Title: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Category: Role-Playing, Adventure
Release Date: March 6, 2020
How I got the game: I pre-ordered a digital copy from the Nintendo Switch eShop
For years I’ve been wanting another Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game. I would have loved to have a brand new game, but having a remaster of the original Pokemon Mystery Dungeons felt like playing a whole new game anywhere. I’m happy they haven’t forgotten about the Mystery Dungeon series.
You turn into a Pokemon without having any memory other than the fact that you once were a human. You don’t know how you got to the Pokemon world or why you were turned into a Pokemon in the first place. You wake up from another Pokemon, your partner Pokemon, and together, you unravel the mystery as to who you were before and why you turned into a Pokemon in the first place.
All the while, you start a rescue team with this Pokemon. You go into mystery dungeons to help other Pokemon in need. Meanwhile, natural disasters are happening all over the Pokemon world. You head out on an adventure to find out what’s causing them and how to get them to stop. This involves tracking down certain legendary Pokemon and not only battling them, but asking for their help.
You’ll soon find out that you’re connected with these natural disasters, but… I won’t say anymore due to spoilers in case you’ve never played the original games (or simply forgot, as I did).
The game begins with a fun quiz to determine what kind of Pokemon you are. These questions are simple since the game is generally targeted at a younger age anyway. Most of them are “what would you do” situations with multiple choice answers. Taking the quiz was always one of my favorite parts of playing the game. Your result will share some personality information about you depending on your answers and, most of the time, it’s pretty accurate.
This time around, I was a Torchic, which is fitting. I always go for the fire starters so I didn’t mind being a fire-type Pokemon. Then you get to choose your partner Pokemon, of a different type. So, all the fire-type Pokemon were taken away from my choices. I ended up choosing Psyduck – he’s one of my favorites.
Then the game officially begins with you waking up on the beach and your partner finding you, poking you, to wake you up. As the two of you get slightly acquainted, you’re interrupted by a Butterfree worried about her baby Caterpie, who is lost in a mystery dungeon somewhere. Thus, you and your partner Pokemon go on their first adventure.
This is a tutorial, showing you how to play the game. You’re in front with your partner Pokemon behind you. However, in this version, you can switch the leader. So, if you wanted to play as your partner, you could have him be the “leader” thus switching roles. Whoever the leader is, the partner will follow behind and, if an enemy Pokemon gets too close, they’ll attack. You can tell your partner what to do by either having them go off on their own (which will show you more of the map and help you find where the stairs are faster), have them run when an enemy is nearby (which is useful when their health is low), or have them attack when they see an enemy. I personally had them always attack because it made it easier for me and it made it seem like the AI was smarter in that sense.
Each dungeon is randomly generated. The map appears as you enter new rooms and hallways, however, you can see where enemies (represented by a red dot) and items (represented by a blue dot) are. The stairs are hidden until you enter the room where the stairs are and then you’ll see a white square appear on the map. If you need to rescue a Pokemon or have to find an item for a Pokemon, that’s represented by a light blue dot and, once you reach the floor of your destination, the game will tell you so you don’t accidentally move onto the next floor. Once you go up or down the stairs, there’s no going back.
Each area has a certain number of floors. The farther you are in the game, the longer the dungeons are. However, these dungeons are quick for the most part and (fairly) easy to get through. A lot can happen in the dungeons other than searching for the Pokemon you need to rescue or for the stairs to keep moving forward. Something new added in this game that wasn’t in the original is that sometimes you’ll find fainted Pokemon in the dungeons. If you give them an apple, they’ll be revived and ask to join your team.
Allowing other Pokemon to join your team isn’t a new feature. However, if I remember correctly, you could have teams of four (including yourself) and only add one or two more Pokemon to trail behind you if you find new recruits on your journey. In this version, you can only have teams of three (but can create multiple sets of teams) and you can recruit up to five or six Pokemon. (I believe. I honestly forget the right number.)
Once the job is complete, you can either exit the dungeon right away or continue until you reach the highest floor. If I was in good shape, I often continued until I finished the whole dungeon so I could collect more items and battle more Pokemon to earn experience points.
Yes, just like any other Pokemon game, you earn experience points after defeating a Pokemon. You level up, boosting you stats, and ultimately, being able to evolve. However, evolution only unlocks once you beat the main story. I don’t understand why, but that’s the way it is.
Aside from the main story, your rescue team can accept rescue jobs. After completing a job, you’ll earn rank points. Leveling up your rank gives you team a boost such as being able to accept more jobs, unlocking new areas, and – the best part – having more inventory space.
I have a great time with this game. My only complaint about it is that I wish it were longer. Sure, you can continue to play the game once the main story is over. (The main should take less than 20 hours to complete.) However, I would have loved to see more meat for the story and have the opportunity to do more. Plus, my Pokemon and partner were around level 30 when I beat the main story. A main Pokemon game needs to have your team in the 60s or so when you beat the main story. I would have liked to further them a bit more before defeating the final boss.
After playing Pokemon Blue Mystery Dungeon and Pokemon Red Mystery Dungeon on the Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance respectively, it was great to see the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon in HD glory with crisp graphics on the Nintendo Switch. Other than remastering the graphics, I don’t think they wanted to stray too far from the Mystery Dungeon graphics that we all know, love, and easily recognize. This was fine with me. I think it worked.
As for music, the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games were always on my favorite soundtracks list. The music in this game is, I’m pretty sure, the same as it was when the games originally came out. (Though remastered a bit, I’m sure). I love every bit of music in the game. The soundtrack is awesome. One of my favorite gaming soundtracks is Paper Mario from the Nintendo 64. The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon music is similar to Paper Mario, which I think it why I love it so much. It’s always so catchy.
I can see myself going back to this game. I hoped there would have been more than one save file unlike the original games, but alas, there’s still just the one save file. However, on the Nintendo Switch, if you have multiple profiles you can easily restart the game without deleting your original playthrough. Whether you start it over or not, there are other things to do in the game once you beat the main story. You can still take on jobs and level up your Pokemon. I’m sure I’ll pick this one back up again in the future, especially while I wait for either another Mystery Dngeon remake or a brand new Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game for the Switch.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX gets…
4 out of 5 lives.