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Childishly "Adult"

This is a review crossposted from review blog Dragon Quill. The original article can be found here.

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 official Pokemon games and plays exactly the same…except it's 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, and like any Pokemon game, it's mostly just battling. 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.



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? 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?



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”.


Look at how grown up this game is!

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.



Girls thinking people are perverts and crying wolf out of pure stupidity is obviously the best joke imaginable, so much that it goes on line after line after line. 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.

The second gym introduces what I thought I wanted, puzzles that are an actual challenge…except actually they’re bad 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 twitchy reaction time game is somehow 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.



Maybe it’s just an unfortunate resemblance…?



Nope.



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.

Posts

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People wanting to start drama in this review over the comments made in it - instead go and write your own. Giving this review attention means that you'll be causing the drama they want you to. Move on and have your say the proper way.
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4370
Wait, so you're commenting/bitching about only being able to play a white person yet that's what most pokemon games gives BUT this one gives you an option to how look even you said that you can be dark skinned. I just want to be clear on that part because if I'm assuming wrong that you can be black in pokemon games then by all means ignore me.

I like afropup, I think it's hilarious. Because let's be honest here, pokemon itself has already done somewhat racist pokemon like the grass Mexican. So let's not destroy that harmless tradition there.

Also, when is Pokemon RMN getting a playing card expansion?
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
14263
Well, then. Guys, I haven't played this thing personally, but reading this review...it sounds like the criticism is fair. I wouldn't be too impressed with what they described. I'm not super-involved with this project, but as one of its contributors, I hope Ratty and the other devs take this seriously. Don't brush it aside, don't get offended; take what you can from it and try to improve.
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
13391
(...Did people start drama over this review?)

Thanks for the review.

It's interesting how many of the "sexist" aspects of the game stood out to you. They certainly weren't intended to be that way. Rather, they're meant to be unique and slightly off-kilter situations played for laughs. In life, people's sexual preferences vary, and someone openly admitting they aren't into their own sex is as normal and natural as admitting you aren't into the opposite sex. Sexual preferences, as a whole, isn't even a defining aspect in this game and isn't frequent in occurrence.

In regards to Leanne, she's supposed to be insane. She's a kind of comic relief in the sense that she's there to make you, as a player going through a whirlwind of experiences throughout the game, feel awkward or perplexed at every encounter, hence the entire Triple Triad scene and even her sudden affection towards you.

Speaking of which, her similar interactions towards girl-characters is entirely intentional in that regard. It's so the people who play female characters don't miss out, and also to imply that Leanne is bisexual.

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

Yeah, many people have pointed them out already, and I'm working to correct it.

(Also, the evolution animation is horrible – the sprite spins in a circle really fast. Look, what’s wrong with just flipping back and forth? I realize this is really petty but it’s going through more effort to make something look so much worse!)

Duly noted. I'll look towards replacing it.

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.

I was originally leaning towards no flavor text at all. In the official games, they so often don't really add much to the experience and many of them are ignorable. After watching some people play this game, however, I might reconsider. I'm going to make a blog post to get a vote on it soon.
As for being gross and edgy, I won't deny that, but what else would you expect to find by digging through trash? :P

While we're on the subject of edge, the overall tone of the game was meant to be less out of sheer immaturity and more of a conscious choice that I decided at the start. The game is supposed to be a representation of RPG Maker.net in many aspects. It's a diverse, laid-back, and definitely quirky community. That, and I kind of wanted to play with a Pokemon setting that didn't take itself very seriously while also acknowledging more mature subject matters exist. It was a better option to me than going with the notoriously sterile writing of the official games or the excessively dark and edgy settings that so many Pokemon fan games employ these days.

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.

This is actually a good call and something that flew over my head. I'll gladly add some males who hit on you!

The second gym introduces what I thought I wanted, puzzles that are an actual challenge…except actually they’re bad 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 twitchy reaction time game is somehow a meditation minigame.

Yeaaaaah that minigame is kind of borked. I'm not sure whether to rework it to make it more responsive/easier to complete or rework it entirely.

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.

That's a very unusual bug. I'll look into it.

Overall, sorry you couldn't enjoy this.
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4370
I actually agree, to an extend. Some of what's presented is a little too much, not with the content itself but how it's presented. But I feel like this review is really just focusing on the negatives with a few backhanded compliments woven in.

Like not being able to be "black" but having a stereotype "black" pokemon doesn't bother me. I think the game tries to offer character customisation and as for the pokemon literally look up what pokemon exist and it's not like a new thing for the world. These animals are based off puns, cultures and human things.

I dont think it deserves a 1 star for the amount of work alone or the creation of new pokemon. But I think the game could lay off things like Noob Cave and other "RMN" specific things.

I'll play this as soon as I can get to my desktop and hopefully give a proper review.
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
13391
author=InfectionFiles
But I think the game could lay off things like Noob Cave and other "RMN" specific things.

B-but that was the point. *curls up in fetal position* ;_;
I actually really liked the Noob Cave and RMN things because this is the RMN edition of Pokemon. It added a personality to the game that was made BY the community, FOR the community and it was great to stumble apon a pun (like the Three Tile Rule) or character and go 'Eyyyyy~ >.<)b'. I think that's half the fun of the game.

If I wanted to play a pokemon game that isn't based on RMN community there's a literal shit ton of hacks, fangames and the official ones to play instead. Let us have one game based on the silliness that is RMN and the people in it. It's unique.

Quite frankly, I rather enjoyed all that I have played in the game - as a female player who is bisexual, I found it a fun romp. I even like Leanne a lot and quite enjoyed her hitting on me (even if she was crazy and you never date crazy!!!) I rolled with a Cool female character because shorts are fun and not one of the female options were sexualised at all which was nice to see in a game for once. Even the official games have those kinds of issues. (Shorts are not sexualisation, silly reviewer. XD )
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4370
author=Ratty524
author=InfectionFiles
But I think the game could lay off things like Noob Cave and other "RMN" specific things.
B-but that was the point. *curls up in fetal position* ;_;
To be fair, most of it isn't bad. I think Noob Cave really stood out to me though. I dont mind so much like Aremen or etc but I agree with the Noob Cave thing. It's awesome that it's a really unique and pretty awesome/consistent community game but I think a few things could be changed that help outsiders not be so like "lol wtf" Noob Cave doesn't promote much for RMN and nor it should, really. Everything else in that manner is fine, save that one thing.

edit:
Definitely not hating on the RMN thing, just a few little aspects of it.
Red_Nova
The all around prick
7616
author=InfectionFiles
I dont think it deserves a 1 star for the amount of work alone or the creation of new pokemon. But I think the game could lay off things like Noob Cave and other "RMN" specific things.

How come? This is Pokemon RMN version, after all, so why not have some nods to the site?

EDIT: Echo... echo... echo...
InfectionFiles
the world ends in whatever my makerscore currently is
4370
Nods are fine! But not at the expense of experience. I'm really not trying to be negative here because this project is so badass that it wouldn't hurt to be a little universal. For all the time and effort I would hate to see some things swept aside because of that aspect.
author=Ratty524
It's interesting how many of the "sexist" aspects of the game stood out to you.


I've found that even if you take every possible precaution to prevent these sorts of things, at least one person is going to find a problem somewhere with it. I've been told my characters are sexist in ways that I had never even considered until it was pointed out to me.

In way, it's interesting to see what other people find to be offensive in your game. Sometimes it's helpful, too.
I find this review insightful, but to dumb in my brains. Still love that this game acts like a train wreck that keeps on moving which is 10 barrel rolls to the river.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
14263
Ehh, I dunno. It's one thing to avoid the uber straight-laced writing of the canon games, and very much another to go off the other end of 'edginess'. Is it not possible to give the writing personality without making it wacky and ridiculous? You may not want to be limited in your writing, Ratty, but what they described here comes off very bizarre to me.
If anyone can handle criticism fairly and graciously , it's Ratty. However I'd like to know why the reviewer focuses entirely on minor gripes instead of looking at the whole picture. Yes the game has a few typos; Yes, i suppose tumblrkin could percieve something as sexist/racist if they looked really hard... But c'mon, you're making this game sound like Conker's Bad Fur Day. There are many positive features that have gone unmentioned in favor of "i don't like the way this sprite looks" or "there's not a special message when i check the bookshelf"

@ Liberty : I'd like to ask your opinion on who should be allowed to review the game. I've provided some minor graphical work and was wondering if contributors are allowed to review. Thanks :)

Edit @ Hali

Sorry, but I'd really like to encourage you to play the demo. The humor is mostly breaking-the-fourth-wall and RMN Gags, and far from being overly crude. Please take a look if you can
I think as long as you make it clear that you provided stuff and not give it an actual score, that should be fine, but ultimately it's up to Solitayre and I think he ruled that's its fine as long as you weren't a huge factor in creating the game.

I'd PM him about it first, just to find out. >.<)b

author=halibabica
stuffs

Play the game before trying to pass judgement on it - the review takes an extreme view of the content, playing it up to the negative.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
14263
I dunno. Yes, I should see for myself, but even just what they described and showed in the screenshots was off-putting to me. Maybe it's just a taste thing, but that sort of writing and thematics never does it for me.
Seiromem
I would have more makerscore If I did things.
6135
So this is what it's like to have a slightly controversial review on a game!
So many notifications!

Anyways, lagging problems are the fault of the PC, not the game maker. (Most of the time)

And the whole "Racist Afropup" thing really rustles my jimmies. It isn't in a negative light, the "blackface caricature" is a huge leap in logic to me (it's a brown dog with an afro, honestly! If anything, the fact that YOU think it's a representation of black people because it has an Afro and dark skiin is racist!)
Racism is about HATE.
Stereotypes =/= racism automatically, it needs the negative connotations to go along with it. Now, if we had a thuggish black Pokemon, that would be one thing, but a Fun-Loving Disco God that happens to have dark skin is racist? Grow up.

Otherwise, without lag the second gym's minigame was tolerable to me, which you should strive to make better than tolerable, Ratty.

Lastly, having played the demo I agree with some of the dialogue gripes. The sexuality thing doesn't really bother me, but your problem with not using flavor text because it normally adds nothing comes up here... the NPCs hardly have anything significant to say story or lore wise, the things they say can almost never be taken seriously. I think it would only be a benefit to the game if some of the dialogue had a slightly more serious tone to it. Like, "Yeah, life here is wacky and fun at times, but we can get serious when it's called for" type thing.
@ Lib : OK thanks gorl

author=halibabica
I dunno. Yes, I should see for myself, but even just what they described and showed in the screenshots was off-putting to me. Maybe it's just a taste thing, but that sort of writing and thematics never does it for me.

I can TOTALLY understand your opinion, as it's based entirely off of this review. I think you will be pleasantly surprised if you play this demo. The game's sense of humor is not immature and tasteless as the review implies. You won't have to play very long before you figure that out :)

Also, if you don't feel like going through the hassle of downloading, Liberty posted an excellent series of LP.s Here's the first one: https://rpgmaker.net/games/6734/media/4114/
author=Liberty
Giving this review attention means that you'll be causing the drama they want you to.


I see no reason to assume this is all the reviewer wants. Can we not instantly assume the worst of people, please?

Hm, it's a shame the game goes to this extreme. I admit I was hoping it would preserve the feel of the original games at least a little, since I actually like that. I suppose I should have seen this coming when the Jazz Singer pokemon was unveiled.
Seiromem
I would have more makerscore If I did things.
6135
author=argh
I suppose I should have seen this coming when the Jazz Singer pokemon was unveiled.


Because a Jazz Singer Pokemon could only ever be racist, right?
Oh, wait, if it had been a White Jazz Singer Pokemon, would you not have thought so?
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