Pocket Monsters (NES/Famicom)
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Pocket Monsters is a game developed by Super Game and published by Sugar Softec in 1997 for the NES. It has nothing to do with the SNES/Genesis game of the same name, aside from being a platformer based upon the Pokemon franchise.
Why It Sucks
- Completely uninspired, as most assets in the game are ripped from other games and are left almost completely unchanged:
- The backgrounds are ripped from Adventure Island II and Athena;
- Despite the music sounding original, the sound engine is ripped from various Konami games for the NES, particularly Twin Bee.
- The sound often glitches, causing the game to repeat endlessly a segment of the music, or even to reproduce static sounds.
- Pikachu's animations are recycled from Sonic The Hedgehog, the most notable being the running animation.
- Only some of the enemies are based off Pokémon, while the others have no sense with the context, such as bullets shot by invisible snipers whose textures rip off the Bullet Bills from the Super Mario franchise.
- The final boss' AI is flawed, as the only thing that it will do is to run straightforward towards you. To top it all, there are no platforms in the level and the boss doesn't change speed, which means that the only thing that you need to do is to stay still in a point and jump at the right time.
- After beating the "final boss" you can't do anything, apart from looking at a poorly-animated Pikachu dancing under the word "END" without even the article.
- Bland final battle, as the final boss is just a Blastoise, which, due to its poor AI, despite being able to use moves like Hydro Pump and Surf, is barely any challenging.
- The title screen is very poor, consisting only of a Pikachu with a hat looking at you while the name of the game is displayed.
- To add insult to injury, the developers forgot to remove the debug mode from the final game, which can be activated at any time simply by pausing the game by pressing Start. Doing so will allow you to move Pikachu anywhere you want, and to skip to the next level by hitting Select, allowing you to beat the game in less than a minute.
- Even without the debug mode, the game is still very short, as there are only four levels, and none of them is particularly hard, since you have plenty of health and you can recover health by collecting Pokèballs scattered around the level.
- Most hacks based on this game are just graphics and/or music swaps. One of them, Super Pocket Monsters is unplayable as there is no collision detection and Pikachu just falls down through the floor, instantly dying. To top it all, this hack removes the debug mode, so there is no way to circumvent this lack and make the game playable.
- Awful sound effects, most notably the jumping sound effect.
- Odd control scheme - you use the A button to sprint or attack and the B button makes you jump.
This game inspired numerous hacks such as Panda World, Super Popo Adventure or Pocket Amethyst. However, they are extremely rare outside multicarts. The ending screen was also featured in the credits of Puckman Pockimon, another Pokèmon bootleg game.