E3 2021 Preview – Coromon
Given the massive popularity stemming from the Pokémon franchise, I’m honestly surprised that it took so long for indie companies to start creating games based on Game Freak’s juggenaut of a monster taming series. One of the (many) games presented during Freedom Games’ E3 2021 showcase was Coromon, developed by TRAGsoft. It was exactly what I expected from it: an indie take on the genre, delivering in areas where Game Freak has barely paid attention to over the years.
The folks at TRAGsoft explained that Coromon is a passion project of theirs, a game almost nine years in the making. The developers are clearly fans of Game Freak’s franchise, but not only of the main games, but also the challenges and mods created by said communities. Right from the get-go, I liked the fact that Coromon will feature difficulty settings. Not only that, but one of these difficulty settings is an actual in-built Nuzlocke mode. You can only capture the first monster in each route you visit and if they fall in battle, they actually die for real and they are automatically released from your party. There will also be randomizer mode to spice things up. There will be two save slots available for players, meaning one can easily play a normal run and a Nuzlocke run at the same time.
But I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. Let’s talk about the game itself. Coromon, as expected, is a 2D monster taming turn-based RPG where you capture and train monsters. Then you make them fight against other trainers’ monsters in order to level up and get more money, the whole shabang. A big difference this time around is the bigger focus on storytelling, where you’re tasked with defeating four evil titans that are threatening to destroy the world’s balance and all that typical JRPG nonsense. Unlike Pokémon, where a ten year old can literally tame God, Coromon doesn’t allow you to capture these titans. They act as actual bosses, with different phases and the ability to summon minions.
The demo was quite short, but it showcased some of the most important aspects about Coromon. There was a boss battle against an Earth Titan. There was puzzle-solving inside a Zelda-esque dungeon, where you had to press buttons and avoid arrows being shot at you. Obviously, there were monsters to fight and capture. They all feature the typings you would expect, but some of them are actually exclusive to moves, not their elements, such as “magic” and “cut”. When evolving a monster, you are actually given points to distribute as you see fit, letting you customize your strategy according to your needs. Finally, the game uses stamina instead of PP, just like Nexomon, adding an additional layer of complexity to the mix.
This little preview session of Coromon showcased exactly what I expected and wanted from it. It’s a brand new take on the Pokémon gameplay loop, with difficulty settings, customizable gameplay, and some quality of life improvements to make it stand out from other “pokéclones” on the market. I didn’t get the chance to see all of its monsters, so I can’t tell if they are all well designed and potentially memorable, but I can’t deny I really want to play it whenever it’s ready.
Coromon is slated for a Q2 2022 release.