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Written by Elliot Hilderbrand on 7/28/2022 for SWI  
More On: Coromon

Look, we all know about Pokémon. There’s no getting around it. Any game with the syllable "mon" in its title will get compared to Pokémon; how couldn’t it? In a way, Coromon wants you to make the comparisons. Venture from area to area, find monsters, fight, collect, and evolve them. All the standard mechanics that have been made by Pokemon are here.

Coromon has the old-school look down, but doesn’t fit into a specific age. It doesn’t feel like a Game Boy Advance title, it’s too advanced for that. Yet, it doesn’t quite measure up to a Nintendo DS game. It’s trapped in between, which is a perfect placement. Not belonging to either era helps to distance itself from the name-brand competition. The sprite animation has a polished feel that I love, giving off old-school vibes that deliver that nostalgic tickle.

Instead of trying to be the very best like no one ever was, your character has set their site on academia, a researcher to be precise. Today is your first day at Lux Solis, an organization dedicated to studying the land’s 114 Coromon. Luckily Coromon are everywhere. While the formula feels very reminiscent of that iconic game I’ve already called out too many times, Coromon does differ. There are no gyms; instead, the player engages in boss battles with Titans. The overall difficulty is a little higher than you may be accustomed to, especially when it comes to the Titan fights. As the game progresses, you learn about mysterious energy known as Titan Essence, which becomes the game’s main focus.

I was a bit surprised when I started. The customization options available to me felt massive for a game of this look and feel. Gender, hairstyle, clothes, and facial features were all available to me. Being able to recreate myself in Coromon was a welcomed surprise. There are rarely pixel versions of a fat guy with no hair and a giant ginger beard.

Customization options didn’t stop at character creation. Being able to choose from several different difficulties is a great way to get me to replay Coromon. Over the years that one huge franchise’s community has begun to create its own set of rules and challenges. Rules like the Nuzlocke Challenge have become popular with people looking to try something different with their monster collection games. Coromon allows you to set those rules as defaults when you begin a game. It’s not a challenge I would set for myself on my first playthrough, but it is something I would love to try on a second one, adding the replayability that I am looking for.

You can also choose how difficult you want the game world to be; choose how easy it is to fight other Coromon, how expensive items are for purchase at the marts in-game. You can make the game more of a walk-around and collect cool monsters lark, or make the Coromon just destroy you. The more difficult modes do not hold back, sometimes forcing you to make trips back to the main cities to heal your Coromon after only a few fights.

How do battles feel? Well, they feel very similar to Pokémon. Turn-based, your Coromon knows four moves, learning more as you level them up. You can use items to heal, restore, or cure ailments in battle. The battle system is nothing groundbreaking. If ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Coromon uses a mana system for moves, which makes it feel very similar. There is no new twist on the battle system, and I am fine with it. Battles do feel repetitive after a while, a general problem of this genre. You either understand and accept the grind as a staple of gameplay or find something else to play. I enjoy grinding out levels, evolving my Coromon, and ensuring I stay a handful of levels above the current area I’m exploring. If you don’t like that style, then Coromon will not change your mind. You can swap out Coromon mid-battle if you like or when the current on faints from losing all of its health.

Coromon adds a new twist to the traditional when it comes to leveling. After battles, your monsters receive experience points; after so many, they will gain a level, increasing their stats. That’s not the new part. There is also a secondary leveling system for your monsters. Occasionally, they will have milestones after fighting in battles, using certain moves so many times in battle, or something else. When your Coromon level up this in this fashion, you are given three points to increase the stats of your choice. You can make them faster, stronger, or give them more health, just to name a few choices. Doing so means that no one Coromon, even if the same monster and same level, will have the same stats.

Everything works in Coromon; some elements work better than others. The world is filled with different biomes to explore. However, Coromon does not feel huge or even big. I feel as though I could walk from one end of the map to the other in five minutes. That’s hyperbole, of course. The design of the Coromon themselves also feels a little off. Perhaps it’s because the 114 Coromon are not the main stays I’ve spent the majority of my life seeing. The evolutions of the Coromon follow a child, young adult, and mature adult theme instead of evolutions.

While I’m not sold on the monster designs overall, I do admire how they handle coming across unique variations of them. Instead of simply giving them a different shade, Coromon have completely different skins when it comes to the more valuable ones. Not only are there ones with different looks, but the rarer ones have better stats. There are also multiple versions, so you can find perfect Coromon or ones that are potent besides the normal ones. This adds to the hunt for better types of the same Coromon.

 Coromon won’t change your mind about monster battlers. Everything looks and plays out how you expect. But the journey is fun. The game is filled with challenges if you want them or ways to make it easier if you just want to explore and catch Coromon. There are plenty of monsters to put into your collection, and three different grades of monster, normal, potent, and perfect, make searching for the best a little more rewarding when you come across the perfect Coromon. If you enjoy the genre, you are going to enjoy Coromon. There are enough changes, especially when it comes to difficulty and customization, and fans will find plenty to satisfy them. If you’re hoping Coromon will change your perception of the genre, you’re going to be disappointed.

It’s easy for Coromon to be labeled a clone. It almost begs you to think of it as one. On the surface, it looks like a new set of monsters were dropped into a nearly identical world. But dig a little deeper. A story that doesn’t have gyms or badges, customization in both difficulty and player options that you don’t see in the competitor. Coromon feels more like a spiritual successor to monster trainer games of decades past. Sharper pixel graphics and features that people ask for are present throughout. The look of Coromon is more refined than what you’d expect from a "clone". If you enjoy collecting monsters, then Coromon has it. If you want a new twist, something that helps define the genre moving forward, you might be let down.

Rating: 7.4 Above Average

* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.

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About Author

I'm pulled towards anything that isn't driving or sports related; having said that, I love a good kart racer. I Can't get enough RPGs, and indies are always worth a look to me. The only other subject I pay any attention to is the NFL (go Colts!).

While writing about games is my favorite hobby, talking is a close second. That's why I podcast with my wife Tessa (it's called Tessa and Elliot Argue).

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