Disclaimer: The Reviewer has not beaten the game. The Reviewer is currently just past the first boss of the game, so these opinions are stated for what is rather early in the game. They have around 10 hours of total playtime.
Inspired by the RPG’s and adventures of old on the Game Boy and Nintendo 64, developers Jochem and Marcel went a long 8 year journey to bring that sense of passion and adventure to a modern day audience. A game where you can share your journey with your friends, and experience exciting moments of both combat and exploration.
An experience that is both nostalgic and fresh at the same time. After many iterations and tribulations along the way, their vision, Coromon, has finally come to fruition. The question now is: Did they meet their goal? Does Coromon live up to be the tactical, nostalgic, and exciting journey the developers envisioned for it? Let’s dive deep into the game, and find out.
There is not much to say here as I am still pretty early in the game, and it would be harsh to judge it on early game alone. However, the charm of the story is abundant and clear. The premise of being a researcher alone makes this quite fresh. I enjoy the more technological aspect to the setting that still fulfills a sense of adventure and wonder as I explore the world at large. The dialogue is extremely well written, and there are some funny lines in the mix.
The main goal is to gather all of the Titan Aspects across the land before a group of rather strange people can, with the Titans being the equivalent of bosses or legendary Pokemon. While this feels very familiar to someone in the genre, there are enough differences in the setting and writing for me to appreciate what the developers were going for.
Visually, the game is beautiful. It carries with it a rather nostalgic [it could be better compared to the DS Pokemon games, specifically Pokemon B/W, not an error, just a better comparison] GBA Pokemon vibe on the overworld, except refined to a near perfect degree. The customizable player character is both an exciting feature to have, and has many great options to choose from. The emotions characters display via the yellow bubbles that appear over their head is charming and cute. The different environments you travel across are distinct and memorable. The attack animations are effective, and at times humorous,. It is really hard to not chuckle as a boxing glove on a propeller whacks a Coromon.
The real star among all of this however, are the monsters themselves. Even by only seeing a fraction of the monsters available to catch and use for yourself, they are filled with life and personality. Such as the ice starter, Cubzero, who appears to be trapped in a ball of ice, or the popular Lunarpup who has a floating moon over its body and a skull on its head that both glow. Every monster is memorable in both design and concept, and there are 114 of them to choose from. Each monster features 3 different color variations they can have (more on this later), and all of them further draws out the unique design of each monster. To complement the stunning 2D pixel art on display, the game does not go light with its soundtrack either.
The music that plays while you are fighting are absolutely phenomenal. Action packed, filled with excitement, and heart racing at times. The highlight of it all for me personally is the battle against another Battle Researcher. Even though it is one of the more common themes to hear, it is both extremely catchy and easy to digest while still thinking about your next move.
The song where you fight a Titan feels a lot more intense and slowed down compared to the trainer theme, which is fitting for a boss fight. Aside from the battle music, I have yet to hear any overworld theme that I manage to hum to myself or that stays in my head, but none of it is bad by any means. Each song fits exactly where it is played, like the comfy homey feeling the song at Hayville brings, or the mellowed out song that plays on the storm filled Donar Island. Nothing feels like it was rushed, or does not fit where it plays. The soundtrack does what it needs to perfectly as it accentuates the gameplay even further by making the tense moments even more tense, and letting you relax after a hard fought battle.
The gameplay of Coromon is very Pokemon inspired. There is no denying that. To any fan of the massive monster catching genre series, they should feel right at home in Coromon. However, there are many key differences. The most noticeable major one being the potential system Coromon has to offer. Every Coromon in the game has a “potential” rating in the game, that determines how good their stats are. This number ranges from 1 to 21, and the higher the number, the better the Coromon will be in combat [note: while it has it’s own uniqueness with the whole colors changing, it’s not very different with IVs in Pokemon (Maybe a bit more streamlined since it’s an overall and not stat by stat)].
Depending on how high the potential is on a Coromon, they will have one of three color variations. These will act as the shiny versions of Coromon in game, except they all have better stats than their normal counterparts. This makes the equivalent of shiny hunting in this game extremely valuable as the rarer versions now have better stats to go with them. Another major difference is a second experience meter attached to each Coromon. When this one fills up, the player may assign 3 points to any stats they choose on their Coromon, giving a sense of customization to each Coromon you catch. Perhaps you will amplify a Coromon’s strength even further, or patch up a weakness they may have with those stats. The choice is all up to the player.
One of the best things about this game is the typing system. While there are less types than in Pokemon, they make up for it with skill types. These are move types that are assigned to skills Coromon can use rather than the Coromon themselves. With this new addition to the formula, you can have a Coromon that is weak to fire types still dealing super effective damage by using a Wind Type Move.
These new skill types add quite a bit of depth and surprise to the mix, as now the player not only has to consider the Coromon’s typings, but having a decent amount of Skill Types as well to even out their team[Isn’t this the same as move coverage on any pokemon or any other monster catching game? This is a fairly standard feature].
The last thing to note, which is probably the most important difference, is the difficulty features. This game on its normal difficulty will really push most of its players and ensure they understand most of the systems at play. However, for those seeking a more casual time, there are preset or even custom difficulty options. You can personally customize the difficulty of this game to however you desire. Want a grueling, nuzlocke experience that pushes your strategic capabilities? Coromon can do that. Want an easy time and just enjoy the Coromon designs while not stressing over battle? Coromon can do that too for you. Do you want a challenge run where everything is randomized and you can only catch other trainer’s Coromon instead of wild ones? You can also do that. This simple feature of customization brings an immense amount of replay-ability, which is a very important aspect of any Monster Tamer game.
Coromon is not merely “Pokemon on PC.” To say such a thing is drastically undermining what Coromon is offering here. Coromon is a perfect example of how to give a fresh twist to a nostalgic game genre, and is a masterclass at refining the Monster Taming genre to a magnificent degree. This is a high quality game that truly delivers on everything it set out to do and more. And with future promises of more post game content from the developers as well as more Coromon themselves, this game will only continue to grow if we can expect this level of polish and care from the developers.
Coromon provides an excellent gameplay loop that has me hungry to come back for more, nearly flawless visuals and excellent monster designs, a charming story filled with lots of personality, and an excellent soundtrack to top it off. Coromon is a game that anyone who is a fan of Monster Tamers should get, and receives a 9 out of 10.