Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team Hands-On

We spend some quality time with a near-finished version of Nintendo's upcoming Pokémon RPG for the DS.

Currently scheduled for release in North America next month (November in Europe), Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team is a role-playing game in which you'll assume the role of a child who has mysteriously been transformed into a Pokémon. To determine which type of Pokémon you get to play as, the first thing you'll be required to do is answer a number of questions about your personality. After being told that the Pokémon that we're most like is Bulbasaur, we were then asked to choose a partner for our upcoming adventure from the following roster: Charmander, Squirtle, Pikachu, Totodile, Cyndaquil, Torchic, and Mudkip.

Your responses to a brief personality test will determine which Pokémon you play as.

After sitting through a short conversation between the Bulbasaur and Totodile duo that we opted for, we were approached by a distressed Butterfree who explained that her baby Caterpie had fallen into a fissure and needed to be rescued. Earthquakes and other natural disasters have become commonplace in the Pokémons' world of late, it seems, and though nobody knows why, it's clear that Pokémon everywhere are in need of help.

The "dungeons" in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team take the form of caves, and you'll be tasked with navigating and battling your way through one floor at a time. The caves that we've been exploring have no more than 10 floors, but we understand that as you progress through the game, you'll be rescuing Pokémon in distress from dungeons containing as many as 99 floors. On each floor, you'll find a staircase leading to the next, as well as aggressive Pokémon to defend yourself against and numerous items to pick up, such as berries, seeds, gummies, money, and rocks that can be thrown at enemies.

It's possible to play Mystery Dungeon Blue using the Nintendo DS stylus, but we found using the directional pad and face buttons to be preferable. What's strange about the game is that although you're moving around and hitting your attack button in real time, the battles between Pokémon (and even your enemies' movement) appear to be turn based. Initially, this can have the effect of making the controls feel unresponsive, but it's actually a pretty good system that you can use to your advantage once you get the hang of it.

Most of the enemies that you encounter early on can easily be defeated using the basic attack button, but you'll earn more experience points for your entire party if you choose to use some of your Pokémon's special skills. As in previous Pokémon games, you'll start with only a few different abilities at your disposal, but as you level up, you'll learn plenty more--all of which will be familiar if you're a fan of the series. When playing as Bulbasaur, for example, the growl and tackle moves that we started out with were soon joined by vine whip and leech seed. You won't be able to exert the same level of control over your partners, but you can influence their behavior by assigning them different "IQ" and "tactics" settings. You can tell your partner to attack foes on sight or to follow you at all times, for example.

Check your mailbox regularly for news on upcoming rescue jobs.

When you're not inside a dungeon attempting to complete one or more rescue missions, you'll either be checking the mailbox outside your home for pleas for help or spending time in Pokémon Square. At the Square, you'll find stores; a bank; a post office, where you can find out about rescue jobs; and a "link shop," where you can pay to link your special moves. We've only scratched the surface of what Pokémon Square has to offer, but we suspect that the option to combine moves and items with each other will add a lot of depth to the game as you spend more time experimenting with them.

Toward the end of our session, a Magnemite that we'd rescued earlier was invited to join our rescue team but was unable to accept because we had nowhere for it to live. It's clear that you'll be able to recruit other Pokémon as you progress through the game, though it appears that a maximum of four will be able to enter dungeons simultaneously. We look forward to bringing you more information on Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team as soon as it becomes available.

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Discussion

96 comments
-Dark-Arrow-
-Dark-Arrow-

sure want it and yeah age doesn't matter played the gba version but it was a game from japan couldnt read it but its cool

LucasAW
LucasAW

Thought this looked kinda childish to start with.. but by the looks its gonna be well worth checking out - no matter your age.

KuramaRose9
KuramaRose9

I dont think you people relize, this is more of a spinoff game of the regular game series we all know any love. I think itll be a good game to keep me entertained until Diamond and Pearl, Im not really excited about the 99 floor dungeons though.. I like a challenge.. but 99 is a bit pushing it, unless the floors are small, then its going to get me aggrivated. Some of the pokemon they picked out as our main person are kind of... different... other then this, it doesnt seem that bad and hopefully it will have some capibilities with other Pokemon games to make it a little more dazzling then just going through dungeons.

JLM4152
JLM4152

Sofar the game seems to be one I am most likely going to be picking up. Hopefully this is a fresh installment in the Pokemon series that is needed.

diesony
diesony

I hope its like the GBA.

MasterAsh42
MasterAsh42

The anime was good during the Johto seasons?. . .Yeah. . .'kay. . . I've been watching this game for seemingly forever, and soon the wait will pay off. . .I hope. The idea of a topdown, psuedo-real-time, action/adventure Pokemon title has me psyched, especially because a few months before I learned of it, I was brainstorming how to go about creating such a game with one of the RPG maker apps. When I first found out Tackle was the default attack and Pokemon sizes would be a limiting factor in team sizes, I had thought they had read my mind. . .

Tycerion
Tycerion

I don't know about this pokemon duo release. I've been following the game for a while, but I didn't get the Fire Red or Leaf Green, cause I was waiting for something spectacular....this looks as if it could be decent enough to at least look into...or keep an eye on at the VERY least. Right now, I'm looking forward to Pearl and Diamond to see where they take the series. I'm hoping that it's going to be worth the wait, cause this just doesn't look like it's gonna cut it. Though I've been wrong before.

SUB-ZERO999
SUB-ZERO999

me likey bouncy me likey boucny (this game looks good)

boxcarracer565
boxcarracer565

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Blastoise212
Blastoise212

This game is going to be the bomb finally u can be the pokemon and pick which one u want to be

xatman911
xatman911

Good story but I think after the release of this game . The sales of other pokemon games which are named after colour will fail. Too repetitive as EverAB said.

EverAB
EverAB

Pokemon is dead, it's been dead after Crystal was released. It's over, the anime was good with Johto and such. But afterwards, it got too repetetive, really bland and boring. It's always "gotta catch new badges gotta get new badges". The anime isn't good anymore, it's like they're not even trying. Wacth a coupe of episodes from the FIRST season, then watch them now. I DARE YOU TO TELL ME IT'S GOTTEN BETTER/STAYED THE SAME. It's all formulaic, dump in 100 more Pokemon, a new region and have Ash do what he was doing before, getting badges. The games, with Emerald, killed it for me. It was a good game, but they took out so many things that were in the last game. BUT, hopefuy, being able to play AS A POKEMON, wil bring something fresh to the series. It sounds like an idea we've been wating for years to happen, so I'll check the reviews and if it's any good, I'm getting it.

JoePiervincenti
JoePiervincenti

Sounds like a decent way to hold off Pokemon fans since there is still no USA release date for Pokemon Pearl & Diamond... Will it ever come? :)

Dunestar
Dunestar

This will be one of the more interesting series in the World of Pokemon, and finally a DS Pokemon game that's not puzzle or action based. I heard you can link up the DS and GBA counterparts within your own DS, in order to unlock new dungeon and items in the game. I'm also glad you can do more moves in the game, like linking them together in order to do combo attacks, the only beef I have is the limitations you still have in the games themselves, but then again considering the vastness of the game itself, you can't have everything.

LorenaLarue
LorenaLarue

I was playing Pokemon Red when I was 12. Now I'm 21. Has it been that long already? Well no point in breaking tradition. I guess I'll be getting this one if the reviews are semi-good. Are evolutions in this game too?

MSE369
MSE369

i dnt like pokemon but wen a new games out i get childhood memories n this 1 jst makes mee wanna buy thee ds straight away!

Strategy-knight
Strategy-knight

I suppose I'll get this game at some point. It looks pretty good doesn't it?

jp_sithlord
jp_sithlord

im going to wait for pearl, this game looks crappy

GaaraZanta
GaaraZanta

"WhiteSox88 *sigh* Does anyone else miss the old style Pokemon games? Now it's just this stuff. I'm losing faith in this franchise. " Have any of you people heard of Pokemon Pearl and Pokemon Diamond, they will most likely be released later this year or next year, they release them soon in Japan, so keep faith, though a 3d old style Pokemon would be cool, we can only hope.

andbernio
andbernio

it only 14 days till it comes out. might be the best pokemon game ever even after catching all the pokemon in the previous games I'll have to do it again>

Demonbob
Demonbob

Looks good. I'll stay true to the franchise forever!

Alamo313
Alamo313

they should make a pokemon game like the old ones (catch em, train em, go around doing stufff and finding stuff with a storyline etc.) but in 3D...

crimson_ant
crimson_ant

hmmn, kinda reminds me of Azure Dreams for the Playstation by Konami...

RaptoR_249
RaptoR_249

how many pokemon games have they made.. goodness hmm must still be selling like hotcakes

WhiteSox88
WhiteSox88

*sigh* Does anyone else miss the old style Pokémon games? Now it's just this stuff. I'm losing faith in this franchise. :(

DS-man
DS-man

Sounds Awesome!.

SuperGogeta24
SuperGogeta24

cute i must say but not a "pokemon-must-get" ill get it if i have spare cash

DekU_NuT_MaRin3
DekU_NuT_MaRin3

omg....i loved pokemon when i was little :D but i reckon that this one's gonna be crap and babyish... :(

KingKoop
KingKoop

You never too old for P{okemon!!

phSychO_AtDawn
phSychO_AtDawn

OMG! pokemon? Poke-mon? with the poke and the mon?.That was hilarious, Anyway this game looks like another great pokemon game as much as I would like to admit Im too old for pokemon, I grew up with it and I really liked it as a kid.

BossVersion1
BossVersion1

Pokemon!? With the Poke and the mon. Koo koo ka joo! *makes weird face*

BossVersion1
BossVersion1

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

BR0M
BR0M

This game got amazing ratings in Japan...like 9's and 10's. I may not love pokemon but i gotta get this game.

magnawiz
magnawiz

:D The Mystery Dungeon episode is on Friday at Cartoon Network and they're showing the new season (with new voice actors :[ ) this Saturday

Mit_Man
Mit_Man

I actually may pick this game up now, as I may get back into Pokemon with Diamond/Pearl, as those look rather promising. This game seems pretty unique too, and with my DS collection currently at 20, I have this urge to get any game that's good, and this looks like it will receive nice ratings. I'll probably wait and pick it up used for a bit cheaper though.

Superbomber64
Superbomber64

This game combines traditional pokemon gameplay, and, as it seems here, some KOTOR elements of battling, that's pretty cool!

snicky00
snicky00

i palyed it and.....its awsome. depite my hated of pokemon im gona get this

TheWhippet
TheWhippet

Sounds good, a refreshing breath of air to the otherwise stale Pokemon games. Shame all those idiots think it's alright to comment on this negatively without backing up any of their arguments. If they don't like Pokemon, why read this in the first place? Stupid, really.

noamatt128
noamatt128

the battle system in this game is just like ff 12 if that will stop your complaining.

duck_watson
duck_watson

are these people kidding? POKEMON? my god i loved 95 too but that was 11 years ago people need to move on pokemon is old and judging by what i just read its LAME too!

ATOMB
ATOMB

They just need to kick it old school style...... with some new flash & tech udatyness...... = )