A look on Pokemon fan games

Fan games are quite odd in theory: they are inherently free, and take a lot of effort to make. Why would someone take a large chunk of effort out of their day to make a game that wouldn’t benefit them in any way whatsoever? Well, the answer is plain and simple. The players want to satisfy the players. Often when it comes to gaming, players don’t get everything they want in a new release. Some ideas are often going to be dismissed, such as going above the level 100 cap in Pokemon games. A multitude of other pokemon fan-games go above the level 100 marker. Fan games are meant to deviate from the main games created by large corporations to be the “ideal” games.


Looking at fan games as a whole, most tend to be Nintendo games. While the reasoning for the plethora of fan games that come out from their games is unclear, one thing is very much evident: how different they are. Fan games can be anything their creator wants them to be: creepy, lighthearted, dark, heartwarming, you name it. For example, Super Mario Star Road, one of the most popular spin offs takes a very calm and relaxing approach to Super Mario 64. Its tone is very much like its base and its popularity was gained do to it’s more difficult nature and it’s mood. However, Pokemon fan games tend to be extremely dark and depressing most of the time. Pokemon Insurgence quite possibly the Pokemon Fan game that started them all, had people dying, mutations, cults, and many more disturbing elements. Pokemon Uranium involves Nuclear Devastation and the end of the world as they know it. Finally Pokemon Empyrean involves a mixture of pretty much every dark element imaginable, with interesting fourth wall breaks. These games can set any mood they want, adding in deep storylines that hooks the player even more so than the main series games that they are based off of.


These games tend to be immensely difficult as well. This can mostly be said about Nintendo games because most of them are easy. Pokemon has never had a difficult game. It’s had hard moments in it’s games but nothing that could make someone quit as early as a few gym’s in. Personally, I’ve quit Pokemon Reborn about an hour due to the amount of grinding and specific tasks I’d have to do to get my Pokemon to a higher level. Pokemon Reborn also requires that most good Pokemon are found later in the game, making a devoted team of six highly unlikely throughout the entire game. Many people enjoy the backbreaking difficulty of these games and view them as a challenge. Most people who jump into Fan Games are tired of the ease that comes from the main series. They really are looking for a challenge. Some people who might not want a whole new game and region, can look at the Drayano games. These are the exact same as the main series, but the difficulty has been ramped up to the max. The difficulty really draws people in and hooks them in, as if you know a decent amount about the game, you should be perfectly fine in the more difficult fan games.


One game however, that has stood out in the community is Pokemon Empyrean. While I wouldn’t call this game a masterpiece, I would call it something very close to it. The game has everything that a fan game wants. A diverse storyline, a nice mood, amazing plot and character developments, a difficulty setting, and wonderful customobility. Pokemon Empyrean unlike many other fan games, kept making myself come back for more. I was able to finish Pokemon Insurgence over a period of time, but it was relatively slow. Pokemon Empyrean had me coming back for more daily. I was able to sculpt a wonderful team throughout my playthrough, which other fan games deliberately made impossible because of “difficulty”. Empyrean makes the game difficult and fun with an amazing plot. Empyrean introduced new mechanics which were very well received in the fan game community. It’s very hard to discuss the plot of empyrean without giving much away as the plot is very much interconnected and it’s much better to find out for yourself than to get a quick synopsis. To put a cherry on top, the developers are still very much involved with the game. Many fan games break off at a point and remain a W.I.P forever. Empyrean gives consistent updates every Saturday and releases a patch every so often revealing more of what the game has to offer. This so far, is the only fan game I would rate 10/10


Fan games are very complex in nature and to someone who doesn’t know much about games in the first place, are very hard to discuss. Getting into the community will be a wonderful experience. Chances are that every semi-popular game has a player derived spinoff that many could consider significantly better. While they don’t have the graphics, the money, the marketing, and sometimes the legality, what they do have, is a creative mind and dedication.