Put on your nostalgia goggles cause we’ve got another remake on our hands! This time it’s a remake of the 2005 top down tactical RPG, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team games originally released on the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX features updated water colour-like graphics as well as minor gameplay changes, but at the core of it all its very much the same game just 15 years later.
The gameplay of Rescue Team DX follows the same formula as other Mystery Dungeon games. Every trip to a dungeon the layout of the map is different and you have to traverse the floors by going up or down the stairs until you reach the end of, or you’ve completed all the missions in that particular dungeon.
On top of this, you also encounter other Pokémon in the dungeons and there’s always a slight chance that they may want to join your Rescue Team after you defeat them. One notable difference regarding recruitment is the increased maximum team size for Pokémon in a dungeon from 4 to 8. This is fantastic as you can bring more Pokémon home within one expedition. But it also hinders movement around the dungeon with so many Pokémon in your party.
The story is very similar to previous Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games. Things start with you turning into a Pokémon, meeting your buddy Pokémon and, somehow, by the end of the main story you end up saving the Pokémon world you’ve been put in. For this particular game you become part of a Rescue Team that takes on rescue missions to save Pokémon who have gotten stuck or require items in various dungeons.
The main story of the game is honestly pretty short and playing the same game again 15 years later, I would also add that it gets kinda cheesy but still brings a tear to my eye every time I finish it. However, the real meat of the game is in the post-game content where the difficulty gets turned up to 11 and tons of legendary Pokémon become available to recruit and use.
However, the post-game difficulty jump seems to be pretty wide as you’re scaling up to 100 floors in one dungeon compared to the 40 plus floors in the final dungeon for the main story. This is not only time consuming but also very repetitive. Additionally, the hunger feature has returned, having been removed from the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games after the previous Rescue Team instalments. The hunger feature allows your Pokémon to eventually get hungry and start taking damage unless you eat food. This means your inventory planning must be very careful as you could literally die from hunger due to the number of floors you’re traversing throughout the dungeon. This feature could make the game fucking frustrating especially when you run out of resources towards the end of the dungeon.
The best and most beautiful update has to be the graphic change to watercolours which not only looks beautiful on the big and small screen of the TV or the Switch. It also fits in perfectly with the theme and feel of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games.
Honestly, if there was one feature that sells this game, it’ll be the graphics. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX proves that you do not always need the hyper realistic 4k where you can see the cracks on that character’s tiny ass mole for a game look good–all you need is a design style that fits the tone of your game and everything will look perfect.
That being said, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX as a whole is a far from perfect game as it was back then as well. The repetition of the gameplay style honestly gets stale very fast. I personally feel that even though the nostalgia factor is there and I really had a fun time reliving my childhood playing this game, I would’ve much preferred a brand new game or an update in the story, or even more significant gameplay changes actually worth mentioning.
I would still recommend this to players who love Pokémon and want to try out something new or just want to relive playing the same game all those years ago, but I can’t see this game catering to an audience wider than Pokémon fans and tactical RPG players wanting to play something a little left of the usual.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is available only on the Nintendo Switch