Game Review

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Stuart Reddick

What if you awakened one day as a Pokemon?

What if you awakened one day as a Pokemon? What if all of a sudden you find yourself in an unknown world, where you can speak and interact with many other Pokemon? Well essentially, that’s what happens in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team; you wake up one day in a strange new world where you have become a Pokemon. You'll embark upon a mission where you must interact with other Pokemon to try and unravel the mysteries of this new world, as well as trying to find out how you turned into a Pokemon, and what must be done to return to your human form.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team – a Nintendo DS exclusive – was released alongside with Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team – a Game Boy Advance exclusive way back in 2006. Though both games are practically identical in content, Blue Rescue Team uses the DS' two screens as opposed to the one screen on Red Rescue Team. Besides that, the only major differences between the versions are the handful of exclusive Pokemon local to each system.

Before starting your quest, the game will ask you a series of questions. These questions will then determine which Pokemon you will play as. Once you have answered the questions, you then get to pick a partner; there are 16 partners in total, but you can’t pick the same Pokemon as you are and you also can’t pick a Pokemon of the same type as you. For example, if you awaken as Squirtle, you can’t choose Squirtle, Totodile, or Mudkip as your partner.

Shortly after beginning you adventure, you’ll discover the first dungeon, Tiny Woods. In this dungeon is where you get your first objective, to rescue Caterpie on the dungeon's very bottom floor. While questing to the bottom of the dungeon, you’ll collect items and Poke – the currency of the game – and will also engage in battles with other Pokemon; winning battles these will gain you experience points. It's worthwhile mentioning that each time you visit a floor it’ll be completely different, which is due to the game’s dungeon generator. Of course, there are a few events that are supposed to occur on particular levels, so these always remain the same.

Your goal on each floor is to make your way to the stairs that will bring you to the next level. As previously mentioned, the game has a random dungeon generator so there is no set location for where the stairs will be placed. However, what you can expect to be the same are the Pokemon you encounter on each floor; specific Pokemon populate each of the dungeons' floors. In the first few levels you can expect to see weak Pokemon, but as you progress through the game they become increasingly stronger.

The overall objective of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon is to explore the land, rescue Pokemon, and help the pocket monsters with their conflicts. To do this, you’ll need to recruit Pokemon; on paper, recruiting Pokemon is straightforward – all you have to do is to battle them. Unfortunately, it isn’t as easy as it sounds; there are quite a few things that affect whether or not Pokemon will ask to join your rescue team – luck is the strongest of all these elements. You also must must ensure that you have a specific Friend Area – a place where the Pokemon can reside when not out in the field – for any such Pokemon you wish to recruit.

While it may sound interesting, the gameplay is repetitive and has the tendency to grate on you. On top of this is our biggest issue with Pokemon Mystery Dungeon; it was obviously designed for that Game Boy Advance. Blue Rescue Team is evidently a port of Red Rescue Team, with a few extra features thrown in last minute. The quality is at the point where it seems as if the developers made no effort to enhance the graphics of this DS version – it literally looks like its GBA counterpart! We found it disheartening to see that the DS and GBA games are practically identical, with the only exceptions being the use of another screen and a few exclusive Pokemon.

It is true enough that after completing the main storyline, there are plenty of things left to do – more rescue missions will emerge for you to embark upon, and you’ll get lots opportunities to go to dungeons where legendary Pokemon reside – however, you'll probably end up getting despondent with playing the main quest, and these extra dungeons won’t provide much incentive to continue playing.


Overall, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon is a decent addition to anyone’s DS library, but keep in mind that the game feels – and plays – like a Game Boy Advance title. If you can cope with Mystery Dungeon’s shortcomings and don't mind the repetitive gameplay, you're bound to have a blast playing it. If you're also debating on which version to buy, we recommend the Nintendo DS version as it is of a slightly better quality than its GBA sibling.

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User Comments (23)



Digiki said:

I have Red Rescue Team on the GBA, some great dungeon crawling in that one, its got mileage.



AlexSays said:

Also, my first first at Nintendolife

There's about 500 articles/reviews with no comments so feel free to go nuts. lol

As much as I'd love to wake up and be a Pokemon, Nintendo has yet to nail a spin-off game.
Of course nothing will ever touch the main series, but one of these can be made into a good game.



AlexSays said:

Oh I meant handheld spin-offs.
So Mystery Dungeon, Pokemon Ranger. and Pokemon Dash.

None of which have had a really solid game.



Digiki said:

Except these Mystery Dungeon games are solid, better than that snail-paced Diamond, although apparently Platinum doesn't suck.

And I thought the Ranger games had fairly solid reviews?



AlexSays said:

Solid as in iffy? I'm talkin' solid solid.
Look at the reviews across the board.

The main series. Diamond. Pearl. Platinum.

Pokemon Dash.
Oh my it's terrible, what about the next series?

Pokemon Ranger
Pokemon Ranger: Shadows
Mixed or average reviews for both. Next?

Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team
Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness
Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time
Oh it's ugly, take it away!

See what I mean?
They've never pushed any of these spin-offs into the upper class.



Chunky_Droid said:

Wow, AlexSays, been ages since I've seen a comment from you. Though I mostly scrummage the VC and WiiWare sites.

I agree about most of the Pokemon Spinoffs, I found Ranger fun, and I'm playing Explorers of Darkness with my son (he got Time for Christmas), and they're nothing noteworthy either.

Handheld games should stick with the old formula as most other games feel like cash-ins (which would fit perfectly on WiiWare!)



AlexSays said:

Wow, AlexSays, been ages since I've seen a comment from you.

That's because I haven't been here.
No worries though, you should see plenty of me in the future.



RaiderZX said:

I would give this game a 8/10 because it's one of my favourite games, though the sequel is better.



Ricardo91 said:

@Alexsays. Pokemon Pinball and Puzzle Challenge were good handheld Pokemon spinoffs.

I've played a demo of this game a couple of times in Gamestop and such, and it's boring as hell. This series fails.



SeniorDingDong said:

The sequells are better

Tested this one on a girl friends DS and bought Explorers of Time because I liked the grindy concept and idea of directly controlling a team of pokemon.

Sure, the "Explorers" games still have a lots of flaws and still looks like a GBA game (but the graphics improved on a level of a Golden Sun now) but if you that kind person who likes to grind your party up because you can use that awesome spell 17 remaining level ups later, enjoy find out the best working combination out of four pkmn and can enjoy a childish but surprisingly interesting story about time travel and misinformation - then you might enjoy that game.



AL3X_M said:

I liked this game, got hooked, then I got off it for a while. I kinda wanna play it now, but I lack a DS(i).

I think if Nintendo brought the legitimate "Mystery Dungeon" series to the DS, it'd be a nice play as well.



sonic_brawler95 said:

Is anyone gonna talk about how awesome the story was in this? The story was the only good thing about this game. (That and being able to play as Treecko of course ^^)



greenellow said:

sonic_brawler95 agreed this was the games only saving graced. and compared to its sequels (where apparently someone on the development team thought that bruce willis' power from unbreakable would make a compelling plot device) blue rescue team's didn't make me cringe



Aqueous said:

I thought it was a good game, the ds also has a tag mode where you can get items from other ds users and it has the ability to put a gba copy in the bottom slot and use them to rescue your self (I never got to test this), also if I understood the manual it let you battle there teams for practice. The story also keeps going after the game with quests and plots about legendaries. It's actually fun and the best spin-off pokemon has, I hope a 3ds comes.



TheDreamingHawk said:

What? a 6? This deserves a 9 or a 10 at least. this was the first game I ever played that gave me a reason to keep playing, and I found everything to be made well. I personally enjoy this more than the main series games by a long shot

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