We’re going back to the past in regards to today’s post. AOL’s instant messenger was alive from May 1997 to December 2017, and I remember using it so often to chat with friends after school during our early high school years.
Video games have always been a major source of inspiration for me. I started writing due to the Legend of Zelda. I started drawing due to Pokemon. Then there was a good friend and the Super Smash Bros. franchise helping me discover my passion of storytelling through the use of AOL instant messenger.
A couple of weeks ago, I was hanging out in Jett’s Stardew Valley stream and the chat went off on a tangent about AOL instant messenger and reminiscing about the good ol’ days of the Internet. Back near the end of middle school and for a couple of years in high school, my best friend and I tended to end our nights after homework chatting with each other about our school classes.
Somehow those AIM chats also evolved into role-playing with my friend taking on the roles of some of her favorite movie characters — like Professor Snape from Harry Potter and James Bond — and me playing some favorite video game characters, such as a multitude of fighters from Super Smash Bros. Melee, since that was the main game we played at the time.
That was actually the “setting” of our game. This sounds ridiculous as I type it out, but our AIM chat room was a “common room” set in between my friend’s boarding house for her favorite movie characters and the Super Smash Bros. manor. Not only would my friend and I talk, but we’d use different colored text to indicate what other characters were talking as well. We even had imaginary pets join our houses at some point because apparently we didn’t have enough characters clamoring for our attention.
With these characters, we went on adventures, crafting stories such as heading to a wedding venue for a couple of movie characters to get hitched to going to Hyrule to help defeat Dark Link. Dark Link in turn ended up being invited to the Smash Mansion, partnering with one of my original characters and turning into a pair of character archetypes that I use all the time in my novels now.
Creating these stories with each other helped us navigate through the middle school and high school transitions, and it was just a lot of fun to goof off with each other like that and virtually explore unknown worlds together.
Unfortunately, during the last couple of years of high school, our AIM conversations started to fizzle out with the need for jobs and filling out college applications. We grew up and moved on from our joint stories, but I still have the majority of our AIM conversations saved in an old flash drive. It’s nice to go back for a little spark of inspiration or just to reminisce again.
Do you remember AOL Instant Messenger? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
I’m still enjoying my time in Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the most part. There are definitely some improvements that could be made, especially to the crafting system, that I would like to see in future patches, though. This is my wish list for improvements to the game that I hope to one day see.
Weapon Durability Indicator
I actually like the crafting aspect in New Horizons. However, I would like an indication as to when my tools are about to break. Even a little hint, a pop-up bubble mentioning that the tool is feeling brittle or “flimsy,” would be nice. While eventually my island will have more bridges and such to connect the different parts of the island together, it is annoying to start searching further away from my workbench only for my tools to break without warning.
Craft/Redeem Miles In Bulk
I know I’m not the only one who wants this patched into the game. Crafting is great, but why is there no option yet to craft two or three fishing rods at a time? Why are we only able to create one at a time even when we clearly have enough materials to craft multiple tools and items? On that note, it is a little tedious to have to buy one Nook Mile ticket at a time. I would like the option to buy those in bulk, if you have enough miles, please.
“Preferred” Mystery Islands
The mystery island tours can be fun, but I have found myself going on multiple ones due to being disappointed at where I first landed. I’ve found myself at similar islands, and I understand the mystery islands are probably recycling several of the same types, that do not have the resources I was looking for and ended up racing back to my island to get another Nook Miles ticket to try again. Aside from possibly having the option to go from one mystery tour straight to another — if you have the proper amount of Nook Miles tickets in your inventory — I would also like a little bit of a choice as to where you end up. For instance, if Orville asks what kind of island I’m looking for, I can say one with fruit trees or plenty of rocks or long rivers. Having “no preference” as a response can keep islands more random.
“Write” DIY Recipes
Collecting DIY recipes is great and being able to mail and swap items with friends is awesome, but I would love to be able to “write” DIY recipes to send to friends. They can send me an item, sure, but I would prefer the actual DIY recipe so I can always make the item if need be. I have no idea how many DIY recipes there are in the game, either. I think it would be another nice way for others to connect by sharing DIY recipes with each other.
What features and mechanics do you wish were in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Does anyone remember Nintendogs? That game existed… it wasn’t great, but it was still a good one.
Nintendogs is a series of games for the Nintendo DS originally released in 2005. There are ten games in total within the series, all being essentially the same game. There are just more breeds (or different breeds) of dogs within each installment, eventually adding cats into the mix.
I had two of these games. Maybe three, but at least two. I only played one of them though. I had the idea that I would have every single breed and, eventually, get all the games in the series so I could complete my collection of dogs (and cats). That never happened, of course. I played the game on a regular basis much like Animal Crossing or The Sims. I needed to check up on my pups every day.
Of course, I soon got bored of the game, thus leaving poor Buddy and Julie behind.
Yes, I had two dogs – a male, orange Shia Inu named Buddy, and a female, white Shiba Inu named Julie. I don’t know why I remember those details exactly, but I do.
In the game, you can take your pup for walks, give them a bath, feed them, and teach them tricks. You can also enter them in competitions such as obstacle courses or frisbee throwing. From what I remember, the game did have some meat to it. However, it wasn’t easy to hold my attention for too long. Once you had fed your dogs, given them a bath and a walk – maybe not necessarily in that order – there wasn’t much else to do for the day.
Eventually, I got out of the habit of playing the game every single day, and, soon enough, I stopped playing altogether. I still have the games, of course. I’m sure if I turned on my original Nintendogs, Buddy and Julie will still be there waiting for me.
Overall, I remember it being a pretty fun game. Even after I stopped playing, I still hoped to collect all the games. If not to play, but just to have. You know, similar to collecting all the Pokemon games even though they’re fairly similar to each other.
While writing this article, I have the urge to take out the game and turn it on. Maybe I’ll try playing it again and do a review for it. It could be fun. I think it would be cool to revisit the pups again.
Did you ever play this game? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Everyone knows how expensive gaming is as a hobby, right? Thank goodness for indie games! For less than the price of first-party games, we bought half a dozen indie games to enjoy for a while. I believe all of these games are visual novels, or at least close to it, right?
Yes, ironically enough, these are all visual novels for the most part. This is fine because we both enjoy that genre and we haven’t played too many visual novels lately. These are games we stumbled upon or have been on our radar for a while. A first-party Nintendo Switch game is about $60. These games together, at the time we bought them, totaled about $48. So, we got six games for the price of one and we still could have gotten more if we wanted to match the $60. Overall, I think it was a good haul.
A rated-M game? On Double Jump’s Switch? We guess so since Blind Men was randomly found and recently released on the Nintendo Switch. It seems simultaneously ridiculous and intriguing since you play as an aspiring supervillain in this visual novel.
Florence is a shorter visual novel that takes its inspiration from the “slice-of-life” genre and is about a young woman navigating a romance that uproots her stale routine. Jett from In Third Person praised this game last month, and we figure we’re probably going to end up crying while enjoying this.
Coffee Talk has a few elements that really got us interested — fantasy characters, pixel art, branching storylines, and, of course, coffee! While we heard about this in passing, it piqued our interest, and at Michelle at A Geek Girl’s Guide seemed to enjoy what she played during her first look at the demo.
Murder By Numbers first hit our radar when we heard that Masakazu Sugimori was composing the soundtrack. Considering how much we adore his work from the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney series, we knew we eventually had to pick this up. Starring a pair of amateur detectives — one a former actress, the other an amnesiac robot — it sounds like something we’d enjoy, especially with all the praise that the game got from Adventure Rules!
Later Daters was a game Rachel came across completely by accident. When making a list of indie games to buy, she looked up other visual novel games and found this on Steam. Thinking it would be a game to try for later when on the Nintendo eShop, it popped up. So, we bought this too.
Speed Dating for Ghosts is a game Rachel found, although she can’t remember where she heard it from. Promptly forgetting about the game (unfortunately, a lot of games slip through the cracks that way), Rachel came across a tweet from Hannie at the Hannie Corner, who was playing the game. It immediately went back on the list of games to buy and try.
What games have you bought recently? Have you played any of these? Let us know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around!
This is chapter five of my Nuzlocke, a little shorter than previous chapters, but the ending seemed fitting. If you missed the first chapter or want to be reminded of the rules, feel free to go back to that post. Or, if you missed chapter four, that post is right here. Hope you enjoy this piece!
I felt like I was going to throw up.
I thought I would be fine with all this. We registered as Gym Challengers, got to the hotel, and even helped out the hotel by defeating this really weird group of people that called themselves Team Yell in a Pokemon battle. After Hop and I defeated them, another Gym Challenger introduced herself to us as she berated the group and apologized for Team Yell.
At first glance, Marnie seemed like me. From a small town, not quite sure of her place in the world just yet, but she surprisingly had a fanclub already. She seemed nice at first glance, but I was wary of her. What had she done in her life already to warrant a fanclub? Team Yell wasn’t the most orthodox fanclub, I’ll admit, but they were there just the same with banners of Marnie’s face plastered on them.
Hop thought it was great. She was another potential rival for him to beat to the Champion status, after all. Marnie gave him a crooked smile, humoring him, before we all went on our way the next morning to the opening ceremony.
Cue me almost getting sick.
I knew there would be plenty of pomp and circumstance about the Gym Challenge. It’s what the Galar region lives for. I knew there would be a gaggle of us challengers on the field in the stadium. I knew Chairman Rose would be there to give a speech. I knew the gym leaders — well, most of them — would show up.
I was not prepared for it at all.
“Kris, isn’t this great?” Hop shouted at me above the cheering crowds. If not for him at my side, I would have turned around and retreated.
Hop was beaming and waving to those in the stands, and he couldn’t keep still even as a hush fell around us when the gym leaders sauntered in. I stuck close, my friend helping to keep me grounded as the flowery speeches began.
The opening ceremony couldn’t end soon enough. All of the celebration just for the beginning of the competition made my head spin and I wasn’t sure what it would be like whenever the Gym Challenge began to wind down.
Yet, while I was ready to go back to the hotel or the Pokemon Center to decompress for the rest of the day after the ceremony, Hop was more than ready to keep going.
“The first gym is in Turffield,” Hop said, his voice still a little louder than normal — somehow — because he didn’t quite realize we were out of the stadium yet. His Rotom Pokedex up hovering in front of our faces with the map app open. “We just go through Route 3 then the Galar Mine, then a short trip through Route 4 to reach Turffield. Easy-peasy.”
“Hop…” I paused him before we reached the edge of Motostoke. “You realize this is the farthest we’ve ever been from home?”
“Yeah, it is,” he said, the wattage of his grin dimming just a bit. “But that’s what makes it so exciting. We’re exploring the world with so many other people and Pokemon. What, are you worried?”
“Yes,” I admitted. “You’re cut out for this, but I’m not sure about me.”
“Lee wouldn’t have endorsed you if we thought otherwise,” Hop said. He moved the map app on his phone and added, “The first three gyms are Turffield, Hulbury, and Motostoke. It’s like a circle. With your bond with… well, Bond”–I rolled my eyes as Hop grinned and continued–”and the awesome way you’ve battled so far, I think you’re going to be great at the gym challenge.”
“I’ve only really battled you,” I pointed out.
“And Team Yell.”
“Still.” Hop would not be deterred. “You’ve a full team of Pokemon already, too, don’t you? And we’ve crossed the Wild Area without any trouble. I think you should give this a go. See how you feel when we get back to Motostoke after getting the first two badges, yeah?
“Not gonna lie, Mum gave me an earful about being safe while on this journey,” Hop continued. “I know I’m really excited about this whole thing, but I am aware that it’s not going to be easy. It’s why I’m glad you’re doing this too. You got the whole level-head-on-your-shoulders thing going on. Because of that level head, though”–he poked my forehead–”I’m worried you’re going to miss out on a lot of things. You don’t want to stay in Postwick forever, do you?”
“I suppose not,” I said. I took a deep breath. “Alright. Two badges, at least. I’m just going to visit the Pokemon Center once more before heading to Turffield, make sure I’m stocked up on medicines.”
Hop grinned. “Perfect! I’ll meet you there.”
“Be careful,” I called as Hop raced off. He waved backwards and I watched until I couldn’t see him anymore.
Two badges. I could do that. My team would be just fine. We had a diverse group, and everyone was growing well enough that we’d be okay. Pokemon training was a tough but supposedly rewarding career. Everything would turn out fine.
At least, so I thought until Posie died.
Current Team: Bond the Sobble, Piccolo the Dottler, Ryder the Rookidee, Posie the Bunnelby, Freya the Oddish, Everest the Delibird Body Count: 1
Who is your favorite Galar gym leader? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
These past few months have been spent trying to find comfort with some favorite games, both old and new alike. While I haven’t found Animal Crossing New Horizons to be too bad so far, I’m finding myself drawn right back to some old favorites.
When Super Smash Bros. Melee first became a thing, there were a couple of Japanese-speaking characters that rose in popularity. Marth was a favorite fighter of mine and Roy was Rachel’s, with me favoring the speedier characters and Rachel enjoying the stronger attacks Roy had (and fire). Meeting these characters in Melee made me interested enough to find our more about the games they came from.
Fire Emblem was a series that used to be only available in Japan because of the difficulty level. Being a grid- and turn-based strategy game that pit two armies created with characters of various fantasy classes that included permanent death for fallen units, it wasn’t a series that I would have picked up myself had I not been intrigued by Marth and Roy. Sacred Stones was my first Fire Emblem game — I distinctly remember finding it amid Toys R’ Us’s much smaller video game section at the time — and it hooked me onto the series.
I was still interested in playing the installments that touched upon Roy’s and Marth’s history, but considering not many of the Fire Emblem games had been localized in the west, Sacred Stones was my best option at the time. The game simply titled Fire Emblem in North America existed, of course, but it was a difficult game to find.
Against all odds, my parents found a used copy of Fire Emblem but, unfortunately, the game’s internal battery was dead, not allowing me to save any of my progress. Years later, the game became available on the Wii U’s virtual console and I had restarted the game while waiting until Rachel and I could get a Nintendo Switch. It was great to go back to the game, but once we did get a Switch about a month later, I forgot about it.
My love affair with the Fire Emblem series has not waned, especially with me still putting hours into Three Houses. Considering how much I enjoy the series, I’ve realized that there are a couple of Fire Emblem games — aside from Three Houses — that I still need to finish. It may be time to turn my Wii U on again and finally finish Fire Emblem.
Have you played Fire Emblem? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Title: Animal Crossing: New Horizons Developer: Nintendo Publisher: Nintendo
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: March 20, 2020
How I got the game: I pre-ordered a digital copy from the Nintendo Switch eShop
Guys. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is here. I mean, it’s been here for a month now, but… it’s here and we can actually play it.
I have to say, I think Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the best Animal Crossing game yet. It’s been a month and, while I have skipped a day or two here and there, this game is hard not to put down and I’m addicted to it. Given to what’s going on in the rest of the world right now, I think Animal Crossing: New Horizons is exactly what we all needed at this time.
For the most part, this isn’t too much different from the previous games in the series. Yet, there are a lot of brand new features.
The point of Animal Crossing is that you move to a new village – or, in this case, a deserted island – and you build up your home, paying off your debt to Tom Nook. In order to make money, you can fish and catch bugs to sell, sell furniture, sell fossils, and the like. There’s a shop where you can buy furniture and other items for your home along with wallpaper and flooring. There’s a clothing store, a flower shop, and so much else to make your village and house your own. No to mention, helping out the museum by donating bugs, fish, art, and fossils.
In New Horizons, you start off on a deserted island that you build from scratch. The island has nothing but fish, bugs to catch, fruit trees, and rocks. Your house first starts off as a tent and the “shop” is a tent as well. Plus, it’s just you, Tom Nook and his two kids, and two villagers. With that said, you’re building a brand new place for people to live. You’re not just concerned about your own home, but the island in its entirety.
You can collect materials such as tree branches, stones, various types of wood, and iron nuggets to craft an abundance of items. These items are tools such as a bug net, fishing pole, shovel, and more. Plus, you can create furniture and other items that you can use to decorate your house or your island. Which is another difference between New Horizons and previous Animal Crossing games – not only do you collect materials and craft things yourself, you can use those items to decorate the whole island.
Now you need to worry about which couch to place in your living room and where to put a picnic table outside.
I love gathering materials and crafting items. It really adds a lot more depth to the game and gives you more to do on a daily basis rather than constantly fishing and catching bugs just to sell to pay off your house or buy things from the store to decorate your home. I have to say though, my favorite new feature is being able to decorate outside of your home and the whole island. I have a plastic kiddie pool in New Leaf that’s in the middle of my living room and it makes absolutely no sense. Now, I have that same plastic kiddie pool in front of Astrid’s house – she’s a kangaroo and I’m sure the little tyke in her pouch would love to go for a swim.
Speaking of things to do, a new feature called Nook Miles has been added. These are achievements for the game. Nook Miles+ is something extra which are daily achievements. Once you reach one, a new one will appear. It makes it so that when you’re playing and you’ve already hit all your rocks and shaken all your trees but don’t necessarily feel like farming fish or bugs for money, you can take a look at some achievements to do in order to gain Nook Miles.
Nook Miles is sort of a reward point system from Tom Nook. You can use these miles to buy certain DIY recipes for crafting or other furniture for your house and island. You can also use these miles to go on Mystery Island Tours. Similar to the island in New Leaf, you can head to another deserted island at random. This is a way for you to gain extra materials. There are rocks to hit and trees to shake. Sometimes, the weather will be different on these random islands than what’s currently happening on your island and you’ll be able to catch different bugs or fish.
All the mystery islands are randomly generated and no two are alike – or so I’m told – however, there are different kinds of islands you can come across. For example, the bamboo island will have bamboo trees for collecting. You can take them back to your island with you and farm bamboo for DIY crafts. The most common island is one that looks normal with your native fruit. The next most common, but rarer than that, is a regular island that has fruit trees that are not your native fruit. There’s also tarantula island, money rock island, and a few more.
On these islands, if you have space and have a house for sale on your own island, you can run into one villager. You can either invite this villager to live on your island or leave them behind. I think this is a pretty cool feature because there are nearly 400 animal villagers to move into your island and you can only have ten. I’ve always loved how random the villagers were, never knowing who you’re going to get, and always hoping for that one special villager. With this, you can pick and choose. It’s still random so if you’re looking for a specific guy, you could be searching for a bit.
The villagers have always been my favorite part about Animal Crossing and now they’re better than ever. They have more dialogue (not much, but still more), they have more emotion behind their words (the reactions do help though), and they do more than just aimlessly wander around. They eat donuts, sit under the trees, run like Sonic, sing… it’s great. Plus, the higher your friendship with them, the more they’ll interact with you and say more things. It’s great.
Speaking of villagers and friends, it’s so easy to have friends over to your island. You can invite anyone locally or via online. If your Switch friends have the game, you can just invite them instead of opening your gates to the world. Also, when you invite someone, you can become best friends with them and there’s an option to only open gates for your best friends. On the flip side, you can use a code to only invite certain people in. Just in case you’re not feeling very social but someone wants to sell their turnips because you have a better price that day, you can use a code to let that person in only.
The best feature of all though? If you’re best friends with someone, you can mail them letters. And it gets to them immediately. I can’t thank Nintendo enough for that one.
Overall, I have little complaints about Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I guess I would say I wish you can craft multiple things at once. I made a bunch of birdhouses one day because it the hot item at Nook’s Cranny and I had to build them one by one. If you have the materials in your pocket, it should ask how many you want to make. Although, I can live without that. It’s really just a nit-pick because I honestly can’t find anything else wrong with this game.
I mean, really… what can I say about the graphics and music? No matter what I say, it won’t do them justice. The music, as always, is great. It’s relaxing and calm but catchy. Animal Crossing was always known for its hourly music and also depending on the in-game weather and, for some reason, you need to unlock the hourly music. I don’t mind this and it doesn’t take long to unlock it at all. I just don’t understand why they made it something that needed to be unlocked.
The sound effects are a huge plus as well. It was always satisfying but now you can hear and see the wind blowing through the trees and your character’s hair. You can hear the ocean waves when you’re at the beach and listen to the waterfall. The positional audio is a nice touch as well.
As for the graphics, the villagers look so good. They look much more realistic than they ever did before. They have some texture to them – not a lot, but enough to make it noticeable and for it to look good.
I’m going to be playing this game for the rest of my life. I may get to the point where I don’t check the island every single day, but… I’ll play it for the rest of my life, yes.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons gets… 5 out of 5 lives.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
I’m a month late to the party, but I did recently buy and download Animal Crossing New Horizons for myself to see if all the hype around the game lived up to my expectations. So far, it’s not that bad at all.
The Animal Crossing franchise has always been associated with Rachel more than me. When it comes to laid-back, slice-of-life simulation games, I leaned more towards the Harvest Moon series and, now, Stardew Valley. Ever since the first GameCube Animal Crossing game, it wasn’t something that was for me.
I never minded the games. I’ve tried my hand at a few of them, like the original and New Leaf for the 3DS. The original had been cute, a novelty, with the villagers roaming around and being able to share a town with other people in the family was interesting. Rachel and I used to send each other the occasional letter and it was always amusing to hear the animal villagers ask us about each other. Yet, the idea of collecting bugs and fish in order to dwindle your debt just to expand your house for a collection of random items wasn’t my cup of tea.
Rachel has always been the collector. It’s one reason why she enjoyed Super Mario Odyssey more than I did, despite the game’s praise. It didn’t impress me as much as all the critics claimed it would. While collecting would always be a staple in the Animal Crossing series, having something other to focus on was one reason why I thought maybe I wouldn’t mind New Leaf that much.
For a while, New Leaf was fun. Being the mayor of the town and having a few ways to improve the place gave me a few more goals, but I didn’t continue playing it much after the challenge Rachel and I had given each other that enticed me to play it in the first place. Still, I made an effort, but even in my conclusion post for that challenge, I mention how I will leave the Switch version of Animal Crossing to Rachel.
Within this past week, I caved and bought New Horizons for my Switch Lite. I’m not even a week into the game and I’m already enjoying it more than the previous installments that I’ve tried. I’m quite conscious that this could be due to “shiny new game,” but there are plenty of mechanics that I don’t mind.
The crafting is fun, although I would love some sort of durability indicator to let me know when my fishing rod and the like are going to poof out of existence. It allows me to strategize, figure out which of my supplies I’m going to use to craft tools or if I should save them for something else and just buy the flimsy versions of the tools from Nook’s Cranny as a temporary fix. DIY recipes is also a type of collection I can get behind, especially since I also just unlocked the customization feature. Here’s hoping there’s more to the customization rather than just changing the crafted items’ colors.
The Nook Miles is an interesting mechanic as well, and I’m rather amused at Tom Nook having his own brand in the shopping network. Earning Nook Miles allows me to have goals while working towards them at my own pace, something that I enjoy in games like Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley. There’s always something to strive for on the horizon, but there’s no rush to get there.
The other main aspect about this game that I like is the co-op modes, both locally and online. Considering I’m not far into the game at all, I haven’t yet had the chance to visit anyone’s islands or have anyone come to my own little place — no, not even Rachel — but seeing how excited everyone else is about it, I’m looking forward to it. I would just like to make my island a little more presentable before opening it to others, haha!
Honestly, what really changed my mind about getting the game was watching and listening to Rachel as she spontaneously joined Jett from In Third Person on his island to try to tag-team the fishing tourney together for more points.
I’m still a new kid to this franchise and, even though I’ve only been playing for a handful of days — and even some of those days were just for an hour or so at night — I’m hopeful that I’ll continue to enjoy New Horizons for a little while longer.
How are you enjoying New Horizons? Any game that made you change your mind about a franchise? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.
Title: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Publisher: Nintendo
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.
Have you played this game? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!
Despite how low-key this past Easter weekend has been compared to previous years, it was still a nice couple of days. We mainly relaxed with our immediate family, had some good food courtesy of Mom baking up a storm, and played video games to escape from the outside world.
Aside from the sheer fun factor and trying to increase your skillset and reflexes, many people play video games to escape from reality. Due to the current state of the world, there is no better time to become a gamer. Indeed, I’m pleased with still seeing all of the Animal Crossing New Horizons tweets that grace Double Jump’s Twitter feed rather than the current news.
While I did download and start playing New Horizons this past weekend to see if I would enjoy it more than the previous versions of the game — because, honestly, Animal Crossing is more of Rachel’s franchise while I was always into Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley — I did start thinking about what other kinds of games I tended to reach for whenever I needed a break from the world. There are different kinds of “escapists” out there when it comes to gaming, after all. What kind are you?
When the world is going to Hell in a hand basket, sometimes you need a good game where you are the one saving the world. Playing the role of hero helps you to feel like you’re saving something, even if the effect is more so on your psyche rather than the real world. Strategy and adventure games like the Fire Emblem and Legend of Zelda series have the Good Guys versus Bad Guys — even if some of them are a little blurred around the edges — theme that allow you to become the hero of someone’s world.
Playing the role of God and creating your own world, forging relationships, perhaps even modifying the physical land as you see fit is probably the most popular kind of escapist games out there. The popularity of simulation games like Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley are testament to that. You can create your own goals and ensure that your world will be happy and successful. Having delightful virtual neighbors is a bonus, but it’s even better when you have an online multiplayer mode so your friends and you can create together.
On the flipside, perhaps you just want to vent in a safe environment. Shooter and war games like DOOM Eternal and Fortnite — even if they have entirely different aesthetics — gives players who want to taste a little destruction a place where they can do so. Rage in virtual worlds to help ease your mind and soul when they get too focused on the real world.
Puzzle games are fantastic for zoning out of the real world and zoning in on immediate problems. The Professor Layton series and games like Tetris 99 give you something to focus on in the moment and, when you complete a difficult puzzle or knock out that last rival, gives your brain some of that sweet dopamine. When you start to feel impatient with the real world news around you, try your patience at a puzzle game.
Of course, these are just my thoughts and made-up definitions. Still, it was interesting to think about. Personally, I tend to lean towards games that allow me to be the hero, what with me returning to Fire Emblem: Three Houses, while also having spent plenty of time with simulation games like Stardew Valley and giving New Horizons a try.
What kind of escapist are you? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below! If you liked this post, please share it around.