Review: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon
Ready for the main Pokémon line? Finished with Sword and Shield? Still a Pokemon fan? Then a re-make of the well-known Mystery Dungeon has come on the market for you!
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a mouthful. In the main line Pokémon games, of course, we mainly follow the child who goes out into the wide world to defeat the Pokémon League, collect Pokémon and explore areas. But what if that kid wakes up one day as a Pokémon? That's where Mystery Dungeon begins.
Rescue Team DX is a remake of the old DS and Advance games. You start the game with your transformation into Pokémon, although you have no idea why or how this happened. You are all asked questions about your personality, from there a Pokémon is selected that you already play. Then you can choose a buddy. If you don't agree with the choice the game makes for you, you are free to change.
Then, as a Pokémon, you enter a world where you learn more about how certain Pokémon behave. It's almost like an Animal Planet episode, only the animals talk for themselves. But, while humanity is concerned about a performance society and social media, Pokémon are constantly helping each other. That is why your rescue team will also be formed! Mystery Dungeon unfortunately lacks some depth in the story. The quests you get are stories that you have probably heard before in different RPGs. Fortunately, that should not spoil the fun for many.
You are placed in randomly generated dungeons, where you then scour area after area to defeat enemies, find items and complete your quests. Not to mention from a top-down perspective! However, the enemy Pokémon will not attack until you do so first. This gives you the chance to think about your next move. The game plays smoothly, but is not very intuitive when it comes to combat. It all feels quite linear and while this wasn't much of a problem in the past, it's a little less good in 2020. That being said, this game is great for just relaxing.
What makes the game a bit more challenging is that you also get hungry and of course your HP points drop after each battle. You're supposed to hold this all up while you try to save other Pokémon! After a few hours and dungeons it becomes quite a resource puzzle. Sometimes this also means that you should be able to say that you are going back for a while and try again later. The rogue-like element that you lose all your stuff when you die is also present here. So make sure you leave enough and only take the essentials with you.
You can upgrade your team with different moves, where you can take on the field with four at the same time. You can get these moves in different ways, including the well-known TM. Mystery Dungeon will keep you busy strategically figuring out the next dungeon long enough. You are always in a team. Where the main line games can feel lonely at times, in Mystery Dungeon DX you always have someone to converge with. Pokémon follow and help each other and that's what this game is about. Besides that, the game is accessible to both young and old. What I did run into is the controls. I understand that you work in a dungeon with the whole 'boxes' idea, but the controls in a dungeon felt very stiff to me.
Graphics and sound
What is a hit for some and a miss for others, mainly revolves around the graphical aspect. You love it, or you don't. I personally really like the graphic brushed style. Also, the Pokémon themselves are as cute as can be. Sometimes you just miss that little bit of extra detail, which could have made a scene a little more lively. All in all I really like the art-style in Mystery Dungeon. The same goes for the sound. The music is great and the in-game sounds are nice too. But sometimes it just doesn't feel strong enough here.
For who is it?
Mystery Dungeon is a separate game and not everyone will like the game. Yes, there are some things missing here and there, but who exactly is the game intended for? In any case, the die-hard Pokémon fans will pick up the game again and these players will only appreciate the grind that Mystery Dungeon can sometimes be. This of course also gives you more playing time! But, the game is also for those who have a Switch Lite, in my opinion this is a real handheld game and that's how it should be played. Besides that, for anyone looking for something different from the normal Pokémon experience, the game is a kind of fresh breeze that howls through the living room on a warm Wednesday afternoon.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is not for everyone and certainly not a perfect game. Some aspects are missing here and there, but all in all, the game is a unique thing. Mystery Dungeon has a charm that many rogue-like games lack. The game is also attractive for different ages. Would I recommend the game at full price? Maybe not for everyone. I myself would rather buy it at 30-40 Euros, but if you are a real fan then you probably already have the game! Sometimes it feels like a second-life simulator, you want to keep track of how your Pokémon are doing on a daily basis and that makes the game attractive to come back to.
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