Pokemon RMN

My brother told me to play this, possibly in revenge for all the weird games I’ve made him play.

You know that fanfic that newbie barely teenage boys have, the one with the new region and new pokemon but this time it’s got ALCOHOL and SEX REFERENCES and ZANY unlike those squares at Nintendo? It’s that. Like, beat by beat. If that’s you? Well, you’ll love this.

Pokemon RMN is a RPGmaker clone of Pokemon, with a brand-new region and completely new set of pokemon. The brand-new region is basically Hoenn. The new set of pokemon are somewhat rough and rather similar to existing ones. The game itself has been coded impressively close to the games…but it’s still just barely choppy/laggy enough to be distracting and make repetitive gameplay a chore – I never realized how important it was to me that the games run smoothly through repeated battles. Also, for some reason cancel and start menu are the same button and there’s no way to skip through dialogue. And my one true love, flavor text? Exists for the trash cans and only the trash cans, and often in service of mentioning something gross or edgy.

inauspicious

Text which often has a mistake or two in it, as well. There’s errors all through this.

(Also, the evolution animation is horrible – the sprite spins in a circle really fast. Look, what’s wrong with just flipping back and forth? It’s not the best ever, but it doesn’t look nearly as shitty as that plus spinning. I realize this is really petty but it’s going through more effort to make something look so much worse!)

The game opens asking if you’re a boy, girl, or Namekian – which, for those of you who jumped at the option of not picking boy or girl, just results in being told to stop screwing around. You then get to pick an adjective: cool, tough, calm, quirky. This determines your look, and has similar problems with female trainers as the standard games. Want to be quirky, female, and not playing as the pantyflash fairy your whole journey?

manic pixie dream girl

Sorry, the technology isn’t here yet.

If you want to be female and wearing functional pants, your only option is calm, with the cool sprite particularly infuriating me by being almost decent but having those horrible just-below-the-knee jeans. You’re then given a palette swap option which includes skin color changes (at least in the case of the cool girl, the tough boy was just picking how intensely white your skin is and I don’t care enough to go through to check all permutations), and you can’t do any mixing and matching. Pink and cool? Blonde white girl. Green and cool? Slightly darker blonde white girl. Blue and cool? Dark-skinned redhead! I really don’t understand why it was impossible to let people change the color of things separately.

Once you pick you go to your house where your mom explains emphatically how she would never do any sort of pokemon journey and it’s only our great trainer dad’s genes that make us have any interest in doing the thing the setting revolves around, followed by going out to see the male professor and male assistant in trouble from a wild pokemon (followed by them identifying us as related to our dad who’s so important – like I said, basically Hoenn. Just even more so.), then the antagonist, a crazy male professor, shows up and steals only one of the three starters for some reason before running off to hop in a flying saucer. And half the characters have horrible phonetic accents. Later, our other rival, a middle-aged man appears. Throughout this, there’s lots of references to alcohol because that’s so adult and mature, with multiple characters whose personality trait is “is drunk”.

hilarity3
Look at how grown up this game is!
hilarity
See the boat smashes into stuff and runs people over because he’s drunk! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

The only meaningful female presence is the first gym…where the gym leaders spend their time gushing about how I have a special destiny and I’m so great. Then there’s a girl ranting about how the card game minigame is too complex for her and only nerds play it. She also talks in third person and is an idiot, and she’s HILARIOUSLY assuming the evil villain’s robots are going to molest her.

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Lol girls always thinking people are perverts and crying wolf out of pure stupidity hahahahaha SO CLEVER no we’re not done this joke is going to keep going for line after fucking line because SO CLEVER SO EDGY. The only positive thing is that the designer didn’t bother to change her dialogue (yet?) so if you play as a girl, she still hits on you and kisses you after you save her, all the while talking about you in terms that make it so very clear this isn’t designed to be inclusive but is assuming she girl, you boy. There’s a girl in the first cave (Noob Cave because seriously, beat by beat) who also brings up same-sex stuff, but it’s only so the girl in question can go on at length about how gross the idea is and how she wants my character to leave her alone because she only likes boys. If you play as a boy, in contrast, she hits on you. And there’s a third female character who also hits on you regardless of gender…and do I even need to add that no male characters hit on you regardless that I saw? You could probably guess. Because that might bug male players and is just terrible, but female players need to just get over it already it’s no big deal come on.

The second gym introduces what I thought I wanted, puzzles that are an actual challenge…except actually they’re shitty reaction time minigames where you just keep doing it until you get it right with no consequences for failure but your own rising boredom, and adding insult to injury, we’re told this is somehow twitchy reaction time game is a meditation minigame. While flailing around on the final one before the gym leader, somehow the game decided it wasn’t going to open my start menu any longer so I couldn’t save and I decided I was done with it.

If you really love new pokemon and type combos, the game might be worth a play just for that, but they’re much more miss than hit to me, and looking at the current spritesheet most of the ones I didn’t get far enough to see look even worse. Also, for anyone annoyed they pretty much can only play as a white person, it’s okay because there is black representation: a black pokemon you can capture.

afropup

Maybe it’s just an unfortunate resemblance…?

no

Nope.

hilarity4

It’s okay, though, it’s not racist because grinning blackface caricatures who are simple, carefree creatures who only care about their primitive stomp-growl music is a compliment.

Anyway normal posts should now resume because wow did I learn my lesson about trying to take a break with games.

36 Comments

  1. Ember says:
    Wow this is even worse than I remember that terrible fakemon hack that one SA pokemon LPer went through being…
    1. Septentrion Euchoreutes says:
      Pokemon Quartz? It was better.
    2. Farla says:
      Yeah, I’m not sure if this one is notable or just a random thing my brother hit and decided to inflict on me.
      1. illhousen says:
        It looks like a fairly typical first RPGMaker game, actually. The only notable thing I can see is that it’s actually complete. Mostly, similar projects die at beta-stage or earlier.

        Though the devs using a third party engine would explain it.

        1. Rydia of Mist says:
          It isn’t even complete. According to the official blog, the current demo only allows you to play up to “the first two Pokemon Gyms and a half.”
          1. illhousen says:
            Ah, then it’s about in line with other shitty first RPGMaker games.
  2. Septentrion Euchoreutes says:
    No bad guy team? That’s almost certain to be a hit.
    1. Farla says:
      His motivation is “Russian”.
      1. illhousen says:
        To be fair, it’s a valid motivation.

        I, too, often find in myself a desire to do EVIL. That is why I post suggestions for you and Act, after all.

  3. Rydia of Mist says:
    The game itself has been coded impressively close to the games…but it’s still just barely choppy/laggy enough to be distracting and make repetitive gameplay a chore.

    I’ve just checked, and it turns out that this game uses the Pokémon Essentials script engine, which is built rather solidly but makes several sacrifices to functionality for the sake of accessibility.

    Now, the existence of such an engine is good because it allows people with no real experience in game development to get into making fangames (one of the hardest types of fanwork to produce), but, as you pointed out, they tend to be a bit sloppy. A lot of them also end up having the exact same look and feel since developers aren’t ever required to look at or understand the source code, so they don’t make their own unique changes or additions to it.

    1. Farla says:
      It seems it’d make more sense to work on a user-friendly interface for existing romhacks. RPGmaker is versatile but it’s always laggy or hiccuping when there’s a lot of movement going on, while even my old computers have always run Pokemon fine.
      1. Rydia of Mist says:
        The problem is that ROM hacking isn’t very useful if you want to replicate the more recent games. No one’s really bothered to hack the fourth and fifth generations because they’re a lot harder to break into than earlier ones, and the whole 3D aspect of them makes them very difficult to customise and debug. Same goes for the sixth generation.

        Since the DS and 3DS games can’t be hacked directly, people just rebuild their engines from scratch. There are so many differences between them and the GBA games (physical/special moves, times of day, seasons, online features, triple battles etc.), hacking into a GBA game and modifying it would actually require more effort.

        1. Farla says:
          But like I say, this is basically Hoenn and it’s using regular sprites. If that’s what you’re aiming for, and there’s already both roms and romhacks for those generations, why rebuild it on a jack-of-all-trades program rather than just using the thing designed for it?
          1. Negrek says:
            ROM hacking is WAY more difficult than using a program like RPGmaker. The final game isn’t intended to be modified, after all, it’s a packaged product, written in a highly compressed language to fit on a cartridge. You don’t need to be able to do much programming at all to make a game with RPGmaker, but in order to make a ROM hack you will almost definitely need to write a bit of code. And while RPGmaker uses a fairly user-friendly programming language, where you might have a function controlling how pokemon use attacks named something like “useAttack,” stored in the “battle.rb” file that contains all the battle-related scripts, a ROM is written in assembly language, i.e. it’s written to be understood by a computer and not a human. There your attack function might be named something like CA00FFA and be buried in the middle of thousands of lines of numbers and letters right next to the function that controls, idk, berry growing or something because computers don’t give a shit. Even finding which bits of the code do what is a serious issue when trying to analyze a ROM! There are a variety of third-party tools that make this a bit easier, but they’re all developed by amateurs like the hacks themselves, there’s a ton of different you want to track down, unlike the all-in-one RPGmaker, and if you want to go outside of whatever specific functionality they offer you’re going to need to be an actual programmer. There are also more constraints on a ROM hack, like there’s only so much space to actually add stuff because otherwise your game literally won’t fit on a game cart (not sure if this is an issue for games you’d only ever play on an emulator, but from what little I know of ROMs I think some won’t even properly compress if the size of constituent files changes). So if you want a pokedex with a bunch of new fakemon you’re going to have to either overwrite existing mons or delete content somewhere else to make room, etc.

            Basically, a pokemon game ROM isn’t really designed for *developing* new games with, whereas RPG maker is. You might imagine RPGmaker is a computer factory, with a variety of different “models” you can make just by fiddling with some switches and changing how the assembly line runs. A ROM is just a single, finished computer–you can put a new coat of paint on it, sure, you can open it up and reconfigure the guts a bit, and if you’re a serious electrical engineer you can probably modify some of the internal components to add new functionality, but it takes a lot more skill to do something new with it.

            1. Farla says:
              Trying to clone Pokemon’s entire battle system piece by piece must’ve taken forever as well, though! It seems weird it’d take more time to get every fiddly bit right on RPGmaker than make an RPGmaker style interface on a rom.

              So if you want a pokedex with a bunch of new fakemon you’re going to have to either overwrite existing mons or delete content somewhere else to make room, etc.

              But if we’re doing, say, Emerald, there’s several hundred pokemon slots, which is a couple hundred more fakemon than these games seem to usually have. For a game that’s going to be even more expansive than the originals, it might be a problem, but that doesn’t seem like what the average person’s doing. And most people seem to only want a new coat of paint and maybe a slight rearrangement of existing parts on the game for their version.

              Reply
              1. Negrek says:
                Well, sure, it took ages, but once it got figured out everyone who makes an RPGmaker game can use it without having to worry about it, whereas each new game that comes out has to be hacked individually. Like Rydia of Mist said, nobody even hacks on gens 4+ because no enough of the tools have been put together for them, so if you want to use actual contemporary battle mechanics (you don’t even get the physical/special split off the base engine!) you need to do a bunch of patching. And yeah, there are ways of expanding the pokedex if you want a lot of fakemon, but Emerald, for example, is something almost no one uses because all the tools designed for Ruby/Sapphire don’t work on it! Such is the bullshit of ROM hacking.

                It’s true that if you’re not interested in doing much to the game outside of altering some dialogue, adding some new pokemon, what have you, a ROM hack gives you a larger functional base to work with–like, you don’t have to make all your maps from scratch, the way you pretty much have to with an RPG maker game (although I think Essentials includes some example maps for people to start off with). However, ROMs are always a straight-up pain in the ass to work with relative to an engine like game maker, and most people setting out to “make a pokemon game” aren’t thinking “I’m going to make something basically exactly like Ruby but with a different sprite for the main character,” they’re like “my game will have ALL THE REGIONS and ONLINE FUNCTIONALITY and ELEVENTY BILLION FAKEMONS” and yeah, for that, you really need to go the RPGmaker route.

                Not that ROM hacks can’t get pretty crazy (cfe Pokemon Snakewood Version), but thanks to the Essentials toolkit it is just *so much easier* to make something substantial in RPGmaker. The lag does suck, though, and is one thing that turns me off from playing many fangames. The other being that Sturgeon’s Law is very much in effect, and when it comes to consuming shitty fanworks I make fanfic my vice rather than fangames. XD

            2. Septentrion Euchoreutes says:
              ROMs are just a huge pain in the butt at every corner. Anything beyond change values is going break something. Also, They are DESIGNED TO BREAK. Starting from gen 2, the game crashes if it thinks your out of bounds.

              I have a bit more experience with ROMs in general. Usually, the only advantage is that you piggyback off the engine.

              Reply
          2. Rydia of Mist says:
            Does the game only use third generation graphics, or does it also use third generation mechanics? If it’s the latter, then yeah, there’s no reason not to hack.
            1. Orochii Zouveleki says:
              It uses some newer generation mechanics such as physical/special moves, spores and powders don’t affect Grass types, burn doesn’t affect Fire types, and so on.
              Also Fairy type and most of its moves were added, and I believe the creator scripted some of the needed effects if needed.
              Finally the card game. I know some people do crazy things in ROM hacks, but let’s be frank. Not everyone does. 90% of the time people are stupidly proud of making a cutscene in a ROM hack, something that 100% people can do in RPG Maker in matter of hours. Like some people said here, good ROM hacking is not an easy task.
              Reply
  4. Negrek says:
    No no, I think you learned your lesson about trying to take a break with games your brother told you to play. XD There are of course a lot of truly awful noob pokémon games out there, and a charming number of hiLARious “edgy” versions, but there are some decent ones, too. I’ve heard good things about Pokémon Uranium, for example, if you wanted to try something not-awful. (It’s not done, tho.)
    1. Negrek says:
      I’ve heard good things about… the spam filter auto-stripping links, I guess? Pokemon Uranium, easy to Google if you’re actually interested I suppose.
      1. illhousen says:
        Aww, and here I thought the abrupt end was intentional.
      2. Farla says:
        Ooh, higher difficulty! I forgot to complain about how despite this being supposedly for older experienced players the game was as easy as ever.
      3. Keleri says:
        I keep meaning to play Zeta/Omicron, I’ve heard good things about that one. My buddy played through Resurgence and liked some of the delta pokemon but found the Ow the Edge plot laughable.
    2. Orochii Zouveleki says:
      I need to recommend some good fangames too!
      Pokemon Ethereal Gates is absolutely beautiful (but still in a demo).
      And Pokémon Rejuvenation. Graphically it’s decent, but it’s fucking epic and long even if it’s still unfinished (8 gyms out of 18 have been implemented, lasting around 30 hours right now, no need to say anything else).
      1. Farla says:
        Well, an absolutely beautiful demo sounds like a good fit for me timewise!
  5. Mini-Farla says:
    You keep throwing dating sims at me, I think this is fair turnabout!

    Seriously, though, I didn’t realize it would be THIS bad. The only thing I knew about was the blackface pokemon.

    You should post this review to RMN and watch the fireworks! ::::D

    1. actonthat says:
      How dare you malign dating sims!
      1. Mini-Farla says:
        But I’m aromantic, so they hold no interest to me! She just likes seeing my baffled reactions. :p
      2. Farla says:
        These are American ones.
        1. SpoonyViking says:
          Honest curiosity: what are the differences?
  6. lol says:
    Um, knowing how this game was designed and how ideas were made for it and where the developers were coming from, it’s not half as bad as you make it out to be. Hell, not even a quarter bad. Keep in mind you can be a female (and I notice you didn’t show off any of the female versions bar quirky – no pantyshots were added in the making of this game – and forgot to mention that there’s different skin shades for each character, mr I chose the whitest blonde guy and tried to be edgy and hatefilled about it) and that changes the examples you show as sexist completely up (since then the girls are gushing over how awesome a female trainer is and how one of the stronger characters in the game is female).

    It’s a great game and you’re just pick and choosing to represent it badly. Get over yourself

    1. Farla says:
      “If you want to be female and wearing functional pants, your only option is calm, with the cool sprite particularly infuriating me by being almost decent but having those horrible just-below-the-knee jeans. You’re then given a palette swap option which includes skin color changes (at least in the case of the cool girl, the tough boy was just picking how intensely white your skin is and I don’t care enough to go through to check all permutations), and you can’t do any mixing and matching. Pink and cool? Blonde white girl. Green and cool? Slightly darker blonde white girl. Blue and cool? Dark-skinned redhead! I really don’t understand why it was impossible to let people change the color of things separately”

      Since you seem to have stopped reading once I showed the quirky sprite, here’s the next paragraph where I discuss the different skin shades and my objections to the cool sprite.

      As I always do, I played the female character originally, found it to be horribly sexist originally, and, when the game-breaking no-save bug hit, reset to see what dialogue changed when I played male – and really, I only even bothered because I suspected the Noob Cave dialogue would change since the designer had gone out of their way to have her rant about how she wasn’t into girls.

      and that changes the examples you show as sexist completely up (since then the girls are gushing over how awesome a female trainer is and how one of the stronger characters in the game is female).

      No. It really, really doesn’t, unless you think “but I’m not like those dumb bitches, I’m just one of the guys!” is the height of equality.

      It’s a great game and you’re just pick and choosing to represent it badly.

      What is good about it. Seriously. On what level am I supposed to engage with. This game manages to be more sexist than the official games. It manages to be more racist than the official games. Oh, but that’s not talking about “the game”? Then the engine was laggy, I didn’t like many of the pokemon and from the listed pokedex I’d like even less as the game goes on, and oh, didn’t even mention this but tying experience to level? Hate that. The stupid meditation minigame and the fact the game broke while I was trying to play it, that’s certainly a game flaw!

      But that doesn’t count? Maybe that’s not “the game”? The NPC dialogue being horrible accents? Or the childish idea that drunkenness is the beginning and end of all that is edgy and adult? Or maybe all that’s ~style~ and not valid game criticism? So what about the fact it’s littered with basic spelling errors and typos? Is that valid? Christ, I even complained about a lack of flavor text.

      Go on. Give it a counter-review. What the hell did I miss? What was I supposed to be talking about?

      1. RMN says:
        Well, it’s a pokemon game. For the most part it plays like a pokemon
        game. That is what there is to like about it. If you like playing a
        pokemon game you will like playing this game.

        It sounds like you don’t like
        pokemon games at all anymore or outgrew the lack of complexity. No
        pokemon game is hard because you can grind. EXP tied to level is pretty
        much a core mechanic to the series. Some of what you complain about is minor and fixable
        and very much a huuuuge part of developing a game. You are basically one
        of the first beta testers. That’s a normal part of the process. You
        provide bug reports and opinions on things you feel should be changed
        and if the dev is not a bone-head they are likely to fix it. Which, it
        should be noted, Ratty is at least open to changing it after this was
        posted to RMN.

        I would imagine you don’t like
        many games at all. Especially amateur games. Maybe avoid them all
        together unless you know it suits your tastes.

        1. Farla says:
          I would imagine you don’t like many games at all. Especially amateur games.

          As luck would have it, you don’t have to just “imagine” whatever best suits how you want it to be! Here’s the RPGmaker tag. You might also enjoy the general videogames tag or the fact there’s a link labeled “recommendations” in the top bar.

  7. illhousen says:
    Looks like a few pictures have disappeared from the post.

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