Pokeman releases demo of former Nintendo game

Jacob Waring – News Editor

Remakes or remasters of games can be a hit or miss.Overhauling a game to upgrade visuals and core controls can also either make or break a game. Adding or removing any mechanic with an eye on creating a gaming experience that replicates the magic of the original gameplay can be a gamble.

Thus far, the demo of “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX” is looking like it is going to be a hit. The upcoming game is a remake of the 2005 Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS “Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team and Red Rescue Team.”

In the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon spin-off franchise, the gameplay is rogue like, a genre that can be characterized as turned-based gameplay with procedural generating dungeons. The goal is either to complete the dungeon by reaching the final floor or by completing “jobs” such as delivering items, rescuing or escorting Pokémon.

The demo takes you through the first two hours of the game. If you have played the originalPokémon Mystery Dungeon then you will likely finish a bit quicker since it follows the same plot. The demo ends before you even unravel the mysteries surrounding the protagonist: the mystery of how a human somehow became a Pokémon or the mystery of natural disasters wreaking havoc on the world that these Pokémon inhabit.

The classic quiz has made its triumphant return and was the classic way to pick your starting character. I restarted the demo a few times to see if the results still either drags you through the mud or boosts your ego. Hilariously, it still does both.

If you wanted to be Pikachu but got stuck being Skitty in the original game, then you had to reboot the game and retake the quiz. It was a tedious process which got resolved as the demo allows you to reject the quiz’s choice and select the Pokémon you desire. It allows purists of the original to play the game like it was back in ’05 and allows players to pick whatever they want.

It has all the starters from the generation one to three games along with Pikachu, Eevee, Machop, Cubone, Psyduck, Meowth and Skitty. It omits starters from generation four through eight which is a bummer. I hope that they are available in dungeons to recruit or are obtainable post-game.

In the game’s trailer, I saw a Lucario and Mega Charizard X which means the game’s developers, Spike Chunsoft, are willing to add Pokémon that were not in the original. It is not game-breaking, but it is a missed opportunity to not include the newer starters.

The visual fluidity of the game shown in the demo is glorious. The graphics such as the environments and Pokémon have a painterly texture in appearance. This artistic choice makes the game look modernized while still capturing the nostalgic vibe of the original. The appearances of the dungeons shown in the demo have been underwhelming.

There have been some quality of life improvements made to the game as showcased in the demo. You can save the game via a menu by pressing X. It does not sound revolutionary, but considering the fact that in the old games you had to go to your bed to save (which meant if you failed adungeon that you had to redo the dungeon), this is an improvement.

The developers also added an auto mode which can be activated by pressing the L button. You can select it to search for stairs or to collect items unless you encounter a wild Pokémon and must manually play. This is a good mechanic for newer players or for people with younger family members like me, as the mode would enable my 4-year-old nephew to play the game only needing to hit the X button to fight and the L to restart the mode. It can be easily ignored by veterans of the series.

The best aspect of this demo is that players will be able to carry all your progress over from the demo. This enables players to skip through the tutorial and get to the meat and potatoes of the game.

This demo showcased what I believe will be an exceptional game and a remake that honors, captures and even surpasses what makes the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon games a joy to play.

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