At the risk of being shunned for this, I believe the latest instalments of Pokemon games have been letdowns. Sure, the sales figures have been great, the same way if they put out a new season of Game of Thrones, everyone would watch it, despite that last season. The point is, it’s never been a better time for other developers to grab a slice of that monster-catching pie, but can TRAGsoft claim a stack with its offering; Coromon?
It really is your adventure
When you first start your adventure, you are confronted with a smorgasbord of customisation options for your avatar. There’s quite a lot to pick from across skin tones, glasses, hairstyles, and hats, a lot more than I was expecting. It is a small thing, but not a lot of games do this enough, and it is a nice little immersion builder. You can even change all these pretty much at will.
After posing in front of the mirror and terrifying any onlookers with your constant morphing, you are sent off for your first day as a battle researcher at Lux Solis, a damn sight better than sending a child off with a fire-breathing lizard. When it comes time to receive your first fighting friend, you even get a personality quiz to tell you which of the three you are best suited to. You can completely ignore this, or get answers saying more than one is a great fit, but I love these little ways it brings you into the story more.
Make your own rulebook
There is quite a big community around this genre of game who like to make their own challenges on how to play, and Coromon have these built right into its fabric. There are a few difficulty options to choose from when you start. You can choose standard, or go for those modeled after the famous Nuzlocke and randomizer ones. This alone would be enough, right?
Take a trip into the game settings menu and you will find a huge range of ways to make this game your own. On top of the standard accessibility options like colourblind mode, there are a range of ways to change the gameplay, such as separate options for choosing your Coromon before wild or trainer battles, and RNG options to make battles more predictable. It’s been a while since I’ve seen a game give you this much choice.
A slightly less skilful approach to skills
Something that really stands out about the Coromon combat system is its use of SP as opposed to each move having its own separate usage restrictions. As you would expect, each skill uses a certain amount of SP, with stronger moves using more. When you run out you, can either recover through items, or crucially, you can simply skip a turn to recover half your resource.
There is, of course, good and bad to this. It is an excellent tool to keep the action flowing should you run out of recovery items, and it means you don’t need to sink money into a stack of them. However, it does take away some of the tactical challenge and renders battle a bit simpler than its rivals. Overall, however, I quite enjoyed the implementation of an SP system, and you can also choose not to rest.
An ever-changing reservoir of moves
As it always was, and indeed shall forever be, levelling up, evolving, or throwing assorted discs and drives at your little friends will teach them any number of new battle moves, but you can only equip four. Luckily, Coromon lets you change these on the fly whenever you like, so you can experiment with new tactics whenever you feel like it.
For even more tactical choices, as they gain experience, each of your cuddly monsters will also be filling up a second bar related to Potential. When this fills you, you get a set number of points to add to any stat you like. It takes a lot of the margin of error away from Pokemon’s old EV training and lets you accurately create your own bespoke fighter.