What’s it about?
The Nintendo Switch recently saw the newest addition to its ever-growing roster of Pokemon games with Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX. The game is a sort of remake/remix of the series’ original games, Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team, which were released simultaneously back in 2005. For the uninitiated, these games are a subset of titles in the larger Mystery Dungeon franchise by Spike Chunsoft, which has been going strong for close to 30 years.
Together with a Pokemon pal of your choice, you’ll traverse randomly generated dungeons, rescue other Pokemon in need, and aim to become the best Rescue Team out there!
Luckily, there’s a lot to like about this one. For starters, the game features a beautiful painterly art style, which is meant to more closely resemble the game’s original concept art. This is easily my favorite aspect of the game. It adds a touch of uniqueness and charm that really makes it more memorable, and I hope they continue to use this style in future installments.
When it comes to gameplay, this game features the same tried-and-true Mystery Dungeon mechanics we’ve come to expect, with some welcome improvements. You’ll traverse dungeons in a turn-based fashion, battle enemies, collect items, and rescue Pokemon in need while recruiting new team members. Although you’ll spend the vast majority of your time dungeon-crawling, there is also a central hub where you can accept missions, purchase items, store your money and items, and even get in some training at a special dojo. It’s a very simple formula, but one that works for what it’s trying to do. Much like the mainline Pokemon games, Pokemon: Mystery Dungeon has not diverged from its core formula over the years. If you’re a fan of this series and the gameplay it offers, then you’re sure to enjoy this installment.
If you’re wondering about the changes this Remake brings to the table, there are quite a lot actually. Most of them are quality-of-life enhancements, such as an auto-save feature and various shortcuts that make playing the game less cumbersome. Those familiar with Mystery Dungeon will know that each game features a personality quiz at the beginning to determine what Pokemon you’ll play as. The quiz is still present in this game, but you can choose to override it and simply pick the Pokemon you want to be. This eliminates all of the unnecessary frustration from trying to get the Pokemon you want. There are lots of other minor changes and additions that I won’t go into detail about (including some new post-game surprises that I won’t spoil!).
The soundtrack is mostly the same as the original version, but that’s not a bad thing by any means. There are plenty of memorable tunes to enjoy here, with just enough variety to keep it from becoming too repetitive.
Pokemon isn’t usually known for having the most mind-blowing plots among RPG’s, but this one is surprisingly heartwarming. If you’re unfamiliar with the story featured in this game, you play as a human turned-Pokemon with no knowledge of your past or how this occurred. Mysterious natural disasters are plaguing the land, and you decide to form a Rescue Team with your partner to help combat the effects of these disasters whilst unraveling the secrets of your past. Overall, it’s a wholesome tale with lots of Pokemon charm to keep you engaged until the credits roll.
I don’t have much in the way of complaints about this game. As a remake of a fifteen-year-old GBA/DS title, it does its job and then some. It does admittedly show its age in certain regards, though. Although the graphics have been completely overhauled, the scope of the game still feels pretty limited. There’s not a lot to do outside of the dungeons, and the world is pretty tiny.
I also wouldn’t recommend playing this game for long periods of time, either. There’s plenty of fun to be had in short sessions, but you’ll definitely start to feel the repetition if you play for too long. Luckily it lends itself very well to short bursts of play with its mission-based structure. I just felt this was worth mentioning, as it can drag down the experience from time to time.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a great remake of a well-loved Pokemon spin-off. It feels familiar enough for fans of the original game, while keeping it fresh with plenty of changes and a wonderful new art style. If you’re looking for a fun, charming dungeon crawler, then look no further!