Pokémon Uranium first look: The PC title we’ve always hoped for or just average? *Spoiler Warning*

There have been many fan remakes of Pokémon games and many ‘fake’ copies released which try to create some new areas and storylines with all the creatures you are familiar with. There are emulators in which you can start with a Mew in the standard game of Pokémon but, what about if someone made their own region and roster of characters from scratch?

Well that is just what a group of people at RPGmaker XP did and it took them nine years to complete it all. Currently in version 1.0, Pokémon Uranium has 192 individual new creatures which have evolutions and the lot. There are also familiar faces as well including Mankey and Magikarp. I played up until the first badge where after you return to the first town to get a feel of the game.

bamb'o

At first the game starts off like any other would with the Professor, who in this game is Professor Bamb’o, introducing you to the world of Pokémon and the region of Tandor. After learning your name (which doesn’t have a high character count), the game then takes a sharp turn to the back-story of how you got to the city of Tandor. It is believed that the protagonist this time is also older than the usual 10 years of age. Your mother, Lucille, was a nuclear scientist who disappeared after a nuclear catastrophe ten years ago. Your father, a Pokémon ranger, undergoes a lot of grief and has to give you up. You are then sent to live with your elderly aunt in Moki Town and as she gets older, looking after a child isn’t as easy so you are to become one of Professor Bamb’o’s research aids.

In Pokémon lore this obviously means you will be a trainer helping the professor by using the Pokédex to find all the creatures on the island. You are not alone however, as a young boy named Theo whose father worked with Lucille is also going to become a Pokémon trainer. After a quiz to pick your Pokémon, the two of you face off in traditional fashion and then set out on your journey to collect Pokémon and challenge the eight gyms and enter the Pokémon championships.

The game throws a lot at you straight away. You get the running shoes immediately and then it’s straight onto Pokèmon catching and battling without visiting the first town. Getting a Pokèmon is part of a test which asks what kind of trainer you are. It’s a bit like determining what Pokèmon you are in Pokèmon Mystery Dungeon. Depending on your answers can really be a disadvantage at first. I was given Raptorch (there are many clever names) who already knows ember. This being the case, your starter won’t learn wnother move until level 12. So as you can see there are many differences straight away which doesn’t make you drag on the first 10-20 minutes like the mainstream games.

It’s not all a nice, new and amazing experience though. The unsastifactory part of the game is the similarities to other titles. To give these guys benefit of the doubt, I’m not expecting this completely unique game as then it would be too far from the series, but the usage of the same sounds is a disappointment. These guys probably had no budget so it’s understandable that not everything could be new. However, having the same town themes as games such as Silver & Gold, similiar sprites to Diamond & Pearl, Similiar menus to Black & White and a communicatiom system like the second gen is a bit disheartening.

The sounds department is a definite reason why I am disappointed. I feel like new music and sound effects could have been used here and all the Pokèmon could have their own sounds and not a Zubat or Totadile one. A lot of Pokèmon were made for this game and I was expecting it to be like Black & White but, seeing original Pokèmon puts me off a bit. At the end of the day it still seems like a Pokèmon game and I’m more excited to use the new ones anyway. There is a wiki but, I went in blind and was constantly wondering what thpe each Pokèmon was. Usually the names will give some indication.

There are still some traditional elements of Pokèmon with the fact you have the same battle techniques, you have to go through two towns to get to your first and the first gym is pretty simple. However, there has been some nice paint over the game as the towns are a lot bigger which gives more space, design and characters. You also get your first HM from the professor after defeating the gym so there is thzt old game spirit of having to return. The point of that is the region layout and how you will now need rock smash to go in a different direction. There is a lot of humour in the game with what characters say and seeing as this is a fan-made game it is understandable. The first gym leader, Maria, has a stslker who gives you a copy of her key as the gym is locked and she is at home. This is definitely a taboo area for the traditional games and adds a nice spin.

I have yet to come across who the enemies are in the game so I’m wondering how similar that will be. The battle backgrounds are really nice and hou meet around 13 Pokèmon upon getting the firdt badge which is like Hoenn. The sprited could be better but they’re a great try. Raptorch does look like a facebook add for fake Pokèmon games though. It’s also basically the Pokèmon version of Augumon from Digimon. Birbie and Barwel are great Pokèmon to have on your team and I recommend them for good offence and defence respectively. I assume this game will have llts to tell in terms of characters and will surely have some crazy Pokèmon and towns. For a first effort it’s a grest effort thzt can be improved, but for a PC Pokèmon game, I can see myself playing this over and over again.

theo7/10 so far!

 

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