Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is coming out on March 6, but is it worth your money? The game is advertised as a remake of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue/Red Rescue Team. If everything is the same, there is little reason to buy the game again, right? I decided to find out for myself. Luckily, Spike Chunsoft has released a demo of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX to give players a look at what is coming.
Seeing the trailer of the game shows the visuals have tremendously improved. Ever since they updated Pokemon Mystery Dungeon to use 3D models instead of 2D sprites, the games lost their artistic charm. The 3D models looked awkward and out of place. All the dungeons had generic walls that were just re-skinned to simulate different environments.
Rescue Team Dx brings back the charm of the 2D games. No longer do the 3D models look like they were copied and pasted into the game. Instead all the models have a special artistic look to them. They remind me of the illustrations you would see in a children’s book. Throughout the demo, all the characters look like they belong to the world, making the game a better experience.
As for the story, so far everything is the same as Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue/Red Rescue Team, except the story is not told from a top down view like in the original game. Instead, you get a close up look at the characters as they talk to each other. The camera also changes angles throughout the dialogue. You can also see new animations given to some Pokemon as they react to dialogue. This creates a more engaging scene and draws the player into the story. It is great to see that Spike Chunsoft is improving the game and not just creating a boring remake.
Let’s talk gameplay. The demo showcases all the mechanics you will use throughout the entire game. Rescue Team DX starts off like all other Mystery Dungeon games -- with a series of questions. After answering the questions, the player is assigned a Pokemon. Unlike in the original, the player can choose to change the Pokemon they are given. This mechanic was introduced in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Gates to Infinity.
This choice may seem, odd but it makes sense. In the original, new players could end up with a Pokemon they didn’t care for -- they would then reset the game until they got the Pokemon they wanted. By giving players a choice, that whole unnecessary process is eliminated.
Allowing players to choose their Pokemon is not the only mechanic that carried through. In fact, every new mechanic that was introduced throughout the franchise exists in Rescue Team DX. For example, being able to push your team members: this mechanic allows you to strategize better when facing enemies in hallways. Other returning mechanics include the pop-up menu for executing moves, and escaping dungeons by going to the staircase after completing a mission.
Now, you may be wondering if there are any new mechanics. Well I can tell you there are, and they are amazing! First off you can now always see all the items and enemies on a floor. This is a huge change. In the past you could only do this by holding an item, and each Pokemon could only hold one item. You could never see all the items and enemies on a floor on one character. The best you could do was give team members different items for seeing enemies or items, then toggle between team members to see their view of the map.
This new mechanics will allow you to have more freedom with the items you give your team, allowing players to create diverse strategies for dungeons.
The next new mechanic is called auto mode. Players can toggle auto mode on by pressing the L button. Auto mode will make the player automatically start moving around the dungeon. When any items are encountered in a room, the player’s character will automatically pick them up. If they find the staircase, the character will automatically go towards the staircase. As soon as an enemy is encountered, auto mode is turned off and the player must resume control.
Auto mode sounds like another quality of life mechanic. If you need to look up something or step away for a minute, this is the perfect feature. I can see players using this to afk their way through dungeons as well. The reason for auto mode is probably due to the fact dungeons can have 50-99 floors. After exploring through over 50 floors, things start to get tedious. We will see what other uses auto mode can have, once the full game comes out.
The final new mechanic is characters announcing the move they are using above their heads. Additionally, your character and team members will say encouraging phrases when they land attacks or critical hits. This is a cool feature that gives your team more personality. While this change sounds simple, it is a huge improvement. In the past you always had to look at the combat log to see what moves characters are using. Move knowledge is important when facing enemies after all. With this change, there will be no more squinting at the combat log to see what happened.
It remains to be seen how recruitment will work in Rescue Team Dx. Will it be like the original, with defeated enemies asking to join? Or will Pokemon only join after you help them out with a job, like in Super Mystery Dungeon?
I for one think this is a great step for the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon franchise. It is promising to see this remake have so many new features. Hopefully this means we will get more games in the series to include the Galar region Pokemon. You can be certain Nintendo will be watching the sales of Rescue Team DX to decide if the franchise deserves more love. Just from the demo so far, I do recommend giving this remake a chance.