This is my review of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX from the good folks at The Pokémon Company International and Nintendo. The game is a remaster of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue team games that came out around 2006 for the NintendoDS. This is actually my first ever outing in a Mystery Dungeon game, and if it was not for the demo, I very much doubt I would have grabbed a copy. Now, the demo does offer you the opportunity to bring across your saved data from the demo, but I really wanted to start the game again fresh. I felt like I rushed through the questions at the start and did not perform that well during the dungeons in the demo but the full game has now given me a second chance.
When you first start the game you are greeted with a ‘Welcome‘ followed by a bunch of interview questions that allow you to use the portal to enter the world of Pokémon. These are the questions I got asked along with the answers I gave.
Question 1: You Recieve a gift but you do not know what is in it, you are curious so what do you do?
- Open it Now? Open it Later? or Get someone to open it? I choose to open it now.
Question 2: Do you tend to laugh a lot?
- Yes? or No? My answer was no, I lost most of my humorous self when my daughter passed away and only laugh sometimes, so my answer was, NO
Question 3: Do you get the feeling that you have slowed down lately?
- Yes? or No? A simple answer for me there, NO
Question 4: You are suddenly locked inside a pitch-black room what do you do?
- Kick the Door? Cry? or Clean it? Most likely find the door if possible and kick it. Or sit in a corner and wait.
Question 5: Your country’s leader is in front of you. How do you speak to him or her?
- Speak Calmly? Speak nervously? Whatever!! Since I have a slight stutter when meeting new people most likely speak nervously
Question 6: You are going bungee jumping for the first time. Since its scary, you decide to test the jump with a doll… the bungee cord snaps. Will you still try to make the jump anyway?
- Yes? or No? Well no, not a chance would I.
Question 7: The road forks to the right and left. You are told there is a treasure on the right side, what do you do?
- Instantly go right? It’s a trap! Go left? or Whichever! choose on a whim? I would most likely for the treasure and take on whatever is thrown at me.
Question 8: Somebody calls you ‘weird but funny’ How does that make you feel
- Happy? or Not Happy? I would personally wonder if they are truly talking about me or are they drunk, but I would be happy.
Question 9: Do you want to play as a Boy or a Girl
- Boy, I choose that as I am a guy in real life.
After answering these questions the game chooses a Pokémon based on your answers. The interview questions are randomised, as I found out by starting the game over and over, yet I kept on getting either Charmander or Bulbasaur. So, in the end, I decided to go with them regardless. You can choose from a number of other Pokémon if you so wish, but I would keep to what the game gives you based on the questions it asks.
For this adventure, my Charmander is a boy named Finite and you also get to choose a partner Pokémon who was a girl Bulbasaur named Pippy.
Now the interview questions might have been the oddest part of the game, but it gets even odder when the game starts and you wake up seeing your adventure partner in front of you. You then find out that you were once a REAL BOY and now you are a Pokémon with no recollection of how this came to be.
This instance reminded me so much of Ryan Reynolds outing in the Pokémon Movie when Mewtwo put his body, soul and mind within a Pikachu.
With little to no time passed, a Butterfree appears, needing help and you are immediately thrown into your first Mystery Dungeon. Mystery Dungeons are randomly generated maze-based caves consisting of traps, enemy Pokémon to battle, items to collect and normally the reason why you are in the dungeon in the first place. For the first Mystery Dungeon, the reason was to rescue a Caterpie in danger.
I cannot say my skills as a Pokémon were all that great thanks to the first dungeon I had completed. I really had no idea what I was doing, apart from pressing L to auto-explore and then watching myself battle without choosing what skill to perform. My adventurous partner Pippy thought I was great and wanted to create a Rescue Team though. As this is the name of the game, you, of course, choose, yes, but I now wonder what would happen if I had said no.
Your Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Adventurers can consist of the general rescue missions, but there are other types of quests to pick up from your mailbox. Yes, you heard that right quests can come from your mailbox. Thanks to you registering as a rescue team, these mails are delivered by a Pelipper and they can make your mailbox look rather full. Missions can consist of rescue missions, collections, escorts, deliveries, and tasks just to name a few.
During your adventures within the dungeons, you will level up, learn new skills which will require you to either keep the new skill and forget an old one or keep the skills you already have. You will also gain a reputation as a rescue team with rank points, and get rewarded with cash and items when you complete a dungeon. How much you get and what you get is all based on how hard the difficulty of the dungeon is.
I found the start the game to be rather easy, I just ran through the dungeons without much care in the world, the later dungeons though started to become punishing if you did not strategise well. I would also recommend bringing along some Max Elixer to refresh your PP for your moves. Reviver Seeds and Oran Berries for HP are also useful and there are other items you can bring along too. Check them all out and decide what you feel is best to bring along with you. Preparation never hurt anybody.
When it came to navigating the dungeons I found the mini-map amazing as it would show at all times where enemy pokemon were and where items were placed. It made dungeons a little easier to navigate and helped in planning your approach.
You might be wondering if you can collect Pokémon like any other Pokémon game and the answer is yes. However, there is no need for Pokéballs this time around. You recruit them once you unlock and purchase the Pokémon camp from Wigglytuff Camp Corner. You simply recruit them by defeating them within the mystery dungeon and asking if they want to join your rescue team. You can now also recruit shiny Pokémon by wearing the Friend Bow. This is new to this instalment of the franchise.
I would recommend visiting the Felicity Bank on a daily basis, which you should be doing anyway, so that you can get free items every day. You’ll also get tickets to access Makuhita Dojo which can help you farm experience to level up your fellow Pokemon. You can access the Pelipper Post Office much faster thanks to fast travel from Diglett’s hole, which is found at your base camp. The base camp is the place you will be picking up all your missions from among other things. I prefer to traverse the stunningly designed area manually every time I wanted to head to the Pelipper Post Office though. I do not why exactly but maybe I just like to waste time here?
Now I had to check out the original games through Videos to understand what has changed and as expected a lot has. We have new designs, new animations and new graphics. There are all-new cut scenes throughout the game. Dungeons have been updated paying a good amount of attention to their detail and design, and boss battles have all new intros. Everything has its charm and uniqueness and even the Pokémon have their unique quirks. It’s a wonderful feeling and puts a smile on your face. There were some odd changes however which make no sense. When I checked out the original Friend Areas which in this game are called Rescue Team Camps, they are bland and boring. They lack any form of exploration which I feel would have been a great added bonus. I also feel as if the controls within dungeons feel old school. Up, down, left, right, then up right, up left, bottom right and bottom left only. You do not have the full freedom of control that an analogue stick provides, unfortunately.
I found that if you are struggling within a dungeon you can easily grind experience and level up within the Makuhita Dojo too. Is this a good idea? Does it make the game a little easier? I would say it does. Then you have the auto-explore mode by pressing L. This just takes away all of your participation in the game and allows the AI to decide for you. Exploration and choice just fall to the wayside with this. You do still need to retake control when you need to battle Pokémon though. I also do not understand why a Pokémon in front that you are not controlling spins when you move. There is one final issue too – Would you come back to the game after you have finished it? There is not much to do apart from recruiting more Pokémon and maybe helping people online. I reckon the truly dedicated Pokémon fans would come back but new gamers, or casual gamers possibly not.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch and can be purchased here.
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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
Become a Pokémon and build your rescue team from the likes of Pikachu, Eevee and Charmander to save the world through the ever-changing mystery dungeons! Get ready to explore a beautiful, reimagined world in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX for Nintendo Switch – a remake of the original Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance titles.
Product Price: 49.99