Pokemon Mystery Dungeon was, arguably, one of the worst games ever on the DS.
And I loved it.
And now there's a sequal! Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Explorers of Darkness!
Here's some changes from the first which, if you're not aware from the title, was a Mystery Dungeon game with pokemon collecting all thrown in and mixed up.
The main gameplay mechanic is the Rescue Team. It initially consists of the main character and his or her partner. After a successful battle, other Pokémon have a chance of joining the rescue team. During a mission, the most a player can bring is three Pokémon; the fourth slot is reserved for an escort Pokémon or a fourth Pokémon that wants to join the team. Another factor is team size. Every Pokémon has a body size of one, two, or four. The maximum team size is six, including new recruits, so if the player has a size six team to begin with he or she cannot recruit any more members.
The game is mission-based with jobs. Jobs can be found on the bulletin board, requested by mail, or initiated through story events, and include rescuing Pokémon, delivering items, or escorting clients. If the player successfully completes a job, they are given a reward. They also earn Rescue Points, which can increase a team's rank. Each mission also comes with a Wonder Mail password. In the main menu, players can input passwords for other Wonder Mail missions, so players can trade Wonder Mail passwords online.
Obviously, there's much more; you have the pokemon move set mechanics and type balance brought over as well as held items, IQ (which affects AI as you only have control over one pokeman in your team) and terrain and status affects.
Now, the known changes:
There is a guild for beginners. It includes multiple rooms with new Pokémon on every floor. The town remains the same from the original Mystery Dungeon with some changes to the shop owners. Two examples of owner changes are Duskull replacing Persian at the Poké Bank, and Marowak replacing Makuhita with the Poké Gym.
All 491 officially revealed Pokémon will be included to be obtainable although some will require special Nintendo Wondermail to unlock the event. This game will also have more exploring in dungeons rather than rescuing. Most starting Pokémon from the first game will be reappearing in this game, though a few of them will be replaced by the current fourth generation starters (Piplup, Turtwig, and Chimchar). Most legendary Pokémon can be recruited like the first game but for some, a special item which is known as the Enigma Part or the ancient Stone Plate is required, or a wonder mail code will be required. Also each version will have its own exclusives which are Pokémon that are only available in that specific version, for example Celebi will only be in Explorers of Time and Mewtwo will only be in Explorers of Darkness. All exclusive Pokémon from both version can be unlocked in only one version by using Wonder Mail codes. However, both Celebi and Mewtwo can only be unlocked in only one version by using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
The story is promised to be even more developed than its predecessor, and the issue of the thinning of the relationship between the player and his or her partner will be taken into consideration. There are also species related items which only affect certain Pokémon.
They've also changed the recruitment procedure; while it still helps to use a highly effective attack on a much lower level Pokemon than you to increase the chances of them joining you, in PMD2 you can't lose the new member if they get killed. In PMD1, a new team member would join you if you had space in the party and then you had to make it out of the dungeon with them in one piece, a tricky thing to do as you'll know if you've ever played a Mystery Dungeon game. In the sequal, once they join, you're done. Even if they get beat, they'll just teleport back to your home base. And no more Friend Areas! Every Pokemon is recruitable right from the get go. Personally, I liked the system in 1.
As in the first game, this game starts with a human (you) waking up after turning into a pokemon. You take a deliciously goofy little personality test to determine which pokemon you turn into and then pick a partner that will stick with you through the entire game. After the main story is finished, you can change out all the pokemon and start evolving them.
Available pokemon to "turn into" are:
One of those annoying "picture" movies from youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jvHIVHNIG7Q
A translated movie of the opening of the game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4gkGPFWf64
The very goofy Japanese TV commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6dyGWnjYfA
Lots of fun info over at Seribii.net and Bulbapedia as well.
I was a Meowth with a Treecko on 1 because I kept getting high scores in quirky and sassy in the personality test. I'm hoping for a Totodile and Pikachu in number 2.