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How come there is a strong lack of quality "Pokemon clones" to this date?

Discussion in 'General Pokémon Discussion' started by shoz999, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. shoz999

    shoz999 Sonic's the name! Speed's my game!

    The Fortnite craze, around a game that blew up in popularity. It was so incredibly popular that it began eating out of profits from other properties of Epic Games, it's own company, to the point that Epic Games had to cancel games like Paragon. This game helped boosted the Battle Royale genre causing a bunch of Battle Royale clones. Another similar game that blew up in popularity and is still to this day more incredibly popular than your Star Wars or your Lord of the Rings or your Harry Potter is Pokemon. In the 90s, Pokemon blew up in a crazed popularity. Pokemon games, Pokemon anime, Pokemon manga, Pokemon TCG and Pokemon toys. A lot of parents thought this to be a simple fad but a lot of adults at the time did not take into the account that A) like Mario, Pokemon consist of actors, Pokemon specifically, that could enter all sorts of genres and puzzling stories, B) while others like Digimon focused on creating a story, GameFreak focused on creating a universe not so different from Marvel or DC and finally C) the games, anime, manga TCG and to an extant the toys all had some kind of quality and care put into it. You had the games where all these adaptations rooted from is responsible for much of the world building, the mechanics and the Pokemon itself. The TCG was nothing like your trading baseball cards, it was a game itself with interesting mechanics that synergized into all sorts of clever decks. There was the manga, specifically Pokemon Adventures, a mature and faithful take on GameFreak's vision of the games and finally there was the anime. Say what you want about how Ash is a bad protagonist or it's just the same story-line over and over again, Pokemon the anime was unique for it's time and it was for many kids, their first taste of anime featuring paint-style backgrounds, faces that feature all sorts of expressions, and of course an introductory to the world of Pokemon mixed with catchy music in the west.

    When something jumps from a generation to another generation, it's no longer a fad. It becomes a pop cultural phenomenon and that was the case for Pokemon that many adults just did not expect to happen. By Gen 3, even when the viewership for the anime declined, the games still kept much of the Pokemon popularity in-check. When people thought "Oh Pokemon is dead!" because of this decline, suddenly Gen 4 came around, Gen 5, Gen 6 etc keeping Pokemon's popularity not only alive and healthy but more memorable and consistent than say Star Wars which has been in a significant decline in popularity before and after the prequel series showed up. Pokemon was so popular that kids talked more about that than Star Wars. Also it wasn't just the games keeping it's popularity alive. The anime's decline in viewership forced the team behind it to experiment with storytelling a bit more resulting in better, albeit still needs improvement, told story-lines in the DP, BW and finally the XY series which really showed that every filler episode was worth watching. The Pokemon TCG still to this day, dominates the TCG market across the globe beating other TCG markets like YuGiOh or Magic the Gathering. And the manga? It's success is a bit hard to measure as data hasn't been well recorded for it but considering the fact that it's often considered a best seller that's sold over 150 million copies as of 2017, it's doing pretty well too.

    So basically what I'm saying. Pokemon isn't just a popular video game, it is an insanely popular franchise that is able to keep up a consistent and massive interest in the minds and hearts of children where franchises like Star Wars or Lord of the Rings fail in comparison possibly due to A) a lack of quality input in their diverse range of media products and B) their main core sellers, the movies itself, are not as flexible and consistent as the creativity in the world of Pokemon of the games. There's a lot you can do with 150 magical animals in a continuous world than you can with a group of characters from a story, beginning to end. With that being said, why aren't there a lot of Pokemon clones with the same amount of quality input as Pokemon? Why aren't there a lot of western and eastern companies who look at Pokemon's magical animals in a real-life inspired setting that appeal to almost everyone and say, "Hmm... I can do better!" If you think about it, Pokemon's unique "Gotta Catch Em' All" gameplay mechanics deserves it own genre. It didn't started it but it sure did popularized it through it's most recognizable form. Heck, why aren't there a lot of lazy official "Pokemon clones"? You have to wonder why no one tried to capitalize on this idea or heck. There must be a few DnD-inspired game devs who must've been amazed by Pokemon's 20-year long constant and ever-connected science fantasy world-building who may want to do their own take. The lack of quality Pokemon is just so weird. You see Battle Royale clones a lot these days but barely any Pokemon clones back than. For 20 years, GameFreak has helped successfully created the most popular media franchise across the globe and still very few companies try to do their own take on Pokemon. Could it possibly be that many Western and Japanese companies, including the experts in RPGs themselves, think it's too hard to replicate such an imaginative relatable world filled with over a 100 magical animals with their own unique backstory and gameplay mechanics that make up part of a bigger RPG system? Well I honestly have no clue as it's kind of puzzling no one tried to replicated GameFreak's success or were amazed by the 20-year old worldbuilding they've done with a multitude of "actors" that can cross into all sorts of genres.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2018
  2. Tsukuyomi56

    Tsukuyomi56 Gesshin Powered

    Mostly there is a portion of the Pokemon fanbase that are paranoid about any “threats” to the Pokemon franchise and will go to great lengths to slime them. The biggest thing Pokemon has to a rival in the modern age is Yo-Kai Watch and while it is great series in itself it suffers the burden of the hate from the “vocal haters” of the Pokemon fandom (at least in the West).
    Weavy likes this.
  3. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Well-Known Member

    Wasn't that Monster Racher stuff from the early 2000s fairly popular? I read it had a bunch of installments. I don't think it has anything coming out these days, but I suppose it'd be difficult to market a game that uses music and game CDs to generate monsters when CDs are much less common these days. Plus on the screenshots it looks like most of the monsters where just palette swaps of each other...

    The other fairly successful Digimon and Yo-Kai watch each have a very fundamental flaw; the battling sucks, which is bad in a monster battle game (other than that I reckon Pokemon could learn something from Yo-Kai Watch as far as map design is concerned). Plus Digimon also had that thing were it's semi-unpredictable what your critter turns into upon evolution.

    So I think the problem basically boils down to this: A Pokemon clone will try very hard to seem different from Pokemon and will come up with a lot of gimmicks to set itself apart. Most of said gimmicks end up being terrible game mechanics and so the game won't be as popular.
    BCVM22 likes this.
  4. Yep that's the problem.
  5. Tsukuyomi56

    Tsukuyomi56 Gesshin Powered

    Then again it is a not really a good move to try to make the game too similiar to Pokemon save for the creatures as it will give the “haters” even more reason to call said games a “rip-off”. Some parts of the Western Pokemon fandom just seem unwilling to accept that other “creature collecting” franchises can co-exist alongside Pokemon.
    Weavy and Madame Chocobo like this.
  6. buskalilly

    buskalilly Well-Known Member

    Monster Hunter Stories was fairly well received. Of course, the difference there was that it had the popularity and monster designs of MonHan to build from. See also: Dragon Quest Jokers.

    I think there are a few here and there but none of them can touch the media presence of Pokemon, and I doubt anything ever will at this point.
  7. Scammel

    Scammel Well-Known Member

    The depth and quality of the original incarnation, in addition to the overwhelming multi-media barrage in the 90s. Copycats usually thrive by mimicking simple successful formulae, such as Angry Birds and PUBG, while Pokémon boasts remarkable depth, balance and sheer artistic quantity.

    A cheap and easy Pokémon clone doesn't exist, because Pokémon wasn't cheap and easy in the first instance.
    shoz999 likes this.
  8. RileyXY1

    RileyXY1 Young Battle Trainer

    Because any game with anything similar to Pokemon is called a low-quality ripoff and it fades away into obscurity. Either that, or it develops its own identity to the point where it can't be compared to Pokemon anymore.
  9. WishIhadaManafi5

    WishIhadaManafi5 To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before. Staff Member Moderator

    I like Yo Kai Watch ok. But I like the battling in Pokemon and Digimon games better. Those two are the best ones I like to play.
  10. -Raiga-

    -Raiga- Well-Known Member

    The reality is, is that Pokémon is simply a better built game than 95% of its competition. Better monster designs, better gameplay, and more content.

    Many other monster catching series might be really good in one of those areas. For instance Monster Rancher having an appealing monster obtaining mechanic, or Yokai Watch having appealing Japanese influenced designs. But they never add up to the complete package in the way that mainline series Pokémon games do.

    Also, to those in the thread trying to spin this narrative that any monster catching game is automatically labeled a pokemon rip-off, stop while you're behind. The ones that are called low quality pokemon rip offs, surprise surprise, are called that because they're actually low quality rip offs. Yes, even Yokai Watch.

    There's a reason why nobody is calling Persona 3/4/5 "pokemon rip offs". Or Dragon Quest Monsters "pokemon rip offs". They both are just stellar games in their own right and don't even attempt to copy Pokémon.
    shoz999 likes this.
  11. bobandbill

    bobandbill Winning Smile Staff Member Super Mod

    I would say there have been/are series that exist that do pretty decently and also have the battle with/control monster premise in them. Thing is, Pokemon is a franchise monster - one of the top ones of all time and consistently setting records. It also extends across several platforms (games including mobile now, anime/movies, manga, a whole bunch of merchandise...), which is not that common an attribute for video game franchises. Pokemon just rules the roost, for better or worse.
    shoz999 likes this.
  12. Weavy

    Weavy They call me the one who loves cats.

    Pretty much. There was actually a point where Yokai Watch came close to or outselling Pokémon in Japan (Can't remember which), around the time of ORAS, I believe. But those days are gone now.

    The thing is, when a game does try to do monster collecting, the majority of the time it is automatically assumed to be a "Pokémon ripoff" without people looking into it properly. They are never given a chance no matter the quality because people always assume it's bad without even playing them most of time and will go through any means to bad mouth them because they're not Pokémon.

    Pokémon is literally one of the biggest media franchises ever and I seriously doubt it's ever going to be topped. That doesn't mean similar things aren't allowed to exist like most people like to think. Pokémon isn't a flawless franchise either and learn some things from these other ones.

    I actually like these kinds of games. While Pokémon is my favourite, I actually like Digimon, Yokai Watch, Monster Hunter Stories etc. and I really wish more of them would exist, but it's doubtful because of those "ripoff" mentality people.
  13. Shine

    Shine Psyched Up Staff Member Moderator

    Monster Hunter isn't exactly a good series to be compared with Pokemon, in my opinion. Aside from the "look for monsters" part, the two series are, at their core, not similar at all.
    Monster Hunter, for the most part, focuses more on hunting monsters to kill them and and make use of the remains. Pokemon is about hunting monsters to be tamed and used as pet/battling partner. One series view monsters as prey that needs to be eliminated, the other series view monsters as new friends.

    Monster Hunter Stories is the first and so far the only time Monster Hunter actually takes a more Pokemon-like approach, and is also the only one to have child protagonists.

    I'm not sure about post-PS1 games, but the PS1 era Digimon games are actually more similar to Pokemon in terms of battling system. Digimon World 3 in particular, with its random encounter and 1-on-1 turn-based battle, with switching out feature, is pretty much just like Pokemon, although it lacks the catching system in Digimon World 2. (Also, speaking of map design, Digimon World 3 has a great map/overworld I still fondly remember to this day.)

    Coincidentally, PS1 era Digimon games are also released around the same time as Pokemon games, and I think are they are also what people usually remember the most when Digimon games are mentioned.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
  14. Prof. SALTY

    Prof. SALTY The Scruffy Professor

    I love clone pokemon games (Keitai Denjuu Telefang is one of my other greatest loves in life even though it gets so little love despite being REALLY good), but I gotta say, most clones really don't know how to design appealing monsters. Digimon has A HANDFUL of nice designs (I also love Digimon but more the V-pets than the games), Tamagotchi 9again, I like the V-pets more than the games in this instance) used to have super cute designs before all of them became the same design with different outfits... Even Telefang has quite a few stinkers amongst it's good designs. Yo-Kai Watch... I looked through all the Yo-kai and didn't like find a single one appealing.

    HOWEVER, if you wanna see a game with really good monster designs, check out https://wiki.telefang.net/Wikifang:Bug_images

    With the cost of game development these days and the shift in popular games towards things like Fortnite and PUBG, there really isn't as big a market for mon games. Kinda sad really.
  15. Nyter

    Nyter Island Challenger

    I think most of these "monster clone" games look for the similarity of collecting "monsters" but the battling portion of it has to be different than Pokemon itself, otherwise they are blatantly a clone. With Yo-Kai Watch! (I have only played the demo), battling is time-based whereas with Pokemon it is turn-based. Strategy plays more in Pokemon than with Yo-Kai (Yo-Kai splits strategy and reaction into their battling mechanism). Yo-Kai Watch! is definitely one to look out for however. I think it has, if not, will surpass Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise, which was a successful trend at best.
  16. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Well-Known Member

    I only ever played the first Digimon game, and in that one you just stand there, flail around and shout commands while your Digimon is controlled by the A.I. in a real time battle, and your flailing and shouting has little to no influence on what the digimon does. Let alone that those mini-games to raise stats were boring as hell.

    I tried out some of the sequels, and yeah they did become turn based, but the semi-random element to Digimon evolution remained and from what I have read online just now the games weren't well received in general. So it sounds like they were just kinda badly made.

    Eh, that's highly subjective. I guess the thing with Digimon is that a lot of their designs kinda try too hard to be edgy and/or have those weird BDSM elements to them (even the freaking unicorn Pokemon had to be covered in battle scars and a mecha helmet, apparently) but I'd also say their designs improved over time.
    And with Yo-Kai watch, well, I think the "issue" here is that it's made solely (not just primarily, solely) with a audience of young Japanese children in mind, and that's reflected in the monster designs, which are very rooted in not just Japanese folklore, but also contemporary Japanese everyday life, which of course doesn't work as well once it's ported outside of Japan.
    Plus if anybody thinks Pokemon has a problem with over-promoting certain Pokemon at the expense of others, they haven't seen Yo-Kai Watch with it's dozens over dozens of Chibanyan clones yet.

    I do find some of the Yo-Kai quite appealing (Dazzebell, for example, I wish I could have that tiny skeleton diva in Pokemon tbh) and some others are very well done in the sense that they transport the ancient concept of Youkai into modern times, the problem is just that often I have to look up an explanation on what obscure Japanese habit/saying/popular food commercial they are based on.The only Pokemon that is designed like that I can think of is Wobbuffet, which irrc is based on some Japanese comedian. Well, and Jynx if she's really supposed to be a Ganguro girl.

    It's also worth noting, imho, that both Digimon and Yo-Kai watch try to sell recolors as "new" monsters. Like not even with minor changes like the regional forms, but straight-off recolors.

    The example of "really good monster designs" you linked however.....those just look like vaguely-animal shaped blobs with Ditto faces/someone's fakedex on deviant art to me...
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
  17. Prof. SALTY

    Prof. SALTY The Scruffy Professor

    I know it's subjective, but I really just don't like the Yokai designs. I get that they're very Japanese (I lived in Japan for a bit) and get most of the Yokai inspirations, a lot of them are just either lazy copypaste colour changes (as you mentioned) or straight up unappealing to look at though.

    Digimon designs tend to fair a bit better due to more variety (If thats what you can call it). there a very few recolor mons in Digimon as a whole but they definitely are there. Also, Whoever designs a lot of the digimon has a weird pectoral fascination! take a look at the rookie forms of a lot of digimon and see how weird the hot half of their torso looks.

    Yup, Wobbuffet is based on Hayashiya Sanpei, a rakugo comedian.

    Jynx has a few things she could be based on... It's not really clear. She has elements of ganguro (though I feel the link to this one is the weakest), Yama-Uba and Yuki-Onna (snow yokai who have long hair and dresses), and stereotypical Viking women. Jynx is a hot mess.

    OOF! Well I think they're super cute :p
  18. Orphalesion

    Orphalesion Well-Known Member

    Whoever designs Digimon has a *lot* of weird fascinations. Overly defined pectorals/muscles, cybernetics, chains, leather/latex, spikes, gloves, scars, face/eye obscuring masks, bandages/wraps, excessive numbers of zippers/belts. There's defenitely some "trends" there...

    I always thought it was a bit of a combination; part ganguro, part those mountain hag Youkai you mentioned The only thing I don't agree with is the "stereotypical Viking women" She doesn't have pigtails, she doesn't have a horned helmet (hey, you did say "stereotypical" she doesn't have any armour and that stuff about the "Frozen Viking Princess with skin blackened from the cold" legend that used to go around to explain Jynx is 100% made-up. No such legend exists.
  19. shoz999

    shoz999 Sonic's the name! Speed's my game!

    That's partly because I believe Digimon is more closer to that of a mecha anime than the more familiar monster anime of Pokemon.
  20. Prof. SALTY

    Prof. SALTY The Scruffy Professor

    I'd say her "chest plate" and forearms resemble armour while she embodies or of an "it's not over till the fat lady sings" type of stereotypical viking which is sometimes depicted with long flowy blonde hair rather than the pigtails mentioned. As for this frozen viking princess story, I've never heard of it...? Which is weird since I've been using forums since the early 2000s and Jynx has always been one of my favourite pokemon.

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