Coromon certainly does not hide his obvious inspiration from the Game Freak titles, but will the game be able to have a unique imprint?
The products that fall into the category of “Pokémon-like“begin to multiply more and more (as you can read for example in our preview of Palworld), in an attempt to exploit as much as possible the echo of the famous Game Freak brand series. When you choose to follow the path of imitation, however , you need to be careful: it is necessary to dose the inclusion of conceptually derivative mechanics and the use of a distinctive personality, so that the user does not have the impression of playing a simple clone. Coromon, created by the TRAGsoft team , try to find this balance and, as you can read from the vote at the bottom of the page that you have probably already peeked, surprisingly succeeds in its mission.
There is a certain sense of Déjà-vu
We will begin the story within the game world by creating our virtual alter ego, which we can customize at will in every aspect. We are in the Velua region and our character is a dueling neo-researcher who works for Lux Solis. From the very first minutes, anyone who has spent several hours in front of the old Game Boy Advance screens will surely experience a great sense of déjà vu and nostalgia.
It is useless to hide it: the guys at TRAGsoft freely took their inspiration from old Pokémon games, honoring in their own way the most beloved franchise of all time (there will also be an Ash Ketchum easter egg and other veiled references to pop culture). Unlike the Poké Balls we will find the spinners, while the glove will be our handyman object, which will allow us to use all the tools obtained during the adventure.
Due to an excessive similarity with the first Pokémon-branded products, the initial jokes of the experience could certainly prove to be conflicting. In fact, it will take a few hours to begin to appreciate the plot and the different situations that the adventure manages to create. Coromon’s version of “Professor Oak” will tell us from the start that the fundamental raw material in the Coromon universe is theTitanic essence.
Our task will consist in touring the entire region of Velua to collect this powerful resource by defeating the Titans, ie those who created the planet long ago. During our journey we will have to deal with the Wubboniansan evil organization that is storing creator energy for its own deplorable purposes.
Using a dark power, the antagonists stand modifying the Coromons in a monstrous way, making them stronger and more destructive than normal. Basically, net of a not exactly brilliant premise that might seem just a mere pretext, the narrative sector has been able to convince us properly, giving us a story that becomes more and more articulated with the passing of the hours.
More layered than expected
As well as a good self-respecting Pokémon-like, the title recovers most of the basic features of the game that inspired it, without disdaining some well-implemented differentiation. In all there are 114 Coromons, which are divided into 13 different types, from fire to water, through sand, ice, ghost, magic and so on. The combat system provides the classic turn-based setting: each creature will attack once, choosing only one action to do among four available, to be unlocked as our partner levels up. As tradition dictates, each monster at the end of a fight will gain experience, and this is where we meet the first difference compared to the Game Freak games.
Our creatures have in addition to the experience bar also that of potential, which does not go hand in hand with the XP indicator. Whenever we complete a level, we could spend points to manually increase our Coromon’s statsdivided into Attack, Special Attack, Defense, Special Defense, Speed and Health.
In this way it will be possible to create builds of different nature: it will be up to us to choose whether to give life to balanced monsters, real “tanks” or lethal monsters but with low resistance. There will also be three different types of potential, namely Normal, Powerful and Perfect: the latter rank will make the bar in question rise faster than the “Normal” level, guaranteeing greater power in the long run. In short, in the playful economy of Coromon, a pinch of strategic component also comes into play to be taken into consideration to maximize the yield of the gameplay. But that’s not all!
The creatures then have different evolutionary lines, rarities and passive abilities. Let’s explain: it may happen to find a Coromon with a “rare trait” more powerful than others of the same level and species, thanks to the presence of an initial “advantage”, including the ability to receive more hits, to possess more strength or even to add an elemental effect on the battlefield. There will be creatures, in fact, that can make it rain, cause sandstorms, snowstorms or bring down the night. This latter skill should not be underestimated, since all monsters (except ghosts that are immune) have a 10% more chance of missing the target during the night. In short, as can be seen from the summary description of the gameplay dynamics, Coromon’s playful framework is more layered than one can imagine.
As the genre it is inspired by, within the game we could capture the wild Coromons, cure them with potions, improve them and make them evolve. Monsters can also be assigned in addition fruits and buds. The first are activated when the HP falls below a certain threshold, while the gems have a passive effect and last until we decide to remove them. What seemed like a mere “copy and paste” of the Game Freak game over the hours he convinced us more and more.
A clear inspiration
A very sore point in our opinion is certainly the lack of originality of the Coromons, which at times are very reminiscent of their Pokémon-branded counterparts. The design of the fighting animals brings to mind that of the poket monsters of the first generations: in these cases, the boundary between homage and plagiarism is very blurred, and what initially seems an act of love towards the original work risks being transformed. in a simple trick to hide the lack of creativity.
Not the classic fight and collect
While the gameplay of the clashes – albeit with some pleasant and welcome variations – is similar to that of the Pokémon series, the same cannot be said for the structure of the advancement. And this is where Coromon shows more personality. First of all, the game is filled with numerous well-written secondary missions, as well as adequately contextualized within the world; however the element we appreciated the most is the addition of puzzles and variations aimed at removing the player from the repetition of situations . Each area that we will face will in fact have its own peculiarity in terms of mechanics.
Let’s take some examples to understand each other better: inside the tower where the first Titan is located we will have to solve some gods environmental puzzles that, floor by floor, will become more and more complex and intricate. In the area of the Ghost Titan, after passing a catacomb full of enemies and bouncing platforms, we will reincarnate in a spirit that will have the task of looking for the lost wandering ghosts, while in the desert we should blend in and infiltrate like a new Solid Snake to escape the guards , sheltering us from the scorching sun (by the way, exposure to the rays can tan our character!). The fight, the evolution of the Coromons and the creation of the perfect team are still the pillars on which the game is based, mind you, but we still found these gameplay variations quite welcome, although not all of them have the same level of quality in the experience economy.
What is clear to us right away is that the TRAGsoft guys wanted to give to the player a full customization of the gaming experiencestarting from the settings of the difficulty, passing from the customization of our virtual alter ego and arriving up to the wide team building, rich and deep in options to create the dream team. Don’t be fooled by the colors and the pixel art: the degree of challenge of the game is set upwards.
Users could find themselves in serious trouble in the face of the Titans – the final enemies of each area – if they arrive unprepared for the duel, with few potions or with unsuitable Coromons.
The player will also have other gadgets available such as “modules”, which will be usable through the glove and will be used to move objects, set fire to shrubs or create a “cloud of stench” to ward off the Coromons. And this is just the beginning, why hour after hour the game will offer constant surprises to the players, giving us a good feeling of progression in the approximately 40 hours it takes to see the credits. In conclusion, thanks to well-made scenarios, with a large presence of biomes and arenas in which to fight, the artistic sector has proved to be quite successful in our opinion. Even the music used to accompany the player is able to adequately underline every situation, and there have been not a few times in which we have raised the volume of the speakers to fully enjoy the tunes of the work.
CoromonPC Analyzed VersionCoromon, despite the obvious similarities, finally managed to obtain his own identity. What might seem like yet another “copy and paste” product hides more than a surprise, thanks to a fairly layered gameplay. If you are looking for a fun adventure, difficult at the right point and with an atmosphere reminiscent of the Pokémon chapters released on the iconic Game Boy Advance, Coromon is therefore the game that could be for you.