After talking about a remade game-to-be, it would be fitting to talk about another popular, remade version of an old game which was recently released in “Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Edition” for the Nintendo Switch.
Its original was the first of the Mystery Dungeon spin-off series, and it kicked it off on a high note. Did its remake rekindle those fond flames?
In a way, yes, it did. Let’s have a look at the good and the bad, starting with the former.
1. Many QOL mechanics not present in the old game were added to the remake:
One of the main criticisms of the old game was that it was, at times, a tad tedious and too spontaneous. The most prominent example was in determining the starter Pokemon who “you” will take the form of. The game will start off by giving you a random questionnaire. The intent of the questionnaire is to gauge your personality, so that the game can decide which Pokemon best matches it. In the old game, once the game allotted you a starter, that was it; like it or not, this was going to be who you spent the whole entire game playing as. Of course, given that the questionnaire itself is pretty stupid and doesn’t really ask questions pertinent to your personality as it suggests, this reasonably ruffled some feathers back in the day. Here, the game will allot you a starter, but then give you the option to just pick something else if you’d rather do that. In general, many of the old game’s random flaws were repaired in the remake, which makes for a looser, less annoying experience.
2. The remade soundtrack for most dungeons is incredible
If you’re going to trek through 99 floors of the Buried Relic, attempt to survive the raging waters of the Stormy Sea, or endure brutal weather while scaling the Sky Tower, you’d at least better have a nice tune to enjoy the endeavor to. The old game hit on this quite well, but the remake took that success and ran with it. Using more modernized technology, each soundtrack tells somewhat of a tale of the dungeon you’ve entered. The Stormy Sea’s soundtrack has a very desperate albeit melodious tone, well befitting of a trek through raging waters and nasty Water type Pokemon. I personally found the Buried Relic’s theme to be akin to elevator music in some ways; catchy, off a digital piano, short, and perfectly befitting for a particularly lengthy journey through the game’s longest dungeon. In general, the soundtrack is just amazing.
3. Mega Evolutions!
Sure, getting your ass kicked for the seventh time in a row by Mega Rayquaza might not be your idea of a good time, but being the one on the distributing end of that kind of mayhem most likely is! Mega Evolutions, and even Primal Reversions, are easily accessible at any point during a dungeon with the simple use of an Empowerment Seed.
4. At the end of the day, a remake of a great game is ultimately a great game
The original game itself was great, and the remake was a bit ambitious, but ultimately kept the core of the game intact and left untouched. Bringing Mystery Dungeon to console for the first time while doing all of that was definitely going to create good results, and this game hit home on that and then some.
Most games have their flaws, and this one wasn’t an exception. Let’s have a look at what could’ve been better.
1. The game is absolutely trivial
Sure, the game is marketed towards kids, but there is still way too much bubble wrap around this one even at that. There are a number of incredibly overpowering items the player can easily gain access to. Additionally, the challenge of recruiting the game’s legendaries, which made the game that much more thrilling during the original version, has been dashed; the legendary Pokemon of the game now have a 100% chance of joining your team in the epilogue, rather than the 10% pre-mitigated value it once was. With the introduction of new items, such as the All-Protect Orb, and the fact that you can have up to eight Pokemon on your team instead of the original game’s four means you can break down the boss’ door with twice the team members, far better items, and with a guaranteed chance at adding said legendary to your team when the one-sided affair is over.
2. Some anti-fan service measures were implemented in this game
The most prominent instance of this stems within the rescue camps. In the original, your character could roam around these various team member encampments and socialize with teammates, even anointing them as the temporary leader should you wish to utilize them as much. In the remake, the rescue camps are static background pictures, where all you can do is select teammates and feed them stat boosting items. This makes your team seem a lot more robotic and less personalized than in the old game. Sure, they’re all Artificial Intelligence at the end of the day either way, but the remake’s rescue camps are significantly less immersive and overall inferior to the concept that the original held.
3. The game is too one-dimensional in combat
Sure, the open world-ish of each dungeon can be fluid, but in practice, it ends up getting dry quite quickly. This is entirely due to how unbalanced the moves a Pokemon can learn are in this game. It either is multi hit (which is absurdly overpowered), can hit the whole room at once, is ranged, boosts your stats, or the move flat out sucks. The thing is, any move falling under the aforementioned criteria goes from sucking badly to becoming beyond overpowered and trivializes the game more than it already is. This means that you either handicap yourself and flat out suck or you’re absurdly overpowered and can run over the hardest dungeons with little effort. There is no in-between.
Overall grade: B+
A fine way to kill time, play with friends, and enjoy Mystery Dungeon in the same way it has been since the beginning. There is definitely room for improvement too, and hopefully, if we ever get another remake, we see more steps taken in that one!