- July 30th Worldwide
- Moga Studios
I have mostly played this game for the last fifteen years
Since the IOS system started with phones and tablets many people called for the Pokemon games to come to the devices allowing people to play Pokemon on there phones instead of a Nintendo platform. Mostly this came down to many wanting to see the classic red and blue and even Gold and Silver, though to these days Pokemon still remains where it belongs on Nintendo’s consoles. I have never understood why people even want to see Pokemon arrive on IOS devices as it it would in a sense ruin the game and the design of the original games does not fit the design or the architecture of IOS devices. Since Nintendo continues to do the right thing for their games and keep them on their consoles people will tend to seek out a similar game and the new Micromon essentially copies everything Pokemon does and makes a game for IOS fans.
For those who have played Pokemon or even Digimon Micromon will be extremely similar to the sense the ideas presented are literally Pokemon just ripped off. I don’t blame the developers for drawing inspiration from Pokemon, the franchise is almost perfect and blends the ideas of fun, strategy and even adventure into one fine bow and who could deny the franchise has been done well and just continues to grow and expand to become better with almost every entry. While we have seen many games draw inspiration from the Pokemon franchise I don’t think any have literally ripped off the Pokemon games in such a way that essentially just everything about it screams guess what you are playing is Pokemon gone wrong.
Before I get carried away and start being harsh about the game there are some points that work in the games favour that does show an improvement over the traditional Pokemon experience. For the last few entries in the franchise we have had to contend with a severe amount of unoriginality in the Pokemon brand, since Black and White we have seen literal bags of rubbish, a set of keys and plenty of other uninspired creations. In Micromon the creatures actually feel original and not like they have been copied from anywhere, yes we received our traditional animal creatures but they each feel unique and extremely creative, every new creature I came across left me excited and I wanted to get them all.
On top of the creatures comes an ability that would actually improve Pokemon itself, while your Micromon have the ability to learn up to four moves they can also relearn all moves at any point that you wish. So if you choose to remove a move at one point you can easily relearn it with little effort allowing more freedom in how I chose to focus my creatures attacks.
As original as the Micromon look I can never say the same for their names, I noted on a few points that there are a small selection that drew there names from actual Pokemon and others that truly inspired unoriginality. For example my first Micromon was named Crystoise which while it was very different from a Blastoise in design the name still sounded very similar. A rhino type Micromon faced a similar sense of unoriginality by being called Rino.
Micromon’s continued copying of the Pokemon games even continues into the ideas presented through the story. Traditionally in the Pokemon games we received our first Pokemon, head out on an adventure and attempt to reach the end goal of being the best meanwhile battling a corrupt organization bent on world domination. Micromon follows this plotline almost exactly, after immediately winding up in the world you are sent on a big adventure with a strange creature, you journey around aiming to be the best and all meanwhile taking down a criminal organization. The only real difference noticeable in the games plot is the criminals are actually after you and you are not just trying to do the right thing.
The other similarities are all in the basic gameplay that is almost exactly what is seen in the Pokemon franchise. To find Micromon you wander into tall grass and they then pop out, using your Micromon you can battle them using a small selection of moves earned through the game attempting to exploit weaknesses. Right down to the health system which is almost a complete match to the one found in Pokemon.
Some of the differences made in trying to not feel like Pokemon are definitely mixed, like what I stated before the developers were clever in their move system and actually improved how the system worked, but that is about as far as the game goes in improved differences. One of my biggest frustrations was the attack system which often felt unfair and unbalanced, depending on your Micromons speed they could often attack twice in a row or worse sit there and get attacked, often the case was I would get two attacks in but then get knocked out because of my opponent getting a few extra. It was certainly different but it was poorly executed leading to more frustration then enjoyment.
How Micromon get the advantage is also very messed up and extremely impractical. Sure you still see your water beats fire as is the case in real life but that is as easy as it gets and understanding advantages is extremely complicated and often I found myself having trouble remembering who was best where. For example fire is apparently good against wind, wind was good against water and then the other type mineral was good against wind, I know there is only four types but the way they are done is extremely complicated and not always easy to follow.
Microtransactions are present in Micromon but they are actually the best kind, at no point does Micromon ever actually force you to use real money but it can help to get harder to find or capture Micromon. Very early in the game you are taught how to get Micromon through real money and while it is easy enough to get at no point did I ever feel compelled to buy any new Micromons as I could just try to find them in the beautiful overworld.
When it gets down to it Micromon is pretty much Pokemon and the developers at no point ever try to hide the fact, but is that a bad thing Pokemon has some of the best ideas in the gaming universe and the ones used in Micromon are some of the best. The only problem is when the game tries to step out and be its own game it struggles, the ideas used that are original are often a waste of time and sadly make Micromon a horrible time. If you can ignore the flaws then Micromon is reasonable game with several hours of play time and it comes cheap, still if you want Pokemon it is better to play on Nintendo’s system rather then a rip off as Pokemon remains king of the monster battling and catching universe.