I played the first Mystery Dungeon game, and this is basically the same thing. I was able to get into the first game, but got tired of it fairly quickly. I haven't played much of this new version, but the game play and setup was so familiar that I didn't feel like doing the same thing over again.
Personally, I would have rated this much lower, but I rented it for my eight-year-old son and he LOVES it. He doesn't seem to notice or care that it's just like the first game. He gets a huge thrill from meeting new (to this particular game) Pokemon and I already know it's going to be hard for him to send it back.
If you remember Sega's Fatal labyrinth game from the Sonic's Ultimate Genesis collection and liked that game, then you should try this game out.. The game does not really give you a direct control over who you want to be( I mean, come on, they ask you a bunch of random philisophical question to determine what kind of pokemon you want to be???? Why could they not just give us a list instead?) This game devolves in to a cheap knock off of fatal labyrinth only it has pokemon, and as a result it fails to impress.. It is not a bad game.. It just falls short by using an old game design that was abandoned ages ago. but with a few graphical improvements ..... At least sega fixed one issue, and that was in the ultimate collection where they put in a handy save function... This game does have a save funcyion too, but sadly it seems too be located in your bed at the guild, there is also another one that is unlocked later after you lose the first one otherwise you have only quick saves, and the auto save function... At least this game has shops and the labyrinths are not that big compared to Sega's Fatal Labyrinth... If you like it that is just fine, but I don't think that it is the game for me...Try Before you buy!
I was very reluctant to get this game. The first Mystery Dungeon version was BORING. All you did was go on missions you selected off the mission boards. That got old REALLY fast. This game is very similar to that except they expanded on it to make it much more fun. Now there is a storyline where someone is stealing the Time Gears and you are given mandatory missions you need to go on to advance the game. I still prefer the regular pokemon games to mystery dungeon, but this game was well worth purchasing.