Pokemon Mystery Dungeon’s Demo Exposed Me As the Dumb Fool I Am

Why didn't you just let me pick Pikachu at the start, Nintendo?

Pokemon has made me look like a fool. Again. This time with Pokemon Mystery Dungeon DX.

If you missed this week’s Pokemon Nintendo Direct, a remake of the Game Boy Advance/Nintendo DS Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team is coming to the Switch as Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX.

Cool beans. That game was fun 15 years ago and I assume with some new tweaks and a completely revamped visual style it will fit in nicely with the extremely crowded March season alongside the likes of Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Final Fantasy VII Remake, and Persona 5 Royal.

The other cool news of the hour was that Nintendo was releasing a demo for the remake that day and any progress you made in it would carry over to the main game should you decide to make the jump and buy it in two months.

Rad. Killer. I downloaded that as soon as it was live.

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The twist of the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games is that you play as a human who has been turned into a Pokemon. They can communicate with other Pokemon and they go on quests together and it’s all good fun.

The trouble is, the game determines which Pokemon you’ll get to play as through a short interview. The questions and your answers are meant to determine your personal “nature,” a trait that is commonly used to describe the personalities of any Pokemon you capture in the mainline games like Sword & Shield. Your nature, and whether or not you want to play as a male or female character, determines which Pokemon you play as. 

In premise, that’s kind of neat. It’s like a personality test but instead of getting an acronym meant to encapsulate your entire being for you to put as shorthand in your dating app bios, you get a Pokemon. But when you go into the game wanting to play as a certain character (Pikachu, in my case), it’s an exercise in frustration.

Yes, there are guides out there to help you game the system (I had one up the whole time. Thanks Psypoke!), but Pokemon Mystery Dungeon’s interview only asks you a handful of the possible questions at random. So if I didn’t get the questions that allowed me to answer in a way that would let me play as Pikachu, the entire process was a wash. I got several false starts trying to play the Rescue Team DX demo. 

To the point where the game seemed to be actively mocking me.

Then about an hour in, I made a discovery.

Apparently, if you wait long enough through being given a Pokemon you don’t want, Mystery Dungeon asks you if this is the right Pocket Monster for you. If you say no, it drops the entire interview system and lets you just pick whichever one you want.

I lost an hour of my day and didn’t even want to play the demo afterward.

But I played it after I calmed down and it is perfectly fine.

Signed,

A Disgruntled Pikachu.

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Kenneth Shepard

Kenneth is a Georgia-based writer who still periodically cries about the Mass Effect trilogy years after it concluded.

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