Review: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX is the definitive Mystery Dungeon experience

Become the Poké-Hero you were meant to be.

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX

Image via Nintendo

It feels surreal to be playing one of the biggest games from my childhood again, remade, remastered, and ported over to the Nintendo Switch—let alone be able to review it. Honestly, it’s a dream come true.

To those who know me, the Pokémon franchise is one I hold most dear. The game and the series as a whole introduced me to video games, helped me during my early years of health issues, allowed me to meet some of my closest friends, and led me to getting the career I am in right now. 

But does this updated version of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX for the Nintendo Switch hold up?

You’re a Pokémon!?

The plot of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX is simple: You wake up one day to find you have been turned into a Pokémon. But how? Why? Everything is so confusing, but thankfully your chosen Partner Pokémon is there to help you out. You work together to find out the secrets of the world and your past… eventually.

Together, you’ll form a Pokémon Rescue Team whose job is to save and help Pokémon of all shapes and sizes. The job isn’t easy, though, as there are other Pokémon that will appear in these areas known as Mystery Dungeons that are intent on getting in your way.

You’ll need to grow strong to fight the various foes lurking inside these labyrinths and discover treasure and items along the way to help you on your quest. Don’t get used to the layout of these mazes, however, as they change every time that you enter.

Throughout your quest, you’ll be able to recruit even more Pokémon to your team, learn new moves, find items that can assist you on your quest, and level up your rank. Honestly, there is so much to do that you might not even know where to start.

Some great changes…

The game comes with a host of improvements to the original Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS versions, plus several extras that make it the definitive version of its counterpart. One of these, straight away, is the use of the map. The game shows you exactly where every enemy, item, and quest location is on the map without having to search endlessly until you come across it. It is a nice addition, with the only hidden element now being the stairs to the next level of the dungeon. This feature does away with having to search through every section of every floor to make sure you didn’t miss something crucial.

There has also been a lot of micro changes made to the game’s menus to make it all more streamlined. For instance, you can now change your team before going into a dungeon instead of having to manually go to each camp and change them manually.

Auto mode, which allows your Pokémon to move automatically across dungeons, is a new blessing we didn’t know we needed. Watching your team go through each floor frees you up to plan ahead when you take control of your team manually, which you can do on the fly. Auto mode doesn’t make the game easier, either; the game starts off slowly but quickly spikes in difficulty, so be sure to take the time to grind some EXP and some levels on your team if you want any hopes of progressing through the story. Dying in a dungeon means losing items and money on your person, so be sure to plan accordingly and store items and cash away whenever you get the chance.

There are also a host of brand new Pokémon added to the game that wasn’t in the original to add to your teams, as well as the inclusion of Mega Evolution You’ll have to wait until launch to find out exactly which new creatures (and new story content and bosses) are a part of the remake.

…But the same old slog

Let’s face it, the Mystery Dungeon series isn’t for everyone. The amount of slow grinding you need to do to get to a point where you aren’t dying constantly, and the length and drawn out process of climbing through different floors, is tedious to a lot of people.

It’s not just level and dungeon grinding, either. You need money to get Camps to add new Pokémon to your teams, get new items, and a bunch of other important survival stuff, and it is not readily available for you to get and grind out. You just need to make sure you collect every piece of gold the game gives you and pray you have enough to keep your team going into the next fight.

There is also, at times, a sense of not knowing what to do. Between story missions, you will just be told to essentially go waste time, do missions, get your rank up, explore, and grind. It feels like padding out the overall game time when some people just want to rush through the story as quickly as possible. It makes optional stuff a lot less optional and adds extra hours to the game that some people might not want.

The lack of hand-holding extends further when it comes to item management. If you don’t have a stock or Oran berries, hunger diminishing items, and ways to revive your squad, you could be wiped out from an OP Pokémon you didn’t expect to find or dwindled down through a Poison effect you have no way of curing. It’s just unforgiving if you don’t plan or know what to prepare for.

Granted, all of this is situational at best. What we are just saying, as we said at the start, is that all of this and the game, in general, might not be for everyone. Just like with any other game.

A classic reborn

We invested about 40 hours into the game total so far, and we still haven’t scratched the surface when it comes to getting everything and everyone that the game has to offer.

There is so much about this game that is enjoyable just from a fan standpoint. It’s a melding of gameplay features and elements from previous games into one experience. Fans of the original game will enjoy jumping into the remake to see all the new animations and love that went into the title, and newbies to the series will enjoy all that the gripping storyline and gameplay have to offer.

It’s really a treat to take part in, enjoy, and have fun with. Mystery Dungeon DX is the definitive version and is another great game to grace the Nintendo Switch library. You won’t be disappointed.

Disclosure: The review code for this game was provided by Nintendo U.K.