Now, i had to do this review, because we needed an un-biased look at this game. I had some expectations, i heard that this game wasn't all that great, but it was okay. I'm not the most eccentric pokémon fan, and so it was a stretch to try out this spin-off, but i stole it from my little sister and decided to write a review.
The first thing you notice are the game's graphics, which were originally planned for the GBA, so they are nothing special. It has a 3D like feel to it, and it is nicely polished. Pokemon games were never known for their incredible graphics however, and this game neither pushes forward nor backward. The sound and music is quite nice, on the other hand, and it is one of the few games where you will want to keep the sound on all the time.
The game starts off as you pick your character (by a quick survey of who you are), and then you pick your helping pokemon. The story line revolves around a trainer being turned into a pokémon, for reasons that no one seems to understand. The story line is nothing intricate or convoluted as would be expected, and it serves its purpose.
After you learn the ropes you dive right into the game, with exploring random dungeon floors and attacking monsters in a psuedo-RPG feel. The battle system is a little confusing, and there seems to be an unlimited amount of enemies on every floor. The game is more of the same as you go through levels that are never going to be the same, thanks to the dungeon generator that this game centers around.
Every few missions completed uncovers more information on the trainer's dreams, and his epiphanies that are discovered as a pokemon. But, it's hard to keep going when the levels seem the same, and there is little change to keep the game long lasting. In a nutshell you go into a dungeon, grab some different types of stat affecting items, fight pokemon using turn-based gameplay, and scale floors trying to find missing pokemon, and rescuing them. Variety occurs when you may have to fight some sort of legendary pokemon at the top of a tall mountain. You can even uncover new moves as you gain levels and experience during your missions, but it's hardly satisfying.
It's easy to establish a routine in this game, for it has little options. You can link moves together, and change your cast of pokemon, but it's always the same gameplay. It can be frustrating to continue playing the game if you lose a battle and have to redo a mission all over again, for it's so repetitive.
If you're looking for the game of the year, this isn't it. It's a good time waster, and has some lasting appeal, but it is nothing when compared to the regular series, but it will hold you over until the next Pokemon series hits the US.