Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX

Game review by
David Chapman, Common Sense Media
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Game Poster Image
Spin-off remake is cute, but easy and repetitive.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The game features strong themes of friendship, teamwork, and on helping those in need. Players develop strong bonds with the Pokémon they befriend and work together to overcome any and all obstacles.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Most characters are friendly and helpful. Most Pokémon are either part of a rescue team or they are Pokémon in need of help. There are a few characters with more sinister and selfish motives, causing problems for the players and their friends.

Ease of Play

Rescue Team DX streamlines some of the more awkward controls of previous games with features such as an auto mode that navigates players' teams through the dungeons, and a new feature which can automatically choose the most effective move to use against an enemy.

Violence & Scariness

Players constantly battle against other Pokémon as they explore the dungeons on missions. The violence is cartoonish in nature and is resolved with flashy effects. There's no blood or graphic violence ever shown onscreen.

Language
Consumerism

The game's a remake of a spinoff from the main Pokémon game series. The Pokémon franchise, meanwhile, has a massive fan following and has ballooned to include cartoons, movies, toys, books, cards, and just about any other collectible bits under the sun.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a role-playing adventure game available for the Nintendo Switch. Players become part of the game universe like never before by actually becoming a Pokémon. You'll recruit other Pokémon to create rescue teams, and go out on missions to help those in need. Players are encouraged to build bonds of friendship, working together with members of their team to defeat enemies and overcome obstacles. New control options take a lot of the difficulty out of fights to the point that it can almost play itself. Although combat's a regular part of the game, there's no graphic violence or blood ever shown onscreen.

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What's it about?

POKÉMON MYSTERY DUNGEON: RESCUE TEAM DX is an enhanced remake of the classic Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team. You begin your adventure waking up in a new world, with no memory of your past or how you got there. Stranger still, you've somehow been transformed into a Pokémon, with the ability to understand and communicate with other Pokémon. Around the same time as your mysterious transformation, this world is rocked by a series of natural disasters. This leads to the formation of rescue teams, which are groups of Pokémon that work together to as a unit to investigate the source of the disasters while saving other innocent Pokémon that may be lost or trapped in the destruction.  With nothing to lose and everything to gain, you form a rescue team, starting your quest to solve the mystery of your past and uncover the possible link between your transformation and the fate of this world.

Is it any good?

While this spin-off of the Pokemon franchise is fun, it's repetitive, simplistic play keeps it from being loads of fun. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a remake of the original games. The originals rode the wave of Pokémania back in 2006, with spin-off titles for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS. This game features enhanced graphics and sounds, extra content, and new features. While it accomplishes what it set out to do, Mystery Dungeon gets carried away with trying to make itself more accessible. Players can just hold down the L button to automatically navigate through the random dungeons, and when in combat, simply press the A button to automatically select the most effective attacks. Although it's purely optional to make use of these features, it's still hard not to feel like the game could just about play itself, with the player's only real purpose being to hold down a couple of buttons.

From a presentation standpoint, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX pulls out all the stops. The updated visuals manage to stay true to the original game, but with color and detail that pops on the screen. Combine that with the original story, and you genuinely feel like you're a part of the Pokémon community. Unfortunately, the gameplay's repetitive and formulaic. Although the dungeons for each mission are randomly generated, there's a limited number of mission types and goals. It's not long before you start to get a sense of déjà vu. Couple that with the automatic navigation and combat, and it won't be long before you find yourself just going through the motions.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about friendship and teamwork. What are some behaviors that can encourage positive interactions with others? What are some ways that working together with others can help to overcome obstacles, both in games and in the real world?

  • What's the appeal of revisiting games from the past? How important is it to try and improve on a classic experience?

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