Developer, TRAGsoft, provides an experience that Pokémon fans can draw parallels from, and diverge enough to create its own identity. Coromon builds off the same foundation as Pokémon. Collecting creatures to form a team and to promote one’s growth and furthermore development. Testing our ability to assess talent and skills for the betterment of the team and oneself.
Coromon is without a doubt a JRPG. Bringing back the turn-based battle format and rewarding exp points at the end to those that partake in battle and survive. You also have puzzles that are relatively simple to solve to progress through the game. A couple of head scratchers but nothing too overwhelming. Now, something I would like to highlight is the difficulty setting; this I was a fan of. It is basically a built-in Nuzlocke Challenge. Say RIP to the homies that fall in battle and get ready to catch more Coromons and grind as much as a barista. I couldn’t really confirm if the difficulties reward you more the harder they are. Other than your ego there is nothing much to claim from going in hard like using a fidget spinner-like device to collect the beast and uncover their secrets.
The mechanics and interface are easy to grasp as the commands list is straightforward. Challenges lies on how well you manage your roster and the move sets they are to carry. They also have a variety of effects that can impact the way a battle unfolds. You can have six Coromon in your party. I advise you to put together a team that is well balanced. Try out many combinations from the 114 monsters. Identify your team. Give them roles and nicknames. A tank to take in the damage, a Juggernaut to maximize damage and a speed demon to control the tide. Of course, easier said than done as this is uncharted territory for the most part. I would say you are to complete the game at least once to be able to fully understand the statistical makeup for all the creatures.
Every player’s experience is unique as all Coromon differ. Each creature does have a base and a trend on stats but there is a grading system that further differentiate them all: standard, potent and perfect. This will not only differ them in stats potential but they also vary in appearance. This encourages you to catch and play with as many monsters as possible to find your perfect combo. Similar to Pokemon’s Pokedex there is a database in which you can keep track of your research. You have your ‘XP’ bar that traces your leveling progress but you also notice there is a blue bar to keep track of their potential. When they level their potential bar you can select which stats to increase 3 units per potential bar completed. Just let your curiosity help to build your squad. Through trial and error you can become a Coromon master.
Did someone say adventure?
The story overall is solid. The way the world and characters interact with the main character is pleasant. From your in-game mom sending you texts to come back home and visit (and have cake) to finding out your purpose in Velva. It felt a bit more grown and realistic than that of Pokemon. The duty in which you are bestowed feels more like something that a responsible young adult would be given rather than a 10 year old. (Pokemon’s world is crazy. What kind of parents send a 10 year old kid into the dangerous wilderness to grow up). You are indeed a trainer but in Coromon it feels like this is your first day at your first job as a researcher. Discover new horizons and overcome the challenges the environment presents. Train to become stronger and be the very best that no one ever was.
I mentioned how the experience is unique depending on your method of play but I would like to add that I enjoyed the quiz you took at the beginning that is to guide you with your choice of your first Coromon partner. I found this feature to be amazing. I reluctantly admit the algorithm was right for me. I thought the questions didn’t make any sense and were bogus but to my detriment, I ended up being surprised with the result.
Money is key to success in all worlds. I feel you are limited on ways to make some money. Beat trainers or steal from them with a Coromon’s move. Of course you could sell your inventory but you need your inventory. Right? Well this is where saving makes you money. In Coromon the best strategy comes with coupons. Yes indeed there are coupons to give you discounts on at the in-game market. Don’t go too crazy as they are not common but you are relieved when you find them.
What in the world?
The map resembles a stage selection screen in Super Nintendo Mario games. It lacks details for each town, only providing the area name and which monsters can be captured within. I would have liked for the quest logs and milestones to be more synchronized with the map. The fast travel is through an apparatus that makes you teleport like Megaman. It helps with the whole back and forth all RPG games have you do.
The overall visuals brought me back to the days of the Gameboy Advance. This is why I’m genuinely excited to hear about a release on Nintendo Switch. I feel like the game is right at home there. The Coromon designs are creative though the names may not share the same luster. The fact that the Coromons move during battle made it easier to bypass the challenge of the graphics not being high definition. I wouldn’t say it is life-like but it definitely gave it life. I overall appreciated the animation, especially the diversity of the human sprites. It made the game that much more relatable.
Even though it seems like the game is a blast from the past, it is refreshing. I will admit that I initially put a barrier up. My defense naturally heightened due to the similarities to Pokemon. I didn’t want to give it a chance but as I progressed through the game, I couldn’t help but get even more curious on what was to come. The content is a bit more mature. Nothing too great but there are moves that cause Coromon to bleed. When was the last time you saw a bloody Pokemon in a game? Never! In-battle evolution is so underrated. It reminds me of those epic moments in anime in which the protagonist unlocks their potential mid way into battle. So clutch. My suggestion is to come to play freely. Don’t let the experience from Pokemon cage in the creativity of Coromon. There are a whole heap of similarities. Just let it guide you and not let it dictate what the game is.
Coromon is a delight to all that are up for a challenge of team building. A treat for those who like to collect and show off rarities. Get some of your buddies together and see who reigns supreme amongst you guys. I’m yet to call myself a savant of Coromon but if I continue to let my curiosity explore the world I will be an Ac3 in no time.