I am an overlord at heart.
- So far it seems to have a fairly interesting cast of characters, which is to be expected from the PMD series, but it will be hard to top the characters from the last couple of games, of course.
- NO HUNGER METER!
- There are only five pokemon to choose from for your starter, but you do get to manually pick which one you are. Your partner is chosen from the remaining four. The worst bit about this for me is that the choice is between Tepig, Snivy, Oshawott, Axew and Pikachu. Boo, Nintendo. Boo.
- After two games already, the general beginning of the plot is beginning to feel very samey. You are a human transformed into a pokemon and you are immediately rescued by a partner with the same personality each game, who instantly believes your story. The plot does fork off from that point, though, so I can forgive them the poached intro.
- Because the graphics are bigger and better, the screen is zoomed in. This means that in dungeons, you can only see about half of the tiles as in the last game. It's a sacrifice I'm not too upset about, but it does mean that the potential for ambush and therefore for death is going to be a lot more obvious.
- It doesn't look like water pokemon can walk on water any more. It was kind of irritating that if your main character was not a water type or a fire type that those dungeons were more difficult, but it was also a plus if you had happened to choose one of those two types at the beginning.
Yay, Pokemon! Gates to Infinity will be released in the US on the 24th of March, and in the UK on the 17th of May. The demo is available now, and is worth getting: your progress in the demo will be carried forward to your saved game later.