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Coromon | Review – When Pokémon is no longer enough

Coromon | Review – When Pokémon is no longer enough

By daniele

Now that Pokémon Legends: Arceus has taken some cautious steps toward changing the formula, the following main Pokémon games, Scarlet and Violet, which were just announced, feel like they’re going to be divisive. But while many want to change and grow from a series that has stuck to the same core formula for decades, there are just as many who miss the easy-to-understand mechanics of the old games.


Coromon is made for the more traditional Pokémon fans. It looks and plays like a Game Boy Advance game from the late 2000s. Coromon makes no secret that Pokémon inspired it, and it copies the battle system, structure, and fun of Nintendo’s hugely popular game. There are elemental weaknesses, monsters to evolve, and trainers who say one-liners, and it all starts with leaving your mother’s house for the big adventure ahead.


You might wonder why no one has already called the lawyers, but Coromon has just enough of its things to set it apart from Pokémon. The art style is the first thing you’ll notice. It looks more like Stardew Valley than the top-down Pokémon games. The animations for the 2D monster sprites are much better, and there are more types of battle backgrounds to match the area you’re exploring, like swamps, forests, and electric labs.


There are also some minor changes in how they work. As you level up monsters by giving them experience points, a separate meter fills up that can be used to improve their attack, defence, or health. It’s a small addition, but it gives you more control over your team if you like to dig into the turn-based meta.


Coromon seems to be made for people who enjoy these little things. There are Standard, Potent, and Perfect versions of each monster to find, each with a different colour scheme. This is like the Shiny versions of Pokémon. Coromon also does a much better job of explaining these complexities than Pokémon does. It points you to a library where you can read about the complexities of battle, type advantages, and new mechanics as they appear.


In the same way, the quality-of-life changes are meant to fix things that used to be annoying, like the ability to stink to temporarily stop random encounters, a teleportation system from the start for fast travel, a toggle to speed up the dialogue, and the option to run all the time.


This makes the old way of designing more appealing to people today, but if you’re looking for something very different, you’ll be disappointed. At its core, Coromon is still a lot like Pokémon and other Japanese role-playing games from the Game Boy Advance era. Many of the locations, puzzles, and dungeons in Coromon are similar to those in those games. It’s a throwback that’s put together well and has some excellent touches, but the whole thing feels very familiar.


That includes the monsters’ designs, primarily based on real animals like Pokémon. However, many of them are still memorable, especially the later evolutions. Compared to most monster-catching games, they’re less cutesy and scarier. This is best shown in each starter in Coromon’s final evolution, which all have comically jacked-up bodies. There are a lot of different monsters, too. There are about 120 of them in total.

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