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Pokemon Insurgence review


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So y'all might have seen that a long time ago I made a review of Pokemon Empyrean. People seemed to like it, and I played through Insurgence again recently, so I thought I'd review it too.

To start off, I wanna say that I don't dislike this game. It's fun, decently challenging, and feels pretty fresh compared to some other games. The game has a very strong start with a well set-up premise: you are an amnesiac being prepared for sacrifice by a Darkrai-worshipping cult, but you end up being saved by Mew and a mysterious benefactor. You then make your way to Telnor town and make friends with a young boy named Damien, who helps you get your own starter pokemon.

The starters themselves are quite different from the normal kinds of Pokemon you find; This game introduces a variant of Pokemon called Delta Pokemon, which are essentially just redesigned and different typed to their normal counterparts. For example, the starters you are given the choice between are delta variants of the Kanto starters. You can also choose an Eevee but I don't know anyone that actually did that tbh.

The experience starts to fall apart when the Augur, the leader of the region, is revealed to be a villain. Don't get me wrong, the reveal is very well done, and he manages to keep the same energy he had before, but just in a different way. However, after this event, the actual gameplay becomes very very slow for a long time. It took me about 3 weeks to work up the motivation to go to the next town, purely because I felt that there wasn't really much I was playing for after that. After that, the game doesn't live up to any of the expectations set by the Augur reveal.

The story itself doesn't even get much better; everything in it seems to have been written to be "cool" and "grown-up", but a lot of it just comes across as teenage angst and overly edgy. For example, late into the game, you find out that many League Champions are actually part of some kind of secret order that fights to protect the region from an otherworldly threat, which comes in the form of people from Girantina's Distortion Realm. The first issue I have with this is that their reveal just doesn't feel earned. There was no major build-up to the reveal of the Distortion People, and whatever there was felt unmemorable. I think it would have worked better if they were built up earlier in the story as the true antagonists of the game, rather than 3/4 of the way through.

As for the graphics and visual style of the game, I'd have to give them an 8/10. The world has a cartoony look to it, like that of Gen 7, but it manages to keep it consistent and nothing ever feels out of place.

 

All this being said, the game is still being worked on, and apparently a Version 1.3 will hopefully be released within the next nine years, so maybe this review will become outdated. But for now, I'm gonna have to give this game a 4/10. It had potential, and there's clearly a lot of time and passion put into it, but overall, it fails to live up to the expectations it sets for players.

 

 

Edit:

Looking back on this, I feel there's something I have to talk about: The Delta Pokemon.

Whilst the concept isn't all too unique today, it was a pretty interesting idea when the game was first being developed. It was really fun to see all the different delta pokemon that the devs could come up with, and all of them felt fresh and unique. However, their implementation was where it all went awry. There's about 200 of them, and whilst you are able to obtain every single one at some point, the majority of them can only be obtained during the post-game, in the Holon Region. The main problem with this is that after beating the elite four and champion, there's really not much reason to continue playing, other than to try to get 100% completion, which isn't a massive draw for everyone.

You could argue that there's the battle frontier, but pretty much everyone agrees that it's just not that great at the moment.

Another problem with them is the balancing. As someone else in this thread said, a majority of players had D. Gardevoir, D. Bisharp, or D.Scizor on their teams when they beat the champion. I think it goes without saying that that shows a little bit of unbalance.

Overall, I give Delta Pokemon a 5.5/10. Great concept, but pretty poor execution.

Edited by Ya Gorl
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This is a pretty accurate review here's a few things ill personally add:

 

There's far too many delta Pokémon (almost 200) during initial development they tried to make it sound like delta Pokémon were extremely rare and passed it off as if you found a legendary.  Most of these deltas are actually garbage including 2 of the starters.  (Eevee is actually the strongest starter while its the second most picked starter due to everyone swooning over D.Charmander)  The other deltas are used due to the sheer OP'ness of the ones that were given to you in the first 2 updates.  Analytics revealed that in the first week of the final update that of all the people that beat the elite four 100% of them had one or more of the 3 following pokemon: D.Scizor, D.Gardevior, and D.Bisharp.

 

The first arc (Beginning - Mega rayquaza battle) was strong start and the second arc (ends at dragon ruins double battle) was also good but the final segment of the journey is where it all went wrong.  It feels like the devs either just stopped caring or did nothing for the first 18 months and then rushed to finish the game in the last 6.

 

The story is not mature or edgy in the slightest (it used to be) but almost half of the deaths in the game got retconned between updates to the point that there is practically no difference between the light and dark path

 

I wouldn't get your hopes up on the next update it is 90% a graphic overhaul and quality of life changes

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3 hours ago, LeoYT said:

Analytics revealed that in the first week of the final update that of all the people that beat the elite four 100% of them had one or more of the 3 following pokemon: D.Scizor, D.Gardevior, and D.Bisharp.

 

 

Where did you get this data? Because I didn't use any of them and completed it within the first week of the final update, meaning my data should be included. Or was it rounded to 100%?

 

Regarding the game, I actually enjoyed it more than a 4/10, but a lot of your criticism is accurate. One thing that stood out to me was poor pacing, meaning sometimes the level curve was super flat, just to be super steep right after. And it's just overall not quite as clean as Reborn for example, with many little oversights - but I think especially those will get fixed in the final update (which btw was announced to bring some story changes with it too, maybe ironing that aspect out a bit). I think what pushed the game down to like a 6/10 for me was the second half, which just felt slapped on in a hurry. I think Suzerain also mentioned that he kinda lost interest in the end (which is why someone else is in charge of the final update now) - this also happened in his previous games (Zeta / Omicron), and kinda makes you appreciate how much time the final Reborn Episode takes.

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2 hours ago, LilyX said:

Where did you get this data? Because I didn't use any of them and completed it within the first week of the final update, meaning my data should be included. Or was it rounded to 100%?

 

Regarding the game, I actually enjoyed it more than a 4/10, but a lot of your criticism is accurate. One thing that stood out to me was poor pacing, meaning sometimes the level curve was super flat, just to be super steep right after. And it's just overall not quite as clean as Reborn for example, with many little oversights - but I think especially those will get fixed in the final update (which btw was announced to bring some story changes with it too, maybe ironing that aspect out a bit). I think what pushed the game down to like a 6/10 for me was the second half, which just felt slapped on in a hurry. I think Suzerain also mentioned that he kinda lost interest in the end (which is why someone else is in charge of the final update now) - this also happened in his previous games (Zeta / Omicron), and kinda makes you appreciate how much time the final Reborn Episode takes.

the data was from the twitter of one of the devs. Insurgence is linked up to something that keeps track of stats like how many people defeated the elite 4 and how many tries it took them on average.  Im not sure if its rpgmaker.  It all gets converted into an Exel-like spreadsheet and I assumed they would use the data to balance the game if the future since they nerfed a few mons between updates.

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1 hour ago, wcv said:

Unless you know a bare minimum of Latin. Then he's revealed as a villain in his first scene.

Or if you just read any of the non-main story text at all.  Oh wow, the guy who built memorials to his own glory and used propaganda to make everyone forget about his predecessor was the bad guy?  Who woulda guessed?  The only question was which cult he was with.

 

Or if you had an IQ of over 3 when reading the prologue.  The "oh no our leader has MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEARED I guess I have NO CHOICE but to take over in his absence I'm TOTALLY NOT THE REASON HE DISAPPEARED BY THE WAY" trope is overdone.

 

Anyway while I don't disagree with some of your complaints about the story, I think 4/10 is really harsh considering you're only focusing on the story here.  A video game is so much more than its story, especially when it's a Pokemon game.  Maybe later I'll go into detail about my opinions on the actual game part of the game, don't feel like it right now.

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2 hours ago, Eagleby18 said:

Or if you just read any of the non-main story text at all.  Oh wow, the guy who built memorials to his own glory and used propaganda to make everyone forget about his predecessor was the bad guy?  Who woulda guessed?  The only question was which cult he was with.

Oh sure, but I mean out and out confirming it rather than just hinting. Just killing two people and then claiming to have teleported them somewhere is a pretty obvious tell.

 

2 hours ago, Eagleby18 said:

Anyway while I don't disagree with some of your complaints about the story, I think 4/10 is really harsh considering you're only focusing on the story here.  A video game is so much more than its story, especially when it's a Pokemon game. 

I definitely agree with this. The biggest draw of Insurgence for me was the Delta Pokemon. The story was so far as I was concerned something to pay some attention to, but only insofar as it let me have fun battles.

 

While some of them may be overpowered, well...Aegislash.

 

There have always been Pokemon that are just outright better than others. This has been true since Tauros was the best Pokemon all the way back in Gen 1. And power creep has ensured that the OU of each generation looks a lot like the UU of the next. Gengar, Starmie, Snorlax, etc. All those Pokemon were once among the best of the best. Now two of those are in UU as of Gen. 7. Snorlax doesn't even reach that high. Tauros has fallen so hard it barely reaches banned in PU territory. My point is that saying certain Delta Pokemon are too good isn't really true because the real cause is that some POKEMON are better at battling than their competition. Its natural that some of the Deltas were as well.

 

As for there being too many, hard disagree from me. LIke I said, the Deltas were basically the sole point that got me interested. I'd have been fine if EVERY Pokemon had a Delta form (and honestly if none of the originals showed up) so we could see the kind of weird typings we don't really get in Pokemon.

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12 hours ago, Eagleby18 said:

Or if you just read any of the non-main story text at all.  Oh wow, the guy who built memorials to his own glory and used propaganda to make everyone forget about his predecessor was the bad guy?  Who woulda guessed?  The only question was which cult he was with.

 

Or if you had an IQ of over 3 when reading the prologue.  The "oh no our leader has MYSTERIOUSLY DISAPPEARED I guess I have NO CHOICE but to take over in his absence I'm TOTALLY NOT THE REASON HE DISAPPEARED BY THE WAY" trope is overdone.

When I say "the reveal", I'm talking about how it's fully revealed to the characters themselves, and how the whole situation that plays out. Build-up plays a big part in that- it's boring to have a reveal that doesn't make sense at all because of too little build-up, like with Nyx as the true main antagonist or Reukra as the champion.

Or Palpatine in Rise Of Skywalker (His best scene was when he said "Everything", the rest of the movie was a massive let-down)

12 hours ago, Eagleby18 said:

Anyway while I don't disagree with some of your complaints about the story, I think 4/10 is really harsh considering you're only focusing on the story here.  A video game is so much more than its story, especially when it's a Pokemon game.  Maybe later I'll go into detail about my opinions on the actual game part of the game, don't feel like it right now.

For me, pokemon fangames are often held up entirely by their stories. Sure, you can have interesting gimmicks and nice graphics, but if the game doesn't have an entertaining/interesting story, then it's hard to get much enjoyment out of playing it. I had this same issue with Pokemon Empyrean; the story just gets too weird and quirky at some point, and it just doesn't live up to the expectations set up previously.

But that's just me, I understand that there are things in pokemon games that other people enjoy, like difficult battles and whatnot, and I respect that people can find enjoyment in those kinds of things.

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