January’s Pokemon Direct was full of hype. They dropped some news on Sword and Shield, the future of the franchise and even some Pokemon Home stuff. Most importantly, when considered in relation to the title of this article, they announced a whole new game – Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX…or PMDRTDX from now on. Bafflingly enough this remake will be released in March, which adds a nice surprise to the start of the year. Not that we needed it with Animal Crossing and Tokyo Mirage just around the corner.
I heard of Mystery Dungeon when I was a kid, but never really played it. By the time it came out, Pokemon had kind of stopped being cool, for me at least. I burned out on Gen 1 and Gen 2, completely skipping every generation until Gen 8. As a result, I have no nostalgia for the Mystery Dungeon series. You know what though? I was a stupid kid. This series would have been so far up my alley it’s not even funny.
PMDRTDX is basically a super light Rogue-Like, with a Pokemon theme. Imagine Quest of Dungeons, Tangledeep or Sproggiwood combined with Yoshi’s Island and you’ll have a pretty accurate image of what to expect. When I say super light, I mean that quite literally. The demo is incredibly easy. Everything dies in one or two hits, you’re pokemon are practically unkillable and I highly doubt permadeath is a thing. What it does share with the genre is procedural generation and the classic movement and combat of the afforementioned genre entries. In short, I was not expecting this kind og game to exist in the Pokemon universe, but I love that it does.
Unlike your typical Pokemon adventure, in PMDRTDX you play as a Pokemon, not a trainer. Naturally, this means character creation shenanigans. You are given a quiz that judges your personality and assigns you a Pokemon based on the games disappointment in your answers. Luckily you have the option to disagree with the Poke-gods decree, and pick whichever one you fancy. You have series mascots Pikachu and Eevee, of course, but also a whole host of starters spanning multiple generations. You even have things like Machop (for some reason). I mean, who really wants to be a Machop? Regardless, the selection is impressive, and each Pokemon gets a bunch of abilities and goodies to try out. You even get to pick a partner Pokemon to be your buddy. I of course went with an Eevee called Patootie, and a Pikachu called Rocket…because why wouldn’t you?
The first thing you’ll notice when you metamorphose into an Eevee, is that PMDRTDX is downright adorable, albeit in a kinda low budget kind of way. They went for a handrawn aesthetic, which means pencil marks and cosiness are rampant. The Pokemon all emote and animate in a way that just fills my cold heart with joy. Sure there are a fair few jaggies scattered around, the actual combat animations are incredibly simplistic and the dungeons on display are not exactly varied, but it does the job. Of course, when compared to something like the recent Link’s Awakening Remake, you get the impression Nintendo didn’t really want to spend too much on this, but style is definitely pleasing to the eye.
The demo will cost you roughly one hour of your life to complete, with that progress being carried over to the full game. The cost of the full game is the issue though. It is retailing at a whopping £50, which is around 2x the cost of the original when that released 15 years ago. Honestly, I would have expected this to retail at a budget price of around £30-£35 tops. That being said, with that was shown in the demo, I am certainly interested in what else it has to offer. Whether or not I pick this up instead of Animal Crossing or Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Encore, has yet to be seen. That being said, it can always be a top tier sale purchase so I’ll inevitably get around to it, I’m sure.
Let me know in the comments below what you think of this remake, and whether or not you will be picking it up at full price. Heck, let me know if you played the originals and if you are happy with this remake. Finally, 100 cookies to the person who can correctly guess the Rocket reference.
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