Oh god, another March game. And honestly, if we weren’t stacking it against the likes of the Final Fantasy VII Remake, Half-Life: Alyx, Persona 5 Royal and Nioh 2, it’d be a game more than worthy of carving out time. So please, I am asking you not to ignore Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX. It was just announced as another March release today in the Pokemon Direct, and is up for pre-order now. We don’t have a precise date, but they ominously showed the general date as if to overwhelm us with two words: March 2020.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is the remake version — not remastered, a REMAKE! — of the classic Nintendo Game Boy Advance versions of the game, Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team. Developed by Spike Chunsoft, Rescue Team DX revamps the visuals of the classic game from 2D to 3D. The new version shows off gorgeous hand-paint-like graphics slightly reminiscent of Okami, with gorgeous environments and bright colors. In short, it’s practically a whole new game on its own.
In the game, you become one of sixteen Pokemon, determined by a personality quiz, and you’ll get a “partner” too. As it turns out, the world has been devastated by increasingly worse natural disasters. Pokemon have formed “rescue teams” as a result, which do “jobs” of a variety of tasks, anything from delivery to rescue.
Actual Pokemon Mystery Dungeon gameplay mixes roguelike settings, featuring randomized areas, with turn-based movement and action. However, the game also picked up traction for its lively Pokemon-to-Pokemon interactions. After all, you’re a Pokemon, and you can understand other Pokemon! Why not enjoy that! (And the writers of the game clearly did.)
In short, it’s a mix of approachable roguelike combat with the quirky world of actual Pokemon. What’s not to love? And why is Nintendo neglecting its adorable child by dumping it with all the other March releases?
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The Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series plays off Dragon Quest developer Chunsoft’s Mystery Dungeon, which is pretty much a roguelike battler game. It first featured Torneko from Dragoon Warrior IV, but Mystery Dungeon ended up more famous in its adaptation forms, which included a Chocobo Mystery Dungeon series as well.
Pokemon editions of Mystery Dungeon were a massive hit and endured with long-time fans over the year. Adapting the format into the Pokemon form by turning the player into a Pokemon allowed a mix of memorable interactions and engaging battles. Plus, battle is a little more familiar in the Pokemon universe than, say, having to engage in traditional hack-and-slash combat.
So Rescue Team DX is likely a welcome return to a quirky spin-off for many long-time Pokemon fans. Especially those less interested in the bigger March titles! But it’s a race against time since Animal Crossing pops up the very next month.