4 games that started the pokeclone genre

4 Games That Started The Pokeclone Genre

If you are a fan of collecting and battling with cute, cool, or creepy monsters, you have probably played or heard of Pokemon. Pokemon is one of the most successful and influential video game franchises of all time, with over 300 million copies sold worldwide. Pokemon games are known for their addictive gameplay, colorful graphics, catchy music, and diverse roster of creatures.

But Pokemon is not the only game that features these elements. In fact, there are many other games that have followed or inspired by Pokemon’s formula, creating a subgenre of role-playing games known as pokeclones. Pokeclones are games that involve collecting and/or fighting with monsters that have elemental powers, often in a turn-based combat system. Pokeclones usually have a similar structure to Pokemon games, such as having a young protagonist who travels across a region, encounters wild monsters, battles other trainers, and aims to become the best.

Pokeclones are popular because they appeal to a wide range of players, from casual to hardcore gamers. They offer a sense of adventure, discovery, customization, strategy, and competition. They also tap into the human fascination with animals and fantasy creatures, as well as the desire to collect and nurture them.

But where did pokeclones come from? How did Pokemon set the standard for the genre? And what are some of the games that started or contributed to the pokeclone phenomenon? In this article, we will explore four games that started the pokeclone genre, and see how they differ from or resemble Pokemon in their gameplay, setting, story, and design.

Monster Rancher (1997)

One of the first games that challenged Pokemon’s dominance in the late 90s was Monster Rancher, developed by Tecmo for the PlayStation. Monster Rancher was different from Pokemon in several ways. First of all, it did not have a party system. Instead, you could only manage one monster at a time. Second, it did not have a linear plot or a fixed world map. Instead, you could choose your own path and explore different locations. Third, it did not have random encounters or wild battles. Instead, you could only fight in tournaments or special events.

Monster Rancher’s main gimmick was its unique way of generating monsters. Instead of catching them in balls or finding them in eggs, you could use any CD-ROM disc to create a monster. The game would read the data from the disc and produce a monster based on it. This meant that you could potentially create thousands of different monsters from your own music, game, or movie collection.

Monster Rancher also had a more realistic and emotional approach to raising your monsters. You had to train them regularly, feed them properly, praise or scold them accordingly, and take care of their health and happiness. Your monsters could also age, get sick, get injured, or even die. This created a stronger bond between you and your monsters, as well as a sense of responsibility and attachment.

Dragon Quest Monsters (1998)

Another game that followed Pokemon’s footsteps was Dragon Quest Monsters, developed by Enix for the Game Boy Color. Dragon Quest Monsters was a spin-off of the Dragon Quest franchise, one of the most popular and long-running RPG series in Japan. Dragon Quest Monsters featured many of the same monsters, characters, and settings from the main series, but with a focus on monster collecting and battling.

Dragon Quest Monsters had a similar gameplay to Pokemon, but with some notable differences. One of them was the breeding and fusion system. Instead of evolving your monsters by leveling up or using items, you could breed two monsters of the same family to create a new one. The new monster would inherit the traits, skills, and stats of its parents, as well as some random mutations. You could also fuse two monsters of different families to create a hybrid monster, which could have unique abilities and appearances.

Another difference was the battle system. Dragon Quest Monsters had a more complex and challenging battle system than Pokemon. You could have up to three monsters in your party, but you could not control them directly. Instead, you could only give them general commands, such as fight, charge, mix, or plan. Your monsters would act according to their personality, intelligence, and loyalty. You also had to consider the elemental affinities, resistances, weaknesses, and status effects of your monsters and your enemies.

Robotrek (1994)

Before Pokemon became a worldwide phenomenon, there was another game that used the concept of collecting and fighting monsters. That game was Robotrek, developed by Quintet for the Super Nintendo. Robotrek was the first game to use the concept of pokeclones, although it did not use animals or fantasy creatures as its monsters. Instead, it used robots.

Robotrek was set in a sci-fi and comedy world, where you played as a young inventor who wanted to become a famous robot maker. You could create your own robots from various parts and customize them with different weapons, armor, accessories, and programs. You could also upgrade your robots by finding or buying new parts, or by combining existing ones.

You could have up to three robots in your party, and you could switch between them during battles. You could control your robots directly, and use different commands such as attack, defend, item, or escape. You could also use special skills that depended on your robot’s type and equipment. You could fight against other robot makers, evil hackers, aliens, and even dinosaurs.

Digimon World (1999)

The last game that we will mention in this article is Digimon World, developed by Bandai for the PlayStation. Digimon World was based on the anime and manga series of Digimon, which was often seen as a rival or a copycat of Pokemon. However, Digimon World had a very different gameplay and style from Pokemon.

Digimon World had a more realistic and dynamic approach to raising and evolving your monsters. You had to take care of your digimon’s hunger, thirst, fatigue, happiness, discipline, sickness, and waste. You also had to train your digimon’s stats and skills in various facilities. Your digimon’s evolution depended on many factors, such as its age, weight, care mistakes, battles won or lost, and items used.

Digimon World also had a more open-ended and exploratory world than Pokemon. You could roam around the digital world freely, and find new areas, items, digimon, and secrets. You could also recruit other digimon to join your city, which would unlock new features and services. Your goal was to restore the digital world from a mysterious virus that corrupted it.

Conclusion

In this article, we have seen four games that started the pokeclone genre: Monster Rancher, Dragon Quest Monsters, Robotrek, and Digimon World. These games were released between 1994 and 1999, and they all had their own unique features and innovations that made them stand out from Pokemon.

Monster Rancher was different from Pokemon in its gameplay and setting. It did not have a party system, a linear plot, or a fixed world map. It also used CDs to generate monsters, and had a more realistic and emotional approach to raising them.

Dragon Quest Monsters was a spin-off of the Dragon Quest franchise, and it used breeding and fusion to create new monsters. It also had a more complex and challenging battle system than Pokemon.

Robotrek was the first game to use the concept of collecting and fighting monsters, but it used robots instead of animals or fantasy creatures. It also had a sci-fi and comedy theme.

Digimon World was based on the anime and manga series of Digimon, and it had a more realistic and dynamic approach to raising and evolving monsters. It also had a more open-ended and exploratory world than Pokemon.

These four games were the pioneers of the pokeclone genre, and they influenced many other games that followed them. Some examples of other pokeclone games are Jade Cocoon, Shin Megami Tensei, Yo-Kai Watch, Ni no Kuni, Monster Hunter Stories, Temtem, Nexomon, and Coromon.

Pokeclones are games that offer a lot of fun, variety, and creativity for players who love collecting and battling with monsters. They are not just copies of Pokemon, but games that have their own identity and charm. If you are looking for some new pokeclone games to try, you might want to check out some of the games mentioned in this article.

FAQs


What is a pokeclone?

A pokeclone is a game that involves collecting and/or fighting with monsters that have elemental powers, often in a turn-based combat system. Pokeclones usually have a similar structure to Pokemon games, such as having a young protagonist who travels across a region, encounters wild monsters, battles other trainers, and aims to become the best.

What are the main features of a pokeclone game?

The main features of a pokeclone game are:

  • A large variety of monsters to collect, each with different types, abilities, stats, and appearances.
  • A combat system that uses elements, status effects, skills, items, and strategies.
  • A progression system that allows the monsters to grow stronger, learn new skills, or change their form.
  • A world that is filled with different locations, characters, events, and secrets.
  • A story that involves saving the world from an evil threat or fulfilling a personal quest.

What are some of the differences between Pokemon and other pokeclone games?

Some of the differences between Pokemon and other pokeclone games are:

  • Pokemon has a party system that allows you to have up to six monsters in your team at once. Other pokeclone games may limit you to one or three monsters at a time.
  • Pokemon has a fixed evolution system that depends on level or items. Other pokeclone games may have more flexible or complex evolution systems that depend on factors such as breeding, fusion, age, weight, care mistakes, battles won or lost, etc.
  • Pokemon has a simple battle system that uses four moves per monster. Other pokeclone games may have more advanced battle systems that use commands, personality, loyalty, intelligence, etc.
  • Pokemon has a linear and predictable plot that follows the same formula in each game. Other pokeclone games may have more varied and original plots that involve different themes, twists, and endings.
  • Pokemon has a colorful and cartoonish style that appeals to children and adults alike. Other pokeclone games may have a darker, grittier, or more realistic style that appeals to different audiences.

What are some of the benefits of playing pokeclone games?

Some of the benefits of playing pokeclone games are:

  • They stimulate your imagination and creativity, as you can create your own team of monsters and customize them to your liking.
  • They enhance your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as you have to plan your strategies and tactics for each battle and situation.
  • They improve your memory and attention span, as you have to remember the names, types, abilities, and weaknesses of hundreds of monsters.
  • They foster your social and emotional skills, as you can bond with your monsters, interact with other characters, and share your experiences with other players.
  • They provide you with hours of fun, entertainment, and challenge, as you can explore a vast and rich world, discover new monsters, fight against various opponents, and achieve your goals.

What are some of the drawbacks of playing pokeclone games?

Some of the drawbacks of playing pokeclone games are:

  • They can be addictive and time-consuming, as you may spend too much time playing them and neglecting other aspects of your life.
  • They can be repetitive and boring, as you may encounter the same monsters, battles, and events over and over again.
  • They can be frustrating and stressful, as you may face difficult or unfair challenges, lose your progress or data, or encounter bugs or glitches.
  • They can be expensive and wasteful, as you may spend a lot of money on buying new games, consoles, accessories, or in-game items.
  • They can be harmful and unhealthy, as you may suffer from physical or mental issues such as eye strain, headaches, insomnia, anxiety, depression, or isolation.

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