Wii U Games We’d Like To See: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon
Now then, I am about to make a rather bold opinion of mine known. I think I may be more addicted to Pokémon Mystery Dungeon than to the main series of Pokémon RPGs. There… I said it. I have played every single version of the dungeon-crawling spin-off series from Red Rescue Team on GBA to Explorers of Sky on DS bar one: The Japan-only WiiWare Titles, Blazing Adventure Squad, Stormy Adventure Squad and Light Adventure Squad. Believe me though, if I had a Japanese Wii I would totally get these in my download pipe straight away. But alas I am stuck with a European one… Sigh.
It would be so utterly fab to be able to play one of my favourite series of games on a big screen and with a more 3D, less sprite-based appearance. Being unable to play these games has got me thinking, wouldn’t the Wii U be a perfect fit for a Mystery Dungeon game? Surely it would not be that hard to develop, what with the WiiWare games being controllable with your DS, which is frighteningly similar to the Wii U and GamePad control scheme.
I’ll get the most obvious reason why this would be great out of the way first. In previous games in the series, most of your screen was constantly taken up by a semi-transparent map of the level of your current dungeon and this is generally a bit of an annoyance when you’re trying to knock out a Zubat with your Zen Headbutt attack or whatever and there is a giant white map obscuring the process. Therefore, move it to the GamePad. Ta-dah! Problem solved, now you can see all of the action all of the time and still see the map whenever you want. Perhaps you could even tap with the stylus to zoom in on particular rooms on the map to see a closer look and then zoom out again to survey the whole of the floor.
A further way in which the GamePad will improve your dungeon crawling efficiency is by showing you the contents of your toolkit. Even in the DS Mystery Dungeon games it was annoying having to cycle through your items by pressing buttons. Now you can still have the precision of button controls for your movement and battling but use the touch screen to simply tap the item you want to use. Quick, simple and slick. Also, the touch screen could mean that you can keep track of wandering team mates. You continue to battle away on the TV screen and the GamePad can show you what your other rescue team members are doing, which is particularly useful if you choose the ‘go after foes’ or ‘go the other way’ tactic.
The online capabilities of the Wii U would lead to new rescue missions and storylines being delivered on a regular basis, making for an almost infinitely playable game. Perhaps mission packs can be purchased as DLC plus a free weekly special mission to keep players hooked once they’ve completed the main game. With the use of Nintendo Network and the Miiverse, you could call your friends for help if you fainted in a dungeon. This has been an option since the GBA days but what with frustrating passwords and the like, it was never really a feature many people bothered with. However, the excellent online functionality of this new console will mean that you can send your buddies messages begging for their assistance in a particular mission and this time around they will be able to come and help you out with far greater ease.
Maybe it is also time to see the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games from a different angle. Not in a philosophical sense… Calm down, it’s only a video game. I mean a different viewing angle. Previous titles have had a very basic top-down, 2D sprite-ish look about them. Don’t get me wrong, I adore these charmingly retro visuals but I feel that it may be time to move on. It would be utter madness to simply ignore the capacity of the Wii U as a visual device. We are talking full HD here, people! A Pokémon Mystery Dungeon game for Wii U must enable the console to show us its full potential. I may be going too far now but I really do think that it should be an option to play in a fully 3D world and explore dungeons in the modern-day Zelda style. Perhaps you could choose between three options: The traditional top-down sprite-based affair, the slightly elevated view of the Japanese WiiWare games with their Pokémon Ranch-inspired monsters or the ALL NEW fully lifelike 3D world with realistically high definition ’mon! Three-dimensional Pokémon are super awesome, just think of Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Colosseum etcetera and you’ll know what I mean.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games have until now always been tied down to handhelds. Now they need to be FREE. Free, I say! Do not get me wrong, I am well and truly pumped for the release of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Magnagate and the Infinitely Great Labyrinth but I need a home console Mystery Dungeon release. Neeeeeeed it.