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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

Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
12896
author=Pizza
Anyways I didn't play much PRMN cause it bored me rather quickly, but if the things mentioned in this review are indeed in the game then I'm sort of glad I didn't continue, cause I would have been pretty lamed out by it.

Can you explain your thoughts about why it was boring? Preferably through PM because the comment feed in this review is already becoming quite a mess.
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
18257
From my perspective, I think Afropup is adorable and its evolution line is cool. But I'm the whitest white guy in the room, and it's totally possible someone of another demographic could see something I don't.

Reading the Poke'dex entry from above, I can see how somebody could read that and take it the wrong way. I'm not saying it should or shouldn't be changed based on that, I'm just saying I can see why.
Is this Shayoko? ...Either way this is amusing to see. We've come full circle. It's like the blind leading the blind. I can't believe any of you is giving this review any credence. Yeah, I get it that you want to be "open minded" and all that, but this is too much. The grievances this review brings up are ALL MISPLACED. This is "Pokemon encourages animal abuse" levels of dumb (Or in this case Pokemon encourages slavery, I guess? Because you can "capture/own" "black Pokemons"??) See, I can make up stuff too! xD

Haven't played the game, but just judging by the dedication that went into it I'd be willing to bet my right arm that it does not deserve a 1 star score... You know, I don't give a damn what "oponions" you want to express on a review. Be my guest. Just don't let that get in the way of the game. By unfairly giving a game a low score you impact its visibility on the site. It may not be the end of the world, but I'm confident in saying that's petty or even malicious. At the very least, have the courtesy to leave the review unrated.

But nah, nevermind. Everything is fine. =)
Just read the original aaaand... yeah, the reviewer doesn't come across as honestly giving the game a chance. Like, they make a lot of assumptions about how the game was made and the purpose of some inclusions. They also pretend like the game is sexist to women when.. it isn't at all. Like, there is a legitimate point to be had if you couldn't change your gender in the beginning! But, you can, and it knocks nearly all allegations of this out of the water. And shorts =/= sexualized! And the quirky sprite doesn't even flash her panties >.<

Can we also not pretend that masturbation doesn't happen? The person's problem with the trash can is silly, especially when ratty could be lauded for it. I seriously have never seen a reference to masturbation that didn't seem to imply the one masturbating was nasty. Heck, the protagonist is cool regardless of their gender/ blooming sexuality! Maybe a review is in order?

I'll say the worthwhile parts of this review are this:

They point out a problem in player agency - you can't inspect things although, being a pokemon fangame, you'd think you would be able to.

Afropup may be a bit problematic - that's okay! I think it's too much of a stretch to condemn the poor little guy, and that conclusion is okay too. Let's work toward avoiding this problem in the future. He may need an edit, but perhaps he's fine as is?

There could be more guys hitting on you regardless of gender.

The motivations of the main antagonist could be more clear. Remember russian vilification has been a thing since the cold war. He's got an accent, but honestly now, foreign people have accents some times.

Aaaand, I think that's everything honestly. Everything mechanically has already been considered. Thematically, it's not as sterile as regular pokemon. I welcome that. The humor is fine. It's just not for everyone which is okay!
kentona
I am tired of Earth. These people. I am tired of being caught in the tangle of their lives.
20742
Well, the author of the review seems to be under the impression that being offended gives legitmacy to their arguments. Like it is some sort of currency that validates opinions. There are also a lot of assumptions being made from a very narrow worldview. This probably generates traction in whatever echo chamber the author inhabits, so good for them I guess.
The comments suggest to me that they do indeed have a little echo chamber going. >.<

There's a comment literally suggesting to cause sparks to fly on RMN as if a. We are a some weird, racist, sexist utopia with only caucasians (we're not) b. any disagreeing with their review = bad, or outrage or butthurt or whatever else.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
14518
from Gourd_Clae
Thematically, it's not as sterile as regular pokemon. I welcome that. The humor is fine. It's just not for everyone which is okay!

Except it kind of isn't. I'm probably going to catch some flak for this, but here's the issue as I understand it. Let me preface this by saying I'm a very open-minded person who's difficult to offend. It would take some seriously outrageous stuff to get me riled up, so please believe me when I say I'm trying to speak in the game's best interests here.

Now, you can decry my opinion and say I have to play it myself to see, but that's not where the problem lies. Most of the writing probably is fine. The trouble stems from the instances this review brings up, and just because they aren't the majority of the writing's representation doesn't mean they aren't a problem.

What we're seeing here is an issue of genre. The content of any medium needs to understand and stay within the confines of its genre. Say, for example, if there were a Loony Toons episode where Elmer Fudd kills Bugs Bunny with realistic violence and gore. Beyond the obvious knee-jerk reactions that would cause, the idea is inherently flawed because that's not how Loony Toons rolls. It's a silly show with wacky, unrealistic violence, and anything else wouldn't have a place. It doesn't fit.

Now, look at the game we have here. We're not just making our own thing, no matter how hard we pretend to be. We're borrowing a universe; the Pokémon name. Its fan base may have grown up, but it's still a kids game at heart, and that's what the canon series reflects. Just because we aren't bound by Nintendo's family-friendliness doesn't mean we have free reign. Yes, you can include things like same-sex flirting and alcohol, but you shouldn't because they simply don't belong. I'm not saying games can't address stuff like that; I'm saying Pokémon specifically can't because those types of themes don't fit in that genre. It doesn't work, it doesn't add anything, and it'll only draw more ire like we've seen here. I know political correctness is boring and it's more fun to be edgy, but for the sake of the game's reception and players' expectations, I really think we'd be better off without.

As for the whole Afropup is racist thing, well, they did change Jynx's skin color to purple so it wouldn't be atrocious. Bouffalant has an afro, and even some bovine-appropriate bling, and nobody's crying racist over that. Maybe a color change is all it needs to avoid this problem after all.
I wouldn't give you flak :P Well, I'm going to disagree with you but.. XD

I kinda see your point about the genre thing, but that seems so limiting, you know? I mean, in your Looney Toons example I would love that! Maybe not from an official LT, like you said it doesn't fit in that context. In the context of "this is not what actually happens silly" I can enjoy the Elmer Fudd getting some much needed penance.

And, I get how that could be a bit off-putting if you were playing a game that was a part of the canon series, but this isn't! This a great place to take questions like "What if there were bisexuals in pokemon?" and make them a reality. I see no reason why it is, in fact, NOT "okay". Because it is!

I guess I'm saying "Yes, this is not like pokemon and that's okay" and you're saying it should be more like pokemon and it's not okay to deviate. Which flies right in the face of making something interesting/new ever. If there were no deviations from the source material what's even the point?
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
14518
You raise a valid point, but there's the other end of our problem: this is a Pokemon game. It looks like a Pokemon game, it sounds like a Pokemon game, and it plays like a Pokemon game. If it weren't such a close imitation, things might be different, but it's not. This game presents itself like a normal Pokemon game...and then it has masturbation jokes. Do you not see the problem here?
I feel like a lot of the more "edgy" stuff shouldn't be considered edgy in this day and age anymore. Pokemon has MUCH more disturbing stuff in the lore already. Example: It's implied Driftloon always attempts to steal children away by floating into the sky, and sometimes succeeds. How is that okay when same sex flirting and alcohol is not? My answer is BOTH should be okay. We can handle it. Kids can handle it. When I was a kid, and it was not that long ago, when I saw cartoon characters get drunk, it was called comedy, not something disturbing.

I have not played the game, but I for one approve of Funkound and vote to replace Buzz Lightyear from Pokemon X and Y with it. It's not racist. It fits in Pokeman too.

@halibabica Well, I see why it might be seem abrasive to some, but it's kind of like a science experiment. You don't change every variable because then you can't see where your "what if" question actually changed things. That's why it's so similar - because we wanted a pokemon game w/ only some alterations not an overhaul.

Also, you're not gonna convince me with an appeal to common sense XD. When you ask
author=halibabica
This game presents itself like a normal Pokemon game...and then it has masturbation jokes. Do you not see the problem here?
... my answer is "Nope, what's the problem~?" and I wonder why you think masturbation is such an edgy topic at all! I think it should be present more in media!

BTW, by the same standards as Afropup is being held up to, Boufallant probably could be considered racist and just because people haven't made a stink about it doesn't mean it's not also a problem. I personally think Boufallant is fine, but maybe I just can't understand. >.<
ESBY
extreme disappointment
1222
rename afropup's line, change the pokedex to be disco based and we'll finally have the disco stu pokemon we deserve
my suggestions are

pupomb
poochill
dynomutt
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
12896
I partly agree and disagree with what you are saying Hali.

Sure, putting violent themes in Looney Tunes or Mario calls out to itself in a negative way, but think of why it does that beyond just "it's intended for kids." The worlds of both of those examples are so removed from reality that seeing any aspect of our modern world in those examples raises an eyebrow.

Aside from the fact that superpowered animals exist and the writing style, Pokemon isn't that detached as those franchises. They take place in modern settings and subtly touch upon aspects that people can relate to.

As a matter of fact, Pokemon is definitely not as restrictive about its content as you make it out to be. There have been references to people killing/eating Pokemon and even the recent entry in the series has references to people and pokemon dying during wartime. That's just one example aside from the questionable, darker dex entries some Pokemon have, and content that had to be axed in localization (the passed-out old man in Viridian City).

The difference, however, is that this content is kept both infrequent and presented in a transparent manner, which is definitely something I could afford to take note of in tweaking this game. That, and situations like the interaction between Leanne and Prof. Manic are so difficult to pull off effectively without it coming off as slimy.
Punkitt
notorious rpgmaker 2k3 shill
3287
Yo, this review is pretty bad. Real bad. Not because it basically dumped on what I think is a pretty decent demo, but because it's just bad from a game-review-writing-sense. Glad you could find some legitimate criticism from it, Ratty. I'd have to go on an epic wasteland-scouring 15-hour adventure with some unneeded romance thrown in around the end to find any legitimate improvements it could suggest other then some mild stuff about being more open-minded (I guess?).

Afropup's a cutie. I can understand where everyone is coming from, but I associate afros and peace symbols with disco and the 70's in general, not black people. I mean, they're an important factor in that style and age but I don't think of them specifically when I see an afro. It varies from person to person, it seems.

@ESBY Dynomutt is a fantastic name for Afropup. I think it'd work better for the second or third evolutions.

...Man, afros are awesome. We need more afro-based Pokemon.
author=Punkitt
...Man, afros are awesome. We need more afro-based Pokemon.
^Seconded XD

On some meditation, part of the problem may be that Funkound and Jinx are humanoid pokemon not a random bull with an afro or something.
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
27719
A wild DRAGON QUILL appeared!
DRAGON QUILL used RACEBAIT! It's super effective!

Okay, let's ignore the veiled accusations of racism, which given that the dev is Ratty, is really pretty stupid and underscores the fact that this entire review was written for shock value. There's a difference between balanced reporting and tabloid sensationalism. This reviewer has chosen to find offense in as much as this game as possible, and at several points, grasps at straws. The reviewer may have had a valid point, but it's lost in the insipid desire to vilify the game. Halibabica makes much stronger points (I don't agree with them. The whole point of fan fiction is the ability to step outside of the genre, but his argument raises valid points.), and they even serve to demolish much of this review, despite the fact that he seems to agree with it. It's amazingly incompetent writing when your credibility is shredded by balanced and rational people agreeing with you.

The only really genuine point I can see is the point about Afropup. I don't know a lot of black people that would actually find him offensive, but I could see a white person looking at it and seeing how it might be construed as a racial stereotype, if one completely ignores the fact that a character that enjoys making music and wearing his or her hair in a specific style might actually be a good stereotype; seriously, I'd love to see more stereotypes encouraging musical creation. The only people who are offended by these are people who have something to be offended about. I wonder if Dragon Quill has actually seen legitimately racist cartoons or comics that are legitimately offensive. If x/he likes, I can share my collection with x/er. There's a big difference between Afropup and actual blackface cartoons.

As it is, this review would be fine if it addressed other legitimate points, like the gameplay (which is just fine), the spriting and graphics (which are nearly perfect), the construction, the execution. The only thing that Dragon Quill addresses is how long it takes commands to register and the evolution graphic. This is frankly a three to four star game. This review could be right. It wouldn't matter. The only reason this review gave it a one star rating was because the writer was on a PC tirade.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7325
As long as it isn't as bad as this, I can't see what could constitute a 1 star review. Guess I'll have to check it out myself.
Kloe
I lost my arms in a tragic chibi accident
2236
author=Corfaisus
As long as it isn't as bad as this, I can't see what could constitute a 1 star review. Guess I'll have to check it out myself.

Hahaha, yeah, so true Corfy...
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7325

Look at how grown up this game is!

My dad ripped a nasty fart when I got to reading this part of the review and I giggled. I'm an adult, yup.

EDIT: Just finished the review. Clearly Dragon Quill doesn't understand that Ratty is half-black and just thinks he's another skinhead looking to stir up a racial divide.

author=InfectionFiles
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.


"Mmm mmm, sugah, I know you ain't misrepresentin' Jynx, Imma kiss yo ass."

Seriously, replace Pikachu with a bucket of KFC and watch the internet shit itself into a black hole.

author=Liberty
On the other hand, if it had been any other colour than brown, would people then be screaming white-washing and appropriation of culture?

Moving forward, I think more would be upset that Ratty changed any depiction of a black character into a white character. If people are offended by this (especially the ones whom this doesn't affect), that's just their way of saying that "no, you can't have this". You can't like certain kinds of music. You can't have certain types of hair. You can't even smile. You're supposed to be a respectable person. Be miserable and like only what I like or else you're degrading yourself.

It's control.


Maybe the "stomping and growling" part is what's causing the most rustle, but honestly, if a duck were so inclined, it would stomp and honk to make its own music. That's the only options such an animal would have.
Guess it's time I finished writing my review.

I am fine with the way it's looked at, but I wouldn't agree with the rating based on it, given how much of the game is top-notch in terms of gameplay and polish quality. Those instances may be standing out, but they are only a small portion of the game playtime. (and pokémon roster).
The third gender option was a mean bait, the meditation game sucked balls (although I see ways to make it work), and the later comedy portions as well as the comic relief character did get on my nerves (I loved the trash bucket descriptions though!).

It's still a solid game, and, well, it's shining as Pokémon! I like that it tries to take steps out of it and add some humour - Kentona's appearances are just godly - and so was the starting sequence - but not all of it is perfect. So, ya'll all hear from me soon ~

Until then keep it kool mates. I know you lovely people can do that :)

Uh .. I looked at the original article's comments. Okay. Makes sense. Yeah, let's do something more fun with my time, that's a sad sight.