Published on March 25th, 2020 | by Sean Warhurst
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Switch Review
Summary: Ultimately, how much enjoyment you get out of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX depends upon how big of a fan of the franchise you are; the gameplay, whilst nothing revolutionary, is solid enough to grab your attention but really does start get grindy as all get out by the later stages of the game.
Pokemon for the Pandemic
With an increasingly uncertain future looming on the horizon which could possibly see many of us confined to our homes under quarantine for an indeterminate amount of time, there really is no better time than now to look into stocking up on some entertainment media to help carry you through this bizarre period where home lockdown has become the norm.
Thankfully, when compared to much of the entertainment industry, gaming hasn’t had to resort to the massive delays and staggering of releases using different distribution models that other forms of media have had to resort to, meaning that the flow of brand new gaming experiences is, for now, at least, still coming steadily.
One of these newest releases is the latest foray into the Pokemon series, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX, a lovingly crafted remake of a pair of titles from 2005 (Blue and Red Rescue Team, respectively).
Standing outside of the pantheon of mainline Pokemon games, Mystery Dungeon is instead a spin-off which sees players assume the role of a child who has been turned into a Pokemon; quickly coming to grips with your transformation, you set out to recruit other characters to help rescue your fellow Pokemon from the myriad disasters that always seem to threaten them in this strange land that they call home.
The biggest differences between the regular Pokemon games and this is that the gameplay elements themselves skew much closer to that of a Dungeon Crawler rather than containing your typical RPG elements; the narrative is also a lot more straightforward than the mainline Pokemon games, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as the more streamlined plot here seems tailor made to appeal to a younger demographic and bombarding them with plot elements when all they want to do is experience the gameplay isn’t always the best idea.
With that said, the caveat here is that, despite its weaknesses, the story is serviceable enough to keep the player invested and features a veritable smorgasboard of familiar characters and series references to keep fans happy.
In keeping with the focus on younger players, the combat and core conceit of the gameplay is fairly easy to come to grips with, seeing you venture out into dungeons and rescue trapped Pokemon; it’s admittedly repetitive after awhile but never fully outstays its welcome, although you can really start to feel the grind during the latter stages of the game.
There is an “Auto-Mode” you can use that essentially fights the battles for you, but this, to me at least, takes away much of the player agency, although I do welcome its addition as a helpful tool to help those who may be struggling with the game.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX offers up around 15 hours of gameplay, with randomised dungeons ostensibly extending the playtime but in reality seemingly reverting to using extremely similar templates that soon start to blend into one another.
One of the biggest draws of any Pokemon game is the extensive cast of goofy and endearing characters to collect, and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is definitely no slouch in that department, with most fan favourites present and accounted for and some additional legendary creatures available tossed in as endgame content to hunt for those so inclined.
Graphics and Audio
The music here is chirpy and bright, perfectly evocative of the Pokemon franchise. There aren’t too many tunes here that I would categorise as super memorable but they’re boppy enough that they never grate even after you’ve listened to them for the eleventh time in an hour.
From a visual perspective, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX has a pleasant watercolour-esque flair to the graphics that serves to really set it apart from the mainline titles, albeit at the cost of possibly alienating fans who wanted a straight recreation of the graphical style used in the original games.
Ultimately, how much enjoyment you get out of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX depends upon how big of a fan of the franchise you are; the gameplay, whilst nothing revolutionary, is solid enough to grab your attention but really does start get grindy as all get out by the later stages of the game.
Still, if you love all things Pikachu and Company, then the bright and cheerful music and graphics should serve to mitigate the more tedious and micromanagement focused aspects of the game, and the streamlined focus on both story and gameplay ensures that younger players can enjoy the adventure without too much of a struggle.
Primary Format – Nintendo Switch
Game Genre – Dungeon Crawler
Rating – R18+
Game Developer – Spike Chunsoft
Game Publisher – The Pokemon Company, Nintendo
Reviewer – Sean Warhurst