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Pokemon Empyrean Review


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Hey all, I decided to make a review of this game because there's just a lot I wanna say about it. Hope you enjoy! ūüėĄ

 

Recently I tried to play through the fan game Pokemon Empyrean.

Tried being the operative word here. The game itself was fine, I enjoyed it and all, I got quite far into it, but I couldn't bring myself to finish it.

And that is a major problem.

But I suppose I should start from the beginning. Empyrean follows the story of a child who's father works for a kind of international agency, and you set out on a quest after finding out that daddio got kidnapped. Simple enough premise, right? Well, you eventually run into some kind of berserk mutant pokemon, which leads you to believe that there's some bigger scheme, and that you gotta find the truth and save the day.

But it's not that interesting. The mutant pokemon aren't really explained that well. In fact, all I can remember is that they were the product of some psycho lady trying to achieve pokemon fusion, and this is just used to sorta explain away this whole plot point. Think that's weird? Oh boy, it's gonna get weirder!

You later learn from some guy from the future that Bill, the scientist from Kanto, joined a cult worshipping some all powerful alien race from the future, and he turns some kid into a some kinda god-like creature from this alien race by fusing him with his kirlia. Why, you may ask??? Again, it was because he wanted to "unlock the power of Pokemon Fusion". See, this whole idea isn't usually the kind of out-there concept that you'd imagine to be a bad one. However, my problem with it is that all this pokemon fusion and alien worship stuff is just weirdness thrown in for the sake of weirdness.

THAT IS THE WORST KIND OF WEIRDNESS YOU CAN HAVE.

But hold on, it gets a bit stranger. For some reason, there are 2 new types in the game: Light and Data. This wouldn't be so bad if a) Fairy is essentially the type the made to represent light, and b) data type was something that wasn't restricted to like 10 pokemon. It's just not good execution.

 

I'm not gonna be a whiney ass for the whole review though, so now I'll take about some positives.

Firstly, the rivals are great. Blitz is a riot to mess with, and although he is just an archetype, his dialogue makes him really fun to interact with. Unfortunately, I can't quite say the same about the second rival, given that she's really not that memorable. I do remember that she had a really nice arc, and that her character development was fun to see, up until she was suddenly some angry biker lady, which was just sorta out of the blue, but it was funny nonetheless.

Secondly, the fakemon/alternate forms. Christ they did these well. About 99% of the fakemon and alternate forms are dope as fricc; the Wiseraph line is awesome, and I feel like it really is the best example of what you can do with a fakemon line. It does, however, feel like they created the light type just for this line, but we're not gonna talk about that.

I really loved seeing some of the alternate forms of really underrated pokemon, such as the Tailow and Zubat lines, which are really well designed and feel like they're quite balanced.

Finally, the card and generation points system. If there was one word I could use to describe this system, it would be dope. Using this system, we get to see what kinda whack ass overpowered shit we can pull off. I remember a member of the discord showed me their 5 gen point platinum carded platinum Sylveon(?), and it had over 1000 in every stat. This is, obviously, extremely op, and getting this kinda stuff is quite difficult. However, it is definitely worth it in the postgame, or so I've been told.

 

So, to conclude. Empyrean is a really fun game, with unique and well balanced mechanics that give really good flavour to the game. However, the overall experience is brought down massively by the lackluster story and some strange design choices.

Thank you very much for reading, and I hope you all enjoyed ūüôā

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I play the game too :]

                               /|\

                                |

                             Not an emoji eh?

Also I hate the female rival >:[

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  • 1 month later...

I've played and beat the game for like... three times already (1st time legit without debug, 2nd time with debug, 3rd time playing the Edge of Eternity mod with debug, addtional creds to Specific) and I can't bring myself to enjoy it much so please allow me to give my own two pence about it. (it's light with spoilers, but i tried, ok?)

 

 

 


First off: Their fakeys were good; Wiseraph best mon. I loved my Wiseraph named Apocrypha from when I caught it as a Wispaur to the end, after I beat the champion with it. Their regional variants were kinda cool, but I kinda wish they added a bit more as opposed to very few, such as the Riolu line, Komala, Zubat line and Taillow line. But that's understandable given that they had pokes like data-types that are catchable in the postgame (which serves as regional variants too, just from a different time) and introduced a triple type gimmick to one pokemon. As far as custom megas go, they were pretty meh. Mega Incineroar's still the best one for me. Yes, some were removed because of the new fusion gimmick but I'll explain more soon.

 

Second of all, the characters. Blitz was a fun rival to fight against and I loved his character arc from the beginning to the end and he fits the typical a**hole rival turned reformed hero archetype kinda well.

Moira is your typical chill gen 3 onwards rival whom I wish was more involved in the story as opposed to only appearing as surprise and boss battles, or when she tries to stop me fighting against Blitz on the bridge. Why couldn't I pick her over Ashy (Fire/Dark leader) and Rita (normal/rock leader) during the Sylentia Heist? But nope, the game said no despite her rather limited screentime. The date with Blitz was pretty lacklustre and awkward whilst the date with Moira was very bittersweet and again, I wish I could have seen more of her since she leaves for Baltia to do community service after you beat Rayqyomi (where Rayquaza fuses with crazy lady).

The professor, if there are two words to describe them, it would be "ara ara" bc basically their entire appeal feels like exaggerated anime oneesama/okaasan to me. I wish I could battle them sometime in the future (if Sto decides to implement it at least) and that they have a battle sprite just somewhere in the data folder bc that would be really cool.

The game really wants me to think "ooh Ashy is best girl" but honestly, I feel that there is a lack of evidence (besides dating conversations) to prove that anyone would be best girl in this game. And I feel that the title is subjective to anyone who plays the game bc they might think Aprilia (Elite 4) is or maybe Aeris (Dragon/Flying leader) is as opposed to Ashy and exclusively Ashy.

You can date Aeris in the postgame but I feel that her date was kinda confusing. Yes, she's a kinky lady but she wasn't understood as well and the topics her character touches are pretty sensitive imo. I don't think they did Aeris justice in one of the endings and I wish that we got a second part to Aeris' date by getting her out of jail or bailing her out.

Crow was cool. I liked Crow. Cool dude.

(yeah I got busy analysing surface level details of dateable characters and ara ara arumondo)

 

I'm not putting story bc i feel like i'll repeat what op has said and yeah the story is confusing and bad weird, but let's hope version 2.0 will mitigate the incompleteness to some degree and put in all 9 ultimate items and all 8 shards of Arceus for us to collect. Oh and make every previously missable item buyable again as there were some items that were completely missable and i think it's my personal taste to dislike permanently missable items in RPGs that's makg me pretty salty about this but i think they did something similar in the FFVII remake so i guess permanent missables aren't a huge deal breaker but i'm a collector at heart so it disappoints me that the first future (the one where HAL is made captive) 

has a lot of permanent missables. And given that I'm someone who appreciates the worldbuilding aspect a lot, I wish I could read the Dantean Horizon or learn more about the Empyreans by visiting Zearth in the past as opposed to seeing it in Alia's flashback.

 

Thirdly, the one where a lot of my rambling will go, the mechanics of this game. oh they were not explained very well. Light and Data types are a recent phenomenon now? hmm but pokes like Amphy and Lanturn should have been innately light type lol. and also, fairy type exists as that "light type" so you've only made the type chart superfluous. Data has so many goddamn immunities and hitting a data type is pretty much the equivalent of hitting a wonder guard mon. thanks, i hate it now. Then there's Gold type. my days. you need to spend mindless hours just finding an optimal breeding pair or NG+ing the game to no end and omg it's just so much effort. look, I play fangames pretty casually without having to constantly reset the game or build competitive-ready mons but EoE came in clutch and introduced Vanilla mode. This made so much of the postgame nice and smooth since you need a whole team of 5GP mons to get anywhere in postgame which is too much grinding to put into a fangame, let alone having the perfect EV spread, nature and near-perfect IVs on your entire team. Then there's custom megas, pretty much a fangame staple which i'm sure most of us are accustomed to. Then there's fusion mons. Kinda respect the dev's choice of the three but imo megas should have done them fine and i think fusions should be done with the future trio as well as a possible data type mon. But I don't like that if you defeat another person's fusion mon, that doesn't end the battle immediately as it does, say, if you are beaten- which makes the game fundamentally unfair and counterintuitive but what's stopping people lol. I agree with op on the whole "mechanics not explained well" since you have way too many gimmicks to work with. Mutant mons, boss mons, fusion mons, empyreans, BS mons, amplifiers, nullifiers, shields, different fantasy races, GP, JoJo references, the lot of it. Having a lot of these gimmicks rolled into one game will make the game harder to grab the attention of the player, makes the game a lot less fun and it just leaves a lot of holes in the story and worldbuilding. Oh and it can also lead to game balance issues as well since it leaves very limited team compositions to actually beat the game with. yes, you could switch with the mons you have in your box, but I don't think that fantastic story-driven games like Reborn or Rejuv are worthy points of comparison for this game.

 

Leaving me with an overall conclusion: it's alright. mid tier at best. the balance of it goes frayed and messed up if GP is on (sorry op, i just think some mechanics are just filled in for the sake of being filled in). I also agree with OP with how the story and design choices are poor, i mean most of the game is just furret. and BS power creep. Fusion was cool for a time but i'll be honest it was kinda underwhelming, especially if you get too carried away and you get taken out. I personally think that the base game is best played with debug mode for the sake of experimenting with new teams without having to constantly grind and spend exorbitant amounts of money to Sygnals and that old man running blisseys and mech blisseys. The reason I'm going to call it a kitchen sink fangame is because of new plot points and mechanics getting chucked in throughout the game, adding excessive complication without adding more depth. The game was mostly a showcase of which mechanic gives you a harder time beating the game and laughs at you because you cannot use the same magnitude of BS they can.
 

 

After the end of a really long essay on why Empyrean meh, ping me if there are any inconsistencies within the statements I have made as constructive criticism is greatly appreciated. @Ya Gorl, the props go to you for starting this thread and thanks for giving players like myself a bit of a platform to talk about why Pokémon Empyrean is Pokémon Empyrean. Sorry for the ping in advance ;(

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  • 1 month later...

So I'm playing through it right now and just wanted to add my thoughts. Gameplay wise it's one of the best fangames I've played, up there with Insurgence. There are so many new features added that it's hard not to appreciate the game. There's fusion, actual boss battles (with huge HP bars and no status effects), collectible trading cards that buff your team, new types, levels over 100, and more.

 

But like you said, I think the main weakness of the game is in the writing. I'll try to be light on spoilers here. 

Spoiler

Firstly, the character development is inconsistent; it felt like both rivals did a complete 180 in personality around the 8th gym. I get what the writer was going for but it felt too sudden a change, and without proper buildup. The characters also just seem to vanish from the plot for large periods of time and do nothing while they're gone, so the world feels really static. In comparison, in Reborn/Rejuvenation you can usually understand what the main characters were doing while they were gone, and catch up with them later. In Empyrean, it seems like no one does anything but collect badges or sit in a lab when they're not with you.

 

Empyrean has a very ambitious, dark plot and is heavy on the lore. I can appreciate this in itself, but the execution is pretty poor imo. The story starts off with you looking for your dad while collecting badges to get stronger, but later on you deal with cults, super-powered psychic beings, robots, and other stuff. Which is cool on its own, but the plot is all over the place and really poorly paced. Outside of 2 or 3 boss battles that don't explain anything, it feels like almost nothing is accomplished in the main story until you get your 8th badge, and only then does the actual story begin. And by then, you have lvl 100 Pokemon already, so I'm not even sure how much there is that can be done at that point. The story would be a lot better if it was more linear, with progress being given to the main story and mysteries with every arc, rather than piling on teasers for most of the game and delivering on everything only at the end. Also, they give you a phone to call people but their answers actually make no sense in the context of the story a lot of the time lol.

 

EDIT: Postgame update

Just finished the post-game. The game's difficulty ramps up hard after you beat the E4. Many of the post-game bosses are absurdly difficult to beat even with a stacked team and cheap strategies. I felt this hurt gameplay a bit because battles became a lot more frustrating to play out, and you almost feel forced to pack your team with legendaries and OP mons and spam setup just to keep up.

 

As far as the story goes, I felt most of my complaints ended up being true. A lot of story content happens after you hit lvl 100 and beat the 8th badge, but even after you hit the lvl 150 cap, there are many unresolved plot threads and characters disappearing for the entire story. It seems some plot threads, like the Baltia arc, aren't planned to be completed either.

 

On the plus side, Blitz' character arc is wrapped up really well, and the final battle with him is genuinely great.

 

TL;DR I'd give it a 7/10. 9/10 if you ignore the story. Excellently engineered with a lot of amazing new features, but a poorly written story and inconsistent characters. It's a bit sad, because I think this game has the potential to be up there with Insurgence, Reborn, and Rejuvenation, but it needs a LOT of polishing when it comes to the story and characters, and a lot of rebalancing in late-game battles.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 8/27/2020 at 7:41 PM, ErebusCartesius said:

I've played and beat the game for like... three times already (1st time legit without debug, 2nd time with debug, 3rd time playing the Edge of Eternity mod with debug, addtional creds to Specific) and I can't bring myself to enjoy it much so please allow me to give my own two pence about it. (it's light with spoilers, but i tried, ok?)

 

  Reveal hidden contents

 


First off: Their fakeys were good; Wiseraph best mon. I loved my Wiseraph named Apocrypha from when I caught it as a Wispaur to the end, after I beat the champion with it. Their regional variants were kinda cool, but I kinda wish they added a bit more as opposed to very few, such as the Riolu line, Komala, Zubat line and Taillow line. But that's understandable given that they had pokes like data-types that are catchable in the postgame (which serves as regional variants too, just from a different time) and introduced a triple type gimmick to one pokemon. As far as custom megas go, they were pretty meh. Mega Incineroar's still the best one for me. Yes, some were removed because of the new fusion gimmick but I'll explain more soon.

 

Second of all, the characters. Blitz was a fun rival to fight against and I loved his character arc from the beginning to the end and he fits the typical a**hole rival turned reformed hero archetype kinda well.

Moira is your typical chill gen 3 onwards rival whom I wish was more involved in the story as opposed to only appearing as surprise and boss battles, or when she tries to stop me fighting against Blitz on the bridge. Why couldn't I pick her over Ashy (Fire/Dark leader) and Rita (normal/rock leader) during the Sylentia Heist? But nope, the game said no despite her rather limited screentime. The date with Blitz was pretty lacklustre and awkward whilst the date with Moira was very bittersweet and again, I wish I could have seen more of her since she leaves for Baltia to do community service after you beat Rayqyomi (where Rayquaza fuses with crazy lady).

The professor, if there are two words to describe them, it would be "ara ara" bc basically their entire appeal feels like exaggerated anime oneesama/okaasan to me. I wish I could battle them sometime in the future (if Sto decides to implement it at least) and that they have a battle sprite just somewhere in the data folder bc that would be really cool.

The game really wants me to think "ooh Ashy is best girl" but honestly, I feel that there is a lack of evidence (besides dating conversations) to prove that anyone would be best girl in this game. And I feel that the title is subjective to anyone who plays the game bc they might think Aprilia (Elite 4) is or maybe Aeris (Dragon/Flying leader) is as opposed to Ashy and exclusively Ashy.

You can date Aeris in the postgame but I feel that her date was kinda confusing. Yes, she's a kinky lady but she wasn't understood as well and the topics her character touches are pretty sensitive imo. I don't think they did Aeris justice in one of the endings and I wish that we got a second part to Aeris' date by getting her out of jail or bailing her out.

Crow was cool. I liked Crow. Cool dude.

(yeah I got busy analysing surface level details of dateable characters and ara ara arumondo)

 

I'm not putting story bc i feel like i'll repeat what op has said and yeah the story is confusing and bad weird, but let's hope version 2.0 will mitigate the incompleteness to some degree and put in all 9 ultimate items and all 8 shards of Arceus for us to collect. Oh and make every previously missable item buyable again as there were some items that were completely missable and i think it's my personal taste to dislike permanently missable items in RPGs that's makg me pretty salty about this but i think they did something similar in the FFVII remake so i guess permanent missables aren't a huge deal breaker but i'm a collector at heart so it disappoints me that the first future (the one where HAL is made captive) 

has a lot of permanent missables. And given that I'm someone who appreciates the worldbuilding aspect a lot, I wish I could read the Dantean Horizon or learn more about the Empyreans by visiting Zearth in the past as opposed to seeing it in Alia's flashback.

 

Thirdly, the one where a lot of my rambling will go, the mechanics of this game. oh they were not explained very well. Light and Data types are a recent phenomenon now? hmm but pokes like Amphy and Lanturn should have been innately light type lol. and also, fairy type exists as that "light type" so you've only made the type chart superfluous. Data has so many goddamn immunities and hitting a data type is pretty much the equivalent of hitting a wonder guard mon. thanks, i hate it now. Then there's Gold type. my days. you need to spend mindless hours just finding an optimal breeding pair or NG+ing the game to no end and omg it's just so much effort. look, I play fangames pretty casually without having to constantly reset the game or build competitive-ready mons but EoE came in clutch and introduced Vanilla mode. This made so much of the postgame nice and smooth since you need a whole team of 5GP mons to get anywhere in postgame which is too much grinding to put into a fangame, let alone having the perfect EV spread, nature and near-perfect IVs on your entire team. Then there's custom megas, pretty much a fangame staple which i'm sure most of us are accustomed to. Then there's fusion mons. Kinda respect the dev's choice of the three but imo megas should have done them fine and i think fusions should be done with the future trio as well as a possible data type mon. But I don't like that if you defeat another person's fusion mon, that doesn't end the battle immediately as it does, say, if you are beaten- which makes the game fundamentally unfair and counterintuitive but what's stopping people lol. I agree with op on the whole "mechanics not explained well" since you have way too many gimmicks to work with. Mutant mons, boss mons, fusion mons, empyreans, BS mons, amplifiers, nullifiers, shields, different fantasy races, GP, JoJo references, the lot of it. Having a lot of these gimmicks rolled into one game will make the game harder to grab the attention of the player, makes the game a lot less fun and it just leaves a lot of holes in the story and worldbuilding. Oh and it can also lead to game balance issues as well since it leaves very limited team compositions to actually beat the game with. yes, you could switch with the mons you have in your box, but I don't think that fantastic story-driven games like Reborn or Rejuv are worthy points of comparison for this game.

 

Leaving me with an overall conclusion: it's alright. mid tier at best. the balance of it goes frayed and messed up if GP is on (sorry op, i just think some mechanics are just filled in for the sake of being filled in). I also agree with OP with how the story and design choices are poor, i mean most of the game is just furret. and BS power creep. Fusion was cool for a time but i'll be honest it was kinda underwhelming, especially if you get too carried away and you get taken out. I personally think that the base game is best played with debug mode for the sake of experimenting with new teams without having to constantly grind and spend exorbitant amounts of money to Sygnals and that old man running blisseys and mech blisseys. The reason I'm going to call it a kitchen sink fangame is because of new plot points and mechanics getting chucked in throughout the game, adding excessive complication without adding more depth. The game was mostly a showcase of which mechanic gives you a harder time beating the game and laughs at you because you cannot use the same magnitude of BS they can.
 

 

After the end of a really long essay on why Empyrean meh, ping me if there are any inconsistencies within the statements I have made as constructive criticism is greatly appreciated. @Ya Gorl, the props go to you for starting this thread and thanks for giving players like myself a bit of a platform to talk about why Pokémon Empyrean is Pokémon Empyrean. Sorry for the ping in advance ;(

How do you get debug?

 

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  • 2 months later...

To respond to the comments about the story; It really is all there, it just isn't upfront. You are expected to talk to every character and connect the dots. The Light Type being a thing? Yeah that's because it is energy based off of the "Alien race" that was only recently harnessed. Data makes sense being so rare because of how few mons are made of Data, as in Digitized in some form. The game still isn't complete in its current form. I think disliking the story ends up being just being a taste thing, and its perfectly fine for people to dislike the story and lore, but imo, blatantly calling it weak is a bit rude and overbearing. 

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The point of this is for someone to type their opinion and if they feel the story is weak its their decision. It's not rude or overbearing because they still talk about the good aspects of the game It's just criticism of parts that were lacking compared to the rest of the game. This is just my 2 cents

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