Who would have thought that a Pokémon game of all things would give me warm fuzzy memories of the good ol’ days when publishers actually put some thought into their packaging? But here we are with Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Various and Sundry Concepts, packed into a jumbo box that instant recalls bygone days of outsized cardboard boxes and enormous, in-depth game manuals.
Although it lacks the stupid T-shirt of Illusion of Gaia or the head-slapping fart jokes of Earthbound, there’s something about this box that warms my icy heart’s frigid cockles. Is it the elaborate packaging itself? Or it is simply the fact that it represents the Nintendo of yore, the one that didn’t trust its customers to comprehend the nature of role-playing games and gently held their hands by including books stuffed with the most fundamental information imaginable? Perhaps both! In any case, this package made me smile. And lord knows a cranky bastard like me needs all the smiles he can get.
The bad news is that this is one more RPG for my growing (and increasingly belated) review pile. It joins the esteemed company of Etrian Odyssey II, Final Fantasy Tactics A2, Baroque and Rondo of Swords in ensuring that I will never, ever have free time for my own gaming again for the rest of my life.