Review – Pokémon Quest

Pokémon Quest just showed up on the eShop from out of nowhere and quickly made headlines by being the first Pokémon game on Nintendo’s new system, as well as being a free game for anyone to download. That’s usually something worthy of concern, but I decided to give it a try after playing that PETA-endorsed Kitten Squad (a bad game indeed, but not an abysmal experience given its nonexistent pricetag). Can you actually believe I’ve had more fun with that cat game than an actual Pokémon title endorsed by Nintendo? That’s Pokémon Quest for you: it’s bad. Really bad.

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The same hard decision moment from your childhood, but much uglier.

Pokémon Quest starts off by letting you choose between an assortment of really ugly voxel-based monsters and starts showering you with instructions and tutorials for what’s actually a pretty simple, straightforward and uninteresting premise: build a team consisting of up to three Pokémon, equip them with as many powerups as possible, choose a level, and basically watch them play the game for you. It’s a very unenthusiastic experience. Although the game tells you to “explore” the island with your monsters, the “exploration” levels are basically waves of enemies attacking you while your Pokémon do everything on their own besides occasionally using one or two special moves when you tell them to.

That’s only part of Pokémon Quest‘s gameplay. Believe it or not, that’s also the “best part”. During your non-explorative explorations, you can acquire lots of different fruits and vegetables in order to make stews that can attract wild Pokémon for you to befriend. That’s how you “capture” monsters in this game: you don’t go out there and catch them with balls, you cook stews and wait for them to show up and decide to stay in your camp. Everytime you throw the ingredients into your pan, you need to wait for the stew to cook. That can be done by either spending tickets in order to skip the waiting period or explore a certain amount of levels.

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Feel the (nonexistent) adrenaline.

You may think that isn’t much of a problem, just play a few levels and come back to get your prize, but the game also features a “battery” meter of sorts, which limits the amount of times you can go out and explore. You can recharge the battery by either waiting a certain amount of real world hours or, of course, spend real money on more juice for your battery. Furthermore, you have a very small inventory space in order to collect powerups, and you can only hold up to 20 Pokémon without the need of spending some buck on a bigger box…

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Ugh.

Yes folks, this is a F2P game featuring tons of microtransactions. It might not be as terrible as that Harry Potter game for smartphones, but it’s not far off. You either wait to play or pay to play. This might work with mobile games because of the nature of its device, as well as the fact there aren’t many “AAA” games for phones, but this is the Switch we’re talking about. This is a console full of great Nintendo a third party games, games that you can also find on other consoles and PC. There’s no need for a F2P game like this one to exist in this excellent system’s library.

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Fire-Type lynch mob REPRESENT,

Don’t get fooled by the Pokémon aesthetic: Pokémon Quest is just your typical F2P game tailor-made for you to spend cash on microtransactions just so you won’t need to wait literal hours in order to play a mission. Pokémon Quest is a blatant mobile game being released for consoles and endorsed by the one and only Nintendo. This is one of the worst games I’ve played this year, and without a doubt the worst Pokémon game I have ever seen. Shame on you Game Freak. Shame on you Ninty.

By the way, there are only Gen-1 Pokémon in this game. Hooray…

 

Graphics: 2.5

Not only are the voxel-based models hideous, but they look so small onscreen you can occasionally forget which monster is which.

Gameplay: 4.0

Besides a bit of pre-battle menus, you’ll mostly watch your Pokémon behave on their own while occasionally telling them to do a special attack. Not very amazing.

Sound: 5.0

A very bland but serviceable soundtrack coupled with the same monster cries from the original Game Boy games.

Fun Factor: 2.0

Your typical F2P mobile game, this time around with recognizable monsters, and not on a mobile phone. It’s the end of the world as we know it.

Final Verdict: 3.0

 

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