Reviews from

in the past

Excellent, very faithful port of the first Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. Being able to revisit the classic adventure with Gen 7 mechanics (the movepools and properties being closer to Gen 7 despite releasing during 8) keeps the experience just fresh enough

I'm a bit conflicted on if I actually like this game or not, because on the one hand, it's a very faithful and fun remake, but in the other hand, whatever the gargantuan amount of nostalgia I have for the original, I don't think that it was actually that good.
The main thing this remake has to sell is a graphical improvement from the GBA and DS titles, since there's barely any added content aside from some balance tweaks. A great effort was put into making the game have something of a "picture book" look, which I guess was made to improve the souless 3D Pokémon models from the main series and give some flair to the 3D environments that looked good previously because of the amazing pixel art. I apprecciate the intent, but sadly it just doesn't look very good at all. You end up getting used to the backgrounds, but the Pokémon look muddy and weird, and the character portraits don't hold a candle to the original pixel art ones. The original didn't look perfect all the time either, but I'll take it any day of the week before this one.
Having this game on a modern console, with 3D spaces and after 3 more entries in the series that evolved the series in every way, really makes it show its age. The story and character interactions are very simplistic, setting aside the runaway portion of it, and there's only like around 10 dungeons in the main story, making it very short. Also, for some reason, the postgame is like x4 times bigger than the main story and I may be falling short. I know they tried their best to respect the original but I think more could have been done to balance it a bit.
Although these last 2 points are just my opinion (and I'm very biased towards this) about graphics and length, the worst thing for me was the infuriating amount of input lag that's in this game. Why? This game is a very simplistic remake of a GBA game! It has no business making me even making misimputs, specially in menus, from how big the lag is. I read somewhere that there's something wrong with the engine they use since the 3DS titles, but if that's the case they definetly should have fixed it for this entry because it makes the experience really frustrating.
However, I also think there's plenty to love about the game as well. The difficulty is still high even when you're given a lot more options and resources than in the original, and playing through the dungeons is as fun as ever. A lot of care was put in the boss fights too. In the DS games, the presentation is a little bit lackluster, but in DX there are a good amount of cutscenes that add a lot of personality to the individual bosses (and the finale of the game too). There's also individual gimmicks that mix up the gameplay and make boss fights harder to counter the fact that your items are stronger, making you try to stack up on them and save them for bosses.
The soundtrack really makes a great effort to preserve the feeling of the original songs, which I really liked. Even though my brain is wired to enjoy the old ones more, I think DX has an incredible soundtrack anyways.
I leave this game with mixed feelings, especially since I played the original so much when I was a kid. I hope that if Explorers of Sky DX is ever made it fixes the rough edges this one had, which I'm sure would then make for something really special. For this one though, I think I'll just play the original if I want to get back to it any time soon. I know nostalgia is a big part of that, but I'm perfectly fine with embracing my hypocrisy for this one.

Sweet and quite true to the original remake of Red and Blue rescue team! I have a soft spot for the Mystery Dungeon series, so picking this up for the Switch was a blast. Art style was lovely, and gameplay was great. I did miss the "general" attack that was present in red/blue rescue team though! I also quite liked the appearance of the rescue camps, the little sprites of characters you befriend looked quite nice. Overall, a feel-good game that is visually very pretty and a great remake.

Very faithful remake that still has the charm of the original with GREAT QoL changes. Thank you for allowing legendary Pokemon in the postgame to join you after defeating them instead of grinding for them. The literal best change possible. If you've never played PMD before, this is the best way to get into the series. Then play the Explorers DS games. We don't talk about the 3DS PMD games.

Gameplay: Simple
Music: Great
Replayable? No
Streamed? Yes
Extra Notes? I played more of the original GBA, but this ver is also good. Definitely fun to play the main story. GBA extra stories was SUPER fun, i'm excited to also see them on this ver. (if they are there)

This review contains spoilers

"Against all odds, you must run. Run. Run...and survive. You must run till you uncover the truth."
The original Blue Rescue Team game (never had Red Rescue Team) is one that I have very fond memories of. I have some strong childhood memories of my many times playing it, from bawling my head off during the ending to more personal amusing moments such as how I had a bad habit of erasing my save file thinking I could beat the game by myself after having just had one of my older brothers beat the game for me (I would inevitably ask one of them to beat it for me again). I still have a save file from around 2012 or so when I beat the game with an Action Replay to make all my Pokémon Level 100 and have all items in the storage. When I heard this game was getting a remake in 2020, I was cautiously optimistic. I was not really a fan of the art style at the time and I just felt like nothing could replace the original for me. For a long time, I kinda just forgot this remake even happened until I got it as a Christmas present in 2022. After having finally played this game I hadn't beaten since I was a preteen, I came out just a little disappointed. It isn't the deep emotional rollercoaster I remember it as, although it was still a tearjerker at times from me. It isn't anywhere near as difficult as I remember it being, although I imagine a large part of that is probably because of either remake differences or because I am an adult playing this game. Nonetheless, I did still enjoy my time with this one and I would recommend it to anyone. Its just a bit unfortunate to have my rose-tinted nostalgia goggles taken off like this.
I'll start with the story, since its always what stood out in my mind whenever I think of any of the Mystery Dungeon games. I used to think this was really gripping, deep, and immersive as a kid, but I can see beyond the childlike amazement now and I see a story that has a lot of heart to it but doesn't have much substance. As far as I can tell, Rescue Team DX's story is exactly the same as the games its remaking, since I don't recall a single plot point here not being present in the original. Basically, the big hook of this one (and pretty much all the other Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games) is that you're a human who got transformed into a Pokémon and you're trying to figure out why. From the very beginning, you stumble upon your soon-to-be best friend, who's the partner you choose at the beginning of the game. I like goofy names in games, so I named my character Dude and my partner Bro. I'm just going to use those names here so I'm not constantly saying "the partner" or "you". Dude and Bro go into their first dungeon - Tiny Woods - to save a Butterfree's child and they inevitably succeed. From here, they decide to form a Rescue Team (hence the name of the game), which is...well, a team of Pokémon that make it their job to rescue those unfortunate souls that got lost in dungeons. I am very unfunny and uncreative, so I named mine Team Gigachads. As a newly formed team, the only members are Dude and Bro, although it gets bigger later. From here, the story mostly consists of a good amount of rescue missions with their own motivations behind it, like how you go to Silent Chasm to save a Jumpluff because another greedy Rescue Team got persuaded into doing it and nearly died trying. Sometimes you also just go through dungeons for your own sake, like how Dude goes to Great Canyon to talk to the mystical Xatu in hopes of seeing if Xatu knows why he became a Pokémon. You also have these dream sequences where, slowly but surely, Dude starts to piece together why he was placed into the world of Pokémon. In my opinion, the story doesn't really start getting interesting until the part where Gengar - the leader of Team Meanies (yea that's genuinely what they're called) that has a bone to pick with you - finds out you're a human through spying on your conversation with Xatu. He immediately tries to sabotage the goodwill you've been building up with the townsfolk and other Rescue Teams. Dude has been telling them that he's a human since he first got here, but they either never take him seriously or don't know what a human even is. Alakazam's team - the big team that everyone loves but was never given an official name - are the only ones with suspicions about Dude being evil, with Alakazam specifically being the one to suspect it. Gengar takes advantage of everyone's lack of knowledge about humans to spin a narrative that the reason why all the natural disasters happening in the world lately (you get hints of this through conversation with the legendaries you fight since they talk about the balance of the specific part of the world they govern being out of wack) is tied to Dude becoming a Pokémon. There's a legend that a Ninetales tried to curse a human for pulling its tail, but a Gardevoir with a deep bond protected that human, and the human selfishly ran away. This tale is used as "evidence" by Gengar to convince others to join the mob. They kinda just immediately believe him, even the big hotshot Rescue Team that Dude and Bro admire so much. Said Rescue Team breaks the news by threatening to kill you if you don't turn back, and even then they are going to send a bunch of the best Rescue Teams to hunt you down tomorrow so you better start running real fast. I remember something like this was genuinely really shocking to see in a Pokémon game for me as a kid and you start to really care for the characters after seeing how far these two little unevolved Pokémon have to push themselves to escape the elite Rescue Teams that want them dead. In my opinion, its the real emotional core of the game, and it does last a good while. For a while, you're just going through a bunch of dungeons with the goal of getting as far away from your pursuers as you can. It only ends once Gengar gets proven wrong, I thought it was a little anticlimactic that you're kinda just accepted back at the drop of a hat but Gengar being chased out of town was pretty satisfying. There's a decent chunk of the game still left, where you go to take down a group of Mankey to help Wobbuffet and Wynaut, Groudon to save Alakazam's team, and finally Rayquaza once you find out that there's a huge meteor that will destroy the world if you can't convince Rayquaza to stop it. As it turns out, Dude was not the human in the Ninetales legend, but instead he was sent to the Pokémon world with the specific goal of saving it from disaster. This leads to the pretty touching ending, where, when the day's finally saved, Dude disappears to return back to the human world, making Bro and the townsfolk break down into tears. I honestly felt this would have been more impactful if they actually committed to it, but Dude soon returns because he wished hard enough. Congrats, you're in the post game; enjoy the good chunk of extra content after the main story. This whole story took a long time to summarize, but, despite how text heavy this game is and how it seems cool on paper, the execution felt a bit off to me. I appreciate what it was going for but I don't think it leans enough into it, if that makes sense.
Gameplay's next to bat. I have to agree with the consensus here that it is pretty basic, but it is fun and feels very different from mainline Pokémon games despite having all the same creatures and a lot of the same moves (though there's also a lot that are different from the main series). The Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games are turn-based grid-based dungeon crawlers where you explore a bunch of floors with randomly generated layouts to find goodies or fight enemies. There's also some invisible traps that can bamboozle you. The goal is to find the stairs on each floor to keep going up until you reach the top floor. Of course, the top floor is different for each dungeon: for example, Tiny Woods ends at 4F and Sky Tower ends at 33F. Either the dungeon just ends entirely once you reach the top floor or you have a boss to fight. There's also requests that you take where you must fill certain criteria in the dungeons, which is almost always going to be finding a special Pokémon on a specific floor. You're either rescuing it, giving it a specific item, or having a Pokémon you've been escorting throughout the whole dungeon reunite with it. This sort of ties into one of the main complaints I've seen about these games; you're going to need to go through the same dungeons at least once since you need to grind for levels to catch up with the harder dungeons or to stock up on important items (although I found this game was very generous with items if you're doing a decent amount of requests), especially if you're trying to have a varied team that isn't just you and your partner. I didn't mind it, though; the fact that you also often have requests to do while you're in that dungeon makes it feel like you're at least accomplishing something rather than just going through the same thing again. Sometimes a dungeon you're revisiting will temporarily become full of loot and boost any gains from finding money, which was pretty satisfying to go through whenever it happened. The dungeons aren't super difficult, but I did die to the last dungeon once and once to the penultimate dungeon. Something relatively frustrating is that your experience can be completely different based at least partly on luck because of the way the floors are generated. Sometimes you come across a Monster House, which is when a whole cavalcade of Pokémon come out of nowhere and you're pretty much guaranteed to die at least once in my experience. Sometimes a Pokémon has a move that can shoot you from across the map or smack an entire room with massive damage (like how Bubble travels a long way and Earthquake destroys anything unfortunate enough to be in the same room), which can leave you feeling rather helpless if you don't also have one of those kinds of moves. Multi-hit moves are absolutely broken in this game and can easily melt you or your enemies if so much as two hits are achieved. Each hit of a multi-hit move does pretty much the same damage as a regular attack and I don't know who decided this was okay. I guess it's supposed to be balanced by the accuracy rate, but I found that, more often than not, you'll get at least two hits from the multi-hit moves, and its not that much of a problem when the game gives you items to raise your stats which includes accuracy of specific moves. Its ridiculous, but at least you can also take advantage of this too. It was hilarious seeing how Rock Blast is a move I never use in the main series games, but, as soon as I had it on my Geodude, I made the Rayquaza fight a complete joke. Another odd quirk about the Mystery Dungeon combat in comparison to mainline is that type coverage really isn't that important. It's always smart to have moves that are Super Effective just in case and there are types that are immune to the moves of another type, but, for some reason, moves that are not very effective can still hit like a truck. Also helps that moves get upgraded to hit harder the more you use them, and, if they're upgraded enough, you have the chance to attack twice in the same turn without using up any extra PP. This makes multi-hit attacks even more insane because you could potentially hit a Pokémon four times - which is already crazy enough - and then smack them around FOUR MORE TIMES for absolutely massive damage.
As a remake, I think this was pretty much a direct improvement over the original as far as quality of life and mechanics goes. There are some very nice QoL changes, like how you can now swap over control to any Pokémon in your party from the very beginning whereas it used to be that you could only control the main character until you beat the game (unfortunately this came at the cost of no longer letting you use any Pokémon to wander around town with but that was such a minor thing anyway). When you first start the game, you do a personality quiz that determines what Pokémon you get; it used to be mandatory that you accept whichever Pokémon you got from the quiz, but this remake lets you pick who you want if you're not satisfied with the quiz result, which was a great change imo. Personally I just stuck with what the quiz gave me, I feel that was really charming in the original but there's nothing wrong with giving people more options and I'll always commend that. It also removes the gender restrictions that were in place in the original, so boys can now pick Skitty and girls can pick Machop for example. A very specific nuisance that got fixed is how, if you wanted to go to Sky Tower again after beating the game, you needed to have the Fly TM in the original. This got removed in the remake and for good reason. I wouldn't be surprised if this also happened to the dungeons that you needed the Dive TM to enter in the original games, but those are in the post game and I only just beat the main story so I can't confirm for sure. Unfortunately, I do feel the changes in presentation resulted in a loss of personality from the original. Maybe its just my rose tinted glasses still being there but I think the sprites were just more expressive and charming. The Friend Areas (the places the Pokémon you recruit into your team go to) are also just a bunch of menus now when they used to be full-on...well, areas. You could walk around the areas - which I often did just to admire the neat DS sprite visuals - and each Pokémon had a certain spot they would often hang out at. Was just a cool touch that got removed. On the plus side, I found myself really loving the watercolor-like art style and I'd be happy to see more games that look like this.
Overall, I think playing through this game again has sort of ruined that childhood magic its always had for me, but I'm also glad I did it so I could form a more concrete opinion. Its still a lot of fun imo and had plenty of heart to it. If you're into dungeon crawlers and Pokémon, I would definitely recommend this one to you. It gets a solid 3.5 stars from me.

Its very charming albeit a bit too easy aside from the level reset dungeons.

its really charming in many aspects plus the story is really fun,love the ost but didnt like much of the gameplay tho,its kinda good

I finally got around to playing this after wanting to for so long because I loved the original as a kid. I feel like it doesn't hold up really well, and that it was carried by nostalgia for me honestly.

I give this the coveted "not my thing award"

A resounding meh from a Pokemon fan. The dungeons are all the same and I was going crazy by the 6th hour. My guy, Meowth pretty much just walks up to any enemy, I press A and combo 2 moves with one press to kill them. (One being fury swipes).
What I'm saying is Pokemon charm and a cute art style cant excuse a bland dungeon crawler. Much like Pokemon Rumble, its a total nostalgia thing. If you love the originals, this is a great remake. If you've never played it, try a better dungeon crawler like Etrian Odyssey where character building actually feels like a core part of the game. Mystery Dungeon doesn't supply the freedom, challenge and rewards that make the genre special.
Although to clarify, I dropped the game in its last act because I kept waiting for it to get good. I should have bailed for Shiren the Wanderer befote I even left the store with this. Just mediocre and shallow in a genre that needs insane depth.

same game but not as good looking and also 60 dollars more

it's quite nice, this is probably the best pmd game since explorers of

This review contains spoilers

Great remake! But dropped after the first post game boss fight ): didn't really wanna train up an entirely new team just for the Kyogre fight

faithful remake with QoL changes and new Pokemon & other stuff. Very fun and still maintains the difficulty of the original.

An incredible remake of a beloved childhood game. Improves upon it greatly without deviating terribly (at least in my memory). Suffers from some balancing issues(feels easier, some starters are leaps and bounds better than others) and issues with the core series in general (repetitive story beats), but a great remake that I recommend to anyone curious about the series.

Better version of the original with the boss battles specifically seeing a pretty big face lift. Fun game and the new eight member team gimmick was pretty fun to mess around with

Very charming if basic dungeon crawler that is great to play while watching or listening to something else on the side.
+ bright and colorful presentation befitting the series
+ reasonable main story length (12-15h) bolstered by substantial post-game content
+ many quality of life improvements over the original (far from perfection, however)
+ enjoyable albeit luck-based Pokémon collecting
+ manageable difficulty with divisive but purposeful auto saves
- immediately repetitive, cheerful soundtrack
- superficial story that plays out in a formulaic manner
- cheap animations with noticeable clipping
- often frustrating AI that ruins runs and disincentives the otherwise comfortable auto movement
- terrible input lag

PMD DX might be one of the best remakes of a game I've ever played. Even though I've never experienced the original, from what I can tell DX absolutely realizes the gba titles to its truest potential. Every aspect of this game has a ton of love and care put into it and to my knowledge the only thing that ended up being cut was the Friend Zones you could walk around in, which is understandable at the very least. The rest is near flawlessly recreated, particularly the artstyle and music which both manage to capture the feeling of the older pmd games and yet be elevated to what their native home consoles couldn't preform.
DX seriously may be one of the best looking games on the switch. Even the basic dungeons are so pleasing to look at, the watercolor art really lends itself well to the kind and emotional spirit of pmd. I frequently had to stop just to gawk at the environments. It's so obvious that a lot of love went into this entry, and this isn't even mentioning the music, which I think was brilliantly remastered. Mixing the original gba soundfont with a new orchestrated version of the soundtrack was a really smart move; the music alone is enough to make me cry and it really elevates the more emotional scenes. On my second playthrough, I also noticed how well the cutscenes were animated which felt weird for a pokemon game. Rayquaza, the star falling, and all the other legendary intros just looked so gorgeous. DX is made of many good things, and I can tell that it's very much a loveletter to the series as a whole.
The gameplay itself though, I think this game is probably as good as its gonna get. Naturally, it can get pretty repetitive and it's not really something you can play nonstop, but that's alright. For some reason I had a huge issue with Sky Tower though; I was severely underleveled and kept getting wiped out. I'm not sure how this even happened but I've learned that pmd really, really, really sucks when you have to grind. It is so frustrating and I honestly contemplated knocking the game down a star because of it, but in the end I couldn't really bring myself to since the rest of the game went off without any interruptions. Just... make sure you're at least level 35 before the final dungeon or flygon will knock your teeth in.
DX is definitely one of the higher quality pokemon games that have come out recently along with the new Pokémon Snap, so I would recommend this to anyone who feels like they've lost their love for the series, since this game is what rekindled my own feelings for it back in 2020 when it released. As good as this game is, I can only hope that we'll live to see a remake of Explorers in this style... one can dream ):

sky tower soundtrack goes insanely hard
currently gaslighting myself that they will announce explorers remakes in tomorrow's pokemon direct

It was a great time for me until it wasn't. Despite the fact that I was getting pretty burnt out towards the end of the main story and the fact that I won't be getting into any of the postgame, I'm just glad I had enough in me to reach the end credits. I was never able to get very far in my copy of Red Rescue Team as a kid, so I'm glad this decent remake exists for that reason alone.

It's good, but other Mystery Dungeon games are better

cute remake and i'm glad to have finally played Rescue Team but it still feels a little klunky like in Super Mystery Dungeon what the heck guys

why the FUCK did they remove friend areas?? my favorite thing in games are weird little niche areas that are pretty and have no purpose other than to wander around and interact with things. i want my goofy little places back! please!

I'm still weirded out by the fact that you live in a house built specifically to look like your own head.