Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy on Nintendo Switch
Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy is one of the many Final Fantasy games that’s landed on the Nintendo Switch. An updated port of the 2007 Wii game, Mystery Dungeon mixes things up with a few new features that enhance the original experience without alienating series veterans.
Fans of the original game will be pleased to hear that most of the game hasn’t been changed, for better or for worse. The story still follows a cute little Chocobo who gets swept up in a mysterious town called Lostime. This place is plagued by a mysterious bell that sweeps away the memories of anyone who hears it, and because of it, most of the townspeople are pretty much clueless about their pasts and even professions.
While you’d think Chocobo’s human partner would be the one to restore everyone’s memories and uncover Lostime’s mysterious origins, all of the townspeople shove the work on the bird. The story itself doesn’t hold much weight, although there’s a lot to love when it comes to the game’s charming mascot.
That said, you’ll be spending plenty of time exploring dungeons to help the townspeople and learn more about Lostime’s mysterious past. Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon follows the same-turn based combat within dungeons, as none of your enemies will make a move until you do. This gives you all the time you need to think about your next move because, honestly, you’ll need to.
While Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon might look cute on the outside, it houses a puzzling and challenging experience that revolves heavily around luck. All of the dungeons are randomly generated, and you never know just which new map you’ll land on. The main goal is always the same – reach the Dungeon’s lowest floor – but every new map offers something completely different.
The next floor might have you on the same area right beside the stairs, while the floor after that might place you in a room brimming with monsters. Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon isn’t afraid to punish you with its randomly-generated areas and spawning enemies, and you’ll have no choice but to always come in prepared. Chocobo has tons of different items he can find in dungeons or buy in the shops at Lostime, from weapons, armor, potions, spells, and even food.
Similarly, the game also keeps the same class system, letting you switch between all sorts of classic Final Fantasy roles. From Thief to White Mage, each job specializes in certain skills you can unlock through leveling. These abilities are tied to SP, which recover through walking around or using Ethers.
Knowing when to use which skill is vital, particularly because you might find yourself out of SP when facing against a horde of enemies. Each dungeon has its own specific types of enemies and rules that make it suited for specific jobs, so you’ll constantly be switching roles depending on which area you plan to explore.
You won’t be able to save during your dungeon exploits, but you can always bookmark your data if you need to take a break. If you’re playing on the Switch, it’s much easier to sink a few minutes in at a time when dungeon exploring when you’re on handheld mode.
The game also keeps the same rogue-like elements from the vanilla version, meaning that you’ll lose everything you’re holding – be it Gil or items – if you lose all of your health in a dungeon. The only thing that you do wind up keeping is all of the experience and levels you’ve earned.
It can get frustrating when you die on a random floor since you can pick up where you left off. There are checkpoints on certain floors in later dungeons where you can teleport to, seeing as how there are dozens of areas you need to explore. This means that it’s both punishing and tedious losing to a boss because you’ll need to descend 10 or so floors just to fight it again.
To even the odds, Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon adds a new buddy system that lets you take one friend along on your journey. Apart from the story characters, you can recruit over a hundred different type of Final Fantasy monsters by beating them within dungeons.
The extra help can really make or break your exploration since an extra pair of hands could save you from death. If you’re playing on the Switch, you can hand over a Joy-Con to your friend and use the buddy system for some co-op. I’ve used my buddy as a meat shield for more times than I can count.
Before entering a dungeon, you’ll have to consider which items and buddy you want to bring along since you can’t change it afterward. The same goes for jobs, which usually lets you only swap before a dungeon or a major boss.
The game does make it a point to ease you in your adventure through a variety of different tutorial missions. While they’re easy enough to complete, things take a really sharp turn during your first “real” dungeon. Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon comes with a steep learning curve that forces you to practice everything you’ve learned up to that point, and it doesn’t get any easier.
Apart from the main missions, you can also take on a host of different side quests which come with their own challenges, such as a level cap or going through the entire level with a status effect. These rules add another layer of depth and strategy you need to work around, putting your skills to the test.
When you aren’t busy exploring, there are tons of different resources and facilities you can turn to prep for your next adventure. Lostime acts as your central hub in Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon where you can buy new items, enhance your weapons, remove any curses on your equipment, or store any precious items or Gil so they don’t get lost.
You can even tend to a garden and yield some flowers with some useful effects, or even go fishing and snag some food to sell or trade to enhance your storage limit in town.
While you won’t find the classic Final Fantasy experience here, Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon has plenty of nods that are sure to delight any fan of the main series. Aside from the iconic jobs and monsters, Final Fantasy summons are scattered as sub-bosses inside dungeons. If you can beat them in battle, you can obtain their Magecite and call on them in combat.
On top of that, Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon is also sprinkled with heaps of rearranged Final Fantasy music. The game does a great job of remixing songs to fit in with the world, and it’s always a pleasant surprise hearing a track from your favorite main game. Couple the delightful music with enhanced visuals, and you arguably have the best Chocobo game yet.
Despite its heavy use of aleatory mechanics, Chocobo’s Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy offers a strategic and challenging adventure that’s paired with a delightful dose of Final Fantasy nostalgia.
Score: 4/5 – Great
For more information on how we review games, check out Twinfinite’s review policy here.