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September 2006



- Pokémon fans can finally forget all about Pokémon Dash

- Some tweaks to the standard Pokémon battles

- Touch or standard control

- Wifi options



-Huge time waster

- A human rescue can be a long time coming

- Wifi options largely wasted if you don't live in a densely populated area



Review: Pokémon Trozei! (DS)

Review: Pokémon Emerald (GBA)

Review: Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness (GC)



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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team

Score: 8.0 / 10


Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team throws off the traditional Pokémon conventions a bit.  Rather than control a human trainer, the player is a Pokémon – a human transformed into a Pokémon, to be exact.  Much of the game revolves around attempting to unlock this particular mystery and solve the problem of the end of the world!


pokemon mystery dungeon blue rescue team          pokemon mystery dungeon blue rescue team


When a new game is started, the player is asked a series of “emotionally charged” questions then the game decides what kind of Pokémon you’d be.  (These kinds of interrogations always remind me of the beginning of Blade Runner, when there are a lot of questions about a tortoise.)  I wound up playing as a Treeko.  What does that say about my personality?  No idea.  After being assigned a Pokémon avatar, you choose a name for your rescue team – “Wii R Cool” for the record – then set out to perform all sorts of rescue missions for Pokémon, some of which are inane, even by Pokémon standards.  However, this is way to level up your character as well as your other team members, gather useful items, draft new team members, earn rewards, gather poké (i.e. money), and earn team points.


The story missions offer the most challenge, even with three other teammates, but the stakes are also pretty high.  If you or any of your teammates faint in a dungeon, you lose all your poke along with a number of items in your inventory and get booted out of the dungeon.  This is why team organization is so important.


The map is navigated on the lower screen, either with the standard directional pad and buttons or the stylus.  (I found no advantage to using the stylus, but at least it’s available.)  Though the exploration may seem to be real-time it’s actually turn




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based but that doesn’t become evident until you come into contact with other Pokémon.  The strategy in lining up your team correctly so you can get a complete round of hits on an opponent (or multiple opponents) and performing the right moves at the right time are combined to addictive effect.


You have very limited “control” over your 


team members so proper positioning is absolutely essential.  If it sounds a bit like micro management, that would be a fair call.  The same goes for your character.  It has to be kept fed, for one.  However it doesn’t become distracting.


Depending on your own style of play, the story mode should hold more than enough challenge and gameplay hours to justify a purchase; however, the game also features some neat extras that are worth mentioning.


When you’re defeated in a dungeon you can send out a distress call to alert other players which might be playing Pokémon Mystery Dungeon that their assistance is needed.  It only works if you’re within range of another live player, that being 30 feet, but it’s still a neat feature even if it is non-essential for players like me.  The same can be said of Tag Mode, which actually eliminates the need to actually play the game.  Entering Tag Mode, instructs you to close your DS!  When within range of someone else with a game cart and is likewise engaged in Tag Mode, your selected Pokémon goes off on an adventure (acquiring items, etc.) with whatever Pokémon characters are in range.  It’s a neat concept but it was totally useless for me, though next time I’m at a Nintendo event I’ll be sure to try this out again.  There is also some compatibility with the GBA Red Rescue Team.


Overall, it’s a satisfying Pokémon romp.  The perspective is a little different but the addictive turn-based battles and exploration are in full effect and still lots of fun.


- Omni

(October 13, 2006)


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