The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series has been an icon in the Pokémon franchise. It is one of the more established spinoffs. This exact title is a remake of the Game Boy Advance and DS's titles “Red/Blue Rescue Team”. While this title's nostalgia got us all excited, is this “facelift” enough? Does the game still stand strong after all these years?
Just like the original, the game starts with you as a human that woke up one day and found themselves in the Pokémon universe, looking like a certain Pokémon. When you wake up you have no memory of your past. You are instantly befriended by another Pokémon that somehow convinces you to start a rescue team with them. As strange as it seems, that's RPGs for you.
The game is very straight forward. Every morning, you wake up and you meet up with your buddy to go on rescuing missions. Every mission consists of you two visiting a randomly generated dungeon to either rescue a Pokémon or find a certain item. Every dungeon is made out of different floors. The more you advance your character, the higher floor numbers you will be able to reach.
Just like the old games, everything that goes into exploring these dungeons is turn-based. These dungeons consist of an invisible grid. This grid helps you figure out where is the best point for you and your teammates to stand to get the upper hand in a battle. Battles do not happen in a separate cut scene like some other games, it just happens in the same space as the rest of the game. That is something I appreciate as it means there are no lengthy loading screens.
The “battles” themselves are really simple. Unlike the old games, you do not even have to choose your move anymore. If you press “A” the game automatically chooses the attack that it thinks is the most effective against that specific Pokémon you are fighting. You can still override it by pressing ZR and choosing your own move from the list.
In this game, you can recruit more Pokémon you find in dungeons to your rescue team. You can only recruit Pokémon if you have already unlocked the camp they stay in. In every mission, you can recruit up to five additional Pokémon. In the old games, you could only recruit two. While this sounds like a positive, it is really a mixed bag... It's ridiculous to try and walk around the same old small dungeons with 7 Pokémon especially when you are to trying to escape from an enemy.
Another addition to the game is Auto Mode. By pressing the L button you can activate this. Auto mode basically plays the game for you. It walks for you inside the dungeon until it locates the steps or finds an enemy. You then have to beat that enemy yourself, but realistically if you press A, the game will beat it for you.
Overall, the game is charming. The art style is beautiful and the story is cute. With that being said, it is definitely very grindy. I would say it is more of an acquired taste. Some people will love going on these adventured and will spend hours exploring dungeons while others might get bored and think it is very repetitive.