A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon is a role-playing game for Nintendo 3DS that has players take control over Pokémon, explore large indoor and outdoor maps, perform missions for characters, and fight each other in turn-based battles. There's cartoon combat, with plumes of smokes and stars, to suggest skirmishes and damage, respectively. This is the latest installment from the very popular franchise, which covers TV shows, products, video games, and more.
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What's it about?
POKÉMON SUPER MYSTERY DUNGEON is the latest in the best-selling Japanese role-playing game franchise and lets gamers play as fan favorites, including Pikachu and Riolu, who embark to discover a mysterious force that's turning Pokémon into stone. Though you can play as 20 different Pokémon, each with its own unique skills, all 720 Pokémon make an appearance in the game, allowing you to battle alongside both Legendary and Mythical Pokémon. Played from a top-down view, with many towns to visit, this game houses dozens of randomly generated dungeons, so no two games will play out exactly alike. As with previous Pokémon games, battles take place in classic turn-based style, plus there are many quests to find people or items and other challenges and collectibles.
Is it any good?
Though it doesn't mess with the formula that made its Mystery Dungeon predecessors so popular on Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance, this role-playing game won't disappoint. Gamers should love the sheer number of Pokémon available, to find, talk with, work for, and battle alongside. Because of the huge cast and randomly generated maps, there's a lot of content to keep fans glued to the portable device. The turn-based combat is fun and challenging, with a variety of offensive and defensive plays to use up per turn to emerge victorious, and you can collect items to equip ahead of battles to help you in the heat of the fight.
A giant map called Connection Orb connects you with other Pokémon and shows you new quests to complete as you work through this large adventure. The 3-D effect for the game works well, and compliments the catchy music, but be aware there will likely be some frame-rate issues when you advance quickly through areas; at least the choppiness ends quickly. With its intense turn-based battles, huge cast of characters, and high replayability, Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon is highly recommended for fans of the franchise.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the violent content in Pokçmon Super Mystery Dungeon. What are your thoughts on using Pokemon for battle? Is it an OK way to resolve conflict? What might other options be?
Talk about branding and franchises. If you weren't interacting with and collecting recognizable Pokémon characters, but instead they were a group of random characters, would you still play the game? Did you want to play the game because it featured Pokémon? What makes them so popular and engaging?
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