Is there an alternative to Pokémon?  I tried Temtem, my verdict!

Is there an alternative to Pokémon? I tried Temtem, my verdict!

Is there an alternative to Pokémon?  I tried Temtem, my verdict!

You are probably a lot of Pokémon fans wondering if Temtem could please you. Imagine it too, and that’s why I tested the beginning of the Crema title for you, finally passed in version 1.0 this week, in order to evaluate the quality of this alternative to one of my favorite franchises.

While the Spanish studio Crema was preparing to transfer its production to version 1.0, the question “Is Temtem worth trying?” arose naturally. If it’s a title that didn’t pique my curiosity at first glance, it must be admitted that it was hard not to be tempted by a similar solid-looking Pokémon. Between alleged pastiche and dubious clones, Games similar to the Game Freak franchise are countless, but few come out on top. More publicized and with a very serious following for almost 3 years, Temtem is attracting more attention: What if the truly groundbreaking experience for Pokémon fans was elsewhere?

A story of perspective

This article is a piece of opinion, it is subjective by nature. The author’s opinion is personal and not representative of that of the rest of the JV editorial team. If you want a more complete overview of the possibilities that Temtem offers as part of a review, we invite you to consult friend Kaaraj’s Temtem test written in 2020 and based on the early access of the game.

Summary

  • Can we do (much) better than Pokémon?
  • Pokémon Smooth, HD, a dream come true
  • It’s not the Pokémon they want …

Can we do (much) better than Pokémon?

My experience with Pokémon is a little out of the ordinary: I didn’t grow up licensed like millions of players, having foolishly neglected it on the basis of prejudices that are not always shrewd, before trying my hand at Pokémon Sword / Shield at the end of 2019 and discover a real addiction for completing the Pokédex, further improved with a Pokémon Legends: Arceus that has kept me busy for nearly 200 hours this year (and which I love despite its outdated finish). If I’m what we’ll call a “new fan”, I took the time to replay old titles, including remakes, and to immerse yourself in the fascinating universe designed by Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori to the point of awaiting the release of Pokémon Scarlet / Purple with feverish impatience.

Pokémon vs Temtem: a delicate choice like that of the starter?

Is there an alternative to Pokémon?  I tried Temtem, my verdict!Is there an alternative to Pokémon?  I tried Temtem, my verdict!

However, many of the inherent flaws of the license can only sadden me as a longtime gamer: while able to appreciate the graphic minimalism of a Celeste as much as the photorealistic 4K of a Horizon: Forbidden West, the technical weakness of Pokémon games always tarnishes the experience they offer in some way. Anchored to old-fashioned technical standards, we regularly wonder what the franchise might look like if it were developed by teams from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Super Mario Odyssey … or even from studios with even greater means if The Pokémon Company has opened up to other manufacturers. The question would arise not only on the aspect of the realization, but also on its online component, Nintendo is renowned for a certain reluctance at this level and for a less than exemplary netcode.

In short, on these two points, Temtem can offer a highly improved “Pokémon-like” experience on paper, first of all for its availability on all platforms (Nintendo Switch of course, but also and above all PC and the “next gen” PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles), as well as for its MMO aspect, imposing certain standards in online gaming!

Pokémon Smooth, HD, a dream come true

Is there an alternative to Pokémon?  I tried Temtem, my verdict!

Overall, Temtem takes us to familiar ground, but with a lot of improvements.

To free myself from Nintendo’s hybrid console to experience the joys of a “Pokémon style” video game with fewer technical limitations, it’s on a steam version that I embarked on the wilds of Deniz, an island where my avatar’s adventure begins. This is the opportunity, from the very beginning, to face a far more comprehensive character editor than any other Game Freak game and with far more inclusive options along the way. We are certainly not even in an RPG with countless options, but it is clear that Crema puts small plates into large ones and wants us to best identify with the embodied character. We are far from the very low amount of combinations offered by Pokémon!

The customization of the avatar is quite rich in options (in any case, much more than in a Pokémon).

Is there an alternative to Pokémon?  I tried Temtem, my verdict!

The early gameplay sequences should be extremely familiar to anyone who has ever played the highest-grossing episodes of the franchise in the world (hey, that’s not me saying!). You play as an apprentice and your first goal is to find the teacher, answering here on behalf of Konstantinos, who will let you choose your first Temtem from three choices. So you face your rival, albeit this time the fight is different from the ordinary as it seems impossible to win it, your opponent with a too strong Temtem. We expect to learn a little more the hard way, but the professor quickly balances our chances by providing a second creature with higher abilities. This is where the adventure really begins, and that we can indulge in the joys of exploration, fight against other characters (or players) … and hunt down the wild Temtems!

The two points on which I expected more Temtem at the turn reassured me from the first moments: without necessarily having a dazzling artistic direction (Crema’s game offers a “mobile game” style, whether we like it or not), its fluidity is extremely pleasant and favors fairly lively movements on the map. It also brings a certain dynamism to the fighting, whose turn-based mechanics is similar in all respects to that of its model. On PC anyway (and it seems likely that Microsoft and Sony consoles play in the same field), the experience is enjoyable, as the game is responsive and armored with options in a frankly ergonomic menu we like to evolve into. It is therefore obvious that by clinging to Temtem, we will have a lot of fun managing his creatures, his inventory, navigating the map but also access the many online features … like chatting with other players, since let’s remember, Temtem is a true MMO, which is its main difference with Pokémon, which has very limited (and often frustrating) online features.

If the lack of a true MMO dimension frustrates you in Pokémon, you can find your account in Temtem.

Is there an alternative to Pokémon?  I tried Temtem, my verdict!

It’s not the Pokémon they want …

Where the shoe pinches is that Temtem remains a dumb and mean clone of his model. His bet is clearly to offer an experience based on similar bases in all respects (capturing wild creatures, turn-based combat, type table system, meeting with trainers, etc.) but greatly improving what most you Blocks of Game Freak: the online multiplayer aspect and the level of finish. First of all, on the online side, the creation of Crema fines all its competitors: thought like a real MMO, Temtem is full of possibilities and much less sober and conservative than a production signed by The Pokémon Company. Not having been able to see what it looks like on the Switch, I still remain skeptical about the possibility of enjoying the same freedom of exchange (and the same network quality) with other players on Nintendo’s hybrid console. . However, as a “pokéfan”, we really want this integrated chat (accessible both in “global”, therefore in English, and in the language of our region) allowing us to propose exchanges and fights, which unfortunately we do not expect for a second to find again in two months in the 9th generation episode. Kind of like 60fps, however.

Indeed, it is time to conclude on the question of form. Let’s be clear, On a purely technical level, Temtem buries any Pokémon Switch episode. It is quite painful to revive a Sparkle / Pearl Diamond Pokémon (already this remake is neither sparkle nor pearl) after spending an hour on this very solid competitor when it comes to comparing it to the classic top view of an episode. The fluidity is a pleasure to see, and even if the aesthetics, as already mentioned, sounds very “mobile game”, the much higher resolution gives the impression of a visually much neater title overall, in any case much less “slobbering” than the always difficult to accept rendering of a Pokémon in 2022. However, Temtem’s gameplay remains limited to a fixed camera angle, which makes it impossible to compare it to the excellent Pokémon Legends: Arceus, which I like to consider the ugliest game I’ve ever played.

Temtem offers better graphics than Pokémon … but its art direction won’t appeal to everyone.

Is there an alternative to Pokémon?  I tried Temtem, my verdict!

However, Temtem’s main flaw lies in its global identity. The overall style lacks character and just because the overall resolution is higher doesn’t mean the models easily compete with Pokémon. The trainers are fundamentally lacking in charisma, generally contenting themselves with rather stupidly copying the already rather caricatured standards of those of Game Freak. So surely it is mostly on the side of the creatures that we expect Temtem to turn, but so far, almost none of them have the charm of the famous “pocket monsters” of which their creators have the secret. This single observation sums up my general feeling quite well: Temtem does everything like Pokémon, more beautiful and perhaps even more complete, but without the personality that will inevitably have difficulty finding itself, for lack of being able to truly innovate in the concept it has is. “satisfied” to check in appearance.

In conclusion, and even if a solid life awaits the players clinging to the style of Temtem, I do not hide the fact that I still want to venture more on the side of Paldea next November. While I’ll always complain about the ubiquitous 30fps, clipping and aliasing, and miss Temtem’s inherently superior online features, I’ve clearly become another pokéfan. If, on the other hand, Pokémon is only moderately your cup of tea and / or you are really tired of its faults to the point of not wanting to make more concessions, perhaps you will find your happiness on Deniz’s side, because Temtem is probably the best of the alternatives available.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.