Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX Reviewon March 10, 2020 by GlennShiraishi
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a Roguelike dungeon crawler developed by Spike Chunsoft. It’s a remake of the first two Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games, but will the remake be as fun as the originals? Let’s find out in our Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX Review!
Reviewed on Nintendo Switch Lite, 30FPS
Graphics, Performance and Sound
The game has a cel-shaded watercolor aesthetic which makes it look like a storybook. It’s an amazing update from the original 2D sprite-based look and also adds a good bit of charm. In terms of performance, the game runs at 30FPS in docked mode, handheld/tabletop mode and the Switch Lite respectively, though to be fair with it being a Rogue-like dungeon crawler with turn-based combat it’s generally fine. On the topic of sound I really love how the soundtrack of the of the original duo have been lovingly recreated and definitely is sure to hit some nostalgic feelings of Pokemon fans who have fond memories of the originals as much as I do.
The story of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, much like the original duo, centers around a human who gets turned into a Pokemon and sent into the Pokemon World.
Whichever Pokemon the player becomes is determined by a personality quiz at the start of the game which asks you a few randomized questions that come in various flavors. These include asking if you have a cheerful personality, how fast you would reply to a text or even things like “Your country’s leader is in front of you. How do you speak to him or her?” which was the funniest, with an answer like “WHATEVER!!!” being a legitimate answer that you could pick.
Finally you get asked which gender you want to play as, and from there you get to see which type of personality you are. This is used to assign you one of 16 Pokemon. If you don’t like the one selected you can pick a different Pokemon instead. I was pretty content with the Pokemon the personality quiz decided for me being a Mudkip, which I named Shiraishi!
After that you can choose your partner Pokemon, their gender and nickname. I picked a Cubone and upon being a bit cheeky called him Ryuji.
While the setup of the plot is admittedly pretty simple, I really enjoyed the story line of the originals and the remake recaptures it well with likable characters and well-written dialogue with a lot of the charm the spin-off series is known for.
Like most of Spike Chunsoft’s various Mystery Dungeon titles, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX will have you going through various dungeons that will have randomly-generated floor layouts, items, traps and enemies. Each time you make a move whether it would be walking or attacking, the enemies take their action. Your Pokemon are able to move in the 8 main compass directions and during combat have 4 moves available.
The regular attack from the original game has been removed in favour of having the A button automatically choose a move the enemy is weak against. You can also select a move by using ZL and one of the face buttons – so for the longer dungeons PP restoring items are more important than they were in the originals. There are also some new moves introduced from new generations like Brutal Swing from Generation 8 as an example.
You can issue various orders to your AI controlled Party members with the Tactics meeting option in the menu – varying from going together, splitting up, conserving PP for their moves, going after the enemy etc. You can also manage if party members should use specific moves in battle or not. Along with that you also need to keep in mind how full your Pokemon’s belly is, as if it runs out they will faint.
Like all Rogue-like games, when you faint(either by falling in combat or an empty stomach) in a dungeon you will lose all your money and items. Your party members will be stuck in that specific Dungeon until they get rescued by another team via the internet, via a password of sorts or as an added feature from Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon, you can send out a new team of 3 or more Pokemon to explore the dungeon and rescue them. In that sense, good preparation is key to good exploration, this game can be a challenge with a good few difficulty spikes along the way.
Auto-mode is a new feature that you can activate with the L button that makes your party automatically explore the floor. It will be cancelled whenever the party encounters an enemy or by pushing the L button again. It is a pretty neat feature for those who want to cut back spending time in a dungeon.
Most of your time in Dungeons is spent exploring them or doing jobs that you get from the Post Office’s Bulletin Board. You can escape the dungeon whenever you clear them, however I often did the jobs in the same dungeon back to back since the jobs are rather simple to do. They vary from rescuing a Pokemon to giving them an item, or finding a specific item on the floor. You always get notified when you are on the floor the job refers to, and completing them nets you various handy items that will help you out in your journey as well as money that you can use to buy items and TM’s at the Kecleon Shops in the Pokemon Square and Dungeons.
You can recruit Pokemon after a certain point in the story – there are 27 different Pokemon that are able to be shiny and are hard to recruit unless you have a specific item equipped that raises your chances. There aren’t many new Pokemon added to this game aside from cross-generation evolution’s of some of the Pokemon that were in the original game and the Lucario line which were a cameo in the originals.
On top of that you have various other updates such as IQ Skills being replaced by Rare Qualities that have various effects from making it easier to recruit other Pokemon, lowering the price of items in the shops, boosted experience points and so on. There are also some new items like the Bank Orb.
The Dungeon crawling has the potential to get repetitive but it’s great for a game that you can take with you on the road on the Switch in handheld mode or on the Switch Lite and offers you hours of good fun exploration. There’s plenty to do, including the main story, and even a very robust post-game epilogue like the originals, where you can challenge more difficult dungeons and many other cool things. While I do wish there were more new Pokemon added, especially from Generation 8, since we do have added moves from Generation 8 in this game – I will not deny that there is a good selection of up to 418 Pokemon in the game to play as and recruit and I am very sure that folks who are into Shiny hunting will appreciate the addition of Shiny Pokemon.
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GlennShiraishi is a freelance writer for Rice Digital and a YouYuber who enjoys games, anime and manga.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX Review Verdict
This game adds a bunch of neat updates to the originals. The various quality of life improvements and the very charming cel-shaded watercolour aesthetic allowed this remake to recapture my fond memories of the original in a charming new coat of watercolour paint. It may not be perfect but I have enjoyed my time with the game and I definitely recommend it to the Pokemon fans who love the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series and have really fond memories of them!