Hear Ye Hear Ye, Princess Pinkie is here with a new Pokémon Post
My loyal guests and subjects, it is with the utmost delight that I am here to tell you about a Pokémon Fan Game that has eluded me for a while! I did not know of it’s existence until some sentai looking guy on YouTube told me this was among the best Pokémon fan games out there… he was not wrong! Today I shall share my experience of the Pokémon Royal version with you!
Princess Pinkie in the Aristo Region
When I write this , I have only recently taken up the mantle of princess of Paradise Island , so I googled games in which you can be a princess. Not a lot came up, except for this super difficult Steam game with lots of stats and menus. I got bored and went looking for new Pokémon games to play! Trough a YouTube Video I heard about Pokémon Royal! A game in which you play a princess.. or prince. As the youngest child of King Arthur and Queen Guinivere you are to embark on your very first pokémon journey… however this time.. if you win you do not just become the champion.. you the future king or queen! However for some strange reason, while you travel across the lands searching far and wide, something strange is happening, alternative forms of Pokémon show up.. not regional forms..but Pokémon from different times. It all seems to connect to a mysterious organisation named Team Knight!
The Aristo Region features a classical Pokémon adventure, where you have to earn 8 gym badges, fight an evil team, can capture some legendaries here or there, and can capture pokémon from all 8 generations, as well as some counterparts for them of forgotten times. What’s more is the game isn’t as insanely hard as Pokémon Reborn, Insurgence or the likes, but instead ditches the “useless” stuff like worthless moves or “dead” abilities. It results in a fast paced Pokémon game that teaches you how to play at a semi-competitive level and think like a real trainer. The second gym already gives you Scald as a TM which is one of the best water type moves in the game and it really teaches you to keep a healthy balance between physical and special attackers, without feeling overly difficult.. it offers you plenty of variety but also shows you how a pokémon is properly kitted out.
The journey you take feels very much like Sword and Shield.. but from beginning to end basically let’s your monsters level from level 5 to right up to around 100 for the post game. When you get there though you are already around level 90. The game throws you an exp share right away that works like the one in Pokémon Sword and Shield .. thus you can very easily get the team you want trough fairly minimum grinding Though keeping the challenge level of the orginal games with just a bit more oomph. The game features an original story that only uses Arthurian legend for namesake. Yes you will encounter Merlin, Morganna , Percival , Gallahad and Lancelot, but there is no magical sword there is no relation to the mythos .. it really is it’s own tale, that feels very Pokémon, not overly dark.. it completely feels like a legit pokémon game! Which is nice for a change! Fan games are either a lot darker or a lot sillier but this one gets the balance right. Plus it does make me feel like a princess.
Pretty Princess, Silly Subjects
The game has been made by a fairly large group of people under the group of Norfolk Gaming. They manage to create one of the best Pokémon regions I had the joy of playing trough. You bounce all across the map, unlock items to replace HM’s that willl grand you access to some part of the world but that path isn’t always in front of you. It really has puzzle elements and travel elements that remind me of Johto and Hoenn and I mean that in the best way possible. We aren’t just walking circles, we trigger events that allow us to traverse a dynamic map! The battles are great , with trainers being much less bound to typings , unless it makes no sense otherwise (Swimmers due stick to water pokémon). The world feels alive, even bug catchers know to carry a pokémon that covers their weakness or so.
As a result the game forces you to keep switching around in battles, healing items are a lot more sparce at least early in the game and revives aren’t available until after the fourth gym, which already is around the late level 30’s or early 40’s. This means the challenge isn’t so much in incredibly hard battles that constantly forces you to carry teams that are super effective against a specific type of trainer or gym leader, but rather invites you to build ONE team that covers everything and has some synergy amongst each other.. this is how I think Pokémon should be. I don’t enjoy those Kaizo roms. This makes you think.. yet still allows you to have fun and choose your own team…as long as it is at least semi functional. There aren’t much non functional Pokémon available anyway. No one would use shuckle for a game playthrough so why put it in the game… that’s this games motto and it makes things great. The Temporal Pokémon, the special variants have super fun mechanics and puzzles are never a hassle so when it comes to your journey it’s such a delight.
For all the gameplay talent these developers had in their stable, they sincerely lacked pixel artists, their custom sprite work is not good. When you see King Arthur for the first time you think… Oh boy.. this is gonna be a rough one… but no the game is great.. just the sprite work….and the name creativity I guess. The third gym leader is a pirate, which for example uses Drake’s sprite.. but with a pirate head added to it.. but it doesn’t bland because colours aren’t adjusted. It just shows the creators aren’t sprite artists at all and at times it can really show compared to how polished the game is otherwise. Most Temporal Pokémon are just recolours and they don’t always work.. with some great exceptions like my Hakomo’o! Pink armored dragon yay! But yes.. sprites can look a bit wonky and on area’s with special tiles the game can drop frames quite a bit. Which will be a constant reminder that this is a fan game, which is not a bad thing.. but some of these sprites would litterally take a minute or two to fix.. like Pirate Drake, or even King Arthur, he looks nothing like his back sprite or overworld variant.
Fit for a Queen
Like the models, the writing can be a bit hokey at times as well, plot twists are REALLY obvious and names of things are a bit to on the nose, no Morgana is not the leader of the evil team .. it’s still just names but seemingly innocent lines characters spout clearly show a hidden intention that is not revealed until much later. There is a time travel element to this story that really reminded me of a movie about a time travelling prince, in fact the plot of this game is eerily similar to that movie.. but pokémonified. It is not bad by any means but it is very by the numbers. It makes sense as a plot..but maybe it makes too much sense?! Every character has a counterpart it seems in the regular Pokémon world with your dad being a bit like the way Oak was originally intended and your brother being a Gary, even though his sprite is Hau… given how his mother and father look.. Hau did that happen *badum tsss quack* While I point it out as a negative, this is really in line with how normal pokémon stories unfold though… and besides the lack of creativity here and there.. I really have no gripes with this game.
So much suddenly makes sense in this game, people actively mention that they would not like strangers in their house, but they welcome the Princess.. who may very well be their new queen, people are very friendly and helpful to you in this world as you are a somebody in this world. So it’s not just.. “hey look a random 10 year old.. let’s give him a bike” .. no it’s OMA (Oh my Arceus) the princess just walked into my bike store.. here have one of my bikes! The whole Pokémon League and elite four thing is also much more a test to see if the Royal family is ready to defend the region! An elite four makes a lot more sense in a scenario like that.. as it is the gateway to a final tournament. People acknowledge that some parts of the world are more dangerous and have more dangerous pokémon so these areas are shielded from people who do not have enough badges, rather than them being locked because there is a sleeping pokemon in the way.
Areas and routes have much more a type bias with route 1 having bug and normal types, while route 2 may have some water pokémon and maybe some flying types.. The game starts you out with picking from a Dark, Fighting, Psychic core, with Zorua , Riolu and Espurr rather than the standard Grass Water Fire Core, which allows the routes to be more dynamic. Rather than hunting for random Pokémon you can hunt route 3 for a grass addition to your team, route 12 for a good ground type etc. This means you can build your party much , much more intentional with less clutter Pokémon. The Temporal Pokémon can diverge from these biases though as do other event pokémon, which usually are good against upcoming gym leaders which makes exploring often worth your while as well, while the more generic pokémon you encounter often struggle against the gym leader. For example when you cross the haunted forest, you’ll face the dark type gym leader next, when you travel through a rock Pokémon filled cave, you’ll fight the ground leader next. However in case of the latter, you can find some event based water type pokémon by going off the beaten path! I love this format!
At the end of each track to a new town you encounter a repeatable trainer that can be challenged over and over again… so say you are stuck on the dark type leader you can go back to the route where you can find a lot of bugs or fighting pokémon, add it to your party then head back to the trainer right before the gym and repeat to make use of your exp share and level up your counter against said leader. Grinding can be knocked out within an hour that way meaning that even if you swap out your party a lot, you won’t end up putting THAT much time into grinding.. the game features a nifty speed up button that makes most grinding a matter of .. 30 minutes (provided you grind with at least some semblance of a plan). I managed to beat the game in 5 evenings of playing with the final stretch being a nice weekend day with a game I loved. This game has so many great ideas that it is worth picking up, and even if it doesn’t always stick to the landing of things it tries to achieve.. this game is a really great fit for any pokémon gamer who just wants another pokémon game! It might not be a Royal Flush.. but it is certainly a full house Queens over Kings!