“It’s Like Pokemon, but with Guns!”, for real this time

So, a couple of days ago a saw someone posting the trailer for this game in Early Access on Steam, called “Palworld”, saying that you were not ready to see it. They were fuckin right, because this game looks incredible. And pending for a legal bending from Nintendo. Or not?

I thought, oh, this is another of these Pokemon clones that are coming out now, like Cassette Beasts, or stuff already released like Monster Crown, who clearly borrow something or a lot from Nintendo popular series, Big N doesn’t have a trademark of “collecting monsters” as a game mechanic, why is this diff- HOLY SHIT, the character did a fly-by shooting with a rifle!!!

Yeah, for some reason japanese developer Pocketpair has decided to make the “Pokemon Gun” meme a reality, because not only you use guns to shoot people, but you use your pokemon equivalent, the “Pals”, as a meat shield or a cover, but WAIT!, it gets even better-worse, as the trailer also shows Pals basically performing slave labor, by building a huge facility (quoting the Steam page: “Don’t worry; labor laws won’t be applied to Pals.”) or make them assemble rifles in a sweatshop, when you’re not simply herding them or using their elemental ability to generate your electricity.

When the page doesn’t promote just poaching them, again, quoting directly the description ” Endangered species Pals live in the hunting prohibited area. If you sneak in and catch them, you’ll get tons of money! It’s only illegal if you get caught.”… it speaks of hunting and/or eating them if need be, or using an electric pokemon for “bomb fishing”, so you can collect corpses of whatever acquatic Pals lived there.

The game has a Steam page in the Early Access section, and currently has a release date set for a generic “2022”, so if you wanted your Pokemon clone developed by a bunch of sociopaths, you can add this one to your wishlist. Before Nintendo steps in, there’s no way in hell someone with actual power on the matter won’t say something about it.

Even leaving how the shooting with guns is at complete odds with the tone and the BOTW-esque graphical style, even ignoring the lore and realities that feel like Pokemon as adapted by Tatsuki Fujimoto (just missing the incest and the cannibalism in the opener)… most of the “Pals” designs are clearly lazy mashups of existing Pokemon designs (the rest is generic chibi stuff that could actually pass as original work), apparently even worse as they appear to be stolen assets from Pokemon fangames, or “flipped” from the developer’s other game, Craftopia, which is still in “early access” and nowhere near a complete state, according to many complaints.

And when you decide to start another game when you didn’t even finish the other one…. well, this look like the work of shady hacks undeserving of any amount of money. Just saying what it looks and sounds.

Regardless, the trailer itself it’s a graceless mash-up of stuff that’s really not impressive, like the bit when they show off the main character shooting a bazooka at a building that explodes into pieces like stuff you’d see in basic physics pack for a game engine.

They just threw random popular things together with no regards to anything, just slap it in the pot for stew, who cares if it makes for edible food.

What’s more worrying it’s that it doesn’t really feel like satire or anything, just brazen exploitation hoping on the old – and arguably fallacious – diktat that “all publicity is good publicity”, maybe it’s just to divert attention away from the fact they don’t plan to actually ever “finish” Craftopia, or that and get away with it because this is Steam, home of shit like “Drug Dealer Simulator”, standards don’t exist.

So, best case scenario i won’t be seeing this one pop out in the “new releases” window on Steam next year. Please, Steam, you can have some self-respect, if you want.

I really hope this doesn’t come to pass in any shape, frankly, but who can really say, weirder stuff has happened…

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