Hello and welcome to all you beautiful people. I’m sure you’ve all heard about it and probably played it by now. I mean the full release is this Friday. But today I’m going to talk about Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Demo. The upcoming game was announced during Pokemon Direct on 9th January and the full release is set for 6th March this year. For now the demo is available on the Switch store. No spoiler warning this time since it’s a demo and nothing big storywise happens.
I’ll tell you a bit about the series for any non Pokemon fans out there. Mystery Dungeon is a spin-off game series that started way back in 2005. Whilst working on this post I discovered that the developers are Spike Chunsoft who also developed Danganronpa, another favourite game series of mine. Rescue Team DX is a reimagining of the first two games: Mystery Dungeon Red Rescue Team and Mystery Dungeon Blue Rescue Team. The story centres around you waking up to find that you’ve been turned into a pokemon. Teaming up with your partner you must help find and stop the source of the mysterious natural disasters and strange behaviour of some of the locals. Along the way you make many friends and find your place in this new world you wake up in.
As a kid I put a lot of hours into the original. I had Blue Rescue Team on the DS and absolutely loved it. Jumping into the demo for Rescue Team DX I was immediately taken back to those childhood days. A big part of that is due to the music. Sound is really a powerful memory trigger. Hearing the theme song I felt like I was transported back to sitting in the back of the car whilst we drove somewhere. I love that they’ve brought the music back from the original pretty much the same as it was. Music isn’t my forte but it does sound like it’s been given a new coat of paint. It’s sharper and clearer. I really do adore the music, especially the opening titles. It gives the feeling of adventure and epicness.
The first thing to do when you start a new game is the personality quiz that determines which Pokemon you are. Unlike in the original you can choose who you want to play as if you don’t like what the quiz gives you. This was a great feature to add because it means you don’t have to spend hours retaking the quiz till you eventually get the pokemon you want to be. My first result was Torchic which I don’t mind. There’s nothing wrong with Torchic but I wanted to be Eevee. Eevee is one of my favourite pokemon and the one I got the first time when I played the original. For my partner I chose Cyndaquil and named her Cinder. Now I was ready for my journey to begin.
The story is pretty much a carbon company of the original but what do expect? It is a reimagining of it after all. You meet your partner, save a caterpie and form a rescue team. Then you save some magnemite and meet a young diglett before doing some more rescue missions. Interspersed between each day you experience a dream that draws you closer to the answer as to why you were turned into a pokemon. Then a dugtrio, whose mother of the diglett you met on an earlier day, asks for your help. This is where the demo ends. You can still explore the square but that’s it. There really isn’t much else to do when you get to that point. One thing they should’ve done is let you go on more rescue missions. Actually that might get boring too since there’s only two dungeons to explore. Oh well, it is only a demo. If you want more you can always go play another Mystery Dungeon game if you’ve got one.
So the story might not be all that different, the art style on the other hand certainly is. All the pokemon are 3D models now, similar to the main Pokemon games but with a parchment feel to them. The reaction stills are back accompanying the speak boxes, looking pretty much the same as they always did. The movement of the models is fluid and for some reason more entertaining to watch than their predecessors. When in the dungeons you no longer immediately switch places with your partner, or whoever is behind you, when you want to go backwards. Instead you push them in that direction. It is quite funny watching them spin around in circles as you push them. I should point out is possible to switch with them, it’s just funny pushing them around. I must say the background art is beautiful. It looks as if it’s been hand drawn. The colours give this dreamlike quality to the background, making the characters appear sharper. The colouring makes me think of water colours. It’s just so vibrant.
I think it’s important to point out how easy it is to delete your save file, when you want to I mean. I always remember having to look up how to do it when I want to start a new game with the main series. With this Mystery Dungeon there is a very clearly labeled option on the main menu. It may have been there in past games but this is the first I’ve noticed it. Maybe to some this isn’t a big deal but to someone who likes to replay things it is.
Lastly I want to talk about the controls. One new feature they’ve added is auto mode. You press the button and your team ventures through the dungeon on their own, picking up items as they go. Coming across an enemy stops auto mode and you have to fight them manually. I don’t like this feature. Surely this is just the game playing itself. Why would I use that when I bought the thing for me to play it? Answer is I wouldn’t. I feel the attack controls have changed since I last played one of these games. The quick attack button no longer just has you jumping on your opponent, instead it uses one of your known moves at random. And now it’s a lot easier to choose which move you want to use. You just push L2 and choose the corresponding button for the move you want to use. I swear in the original you had to go into the menus to do that stuff. But I may be remembering that wrong. Or they changed it up in later games. I wouldn’t know since the two Mystery Dungeons I’ve played are Blue and Sky.
That’s it. There really isn’t much else to say since this is only a demo. I know I’m looking forward to the full release of an updated version of a game I loved as a child. I’m sure this will appeal to people like myself and to children that get to experience this story for the first time. I hope all you beautiful people have a wonderful day. I’ll see you in the next post.