• Add Review
  • Subscribe
  • Nominate
  • Submit Media
  • RSS

The definitive tech-demo "Pokemon" experience.

The Prologue
Ah, that classic tune. With it, so many memories~! Pallet town here we- Wait a second, why am I a goblin? These were my first impressions of Finstermen. Without a doubt, this is possibly one of the best pokemon style games I have ever had the pleasure of playing created in Rpg Maker. However, it does have it's quirks, and let's get this out of the way first and foremost; It is a demo. The game will last you a grand total of 15 minutes, but what a treat those minutes are indeed. Like a rare candy, but with a little bit of a sour note as well. Ah, also if you do not want me to spoil a 5 minute game, well avoid this entire review, because I am going to simply talk about everything in "Finstermen". If you can accept that as the nature of the beast when it comes to a in-depth review of this parody of pokemon, read ahead...

In Finstermen, you are Golbin(A lame word play on Goblin) and your mission is to be the very best Finstermen trainer, which in reality means this: Run around with one of the "Finstermen" you choose as your starter and battle things. And that's it. There is no real capture element like actual pokemon has, which is my personal complaint/sadness, but for what it is, it does it well.

The battles are frantic, and make you pay attention thanks to the fact your EN bar charges up during combat, which in turn allows you to use your special attack or item. This is a fantastic innovation that is far better then the PP points of the pokemon franchise, forcing you to guard to both heal yourself and generate more EN points to use for your special attack(In my case, the "Doomblade").

The Graphical Atmosphere
First and foremost, let this be said: Finstermen is a beautiful game. It is playful and cheerful, filled with a type of nostalgic glee without the often forced look that comes with such conventions. When you play this game, your inner child will smile, and you will inherently find each Finstermen(Finstermon?) more amusing then the last. My personal favorite had to be the warrior who changed sprites after getting drunk. The only thing I had to say that I noticed that did not mesh perfectly was the default rtp battle animations, but it came pretty close with its clever implementation! Sound wise, you know exactly what you are getting here: Classic iconic tunes from pokemon. Never a terrible thing, especially in a game like this.

The Story
Wait a second, people play pokemon style games for plot? Well, I supose there are all sorts out there... Of course I am jesting. There is no real plot in Finstermen, you just start up the game, Professor Oa-Erm, I mean the Elder gives you a starter Finstermon and you battle your rival. After that, you go and complete your first dungeon(Gym) and defeat the Gym Leade-I mean, Dungeon Master to gain the right to travel the rest of the world. Except *Surprise!* the game ends right there. All that remains left is for you to slay the rest of Finstermen in the game, and voila! You have beaten Finstermen.

Enjoyment Value?
Yes, you will enjoy every minuite of Finstermen. I am making a simple blanket statement here, because that is the testament to the pokemon style feel of gameplay that Finstermen so aptly adopts. At the very least, you can use it to get your pokemon fix.

Not really much. I suppose you can restart and try out the other starters, but with a game that ends this short, you will probably play Finstermen once and then promptly delete it off of your hard drive, all with that refreshing feeling of "Well, that was a fun distraction."

Finishing Move
Finstermen is a enjoyable tech-demo, and that is what it really is. It shows so much potential, if it was expanded and made into a full game, but despite the extremely short gameplay, this is one gem you are going to at least need to try. It's one of those rare tech-demos that you should play, just to have fun and smile for a little while.