Sunday, December 31, 2023

Switch Funday - TemTem - A Pokémon Fan’s First Hour

For Switch Funday i'm trying out TemTem for the first time. it's a game i've been aware of, but not one i've tried. i bought it in an Amazon sale here in Japan and was eager to give it a try. I am a big Pokémon fan and have been playing those games since Pokémon Blue. I Knew this isn't going to be exactly like Pokémon, but i was wondering if my past experiences would help of hinder my enjoyment of TemTem.

I'm going to say it helped. TemTem doesn't have an introduction to the game, it just starts at the character creator. i think this is a missed opportunity. i went in knowing nothing and started knowing nothing of the world nor of it's online stuff. lacking soo much information really doesn't make this game that approachable, especially for a younger audience. I don't know who the character in my house was as there was a name but no label, or anything in our conversation, about if or how we're related. the game rushed to the character creator and then to start, it forgot the why. but as i knew Pokémon, a beginning like this is something i've experienced before so i wasn't too lost.

Not having any TemTem in the intro meant when it came to choosing mine, i could only really go on looks. the game doesn't say if they evolve, just their name and their strengths and weaknesses, something which isn't explained until much later in this video.

So whilst the opening isn't great, there is much to like about the game. graphically it's good and it isn't plagued by technical issues the recent Pokémon games have had. there are more loads and they do tend to last just a little longer than i would want. but i think i would take that over a buggy mess. the battle mechanics are different to Pokémon as TemTem introduces a stamina mechanic. it didn't introduce it that well as an opponent showed the negatives of it before the tutorial did. but it is a mechanic that works well so far and helps push the player to rotate the TemTem's used in a battle. a secondary benefit of all this rotation is that TemTem's, so far, only gain experience by actually being in the battle and not just being in your party. This is something older Pokémon games did before Experience Share is obtained. so i don't mind this mechanic as it balances with stamina. but i could see how modern Pokémon players might find it a bit old fashioned or that the battles might be a bit slower.

Stamina is one way TemTem differentiates itself from Pokémon, but another is of course the TemTem themselves. so far the designs have been fun and very different. the type chart is much more difficult. it would've been nice to have it on L3 or R3. but the game could also do a better job of showing us not only the type of each TemTem but also how effective the moves are. i got confused because i thought i read a tutorial that said once a TemTem is caught i'd know what moves are effective against it. and then when i faced it in battle i couldn't see that information.

The final confusing thing about this game is the online part. so far, the game has done nothing to justify why there is one. it's been on since i got my first TemTem and there's been no tutorials as to why there's online, what i can do with online, or if i can turn it off and play solo. but it's possible it'll be explained a little further into the story. a game like TemTem could have a very long story and i could still be in the basic tutorial.

So there's a lot about TemTem that feels like the first game in a series. some simple mistakes, basic things i'd expect to be fixed and/or improved upon in a sequel. but critically there is enough here for me, an older Pokémon Fan with decades of experience, to enjoy. in a way, i came away from this first hour thinking this is a game designed for someone like me rather than someone coming across this style of game for the first time. i'm currently thinking of playing more with this game, maybe even with videos on here!