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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

Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7325
author=iddalai
author=Solitayre
You're listed as a developer, which means you may not review this game. Sorry!
I have a question, could someone who created a couple of Pokemon for the game and designed the skeleton of a dungeon, review the game?

I totally understand where you're coming from by denying a review from a Developer, but in these community events, the real Developer is the main person in charge making the game and the other people listed as Developers only did very small things like designing a couple Pokemon or the skeleton of a dungeon or giving feedback (like testers).

Should these people be listed as Developers and should they not be allowed to review the game?

Regardless of how much or how little you put into the game, if you're being credited on the gamepage, you shouldn't be allowed to write a review. What this does is grant the one who writes the review their own makerscore, a sense of artificial inflation that in an economic setting would be illegal and cause for alarm as historically these things have lead to economic bubbles and bubbles bursting, crippling the unaware who've invested into the system on false pretenses.

What we seek to ensure here is a level playing field. You can either have yourself removed from the credits and sacrifice the makerscore that goes with it to write a glowing review of your own work (still shady dealings), or you could keep your credits and let others review your work for you.

author=Dragon_Quill
Back in the ancient RBY days...

Ugh, it wasn't that long ago. Then again, I don't know how old you are and these sorts of things are all subjective.
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
12896
Thank you for the follow-up! It really clears up a lot and demonstrates where I can specifically improve in this project. I'll try to explore Leanne's character a bit more and the other things you mentioned.

I think the only reason I made the "tough guy" line a single skin color was due to the other alternate outfits being tied to references (Outfit 2 is colored similarly to Goku from DB, and Outfit 3 is actually supposed to be similar to Knuckle Joe from the Kirby series. Perhaps, making the default outfit have darker skin tones would alleviate the issue? It would certainly offset the fact that every other character's default skin is white.
halibabica
RMN's Official Reviewmonger
14518
@Corfaisus: In no way do I mean to imply Pokemon is its own genre. That's a semantics point at best, because the argument is that the content doesn't match the style. It's a kids game. There are no Pokemon games rated 'M' for Mature. Not that these jokes are particularly mature (quite the opposite imo), but hey apparently I'm the only one who cares.
iddalai
RPG Maker 2k/2k3 for life, baby!!
2160
author=Corfaisus
Regardless of how much or how little you put into the game, if you're being credited on the gamepage, you shouldn't be allowed to write a review. What this does is grant the one who writes the review their own makerscore, a sense of artificial inflation that in an economic setting would be illegal and cause for alarm as historically these things have lead to economic bubbles and bubbles bursting, crippling the unaware who've invested into the system on false pretenses.

What we seek to ensure here is a level playing field. You can either have yourself removed from the credits and sacrifice the makerscore that goes with it to write a glowing review of your own work (still shady dealings), or you could keep your credits and let others review your work for you.


You weren't here when we discussed this the last time, right?

https://rpgmaker.net/games/8394/reviews/4821/?p=1#posts

Solitayre stated that is was fine for testers (who share the game's makerscore) to review the games.

Does my reasoning make more sense now?
Hmm, I'll have to play it but I have to agree that those immature jokes really aren't funny and ruin a game for me. Even if there are only a few, although it seems like it's more than a few. That's obviously a matter of taste by why ruin a game for most people to appeal to some. With all the effort in making the game look and sound good, the writing should match. I wanted this to be a good game overall.

Even though it's RMN version I don't think it should be a 'joke game'. It should be a serious, thoughtful game with intelligent jokes. No need to simply grab the low hanging fruit. There are plenty of community games that take a serious tone and include RMN jokes without alienating the "adult" audience.

But again, I'll need to play the game to get a better sense of it, which I will do right after work. Since I'm not a dev perhaps I'll even right my own review!

Edit: Also, all the examples of "adult" themes in official pokemon games are bad examples. Driftloon taking kids away is very vague(it's a balloon and it could cause a kid to drift away while holding it, it doesn't mean that Driftloon is gonna do anything sinister). A girl screaming "molesting me" is very specific. When these crude topics are brought up in a very crude way, that is what is a turn off. Such topics can be hinted to without being overtly obvious, and that is what makes them non-cringeworthy.

Edit2: Screw it, work is slow, I might as well start now :D
pianotm
The TM is for Totally Magical.
27719
@Link_2112, I think you're going to find that the review may have exaggerated some points.
You know, if someone is trying to kill you, I think screaming out "Molester, molester" is a logical course of action. It's bound to get more people looking your way and would save your life. I actually didn't see Leanne as crazy - I saw her as a bit of a bitch who was doing completely logical actions when faced with an asshole. (If you are being threatened, absolutely making noise and screaming about it is the way to go.)

The reason such a thing is so big in anime is because this is what you're supposed to do if you're getting molested/attacked/threatened and if a woman thinks she is in danger she should absolutely scream about it. The idea that screaming for help (and instead, that you should suffer in silence) is so wrong it makes my heart hurt. So I'm all for Leanne screaming out "Help I'm being Molested" because that is 100% what I would be screaming if some fuckwit came up to me and threatened my life. Make them heads turn.

Granted, having it played up for comedy sake is a bit crap, but that is so easily remedied - just have her say "I knew screaming that would bring someone to help!" and completely make her sane about it. Easy. Done.



That big wall of text doesn't negate the fact that this is an opinion piece and not a review. You don't talk about the systems, the gameplay, the music, the graphics or anything else that makes up the game bar the writing parts you didn't like. You rate the game based solely on one aspect instead of the whole and that really grinds my gears most of all.

Have your opinion, sure - I'm not against that - but at least when you write a review, write a review.
author=Ratty524
I think the only reason I made the "tough guy" line a single skin color was due to the other alternate outfits being tied to references (Outfit 2 is colored similarly to Goku from DB, and Outfit 3 is actually supposed to be similar to Knuckle Joe from the Kirby series. Perhaps, making the default outfit have darker skin tones would alleviate the issue? It would certainly offset the fact that every other character's default skin is white.


Sure. The easiest rule of thumb for this is just parity. One way is to mix all sets, another is that if one set's all shades of white, make another all shades of brown. It's like I was to make a bunch of trainers that reference the main characters of the different generations, only one set of them even could have different color skin, and of those, it's not the official art version. It wouldn't be me choosing to make an all-white/almost all white cast, but it'd still be what I ended up with. On the other hand, if they were part of a set of a hundred different minor trainers, and I had them fill up the pure-white slot and then worked my way down the gradient for the others, I'd have both the reference and an even balance.

@Liberty: Yes, you already told me how you think I'm "just pick and choosing to represent it badly". Why don't you take your own advice about drama and at least keep it over there? You're totally free to answer my questions like what more, exactly, I was supposed to say about the fact it's pokemon battles, or when exactly NPCs and art stopped being part of the game.
Hi, just wanted to share this with you people. Hope you don't mind.



I'm pretty sure this guy would hate me for this, but he's dead so his opinion doesn't count.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7325
author=iddalai
author=Corfaisus
Regardless of how much or how little you put into the game, if you're being credited on the gamepage, you shouldn't be allowed to write a review. What this does is grant the one who writes the review their own makerscore, a sense of artificial inflation that in an economic setting would be illegal and cause for alarm as historically these things have lead to economic bubbles and bubbles bursting, crippling the unaware who've invested into the system on false pretenses.

What we seek to ensure here is a level playing field. You can either have yourself removed from the credits and sacrifice the makerscore that goes with it to write a glowing review of your own work (still shady dealings), or you could keep your credits and let others review your work for you.
You weren't here when we discussed this the last time, right?

https://rpgmaker.net/games/8394/reviews/4821/?p=1#posts

Solitayre stated that is was fine for testers (who share the game's makerscore) to review the games.

Does my reasoning make more sense now?

author=Liberty
Well, not only that, but it's a bit of a conflict of interest depending on how integral the tester is in the game. I still maintain that they should not be giving scored reviews, but welp. :shrug:

I'd have more makerscore if I gamed the system did things. Let's not forget the whole "patting yourself on the back", "in bed with the dev" thing that's such a buzz on the internet. It really shouldn't be any different here.

Take this for instance. You wouldn't think it just the slightest bit suspect for someone to have their work being so strong ridiculed and pushed to the bottom of the barrel, and follow this up with giving themselves a glowing review under their own handler or an alias to make themselves seem better than they really are. Other places that'd be false advertisement.
Solitayre
Circumstance penalty for being the bard.
18257
Testers may review a game. Developers may not.

If you are on the list of developers and remove yourself so that you can review the game you made, I reserve the right to feed you to the locusts. That is all.
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
12896
author=Solitayre
Testers may review a game. Developers may not.

If you are on the list of developers and remove yourself so that you can review the game you made, I reserve the right to feed you to the locusts. That is all.

To be fair, I listed everyone who made a Pokemon submission as "developer" here, and many of them, including iddalai, haven't influenced the core of the project beyond that, so I think I know where he's coming from.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7325
author=Ratty524
author=Solitayre
Testers may review a game. Developers may not.

If you are on the list of developers and remove yourself so that you can review the game you made, I reserve the right to feed you to the locusts. That is all.
To be fair, I listed everyone who made a Pokemon submission as "developer" here, and many of them, including iddalai, haven't influenced the core of the project beyond that, so I think I know where he's coming from.

Then they should be moved to artist* instead of developer. And while sure there's still a conflict of interest, I suppose that might mean something to someone.

* Assuming the rules don't change between now and then, I plan on reviewing CoT when it comes out and harshly critiquing my own work because Lord knows I've improved substantially and there's an obvious break in quality due to my own stepping down from the project halfway through. I'll be the last one I spare and I'll make sure to put emphasis on the fact that "hey, I was a part of this game's development, just saying 'grain of salt' and all that".
iddalai
RPG Maker 2k/2k3 for life, baby!!
2160
author=Corfaisus
I'd have more makerscore if I gamed the system did things. Let's not forget the whole "patting yourself on the back", "in bed with the dev" thing that's such a buzz on the internet. It really shouldn't be any different here.

Take this for instance. You wouldn't think it just the slightest bit suspect for someone to have their work being so strong ridiculed and pushed to the bottom of the barrel, and follow this up with giving themselves a glowing review under their own handler or an alias to make themselves seem better than they really are. Other places that'd be false advertisement.


Oh, I understood what you meant before.
It stands to reason, if you have something to gain (makerscore) then there's potentially a conflict of interests.

But since testers also gain makerscore, I had to ask, since some of us have a similar relation to this game.

author=Ratty524
author=Solitayre
Testers may review a game. Developers may not.

If you are on the list of developers and remove yourself so that you can review the game you made, I reserve the right to feed you to the locusts. That is all.
To be fair, I listed everyone who made a Pokemon submission as "developer" here, and many of them, including iddalai, haven't influenced the core of the project beyond that, so I think I know where he's coming from.


Exactly :)
How about this - since Ratty524 sounds like they'll be changing a bunch so this review won't reflect the finished product's content, and apparently a ridiculous number of people have at least a slight connection to this and so can't give their own review which I wasn't aware would be a problem, I'll request the rating be edited to no rating.

Would that help?
Ratty524
The 524 is for 524 Stone Crabs
12896
author=Dragon_Quill
How about this - since Ratty524 sounds like they'll be changing a bunch so this review won't reflect the finished product's content, and apparently a ridiculous number of people have at least a slight connection to this and so can't give their own review which I wasn't aware would be a problem, I'll request the rating be edited to no rating.

Would that help?

It'd be welcome, but your call.
author=Ratty524
To be fair, I listed everyone who made a Pokemon submission as "developer" here
Not true. You didn't list me as a dev because you said I didn't do anything beyond submit a pokemon. Others helped with designing areas and gyms and trainers and that's what got them on the dev list, as I understand it.

I'd rather have ms for this than be able to maybe submit a review.

edit: and nobody would be able to affect the core game because isn't it a premade pokemon project template?

edit2: in fact I'm not listed anywhere on the page. If I cared that would hurt my feelings.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7325
author=Dragon_Quill
How about this - since Ratty524 sounds like they'll be changing a bunch so this review won't reflect the finished product's content, and apparently a ridiculous number of people have at least a slight connection to this and so can't give their own review which I wasn't aware would be a problem, I'll request the rating be edited to no rating.

Would that help?


You can actually change the rating yourself by going to your submissions on the top and editing the review.
author=Corfaisus
You can actually change the rating yourself by going to your submissions on the top and editing the review.


Ah, so I can! I was assuming that since they had to be approved the actual content was locked once I submitted. It is done.
Corfaisus
"It's frustrating because - as much as Corf is otherwise an irredeemable person - his 2k/3 mapping is on point." ~ psy_wombats
7325
author=Dragon_Quill
author=Corfaisus
You can actually change the rating yourself by going to your submissions on the top and editing the review.
Ah, so I can! I was assuming that since they had to be approved the actual content was locked once I submitted. It is done.


And don't worry about the score on the gamepage itself, it gets updated with the site every 24 hours.