Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX is a wonderful little game. In it, you play as a Pokémon who forms a rescue team that helps others in need. It’s cute, charming and in 2020, a needed slice of wholesomeness.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX is a Switch remaster of the original Pokémon Mystery Dungeon titles for Nintendo DS and Game Boy Advance, Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team. (The only major differences between these titles were Pokémon exclusivity, soundtracks and platforms.)
Essentially, Rescue Team DX features the player as a human turned into a Pokémon. Your coming has been foretold for an age, and the other Pokémon believe that you’re responsible for the natural disasters that have been plaguing their home. Strangely enough, all this action plays out in the background. Rather than dwell on why or how you’ve become a Pokémon, the game thrusts you into your rescue team almost immediately and sets you on your way.
More of the main story plays out as you undergo rescue requests from local Pokémon, but it’s easy to forget there even is a story as you wander off into beautiful side dungeons for hours.
Rather than a straight remaster, Rescue Team DX re-imagines the games in a storybook style. While it can be simplistic, it’s also very beautiful and reminiscent of classic children’s tales like Winnie the Pooh. Locations are colourful, cheery and vibrant, making for an absolutely enchanting backdrop as you set about your quest.
At its heart, Rescue Team DX is a game all about helping others.
When a Weedle gets stuck in a dangerous forest, it’s your job to go in and rescue it. When a set of Magnemites get magnetically stuck together, you’re the one that pulls them apart. And the best part about these rescues is just how nice it feels to help Pokémon in need. Weedle’s eyes sparkle with admiration when you rescue it. The Magnemites are so grateful that one offers to join your team. It’s delightful, and exactly the kind of pure, heartwarming joy that the world needs right now. It makes going through every dungeon and rescue request feel worthwhile, even when the game begins to get repetitive.
Pokémon requests often take place in dungeons you’ve already visited, so you’ll find yourself revisiting locations multiple times. Each time, the game will auto-generate a new layout so you’re not exploring the exact same place twice.
Rescue Team DX operates like an RTS, with each dungeon divided into a grid. Enemies move in tandem with players, so there’s time between actions to plan movement and attack. Many Pokémon will have ranged moves, so you can usually dispatch far away enemies before they’re in close quarters. This is essential because enemies hit hard and your Pokémon aren’t flush with health, even in the early dungeons. That said, there’s not a lot of challenge here and you’ll usually be prompted to heal Pokémon before losing is even an option.
Rescue Team DX streamlines a lot of the gameplay from the original Red/Blue Rescue titles, so you won’t need a whole lot of thinking when it comes to attacks. Pressing A will unleash one of your Pokémon’s four moves, or you can select a specific move using the shoulder buttons. Because combat is so simple, it can be easy to default to pressing A and leaving your Pokémon’s fate to chance. Revival seeds and healing items are plentiful, so there isn’t a massive danger of completely passing out.
Other than combat, the game introduces a handful of helpful tweaks. ‘Auto-mode’ is a new function that sets your Pokémon on an auto-generated path through dungeons and allows them to collect items for you. You will need to take over once your Pokémon encounters an enemy, but it saves a lot of time if you’re looking to speed through dungeons. It’s a much-needed update from the originals.
Rescue Team DX is a fun, wholesome and entertaining game. There’s a bit of a learning curve for new players – mechanics like keeping your Pokémon’s HP, PP and Belly full can be confusing at first – the game after that point is absolutely adorable and actually quite relaxing. There’s enough replayability and entertainment for everyone, even those who’ve never played a single Pokémon game.