[PODCAST Episode 291] ‘Temtem’ Is the Pokémon Game Nintendo Refuses to Make

Pokémon has long been a series that makes small changes to each game that are nigh imperceptible to non-fans. To people who haven't kept up with the series, Pokémon Sword and Shield might as well be a 3D version of Pokémon Red and Blue. They wouldn't be wrong, as far as the basic mechanics go. While there have been new types of Pokémon introduced, and new wrinkles like Dynamaxing, for the most part you'll be taking on one-on-one battles with the creatures you train, same as it ever was.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/m7qbga/temtem-is-the-pokemon-game-nintendo-refuses-to-make
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I just can’t get over HOW MUCH Temtem is similar to Pokemon. The more and more I look into it, the more it feels like one of those spam mobile games that gets taken down within 3 days. After they started talking about it on the podcast, I started digging into the Temtem wiki, and Temtems even have the equivalent of EVs and IVs with TVs and SVs, and you manipulate them and change them in the same exact ways you do in Pokemon. I dunno, it just feels so off to me in a weird way.

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Like even the stat charts in the Temtem wiki look like they’re ripped straight from Bulbapedia it’s so bizzare. This is closest I’ve ever felt to being in an alternate timeline.

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It really feels like Pokemon is the only monster game the devs played, which is a huge shame, because most of them are better than Pokemon in at least one aspect. From the trailers it looked very obviously inspired by the bigger franchise, but after playing it for a bit it feels like Pokemon really limited the imagination of the people making it in ways that kind of suck?

I’ll probably play through it as I have most Pokemon games, but I wish it hadn’t lifted mechanics quite so thoughtlessly. Perfecting random variables and grinding to max out others in order to be competitively viable is not fun, I don’t know why that’s a piece of Pokemon you would emulate. The type chart is much smaller than Pokemon, but it’s still too big to easily get the hang of, and it doesn’t do anything interesting with typing at all. The Digimon Cyber Sleuth games have two distinct sets of typings, one of which is purely offensive, one of which is offensive and defensive, and both of which let you access different out-of-battle powers to encourage a diverse team, why couldn’t you borrow some of that? Or do something similarly innovative with Pokemon’s unwieldy typing system, if you insist on taking inspiration from that?

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On Kentucky Route Zero: I played it for the first time late last year, and it has been something that I have never felt the need to play again (I’m sure my opinion would be different if I had waited 4 years for a conclusion). It’s the only game that has made me feel like I didn’t need to know everything, see the end of every dialogue tree, etc. But hot damn, hearing that there’s a whole other character (this Carrington guy that Austin was talking about) that I hadn’t met is really putting me in a place.

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I am still eagerly waiting for a new Medabots RPG game to drop and have everyone realize it was superior to Pokemon.

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cw: dental stuff

I had a similar experience to Austin over the holidays. I chipped a tooth years ago and had been living with it ever since (I do have dental insurance but it’s laughably limited). The day after Christmas I was having dinner with family, and as I was chewing I felt/heard the most ominous crack I’ve ever experienced. I’ll spare you the gory details, but the gist is I got an emergency dentist appointment the next day, found out the tooth needed to go, and then rode an adrenaline rush through the next, extremely gnarly, 10-15 minutes

So, yeah, I have all the empathy in the world for anyone who has issues with their teeth. It’s ludicrous that A) dental is considered separate from healthcare and B) we don’t even have free healthcare to begin with. A while ago I saw teeth described as “luxury bones” and I haven’t been able to get that phrase out of my head since.

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Patrick will fight tooth and nail every step of the way but we’ll make him a Kingdom Hearts fan in the end.

I actually agree the DLC is a bad deal. If it was just the story update, frankly that should be free or cost a tiny amount. The bonus bosses should be at most $10. This is easily double the price it should be.

But I would pay that much for playable Kairi.

My partner had a similar problem to Austin’s in that she had like a dead tooth that she just had to let go for like two years because she couldn’t afford to do anything do it. It literally turned black for a while. I’m just really glad it wasn’t a molar, that’s the only way the situation could have been any worse. I can’t remember how she eventually paid for it, I think our university offered dental insurance at an affordable price so she bought it with money from her undergraduate research program or something and then had the extraction surgery done.

Anyway, yeah, for as fucked as general medical insurance is in the US, the situation is somehow even ore badly fucked for teeth and brains.

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Love every time a Podcast starts with Austin saying something to the extent of “we are going to keep this one short” and I check my phone and see that the episode is still around two hours long.

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So I picked up TemTem after reading the podcast excerpt and holy shit it is pokemon. Luckily for me, I find the animal designs cute enough and enjoy enough of the QoL thing that’s I’m having a good time so far, but the Cheri doesn’t fall far from the tree

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I had a brief look into Temtem, but unless I’m missing something, breeding a Temtem with perfect IV-equivalents looks to be even harder than doing it in Pokemon, which is now relatively trivial. I also don’t like the stamina system because I don’t like things that arbitrarily force your hand. I want to have to swap out my Pokemon/Temtem because my opponent made a tactically better choice, not because the game decided it’s time for me to do so.

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Not only is dental sperate but so is almost anything that a normal physician couldn’t handle.

Find out you have cancer? Better hope you signed up for the premium insurance and even then for the proper tier so you get a big enough payout to cover the entire treatment!

I have to carry a card in my wallet and a keychain card that tells whomever is with me that instead of calling a normal ambulance you need to call the special one my insurance covers. But hey at least I get free life flight rides in the metro area if it’s determined that I’m losing enough blood :upside_down_face:

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TemTem update: one interesting thing I discovered are some abilities that become enhanced if the other Ally is of a specific type. I don’t know if pokemon ever had something like that, but I really like that idea, and I can see it potentially leading to some interesting strategies involving swaps and stamina control maybe? I don’t know, but I’m definitely playing more tonight

On Kentucky Route Zero: Austin mentioned an internal developer wiki on Github with a bunch of interesting notes on their process. I had an embarrassingly hard time finding it, so I thought I’d link it here in case anyone came to this thread with the same thought.

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Pokemon’s not quite so explicit about the combos, but you can do some fun typing things (play a Ground-type Pokemon with your Electric-type and you can use Discharge to your heart’s content) or weather things (a Pokemon with the ability Snow Warning can kick off a hailstorm that makes it so that Blizzard never misses, for example).

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Just wanted to hop in and say I’m excited to see how Austin feels about Stormblood, aka the expansion about actual revolution. I mentioned this in the main FFXIV thread but it seems like the community is pretty split on Stormblood, much like people were split on FFXII when it first came out, and Stormblood wears its XII influences on its sleeve. I’m firmly in the camp of loving both.

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