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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX

Posted by GG Goblin On March - 12 - 2020

A trailing Psyduck can make any mystery dungeon better.

You can’t move in the video game world for randomly-generated dungeons. They are absolutely everywhere and come in all manner of flavours, and with all manner of risks. However, for fans of Pocket Monsters, any one of those other dungeons could surely be improved by replacing the gruff hero with a Pokémon. Everything is better with Pokémon. Okay, maybe that is just me, but the latest Mystery Dungeon game on Nintendo Switch is a remake of the early Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games and is just packed with Pokémon goodness. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX casts the player as a Pokémon for a change and has them constantly running into randomly-generated dungeons for one reason or another, all while furthering the overriding story of why the player is a Pokémon to start with.


So, the player wakes up as a Pokémon, with no memory of why, and is quickly convinced to start a rescue team that will busy themselves going into dungeons to rescue lost Pokémon or collect some item or another. But which Pokémon will the player be? Well, a short questionnaire will cunningly predict which Pokémon would suit the players personality, but then the player can always ignore that altogether and choose whichever is their favourite from the decent selection that is available. Once the player has chosen their best friend Pokémon as well, then it is time to start helping.

Anyone who has played any of the Mystery Dungeon games in the past, including the games that have been remade here, will know roughly how it all works. The player will guide their Pokémon and friend into a dungeon that is randomly-generated and start exploring. Eventually, they will find whatever they went looking for in the first place, or find the stairs that lead to the next floor. Along the way though, they will come across various cool items to pick up, and other feral Pokémon to battle against.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon features turn-based combat, and the player will also notice that as they move through the seemingly grid-based dungeon, that any other Pokémon in the vicinity will also move, giving the player a certain level of strategy in approaching or avoiding conflict. While the changes from the original games are minimal, this time around the combat is more involved, in that the Pokémon have four moves to choose from, and the elemental factor from the other Pokémon games comes through with different moves being more or less effective against different enemies. The problem here is that each move has a set number of PP which diminishes as the move is used, and once all of the PP are gone, the move will be out of service until topped up.


The great news is that while wandering the dungeons, the player can recruit other Pokémon to join their cause. Firstly they can take on another permanent member of their team, bringing it up to three. They are than able to have another five join the party for any given dungeon. Add this to any potential additional members as part of a quest, and you can have a fun little procession of Pokémon wandering through the dungeon. This is great fun to watch, but it can become a little cumbersome when moving through tight dungeons that are simply not designed for such a procession.

But then the player has to get the new Pokémon to join them in the first place, and this comes down to spending some money. Having a Pokémon join relies on having the right sort of camp for them, and camps have to be bought using the money the player gathers in the game. However, it is quite possible to miss out on that much desired Pokémon by not having the correct camp, and there are so many of them. There is an item that can allow the player to purchase a camp remotely while down in a dungeon, but they are not exactly easy to come by.


When it comes to the difficulty, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon certainly doesn’t have the same level of challenge as many other games in this genre. But then any game featuring Pokémon would be expected to have a certain amount of family friendliness to it. Obviously, permadeath is not an issue, but players will still lose all of their loot if they fall in a dungeon, so there is still a certain level of risk and reward.

The biggest change over the original games comes with the visuals. There were a number of different routes the developers could have taken for this upgrade, but the watercolour palette and almost hand-drawn styling gives a really pleasing effect that only emphasises the adorable nature of the Pokémon. Admittedly, the dungeons themselves lack in variety or personality, but that is hardly rare for this type of game.

Where Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX does falter though, is in the repetition. While there is plenty of enjoyment to be had in heading into a mystery dungeon and finding the next floor and so on until the objective is complete, all while collecting loot and fighting other Pokémon, the game doesn’t really change beyond that. The objectives, whether they are part of a main quest or some side quest that the player has picked up, are all pretty much the same, and the dungeons get bigger and bigger in that the number of floors increases as the player levels up, proving to be a massive undertaking that can quickly become stale. The fact that there is an option to have the game pretty much play itself, aside from the battles, does suggest that even the developers felt that it would become tiresome after a while.


Pokémon are the real star of the show here, and are what will draw players to form their own rescue team. The whole idea of Pokémon going about an almost Human life when Humans are not around is quite fascinating to watch, and playing as a Pokémon is something all Pokéfans would aspire to. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a great looking game and packed with content to keep the player exploring dungeons for many, many hours to come, but the moment to moment gameplay will become repetitive. Still, Pokémon games are like Pokémon themselves, and the fans will have to play them all. As a remake, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is great and will entertain both the newcomers and the veteran Pokémon fans alike.




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