Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX for the Nintendo Switch was announced by Nintendo Direct back in January. And it was mostly worth the wait.
The Mystery Dungeon series, which allows players to become Pokemon, was created back in 2005. These games have always taken a backseat to the main franchise games despite their great creativity.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is basically a remaster of the original Mystery Dungeon games. It combines Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team.
I was curious how this was going to work out, as I practically grew up with Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team.
The game starts with a personality quiz that involved some starter Pokemon as well as some other popular Pokemon from the first three generations. Nowadays, players have eight generations of Pokemon, which amounts to more than a thousand Pokemon. Would Nintendo use the same base Pokemon from the original games, or would newer generations be included?
Unfortunately only the original lineup of Pokemon is available for this game. It seems like a missed opportunity on the part of Nintendo. More Pokemon could have opened up more missions and new battles for players to interact with. And it would’ve added so much more to the game.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX‘s personality test seems like a gimmick at first. But it’s actually critical to the gameplay.
The personality test said I was firey, meaning I play a Fire Pokemon. But I didn’t want to be Charmander, so I went with Torchic instead. Players get to pick a partner Pokemon to hang out and explore dungeons with, so I chose Mudkip, the water starter in Hoenn.
While playing Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, I had a lot of nostalgic feelings return. From exploring the town to seeing the Pelipper Post Office in full swing. I couldn’t help but smile the entire time. Gameplay is fluid and all together letting the player easily move in diagonal directions. This was a concern with only a D-pad on the Gameboy Advanced when the original game came out. The new art style is also very pleasing to the eye, making it seem like the player is watching a painted film rather than playing a game.
I even found myself using the Makuhita Gym to increase level, which I had never done in prior Pokemon games. The gym was confusing to use, but I wanted my level gain to be genuine. If I had to go through five times the amount of dungeons for this stubborn view, then I was going to do it. Ultimately, I learned that the gym is a great tool. I used it several times when I would get stuck on boss battles because I didn’t have enough health or powerful moves. The gym helped me train and kept the story moving at a reasonable pace.
The story of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is the same as the original. The player is a Pokemon brought to the Pokemon world to save it from destruction. It even has the same end game as the original. There are only five bosses in the main story: the legendary birds, Groudon, and Rayquaza.
However, there is an after game, which seems to be the same as I can remember from prior titles. And it’s just as difficult. I never beat this when I was a kid, and now I find myself struggling to make it through again. This idea can make for great content but it’s frustrating and almost not worth it since the game is “over.” What more does the game have to offer? I can’t say because I haven’t made it that far and can’t bring myself to do it.
For the amount of content that is in the game, it’s a great find. But the difficulty seems a little high, making it almost inaccessible for the casual player. To pay a full price for a game that is only a fancy repainting of an old game is a bit steep. For those like me who remember this game from their childhood, it’s a great trip down memory lane. For fans of Pokemon and want to try a new style of game, this is also a great time.
Just be prepared for those difficulty spikes.
For me, this game is a nice callback to my childhood and a great way to use the new console. Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is available for purchase through the Nintendo eShop or physically at major retailers for $59.99. All photos in this review are in-game captures.