The random number generator has determined that the next game I should talk about is Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky.
It is the enhanced version of the games Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness, all three having an identical main story, with added storyline content in Explorers of Sky.
When it came out in 2009, I was not accustomed to playing the spin-off Pokémon Games. The few I had played were enjoyable, but at the time of Explorers of Sky’s release, I was very focused on catching all 493 extant Pokémon in the main series as my one and only goal.
Years later, I went about completing many of the Pokémon Spinoff titles, which brought me into contact with the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series. I had previously played part of Red Rescue Team, and so I started over and played through its entire story. I did the same for Blue Rescue Team, Explorers of Time, Explorers of Darkness and eventually Explorers of Sky. When considering what post-story content I should play, I decided that since most of those games are identical to each other, I would try to defeat all the “Picture Bosses” in only Red Rescue Team and Explorers of Sky.
Right after completing The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon WiiWare Trilogy in 2018, I went about trying to finish the final “Picture Bosses” in Explorers of Sky. Thankfully, all of the dungeons that you need to complete in order to meet that goal are ones in which you get to keep the level of your Pokémon when going into them. This is not the case in the Rescue Team series. I still need to play through the dungeon called “Purity Forest” in order to meet Celebi in Red Rescue Team, but I’m dreading it. You always have to start that dungeon with your Pokémon reset to level 1, and the whole thing is 99 floors long. It can take a person hours to complete, but at any moment, you can randomly have bad luck and fail, and have to start the dungeon all over again.
The last “Picture Boss” in Explorers of Sky is actually a seven part sidequest in which you have to fight seven different Legendary Pokémon at the end of particular dungeons. The secret to defeating them is to slowly level up while trying to complete each dungeon, becoming stronger after each attempt. Also, each time you try to complete a mystery dungeon, there’s a chance that the layout of the dungeon is particularly easy (having the player spawn near the stairs more often than not). Warp Scarves are amazing items to use as well when you have them.
There is extra content available in Explorers of Sky that was unavailable in Explorers of Time and Darkness. Most of that content is subtle, but some of it is not. There are Special Episodes, which are standalone playable short stories that add lore to the characters and events in the game’s world. There’s also a new place that can be explored after the end credits called Shaymin Village, where a lot of Shaymin live. Back when Explorers of Time and Darkness came out, we weren’t even supposed to know that Shaymin existed, so it may be possible that the village couldn’t be in the game for logistical reasons. The real reason they added Shaymin Village into Explorers of Sky is probably in order to be able to sell the game all over again. I have to admit that it is a shady practice, but I’m used to Pokémon doing this sort of thing (they’ve done it since the very beginning). It seems that I’ve become desensitized to when Pokémon sells the same game over and over again, and yet not when Nintendo tries to pull it off (See Hyrule Warriors).
Like most Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, Explorers of Sky has a well written story, and I highly recommend it. I still have a few more games to finish in order to catch up to the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, but I feel like it could happen one of these years.
Thanks for reading! =)