A Bitter Girl in a Pokémon Candyland: Pokémon Sweet 2th Review

Hello Island Guests, as you know I search the lands far and wide to play interesting Pokémon Rom Hacks and fan games. One of my all time favourites was Pokémon Sweet Edition, a game where Pokémon turn in all sorts of pastries and sweets and their typings get replaced by flavours.  It was adorable. The only thing that was annoying was that it was set in canydised Kanto.. we have seen that region so much before! So when the sequel offered us Mega Sweets and a region they built from the scraps of Kanto.. I could not wait. However lighting never strikes twice apparently.

Lemony Road

Pokémon Sweet version did not offer a wide variety of candies, by my guess there would be like 90 or so?! I am not fully sure! This game was marketed as more candies, more variations, bigger regions and a story about mega evolutions. Or Mega Sweets..  I may use original terminology here to make this all a bit more understandable. Immediately the game starts with a bit of a set back. You see this game offers you the exact same starters as the first game. Browniesaur, Strawmander and Squirpie! While cute and actually pretty balanced Pokésweets there is a problem. The prequel already allowed  me to obtain all three and I ran most of them.. so I did not feel that compelled to use them. So I started with Squirpie the candy that I did not get to use enough the last time. An apple flavoured candy. After picking a starter something interesting happens though.. a choice that seems so smart but makes this game even more of a hassle.

Depending on what starter you pick you are locked in a certain route! You see in this game Pokésweets (the name for candy pokemon) have an ability to use a HM-move by instinct. Or they may not there is no real way to tell as far as I am aware. Browniesaur can cut trees, Squirpie can surf on the cream and Strawmander can roll around rocks. This is not explained very well so if you follow your trainer instinct you end up being stuck straight away. Each route leads to a Battle Bakery, which are basically gyms! Here you fight the head baker for a medal. If you have 8 medals you can participate in the pokéweets league. So far so good! Well.. the issue is the open ended route of this game. We can land at three separate gyms at first.  Either one you can challenge first depending on your starter.  While this sounds great it brings issues. Once you past the first one, the next two are no challenge at all and after them there is a lot of grinding to do because the game has to guide you to gym A B and C before moving on to D & E.. so while Pokémon felt super linear this feels like you are backtracking a lot! There are alternative ways to get somewhere but you need the pokésweets of routes anyway so instead of walking in a line we now zigzag our way through.

I do like the concept of a more open ended pokémon world but  you really need  a sliding leveling scale for that to work. Now some parts are super easy and starting on a next tier is super hard. The way the world map is designed is UGLY as well. It kinda feels like a kid has drawn a map with just some random aspects scattered anywhere. In Kanto , even in Pokémon’s sweet version everything felt unique. It had a reason to be there! There was a harbour town, there was a mining town, there was a town by ocean and a village of the dead.  Here most towns are copies of another with one having slightly more milk ponds or having the Pokésweet Center and the shop swapped around.  In the end I could not find the final badge I was missing because I felt .. I had been to that down before.. because it looked that much like another town. No village has a purpose.. it’s just a few houses.. in one house you get a move to teach your pokémon , in one house you get maybe some potions or have to trade some soda and in others there isn’t anything. The battle bakery sprites look really ugly in the world and lots of buildings have no doors. It just feels so sloppy. Put an asset on the world just so you can have an asset.

Since you need particular Pokésweets through travel through certain areas it quickly becomes tedious! I for the life of me could not found a Sweet that learned Rock Smash and if I gave up on a Pokésweet for not liking it’s design I often had to get it back still, because it was the only one who could roll away a boulder or cut a tree. It isn’t all bad though There are a few cool areas such as the halloween fields or the inverse world, where typings are different.. but those are few and far between. Weirdly I’d rather be playing Kanto yet again.. so unfortunately the world left a sour taste in my mouth. And it’s super pink! I loved it the last time around so why do I think it’s so ugly now?! Well because there went no love or thought into this.

A mixed Bag

Luckily there are the cute Pokésweets right?  Yes you are half right! Pokésweets are still very cute! For the most part! I got a really quite Chefchop which was a machop in a chef outfit with pink hands. I also got a muffloom which is a Muffin Gloom.. I could not evolve it though no matter how hard I tried.. some Pokésweets are a bit bugged. They might not actually evolve! So heck! I was stuck! Also for some weird reason. my Muffin Gloom could fly?! I am not complaining..but it’s pretty weird since I also had a banana bird who could not fly! These bugs were present in the original though and they come with the territory of Rom Hacks.. it’s a shame but you learn to deal with and move on. There are a lot more sweets this time around and there are some very very nice designed ones. Like Noibats sweet version. Who looks very pink and tasty. It has a bit of a donut-like quality. I also really liked oddish and Muffloom as I said before and here and there there are a few great new clever Pokésweets. So there is a charm to this! ..And then there are the “new” new ones.

In this game it is clear that you can tell who knew anything about pixel art and sprite design ..also who was invested in Pokésweet design and who is not. All those Pokésweets from last time look amazing and there are a handful of hits here as well.. There are also Pokémon that are just sprite swaps. Give Pignite a wine colour and it’s a grape flavoured Pokésweet. Same goes for Torchic and for about 60% of the new roster.  Pokemon either have one random element added to it.. like Treecko having a little mint leaf hat that clearly looks added.  It gets even worse that some sprites even get cut off. Like if Pignite fully evolves you get an Emboar that has no arms or leg as the sprite is cut off.  Same goes for Blaziken! The first game showed so much love, and this feels like a rushed project where most people don’t even seem to care. I wish I could go softer on it..because there ARE people who care in that team.. but there are also a lot of people who very clearly don’t and it’s just sooo noticeable.  

Now I could forgive bad sprites if the other flavouring was intact. It was super cute to see Pokémon use flavoured type moves like . Apple Claw, Zester or  Karate Choc! I used about 10 pokésweets during my journey and I have only gotten about 9 moves with candy-themed names. Four of them are on my Starter.  Which means 29 moves were just their literal game translation. A few Pokésweets never EVER learned a name based on sweets including Blaziken..whose sprite gets cut off. So now I have a yank Blaziken sprite.. with the same moves as a normal.. also Blaze Kick is a Strawberry movie while Ember counts as a lemon type move or something?  This may not be an actual example but it does happen that some moves just have been retyped randomly. This also leads to broken Pokesweets. For example Wineboar.. never learned any grape type moves. He learns a lot of lime ones.. but he doesn’t get the same type attack boosts thus suffers. You can feel that this group who designed the game lacked synergy. It feels fundamentally broken and given how great the first game is I can not forgive them for giving us THIS as a sequel.

No more Bug Types.. But there Sure are Bugs.

Still I would be willing to forgive them, it’s a fan game. Not everyone can design a great world, not every pokésweet you design can be a hit. Yet there is so much wrong with this game that in fact you almost nearly did not get a review!  It happened when I found a rare move I could move by pushing a Boulder, luckily I had a Sweet who could do that.  I got stuck! I saved my game and I got stuck!  Saving booted me to a menu and it resetted the rock position leaving me in a box from which there was no escape. By then I was, including grinding,  about four hours in the game and I had to restart my entire game. Luckily I had save stated before (I do not know how pokémon evolve so I do save states to quickly experiment)  Had I not.. all game progress would have ended as I would have locked myself in a game over type situation! Surely this counts a game breaking error. You can get trapped. Then there are pokésweets that should not evolve even if they should. Making your grinding them up a waste.   There are a few visual glitches and  the entire map has so little design in it that there are invisible walls everywhere! You can almost at EVERY  spot travel to the boundaries of the world and just bump the invisible wall. Pokémon at least brings some confines by placing mountain ranges in between.. or peer buoys or whatever. Here this is just part of the map map you can’t walk onto. Or even a pixelated mess of assets to form a barrier.

Mega evolutions are a cool new addition but I have not seen a single mega evolution work. Except for my Back Sprite, if someone uses a MEga evolution but me I see they activated it but the sprite does not activate.. it only activates if the pokémon is switched out, then the next pokémon that swaps in will show up as the actual mega sprite. So as cool as Mega evolutions are.. they are not in this game for you to see. Also it’s a wild guess who evolves! Besides from my starter I was unable to find any! Apparently Arbok mega evolves..into a blue form.. but I barely saw it..because I oneshot that Rattitart that it actually was. I got to see a few sprites during the final fight against my rival which I named Mailman! He used six Mega evolutions sweets but those are the only six sprites I saw. To fight him however you have to find all 12 mega sweets which are named after their flavour not the pokésweet that can evolve with it.  These can be given by any random people on the map or trough story. Which seems like a cool concept.. however the world is open now. Which means each town you can reach in three or four ways. So you have to interact with every single npc, on every single route and there is no clear indicator of items you have and dont have. If a mega sweet happens to be in your pc.. and you forget.. there is no way the game shows you have it.  You can be lost forever.

Pokéballs don’t break this time around, they are reasonable.. but if you try to switch bals you lose a pokeball of any type you used during that catch. While it has a major glitch this system is actually quite great! Just buy once and you only lose a ball upon a succesful catch! This makes the catching aspect really appealing and since this is a game where you really want to collect good on them! I managed to catch three boxes full of pokesweets in my journey and still I missed a lot of those that I already catched in the prequel. It also makes it pretty useless to buy any other pokéball than a sweet ball/pokeball.  Yet in later towns you can only buy the more expensive ones… so you have to backtrack. This game has so many great ideas but it’s just that everything and I mean everything ends up in a broken mess.

Artificial Sweetner

The story last time was kinda clever, featuring the evil team trying to steal all the rare candies to create the ultimate army. That is a great story! Dark Chocobun trying to betray humanity and you having to try and stop her felt pretty satisfactory. This time your rival is just a capital D who wants to rule the world. He fled into another world where all typings are inverted, which again would be clever..but the movesets are so random that it barely leaves an impact. The Chocolate bunnies who are deities of the candy world help you stop the guy ..and then there is a Pokésweet league that is not even part of the plot. All dialogue felt super lazy and while I actually cared and was invested in the plot of Sweet Version, Sweet 2th did nothing for me.  It’s just an evil guy! No twists, no development.. nothing! How? Clearly you had a great writer on board last time what happened here?! The last one was good?! It was really good.

Never ever have I seen such a drop in quality between the first and the second part. The first game I love to bits and if you want to play a Pokémon game filled with the delicious looking monsters that is the way to go! This one feels like it’s deformed , barely viable brother. I am sure it’s parents will love it..but that is about the extent the love goes. The map is horrible, un-inspired and very frustrating to traverse. It basically requires you to carry specific pokésweets all the time.. or at least typing wise. You can get trapped in several spots due to how bad the world is made.  Save a lot.. and use save states to avoid this.  While the original candy monsters are all sweet and adorable the majority of the new ones is either lazy or broken, their movesets have not been adjusted to fit their new flavouring what so ever. If you want a fun team you have to play the game “what do I think is the developers favourites , because not every pokésweet gets the same love.. With some bad luck like me you can have a team without any of the unique flavour but with all the broken stuff. Every cool system this game has comes with a huge downside due to not being balanced, as a result it is a glitchy mess that is playable and finishable but not enjoyable. The lackluster story finishes it off perfectly.

This game could have been passable if not for it’s sublime predecessor. It shows just how incapable this game is. This game has been done better, more balanced, more functional, more flavorful and a LOT sweeter.  Unless you want to really play Pokémon on a map that feels like a 10 year olds custom age of empire map or Tony Hawk Pro Skater custom course, I am gonna have to see I can’t find ANY reason for this game to exist. It does not expand the story of the first game, the new sweets are neglectable Therefore this is the first pokémon fan  game.. and perhaps even a pokémon game that gets my lowest rating. Guys I loved your first game to bits… but this feels like the Beta test of Pokémon Sweet that did not work out. Clever ideas.. is all it has..and a cute Noibat!   The first one is briljant still … this is it’s broken little brother! Pass on this one guys! It’s a waste of your time.. and teeth.

If you like me to play better games please consider supporting my Kofi so I can buy some decent ones! Or feel free to suggest a fun pokémon fan game/rom hack in the comments if you do not have any money to burn! I hope you all will check out the prequel! Despite everything I all wish you a sweet day!