It’s been awhile since I’ve played a Pokémon game. I skipped Sword and Shield as a first for the series and this is the second game I’ve bought so far for my Switch. Why? I’ve been selective of games as of late and time has been too restrictive. If it’s lacking for me, then all the savings and time I got will simply go down the drain. Plus for the fact it’s a remake of a long-running spin-off is one of the most unexpected things for a niche series. But it is a welcoming return.
First things first, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series started way back in 2006, almost fourteen years ago. Yes, it’s that long. The staple of the series is the personality quiz. In this game you have a chance to be one of sixteen possible starter choices from Generations 1 to 3 but if you don’t like the result you can always choose one on your own without relying on the quiz. And you’ll get a partner Pokémon of your choice alongside to your adventures. There are times when the quiz feels like a sentient being who knows who you are even before the game has properly started. Note: this is game rated for everyone by the way.
For a remake, the storyline hasn’t changed, but there are differences along the way. Some are good, some aren’t but that doesn’t mean the overall experience is bad. When you go inside a dungeon the limit per team upon entering is 3 and it can expand to as much as 8 until when you clear the dungeon. This makes it funny for me as you basically recruit random Pokémon you’ve just met and now they’re helping you fight a boss. Add to the fact they even give you money when you don’t have the specific camp they need to live in. There’s also another mechanic alongside the usual Pokémon abilities which is called Rare Qualities. They give added bonuses to your team and if you’re lucky enough, it can make the game more rewarding especially for those who’d like a challenge. I’d say it is a streamlined version of a game you’ve been playing for a long time with good quality-of-life additions.
Another thing I like is how it never forces you to keep going through the main story unless if that is how you want to play the game. There are times I feel like I would rather do some dungeon-crawling and finish some jobs posted on the bulletin board and the game is fine with it. As long as you do your thing, you’ll get something in return. A win-win!
The biggest upgrade for me is listening to the remastered soundtrack. It’s as if it never faded away through time as the people knows what they are doing. I also love the watercolor approach in the game’s art because you know you are going through an adventure. The one thing I could nitpick here is how short the actual main story is but the rest of it is covered in optional dungeons post-game. It is a good sign that a game like this is still here. Now if they could announce a new game and or having a remake of Explorers of Time, Darkness or Sky coming. I will throw my money if that would happen.
The combat is something new beginners need to adjust on at first but for seasonal players like me it’s a step-up from the original because it encourages various strategies especially in boss fights. If you don’t like complex strategies it is fine too as long as you know what you are doing. In short, the game is a wonderful remake as it can be played by anyone who has different approaches in playing.