Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Demo First Impressions

Mystery Dungeon

The latest Nintendo Direct brought with it some very exciting news. After five years of hearing nothing, Nintendo finally announced a brand new Pokemon Mystery Dungeon. Set up to be a remake of the original Red and Blue Rescue Team, DX has been announced for a March 6 release.

Even better, Nintendo didn’t have us wait long to give it a shot. The demo went live on the Switch eShop straight after the initial announcement. I managed to free up some time to play through it last night. I had some concerns coming into this but I’m happy to confirm that this looks to be a very good game.

What the Mystery Dungeon Demo Has to Offer

The demo consists of around the first 40 minutes of the new Mystery Dungeon’s story. Specifically, you’ll get to work through the iconic quiz, pick a partner, explore a couple of dungeons, and test out Makuhita’s dojo.

QUIZ mystery dungeonWe also get a good idea of Rescue Team DX’s completely reworked visuals. And oh my, are they pretty. Rather than adopting Super Mystery Dungeon’s realistic 3D models, Rescue Team EX’s art style is based on the initial concept art for the originals. This means you get to enjoy some beautifully crafted hand-drawn scenery.

It’s a nice detour from the originals which honestly just looked like generic gen 3 Pokemon games. That’s not to say they didn’t look good, but rather that they failed to stand out from Emerald and the Gen 1 remakes. In contrast, Mystery Dungeon DX puts forward a truly one a kind visual presentation.

The demo also gives us a glimpse of both old and new mechanics that some fans won’t be familiar with. Some of these are lifted from Super Mystery Dungeon and Gates to Infinity whilst others are making their debuts.

auto attack feature mystery dungeonThere are mega evolutions, which is nice given how the main series games refuse to acknowledge them, the ability to freely switch between party members, and the same old recruitment system everyone loves. Interestingly, a recent data mine suggests shiny Pokemon could feature in some capacity although Alolan and Galarian forms look unlikely. Sylveon was confirmed though so guess who’s choosing Eevee for their playthrough.

Easier Than Ever Before

Unfortunately, not every change is for the better. Nintendo has shown an unwillingness to make Pokemon games even remotely difficult in the last five years or so. In fact, the Battle Frontier was removed from the core games because game director Junichi Masuda deemed it too difficult and time-consuming for today’s players.

This urge to make things easier has affected Mystery Dungeon’s development. Starting with the positives, many quality of life changes have been made to improve the player’s overall experience. For instance, there’s now a Diglett hole connecting your base camp with the Pellipper office. This can save a little bit of time and minimize the need to go back and forth constantly when grinding missions

Pokemon gamesThe problem is that many other changes seem unnecessary. Perhaps the most jarring difference is that standard attacks have been removed entirely. Instead, pressing A will now have the game automatically pick the best attack on your behalf based on type match-up, stats, and range.

That’s only the beginning. Move sets for every starter are now heavily optimized before you’ve even entered a dungeon. Case in point, my Eevee had type coverage with Bite and my partner Pikachu had Grass Knot, Iron Tail, and Fake Out from the get-go. Even Mystery Dungeon’s Link Moves have been given a buff by no longer costing extra PP, despite already strong in past games.

Pokemon – Still On The Pokeball

In 1996, Game Freak introduced the Pokemon game franchise into the gaming community, a game franchise that even today revels in high demand and levels of enjoyment spanning over a variety of age groups. The franchise possesses a simple yet addictive objective of catching various monsters known as ‘Pokemon’ in order to befriend them, train them up and battle against other Pokemon trainers.  The franchise has adapted over the evolution of Nintendo consoles, becoming more intricate, gaining better graphics and deepening the content upon each release of a new installment. Originally, there were only 151 Pokemon and today we presented with now over 700. It is apparent that even after so many years that the demand for this game refuses to slack, so the ultimate question is, why are we still relentlessly trying to ‘catch ’em all’ after so much time?

still on the pokeball 1


Pokemon Is In Our Hearts 

The beauty of Game Freak is they know how to capture the hearts of a mass of age groups and they do well to maintain their interest in this beloved franchise. By expanding Pokemon further than just the main game series, Game Freak have allowed Pokemon to not only maintain fans, but also to gather more.

One of the first spin offs within the Pokemon game franchise was the Pokemon Trading Card Game (Gameboy). This targeted the fans more interested in the physical Pokemon Trading Cards, allowing them to build and alter decks and compete in game.


still on the pokeball 2



Some spin offs became a series in themselves, taking the Pokemon Ranger series for example. It allowed players to indulge in a different perspective to the Pokemon games in which you do not catch Pokemon as such but take care of them and see they coincide with the humans in the world. The games are quite hands on in regards to battles as opposed to the turn based  style of the main series and again allows the opportunity for different types of players to indulge in the Pokemon franchise. Then there’s the Mystery Dungeon which series allows players to play as a Pokemon themselves. Again, another expansion to the franchise to cater for another different type of player.


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More recent spin offs have targeted specific addictions in the gaming industry. Pokemon Shuffle is a puzzle game quite clearly aimed at the mass of Candy Crush Saga addicts. So whilst remaining to be a fun game for younger generations it can also snatch up some older generations who like to play puzzle games when they get a little free time on their hands.

The greatest part is the spin offs not only engulf new fans but it is also fun for the more general Pokemon fans that love the series as a whole. The diversity within the Pokemon franchise is truly one of the reasons it is still standing strong today.



There is always a distinct feeling of despair when you finish a game as although feeling accomplished for beating the game, there is a hint of sadness in respect to the fact it’s over. Game Freak however, like to ensure that there is still plenty to do upon finishing a Pokemon game. Even after beating the Elite Four (a selection of the best Pokemon trainers in a specific region) and completing tasks only available post-game, there is always another Pokemon you can train differently or a new battle you may partake in.

In recent installments Pokemon has become more competitive. In being able to battle and trade with players worldwide, it has opened up an inlet for more strategic and focused Pokemon training. Players now train highly planned teams of Pokemon that have been bred to perfection in order to battle with players all over the world. There are also tournaments in which players may win prizes for doing so. This is a lovely addition to the Pokemon franchise as although aimed at more dedicated and competitive gamers, it doesn’t take anything away from the franchise itself. It is a fun, addictive addition that allows players to continue their journey in a more sociable and competitive manner.


Pokefans Speak

I asked some Pokemon fans to tell me what they thought kept the Pokefire burning, Pokemon-personalities from Tumblr wrote:


tumblr answer 2 why pokemon lives on


It is true, Game Freak are now adapting recent installments and remaking older games in order to not only expand the series further, but to also keep the fans of the older generations hooked and excited about the franchise. Game Freak understand their audience and the whole ideal that ‘it wasn’t as good as the originals’ can be overcome in some shape or form by incorporating the old into the new and engaging every part of their ever growing audience.

Also from Tumblr, Perditus-bliss writes:


tumblr answer why is pokemon lives on


This point does highlight how the uniqueness to the series appeals and is important to fans. It also draws attention to the fact Pokemon may be hitting adults in the sweet spot, the part inside of them that wants to relive their youth and it is truly heart-warming and moving that this video game franchise has the power to do that.


One Of A Kind 

The whole ideal behind Pokemon is extremely unique in itself, as well as being every child’s fantasy. A world in which from a young age you are given a Pokemon partner and allowed to journey the world, free of parents, no school (except Trainers School which actually sounds rather fun) being able to decide what you want to do and where you want to go. This concept is radically different to any game out there and therefore will always remain to be intriguing.

A game that started with a choice between three cute little monsters has transpired into one of the most successful and indulgent game franchises to date. Game Freak has the profound ability to snap up fans old and young and also maintain them. This is evident in their immense sales and the fact that the vast majority of Pokemon installments will hardly ever lose their value. I know the Pokemon franchise remains to be a video game I am emotionally attached to, and I’m sure that it is a common feeling among ongoing fans of the series.

still on the pokeball 4

What do you think keeps the Pokeball rolling? Feel free to leave a comment with your opinion.