Temtem | Review – The best Pokéclone around?

Pokémon’s success has known no bounds for over 25 years. We know that, after experimenting with new territories with Pokémon Legends: Arceus, the series is ready to expand further with the ninth generation, which will begin with Pokémon Scarlet & Violet.

Tem

Platform: PC, PS5, SWITCH, XSX Genre: RPG Release Date: September 6, 2022 Developer: CremaGames Distributor:

Over time, however, especially from the sixth generation onwards, a well-fed group of fans began to no longer be satisfied with what Nintendo and Game Freak offered. Whether for the slow evolution of the series, or for the lack of news, many fans have stopped following the series carefully.

And it is right to these fans who turn to “Pokéclones”. These are games that replicate in all respects (or almost) the game formula of Pokémon, introducing however some innovations, often taken with both hands precisely by what is missing (at least according to some) in Pokémon.

There is certainly one of the most ambitious projects in this sense Tem. Unlike minor projects (such as Coromon), this title, developed by Crema and published by Humble Bundle, intends to present itself as a third-person RPG in three dimensions able to compete directly with Pokémon, thanks also to the arrival on different platforms (PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X | S, Nintendo Switch And PC).

Compared to the Nintendo series, Temtem has the distinctive feature of presenting itself also as an MMOwith a shared universe that intends to connect all the coaches (er, tamers) of the globe.

After two years in early accessthe game is now finally available in its launch version, and we have tried it to give you our verdict.

Temtem’s best tamer

Let’s start with a fundamental premise: Temtem is a Pokéclone. We have already said it, but it is good to repeat it: from the story to the graphics, up to the gameplay, everything is deeply inspired (to put it mildly) by the Pokémon formula. Don’t be surprised, then, when you notice some extremely familiar elements, because the game is really chock full of elements taken from the Nintendo series.

So let’s start from history. Our protagonist is finally ready to become an apprentice in the Temtem tamer academy; we therefore find him in his first official day as a tamer, in which he is assigned his Tempedia and he is also given the possibility to choose his first Temtem, which will accompany him in the capture of other species.

Sounds familiar, right? Well, know that in the story we will also have a team of bad guys to face, rival tamers who will follow us throughout the adventure and everything you would expect from any Pokémon game.

Also for this reason, perhaps, the story is not particularly memorable, quite the contrary. Compared to Pokémon, i characters there are much duller resultsespecially if we take some episodes as a reference (above all Black and White).

We will be able to choose the look of our protagonist.



We want to dwell on this point, because it is really a pity that Temtem did not take advantage of the opportunity to tell a deeper story. Let’s face it: products like Temtem are aimed primarily at more experienced players, who for one reason or another have grown tired of the Pokémon formula.

Precisely because it is aimed at more experienced players (compared to Pokémon which instead aims to please old and new players, regardless of age and experience), to propose an interesting story and, in some ways, mature, it could be an element that can to distinguish the game from the main episodes of the Pokémon series. Unfortunately, however, this was not the case.

For what concern technical sectorTemtem reaches fair resultsespecially if we consider the starting budget. Of course, the settings are rather bare, and the character models could have been better, but taking into account the means available we cannot complain that much. In any case, our PlayStation 5 test was fairly smooth and free of major hitches, albeit with some sporadic slowdowns.

What surprised us positively was the design of the Temtems. Compared to other Pokéclones, the design of the creatures is very accuratewith a strong inspiration derived from the animal world, a bit like the first two Pokémon generations. Of course, not all Temtems have succeeded in the same way, but compared to other Pokéclones we are just on another level, although still far from the quality of Pokémon.

The choice of our starter will be a crucial moment.



Adventures in the Airborne Archipelago

The game of Temtem is essentially identical to that of Pokémon. We will be sent to discover the Airborne Archipelago, with the aim of facing other Temtem tamers and obtaining as many creatures as possible.

If you have played any Pokémon game you will then know what to expect. The game works in exactly the same way, simply by changing the name of all those elements that define a Pokémon game.

Exploration of the Airborne Archipelago is quite basic. In addition to our main mission, we will also find numerous NPCs on the map ready to assign us side missions. Hardly, however, we will find ourselves facing environmental puzzles and the secondary quests will hardly offer interesting narrative content. Usually it will be about recovering a certain object or going to a certain place, and nothing more.

Compared to Pokémon, we felt a little bit there lack of the world building; although even the last episodes of the Nintendo series have not shone in this sense, in Temtem we had the impression of simply being in a world that brings together different types of biomes, without however telling a background story that makes exploration interesting. of the continent.

The battle system instead it has some differences compared to Pokémon; the most important is certainly the fact that we will always send two Temtems into battle, which obliges a create strategies that take into account the presence of four creatures on the field. In addition to this, we find a stamina bar, after which our Temtem will not be able to perform a move; if we do not pay attention to it, we will risk making him excessively fatigued and having to withdraw him from battle.

Battles always see two Temtems on the pitch.



For the rest, the battle system is substantially identical to Pokémon: we find strengths and weaknesses (although different from what we saw in Pokémon), IV and EV (with different names), and so on.

It may seem simplistic to treat a game as if it were simply a copy of another, but with Pokéclones, it’s nearly impossible to do otherwise. It is not simply a question of resuming the mechanics of another game (think, for example, of the soulslike or metroidvania, real sub-genres born from individual titles), here it is precisely a matter of proposing the same, identical game formula, with modifications so minimal as to be almost imperceptible.

The real, big difference of Temtem (of which you can retrieve the physical PlayStation 5 edition on Amazon) lies in his MMO component. In fact, on the game map you will see other players appear from all over the globe and, if you decide, you can interact with them, collaborating in your adventure or challenging yourself in battle. The developers have taken great care in this aspect, and compared to other Pokéclones it is clear that Temtem focuses heavily on the competitive aspect.

In this, the game may have something to teach Pokémon; certainly we would not expect to find a similar system in a future episode of the Nintendo series, but certainly some mechanics are interesting and Game Freak could easily integrate them in future episodes of its creation.

For the rest, however, it remains the same, big question. Since Pokémon is a living and kicking series, episodes of which come out every year, why would anyone prefer Temtem to him?

Of course, the adventure in this game is recommended for those who don’t own a Nintendo Switch and are looking for something similar to Pokémon; but otherwise, while Temtem is a decent game, there’s nothing here that hasn’t already been seen in Pokémon.

The goal of inserting something in Temtem that is missing in Pokémon is only partially centered with the MMO component; for the rest, the game is limited to reproposing the Game Freak formula slavishly, however it is inferior in various areas (such as in world building or in the fluctuating design of creatures).

If you are in complete abstinence from Pokémon it could keep you pleasantly company for a few months, but if you are tired of the Nintendo series, you will hardly find anything here that can entertain you, because unfortunately innovation is not its strong point.

Version reviewed: PS5

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