I haven't had much of a chance to play many of the side games but my all time favorite has to be the Mystery Dungeon series. The stories are so plot twisting (especially the the Rescue Team games) and I like how the pokemon talk and all that fun stuff.
I tried the Ranger series but couldn't get into. I might try Conquest one day. How is it for those who played it?
If you're interested and only if you're into the "gymicks" of the spinoffs i recomend the trading card game and pinball, both for the game boy which have fantastic soundtracks and are a ton of fun. TCG especially, still today i adore that game.
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Favorite Pokemon Spinoff series? Easily the Mystery Dungeon series. It was actually responsible for getting me back into Pokemon after a five year break (from after Ruby/Saphire, until before Platinum).
Long personal anecdote below Spoiler:
I wasn't sure if I still liked Pokemon after that long break. But the game looked similar to Azure Dreams on PS1, which I did like. So I rented Explorers of Darkness for the gameplay. Maybe it was since the starter and partner were Pokemon I didn't care for back then (I want to say a water and a fire from gen 3 and/or 4). Or maybe I just wasn't in the right mood. But, whatever the case, at first I quit the game for two weeks. Something about the dialogue and tone just didn't feel right to me. Too lighthearted, coming from someone thought he'd never use that line about a game after liking Wind Waker and FF9 UPON RELEASE and having to listen to FF7/OoT fanboys bashing both for years. Or maybe I just needed time to adjust to the ideas of rescue teams instead of main series and evil human mafias.
However, since I had a month of free rents and there was simply nothing else worth renting at the time, I gave it a second shot. I got a different set of starters. This time it ended up being a few I at least liked from back in the day (Bulbasaur+Pikachu). After a couple more dungeons then where I had stopped before, the story started to pick up. Before I knew it,
At (then) 27 years old.
I was staying up until 730am,
(after a long day at work that ended at 11:30pm.
When I had work that morning).
Playing a Pokemon game.
Once that ending came around, I was certain that I had not "grown out" of Pokemon. And ended up pre-ordering Platinum.
Both Explorers and Gates are among my top 5 game stories. Great music at times too. Rescue Team proabably would have been up there too if I had played it back on its release instead of AFTER getting severely spoiled plus AFTER the others. Great music in them too.
I also liked Conquest. Though I question only one move per mon and having some major content locked behind time limited wifi that doesn't work with all ds/3ds + wifi combos. so I missed out on one of the better parts of the game from what I hear.
I also liked TCG, but TCG for USA was a bit limited since we only got the first one here.
Pokemon TCG on the Gameboy was (and still is) lots of fun! The first PMD Games (blue/red or whatever) were also very entertaining (can't say the same about the rest though :/.) The Pokemon Pinball for the GBA was also pretty fun.
The ranger games are ok too, but they lack the replayability of most Pokemon games.
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I loved the Ranger series, those were a lot of fun and I was hooked in an instant. The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon ones were cool too, like I loved the concept of being transformed into a Pokemon and all, but it got, for me at least, tedious after awhile and boring doing the middle missions and everything
The Mystery Dungeon series, they have awesome stories and it is enjoyable watching Pokemon talk. Most of the characters also have great personalities, such as GuildMaster Wigglytuff's obsession with Perfect Apples.
I'm not sure if these count as side games but I loved Pokémon Pinball for the GameBoy Color and Pokémon Stadium for the Nintendo 64!
Awesome, awesome childhood games!
I can put Pokémon Snap as an honorable mention lol
The only side-series Pokémon games I've ever played were Ranger 1 and PMD:GtI. I hated Ranger, the circle-drawing was difficult when the Pokémon I'd be trying to catch would demolish half my energy or more in one blow. Even with cheats for max energy/styler level, I still couldn't beat the first member of the Go-Rock Squad's dual Camerupt in mission 10. I guess it was because I didn't have the right PokéAssists, but that Swampert would flee before I could grab it, and if I just skipped it, I couldn't backtrack and find it again later. Argh, so annoying! The story was rather boring, too, and... Go-Rock Squad!? Really? Even the name Team Rocket sounds more intimidating, and we all know that they're a bunch of epic losers. I've never tried any of the sequels, altho I'm sure they're much better. Guardian Signs looks pretty interesting.
Mystery Dungeon, on the other hand, was and is the single-greatest Pokémon game I have ever played. I'd never played the previous incarnations, and since Gates to Infinity would be the easiest to still find in stock, plus it has all the latest mechanics that tend to make life tons easier versus previous generations, I just jumped right in. The story started off kinda slow, with all the characters getting introduced piece by piece, the groundwork for the plot getting laid down early... And then suddenly, you're catapaulted into the thick of the action, and things just snowball from there! You get betrayed, you get heartbroken, you kick all the bad guys' butts in epic come-from-behind fashion... and then you have to say goodbye. I cried more at the ending credits than any video game has ever made my cry before! Sadly, after the credits roll and you return to the Digital--erm, I mean, Pokémon--world, sure, you get to evolve your heroes, but after that, there's nothing left to do except grind, build Paradise, try to recruit legendaries, and buy DLC.
Last edited by Paladin of Arceus; 25th February 2014 at 6:00 AM.
It has to be PMD, Pokémon Puzzle League, and Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Snap tied for third as my top three favorite spin-offs--in that order, though PMD and Puzzle League are very close. (I also can't decide between Stadium and Snap because of fond memories, thus why they're tied.)
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