Here’s what you need to know before diving into the dungeon-crawler.
Spike Chunsoft’s Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX releases on March 6th 2020 for the Nintendo Switch and offers an intriguing story with rogue-like, dungeon crawling gameplay. What should you expect before picking it up and how does it differ from the mainline games? Let’s take a closer look here.
First and foremost, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a remake of the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team, which premiered on the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS respectively. The visuals have been completely redone, embracing a water color-like aesthetic with detailed animations and fully 3D visuals. The rosters of both original titles have also been combined.
Story and Choosing a Starter
The story focuses on the player character who’s been turned into a Pokemon and lost their memories. Along with journeying to remember their past, the player will team up with other Pokemon to help deal with rescuing Pokemon affected by recent natural disasters. Many screenshots and trailers show Pikachu as the player character but you can actually take a personality quiz to determine your Pokemon. There are nine questions to answer and you’ll be assigned one out of sixteen potential choices.
Your Pokemon’s nature is also determined from these choices, which can lead to some interesting combinations, but you’re also free to just choose your starter directly. Next, choose your partner Pokemon – which can’t be the same as yours – and away you go. Rescue Team DX allows for renaming the player character, partner Pokemon and other team members from the main menu, if you so desire.
As noted above, natural disasters are occurring everywhere. There are various Rescue Teams that have sprouted up among different Pokemon and you’ll quickly join the cause. Seek out different jobs, either through mail or via the bulletin board, and you’ll get tasks like delivering packages, venturing into dungeons to save Pokemon and escort missions. The dungeons have random layouts which change with each job, adding to some unpredictability.
Combat is turn-based, much like other Mystery Dungeon titles, but for mainline Pokemon players, it’s a pretty different routine. Battles take place on the dungeon map instead of a separate screen and you can take up to 8 teammates into a single dungeon, up from three in the original releases. Basic attacks are gone but you can now hit the A button to use your best attack on an enemy to speed things along.
If you or your partner faints in a dungeon, then the job is failed. However, it’s possible to rescue yourself using another team of Pokemon. Alternatively, you can put in requests for other players to rescue you and vice versa. Don’t worry about other teammates – if they’re felled in battle, they’ll simply return to base.
Autosave and Auto Mode
Another feature that some might appreciate is Auto Mode. While traversing a dungeon, press the L button and your team will automatically move forward until entering a battle. You can turn Auto Mode on and off as you please. There’s also Auto Save, thus ensuring that you don’t need to manually save all the time (though manual save is still available as an option).
To build a team, you’ll need to recruit different Pokemon. This can be done via Rescue Team Camps which either unlock through completing different missions or paying for access from the Wigglytuff Club. Two Rescue Team Camps are available initially and there are a lot to unlock later (some opening up after recruiting certain Legendary Pokemon). Rescue Team DX even provides the ability to recruit Shiny Pokemon with the Friend Bow, which itself raises recruitment rate by 10 percent when worn.
New Pokemon and Mega Evolutions
Rescue Team DX has 386 Pokemon to recruit, encompassing Generations 1 to 3. However, several new Pokemon have been added from Gen 4 including Magnezone, Magmortar, Lucario, Weavile, and many more, according to dataminers at least. Mega Evolutions were confirmed from the outset but datamining managed to indicate exactly which ones. You can likely expect to see Venusaur, Blastoise, Steelix, Charizard, Alakazam and many more in Mega Evolution form.
Felicity Bank and Kangaskhan Store
Before embarking on some dangerous or unknown jobs, it’s a good idea to visit Felicity Bank to store your money. This ensures that it won’t be lost in dungeons if you happen to be defeated. Kangaskhan Storage offers the same functionality except with items (and you have unlimited space from the outset). Any excess items earned will also go into the storage.
Once you complete the story, the Luminous Cave can be accessed from Whiscash Pond. This is a place where Pokemon can evolve but conditions apply. You’ll be asked to give an item for evolution but even if you decline, and the conditions are right, the Pokemon will evolve. If the Pokemon doesn’t meet the proper conditions, then they won’t evolve (even if you donate items).
Makuhita Dojo is a very unique facility in Pokemon Square, offering up 21 different mazes with three unique floors as the story progresses. You can’t recruit any of the Pokemon battled in these mazes but you can recruit several boss Pokemon (though you must be level 90 and have a Friend Bow). In Rescue Team DX, changes have been made to make the Dojo more worthwhile. The mazes are timed now and only one Pokemon can enter but they receive increased XP, making it a good way to boost a teammate up in between jobs.
With the ability to take up to eight teammates into a single dungeon, one has to wonder what the purpose is of having less. The answer is probably food. As you venture through dungeons, your Pokemon have to eat food to stave off hunger. Different food items have different effects with some able to raise a Pokemon’s experience points or their overall level. So more Pokemon likely means more food consumed.
Technical Machines or TMs work here pretty much the same way as the mainline series – they confer different abilities upon Pokemon. You’ll find many of the same TMs from the main games though there are two new ones – Wide Slash and Vacuum-Cut. Unlike the original Rescue Team games you can no longer recycle Used TMs and they’re instead destroyed.
The one item unique to the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games are Seeds. These are consumables that can be either eaten or thrown. When thrown at a Pokemon, they consume the Seed immediately (except for Blast Seeds, which just explode when thrown). So for instance, if you want to disable an enemy Pokemon’s last used move, throw a Ban Seed at them. Otherwise, you have the Encourage Seed for perfect accuracy and increased critical hits; Golden Seeds for raising a Pokemon’s level by 5; and Reviver Seeds for reviving fainted Pokemon. Seeds can be recycled but they’ll either change to different Seeds or an Oran Berry (which increases its user’s max HP by 10 for a dungeon).
So with all these new features, Pokemon, and areas to explore, how long can you reasonably expect Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX to last? According to HowLongToBeat, the original releases lasted about 20.5 hours if you were just trying to finish the main story. This could go up to 42 hours with some extra missions and a whopping 147 hours for doing everything. And if you want all the Shinies in Rescue Team DX, it may take even longer than that. Either way, there’s quite a bit to play through, whether you’re a fan of rogue-likes or Pokemon.