Welcome back to where the Mystery Dungeon series all began! With this reimagining of the first entries, interact with fellow Pokémon, delve into dungeons and embark on rescue missions. However, it begs the question just how far a game can rely on nostalgia before the cracks begin to show?
This game alternates, having you go through dungeons to explore and battle Pokémon to save other Pokémon and go to the town that your team is based in, which is referred to as the Pokémon Square. In this section, you interact with Pokémon NPCs and accept missions, but most of the game is spent in the dungeons themselves.
To begin with, the game has you answering seemingly random questions in order to gauge your personality; once finished, you will be issued a starter Pokémon based off of your results, but this can be changed if you don’t agree.
As the original Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team games initially released on Game Boy Advance (Red) and Nintendo DS (Blue), they were, for all intents and purposes, the same game, albeit with some functionality differences and exclusive Pokémon. Therefore, this deluxe edition combines the games into one, with Pokémon featured from both games included.
Whilst traversing the dungeons, you’ll befriend Pokémon by either defeating them in battle or by giving them an Apple if they are in strife. This is essential to the gameplay as you’ll need to befriend other Pokémon to defeat enemies via power in numbers. You can go into a dungeon with a maximum of three Pokémon (yourself, your partner and one that you have previously befriended which can be chosen from your Pokémon Camps). However it isn’t as easy as all that as you’ll also need to keep an eye on your Hunger level, so don’t go wasting them apples. Later in the game, you’ll want to have a large team to choose from as the game gets quite challenging.
If your entire party faints, be prepared to have to do the entire dungeon again. I was quite disappointed to see that there were only checkpoints in the latter portions of the dungeons, resulting in a lot of repetition if you haven’t prepared sufficiently.
Item management is another issue as rifling through your inventory feels cluttered and disorganised; I often found myself wishing that the bag was organised in the same way that a core Pokémon game would have. The backpack you carry also fills up very quickly because your partner Pokémon will pick up everything that they see. If your bag reaches its capacity, any additional item will be stored in the Kangaskhan Storage that is surprisingly organised… why this couldn’t be this way with your regular bag, I couldn’t say.
You will be given Dojo Tickets frequently throughout the game which are used to enter the Makuhita Dojo. In here, you can bulk train EXP which can avoid you from mindlessly grinding. I would also highly recommend that you do this before any major story beats and boss fights unless you a big strong gamer that don’t need no dojo.
Speaking of boss fights, during, I wish you could see their HP level. Granted you cannot see your enemies HP no matter what enemy you are fighting however without it against a boss, it feels like you’re simply attacking and hoping for the best.
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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX contains absolutely no traces of HD Rumble, which makes the combat lack impact. This can also be said about touchscreen, which was surprising due to half of its origin being on the Nintendo DS.
Level / World Design
The dungeons are randomly generated which adds some interest to each one but overall, they are very simplistic and repetitive. You will quickly find that you’ll just want to get through them in order to continue on with the story and not for enjoyment’s sake.
Throughout Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, most of the story takes place in the Pokémon Square. The story follows your character and their partner Pokémon as they discover what is causing the natural disasters that are rocking their world.
The plot has good value for those who played the original games as there is a lot of nostalgia to be had, but for newer players who will go into the game with fresh and unbiased eyes, you may find yourself getting bored due to its repetitive nature (which is ironic considering the amount of times we have used the word ‘repetitive’ in this review).
Graphics / Art Direction
The art style is absolutely stunning, with a painted watercolour aesthetic that is easy on the eyes and makes the world pop. It is a wonderful reimagining of the original GBA/DS titles, taking the spritework and simply running with it in all the best possible ways.
Also on a side note, the pitter-pattering of the Pokémon you control is adorable… just saying.
Music / Sound Design
As the game is a reimagining of the original Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games, there are no new tracks or compositions to be mentioned. It does still have all the expected Pokémon charm.
Final Score: 71%
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a good reimagining, but it certainly lacks that extra mile that other remakes such as The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening have been bolstered with. It’s certainly a competent game that can be enjoyed by many fans of the series, but it won’t be my first Pokémon game I’d recommend for your Switch library.
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