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PMD Rescue Team DX Demo review

Discussion in 'Other Pokémon Games' started by Wolf Expert, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. Wolf Expert

    Wolf Expert Canine Scholar

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    Amazingly, on the same day that the remake of Red and Blue Rescue Team was announced, a demo was released on the switch eshop. Of course I IMMEDIATELY jumped on this, so here are some things I've noticed so far and my first impressions. (Minor spoiler warning, I guess.)

    • Eevee, Machop, Psyduck, Cubone, and Meowth are back as playable characters in addition to Pikachu and all of the starters up through gen 3. There are now more options for which Pokémon you can choose as your partner than there were in the originals (I believe originally limited to pikachu and the starters).
    • The personality quiz is back again and, like in Super, you can choose to pick your own Pokémon if the result isn't what you wanted.
    • For the first time ever, you can now choose the gender of both you and your partner. Gender differences in the models change depending on your choice, unlike in Super where if you played a Pokémon with a gender difference, it would always appear to be male.
    • Egg moves for you and your partner are back.
    • You get scarves near the beginning of the game, which are visible on the character models. The color for each Pokémon seems to be different and if the colors can be changed, it isn't obvious yet how to do so. I did notice that Cubone's scarf in the illustrated image is yellow, the same as my Cubone partner, so it's possible that each Pokémon has a set color that can't be changed. (Would be a cool feature though, reminiscent of Explorers.)
    • Pokémon in the dungeons are much more vocal. You and your partner will shout out moves as you use them, similar to how they do in the anime, along with other things like cheers for leveling up and various noises of distress when inflicted with a status condition or having stats lowered.
    • A lot of controls are similar to previous games, with the addition of "auto mode" which you activate by pressing L, which lets your Pokémon explore on their own without your input, until encountering an enemy.
    • You can switch the leader of the team freely while in the dungeon, like in Super, by pressing +.
    • The NPC's AIs seem to be on par with the AI from Super, with minor changes. For example, instead of randomly healing you if you have a status condition, they will actually use items from the toolbox now. I also had an instance where I was able to randomly attack twice in one turn, which was acknowledged in the adventure log as something like moving quickly to attack again (I don't remember the exact wording). Unsure whether this uses 2 pp, or just 1.
    • Talking to your partner, a feature removed in Gates and vaguely reintroduced in Super, is now back to the way it used to be.
      • You don't seem to be able to talk to NPCs you escort through dungeons. Unsure whether this is only for escort missions or if this will extend to team members you recruit later on, making it possible to only talk to your partner.
    • Status effects seem to have been buffed. Paralysis lasts significantly longer and poison, while it doesn't cause you damage as often as it has previously, now does a whopping 40HP of damage all at once.
    • Hunger is back again and seems to go down faster than before, though this might just be my imagination.
    • Regular attacks seem to have been removed altogether. Pressing A, instead of attacking without using a move, will now randomly use a move that's turned on. If your character knows a ranged move, they will always use a ranged move if pressing A while facing a Pokémon that's more than 1 tile away. (If it's within range.) When there's no Pokémon in range, your character will shout "Hyaaa!" or something similar and do an animation as if attacking at nothing, skipping the turn without using up pp of your moves. If you try attacking using A with no moves turned on, your character will use Struggle.
      • You can still select moves manually by pressing zL and then pressing the button that corresponds to the move.
    • Dungeons will randomly have increased loot drops (treasure boxes and money), which you can see from the dungeon list.
    • The "wind demon" is back and seems to become active a lot quicker than it has in past games, possibly making it a genuine threat in dungeon exploration.
    • You can now see items, enemies, and Pokémon waiting for rescue on the map regardless of whether you're in the same room or have explored that area yet. Staircases are still hidden until you find them.
    • Small changes to Pokémon Square, such as adding different height levels to the ground, make the landscape seem much more realistic and fun to walk through than if it were just on flat ground. Overall, looks a lot nicer than the original.
    • Purple Keckleon now exclusively sells TMs, and he has an extensive inventory. TMs in his shop now sparkle when a team member can learn them. Orbs can now be purchased from the green Keckleon's shop.
    • In addition to being able to relearn moves with Gulpin, linking moves is back, but using them causes you to become hungry more quickly.
    • Felicity bank will now give you a small daily gift when you visit, such as an apple or a max elixir.
    • Withdrawing items from Kangaskhan's storage is streamlined in the same way it was in Super. (Much easier than in the original game.)
    • Makuhita dojo is available from the start, but works a little differently in this version. In this version, the dojo dungeons are used to teach you gameplay mechanics and your moves will also improve faster than in regular dungeons. You need to use dungeon tickets in order to train at the dojo and the tickets have different qualities, such as bronze, silver, etc. You get a couple for free in an article of the newspaper about the dojo, and you can also get them as mission rewards.
    • Friend Areas are back, but in this version are called "Rescue Team Camps". They aren't accessible during the demo, so I can't give my opinion on this, and there might have been some changes that aren't immediately apparent. If you try to go to them, your partner will just say, "There's no dungeon that way."
    • Items such as seeds, orbs, and bows/scarves, specific to the PMD series now all have their own icons when you look at them in your inventory, and they look awesome! Slightly disappointing that they still look the same on the floor, but that might require too much data and would also kind of ruin the fun of the surprise.
    • Tiny Reviver Seeds are back, and regular Reviver Seeds are also in the game
    • Treasure Boxes from the later games have been added. Instead of taking them to a shop to have them opened, they'll open on their own once you leave the dungeon.
    • Kind of disappointing that you still can't equip items from the toolbox while not in a dungeon. I also can't find an option in the team status to equip them that way. as you generally could in previous games.
    • Perfect Apples are now items you can get as rewards from missions.
    • Jobs you take on the bulletin board are now automatically accepted, making it much more streamlined compared to the original.
    • From the start, you can take on missions that are typically considered more difficult in the original games and aren't immediately available, such as escort missions.
    • Fetch quests take after Gates and Super in that they have you find items such as "famous stones" and other random items that don't normally appear or have a use.
    • A lot of the dialogue is the same as the original games, although I have noticed a few changes and there is a new cutscene, which also gives you a handy shortcut to the post office. This cutscene is referenced in a later cutscene, which is an altered cutscene from the original game, so other changes could be expected later on.
    • The area before Tiny Woods is weirdly lightly colored and the Pokémon don't seem to fit into the scenery very well. As far as I've seen, this isn't an issue anywhere else, so it's possible they just didn't put in a lot of effort for an area that only appears briefly at the start of the game.
      • On that note, the sort of picture book aesthetic of this game is beautiful and looks amazing pretty much everywhere else.
    • The new Pokémon icons that appear next to the text boxes are adorable and I think are very much an improvement over the ones in Gates or Super.
    • The Pokémon models seem a lot more expressive than they were in Gates or Super.
    • Cutscenes seem to go a little quickly for some reason. If all of the cutscenes were just slowed down by about half, I think they would be a lot better.
    • The music and sound-effects are on point, very similar to the original game, but cleaned up a bit.
    • The "normal" rank was changed to "rookie" rank.
    • In a team member's status, you can see something called a "rare quality". It's unclear what this is at the moment, but there's also a new item called the "Rare Quality Orb" which makes it easier to befriend Pokémon with a rare quality. This isn't something you can utilize yet in the demo. (Shinies, maybe? Hidden Abilities?)
    • On the main menu, you can press "-" to "Admire Illustration" (yes that's actually what it says, this has always been a feature in every PMD game, but I thought this description was funny.)
    • The game autosaves and there doesn't seem to be an option to save manually without going back to the main menu. This may or may not carry over to the full release, but if it does this is the weirdest change they've made from the original. Since the game is a roguelike and the game does seem to be overall more challenging than the originals, I don't have an opinion on this one way or the other. It's just weird.

    So, first impressions. This remake seems genuinely fun, overall. I was initially worried that it might be too easy compared to the original, since the remakes tend to trend that way, but if anything I think it might actually be the opposite, which is very much welcomed for a roguelike game. The models seem to be the same ones from Super, but look very cute in the storybook aesthetic which, as I mentioned above, is overall beautiful. My only complaint about the models (as far as I've seen) is that Eevee, the Pokémon I played as, seems weirdly stiff in it's regular walking animation. So far, the demo does seem to recapture the heart of what made the original so good, while adding a few new mechanics here and there, such as the higher loot drops in dungeons and whatever this "Rare Quality" thing is, which I am very curious about. The controls feel a little weird at first, it almost feels kind of "slippery" compared to other games, but it was something I actually got used to pretty quickly. There are certainly some issues, but I would say they're pretty minor compared to previous games (a lot more was fixed than broken) so I would say my first impressions are very good overall.

    As a side note, I have to say that I felt so weirdly happy when I walked into Pokémon Square for the first time and my partner was showing me around. It wasn't just the childhood nostalgia. Moments like those are when the storybook aesthetic and the more expressive Pokémon models really come together perfectly. Thinking back on some of the key moments of the storyline from the original games, there are a lot more moments that I would love to see play out in the remake.

    If you haven't played the demo yet, it's free and I'd really recommend giving it a try. You can play up through the first two dungeons, but continue exploring around the available areas after the demo's cutoff point. Let me know what you think and be sure to post any interesting details you've noticed in your own playthroughs!
     
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    #1 Jan 9, 2020
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2020
  2. Jeydis

    Jeydis Deep down in Underfity

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    wow that was intensive, very well documented though. Especially for a demo. Your passion for that game series really shines :D
     
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  3. Wolf Expert

    Wolf Expert Canine Scholar

    Wolf
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    I think you misspelled "obsession." :P
     
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  4. Wizard

    Wizard Do you feel it? The moon's power!

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    @Wolf Expert I really love your review! It is well thought out and incredibly detailed. Personally, I love the aesthetics and art style of the game. It is simply cute and gorgeous in my eyes and I'm totally there for it. Curious to see your review when the full game is released!
     
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  5. Nova Ozuka

    Nova Ozuka Hex Maniac

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    I don't really care much about the story book feel the game has, but I did notice something pretty quickly playing the Demo: Reset Orbs. They remove Awakening Status, so that tells me Looplets are returning, and I can confirm wands are returning. This looks like it could be a very different experience for us returning players without even considering Charmander's starting moveset. I half expected Ember. What did we get? Flame Burst and Dragon Rage.
     
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  6. Wolf Expert

    Wolf Expert Canine Scholar

    Wolf
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    I have a couple more smaller thoughts I wanted to share, although it's nothing huge. When I woke up the morning after playing the demo, I desperately wanted to play more. That's something that hasn't happened since the originals or Explorers. I think I'm going to hold off on playing more of the demo though, since I can't really progress any further in the story and that makes me sad. Either way, I'm definitely doubling down on what I said before about the remake really recapturing the heart of the original.

    One thing I didn't think to try was eating an oran berry. I never really needed to, but in Super, regardless of whether your health was at full or not, if your max HP was below 100, eating an oran berry would give a slight HP boost for the duration of the dungeon.

    This little demo review took actual hours. A full game review might actually end up being too long to post. I guess I'll give it a try though! Maybe more of a comparison to the old game than a review?

    I'm not sure about looplets and emeras, since the classic scarves are still available, but since mega evolution is a thing, it would make sense for the Awakening status to return too, we just don't know for sure how to activate that yet. Emeras might come back, or it could be a new mechanic altogether. I do think this game takes after Super a lot with the dungeon mechanics and Super would have been a lot harder without the emeras so, with the difficulty curve, this game would end up being a lot more challenging than Super if emeras aren't a thing.

    One interesting thing to consider with the Reset Orbs though is that you would ever need to remove the Awakening status, which I think would mean either enemy Pokémon will be able to use it too, or there might be some kind of competitive multiplayer mode. This is actually a theory I had with the Rescue Team Camps, that maybe in addition to acting as areas for Pokémon you've recruited, they'll also act as hubs for meeting other players in a multiplayer mode. Or it could be solely for multiplayer and friend areas are just gone.
     

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