1. gbatemp_recommends_banner_pokemon_xg.jpg

    Pokemon Sword and Shield were hailed as the first mainline Pokemon games to grace a home console system, which laid some pretty big expectations. Whether or not those two games managed to live up to most fans’ hopes depends on who you ask, but the lead-up to their release was quite possibly the most chaotic, dramatic, and controversial of any Pokemon game ever. But a fully-fledged Pokemon game had already been released on a Nintendo console, nearly 20 years prior. 2003’s Pokemon Colosseum might have been a spinoff, but I think not being a main series entry gave it the freedom and ability to be one of the most unique adventures in the franchise.

    For those who didn’t grow up with Colosseum, the concept of the game sees you playing as an ex-criminal, who journeys through the rough western region of Orre, a land so desolate and tough that wild Pokemon don’t exist there. Taking away the standard “catch ‘em all” attitude from your average Pokemon game, instead of obtaining your Poke-friends in the wild, you steal them from other trainers. Of course, there’s a caveat; Nintendo wouldn’t exactly want to market a game where you play as an irredeemable bad guy--in Colosseum, you steal abused “Shadow Pokemon” from their evil trainers, in order to “purify” and save them. Since Colosseum also followed directly after the release of Ruby and Sapphire, every fight in the game is a double battle, meant to highlight what was a brand new feature at the time. Outside of those facets, it feels like a real deal 3D Pokemon game--an actual adventure, with story--not like the battle-sim-esque Pokemon Stadium.

    GXXE01_2021-03-26_14-11-39.png
    GXXE01_2021-03-26_14-11-27.png GXXE01_2021-03-26_13-59-26.png GXXE01_2021-03-26_13-59-22.png

    With such a cool region, and story beats and ideas that felt a little darker than what you’d expect to see from the kid-friendly series, Colosseum sold well enough on the struggling Nintendo GameCube to get a sequel: Pokemon XD. It toned down some of the edgier aspects from its predecessor, while trying to balance some of the parts of the Shadow Pokemon system, all while teasing then-unknown and mysterious generation IV Pokemon, like Bonsly and Munchlax. Both games were fantastic, spinoffs or not, bringing unique ideas and pushing the series in ways that would sadly never get revisited again.

    At least, not officially. Leave it to the fans, and they’ll deliver. Pokemon NeXt Gen, or XG, made by StarsMmd, is a “romhack” of Pokemon XD, modernizing the old game to have all sorts of new features, chief among them Gen VII gameplay mechanics. Existing as the first--and probably only--major mod for either of the Orre games, Pokemon XG is an impressive effort to take a nostalgic game and make it better than ever before. Pokemon games tend to be fairly easy by design, but this romhack rebalances XD to be more challenging to longtime fans, and changes the Shadow Pokemon lineup to have more fan favorites, freshening up the experience for those who’ve already played through the game multiple times.

    GXXE01_2021-03-31_16-03-22.png GXXE01_2021-03-31_15-57-57.png GXXE01_2021-03-30_22-58-31.png GXXE01_2021-03-30_02-37-54.png

    StarsMmd went all out with this, putting in the physical/special split, more shadow moves, more Shadow Pokemon, more Wild Pokemon, Alolan Pokemon forms; more everything. I’d honestly not expected for all these changes to be possible, but here we are. Having grown up with gen III games, it continually blows (and confuses...) my mind to see a Fairy-type Shadow Granbull, or watch as my poor Shellgon gets annihilated by a situation I thought was safe, until a Clefairy pulls out Dazzling Gleam and ruins my day.

    GXXE01_2021-03-26_13-56-24.png
    GXXE01_2021-03-24_23-38-56.png GXXE01_2021-03-25_01-43-17.png GXXE01_2021-03-25_01-46-39.png GXXE01_2021-03-25_19-43-51.png

    I’d actually say that the difficulty balancing might have gotten a bit out of hand--25 hours into XG and I find myself being worn down by what seems like fights that are excessive for the sake of it. Opponents will have ridiculous movesets right out of the gate; you’ll be wrecked by teams that know to throw out a Pokemon with the Hidden Ability of Drizzle and just go to town with Thunder. It’s fun to see, for sure, but it also gets grating watching my own Pokemon get one-shot by attacks that I never could have expected. You’d THINK a Combusken would be safe against a Grass-type, until it pulls something ridiculous out of its hat, like a high-powered water move that takes it out in one hit. Later fights were seriously challenging, to the point of insanity, with full teams of Shadow Pokemon, with moves that would hit everyone on the field for super-effective damage, or just giant level leaps that exist only to steamroll your team. And yet, it was still super fun, because it kept me coming back and engaged by making me plan out my turns.

    If Pokemon Sword and Shield let you down, and you’re still craving a 3D Pokemon game that’ll actually sate your needs, then I’d absolutely recommend checking out Pokemon XG. It’s been at least ten years since I last played the original game, and this romhack lets me go through all my nostalgic memories once more, while still being engaging and fun, even if exasperating at times.

    :download: Pokémon XG official page




    I hope you enjoyed this edition of GBAtemp Recommends. If you'd like to see more, leave your feedback in the thread below or check out our previous articles.

     
  2. Discussion (55 replies)

  3. Lilith Valentine

    Lilith Valentine GBATemp's Official Cubi: Not a girl nor a boy
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Messages:
    23,622
    Country:
    Antarctica
    I've never heard of this and now I am definitely trying it! I might stream it at some point too!
     
  4. Silent_Gunner

    Silent_Gunner Crazy Cool Cyclops
    Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2017
    Messages:
    2,664
    Country:
    United States
    Romhack that makes the game really hard?

    Sounds par for the course for these things, usually. While I get that a lot of games are made too easy, there's such a thing as not making enemies take 10+ beam blasts while they can kill you in, like, two hits...*Super Metroid Redesign's only latest version being the hard mode intensifies*

    Meanwhile, Super Metroid Phazon, while harder than the base game, doesn't want to tear you apart limb by limb other than one enemy towards the beginning that you thankfully have an energy tank to deal with. Unfortunately, it's kind of easy to get lost in that one, as I eventually went up against a Federation Super Trooper that's a re-skin of the Golden Torizo...when I had 5 Energy tanks, at best. It's an open game, and actually uses sprites and other resources from Metroid Zero Mission and Metroid Fusion, which is awesome to see considering how the GBA is usually referred to as a portable SNES...albeit with a crappier sound chip.
     
    BlazeMasterBM likes this.
  5. Aheago

    Aheago Advanced Member
    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2021
    Messages:
    67
    Country:
    United States
    Cool idea, ruined by the immense difficulty change. I want to enjoy my games, not tear out my hair in frustration
     
  6. Plstic

    Plstic Guru Meditation Error
    Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,100
    Country:
    United States
    the heck are story beats?
     
  7. RichardTheKing

    RichardTheKing Really lovin' NFO style
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2020
    Messages:
    513
    Country:
    Australia
    I'm guessing it's against T&R to ask for a link to this hack, since one isn't provided...
     
  8. raxadian

    raxadian GBAtemp Addict
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2018
    Messages:
    2,817
    Country:
    Argentina
    Does this run on a Wii?

    Not that I will try it; I got burned out of freaking hard Pokemon with Emerald and that was just Gen 3.
     
  9. Aheago

    Aheago Advanced Member
    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2021
    Messages:
    67
    Country:
    United States
    It works on Wii
     
    raxadian likes this.
  10. raxadian

    raxadian GBAtemp Addict
    Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2018
    Messages:
    2,817
    Country:
    Argentina
    What this game gets wrong is that being freaking hard from the start is not the right way to do a hard game. You start easily and slowly ramp things up and make the hardest setting a New Game plus or optional. That way people who don't want a really hard game can still enjoy it.

    Gor example Legend of Mana has a super hard mode that's ridiculous but is completely optional.

    How ridiculous is it? You need to expend a whole lot of time farming for materials for crafting the weapons and armor that let your survive the mode even at max level and it makes magic completely useless for you because your spells no longer do anything but scratch damage.
     
    Chary likes this.
  11. Aheago

    Aheago Advanced Member
    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2021
    Messages:
    67
    Country:
    United States
    A lot of Pokémon rom hacks are made hard just for the sake of being hard. It’s pretty sad
     
  12. BitMasterPlus

    BitMasterPlus GBAtemp Regular
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2017
    Messages:
    247
    Country:
    United States
    Gonna have to save this and play this in the future.
     
  13. Chary

    OP Chary Big cat like
    Chief Editor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    10,498
    Country:
    United States
    Tldr tone or structure in a narrative

    It's easy to find...I would have provided a link to where I got it but...uhhhhh ;)
     
    Sumasuun likes this.
  14. Scott_pilgrim

    Scott_pilgrim Unfunny
    Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2020
    Messages:
    1,903
    Country:
    United States
    I mean, these are made for people who already have experience with the originals and want a challenge
     
    Sumasuun and slaphappygamer like this.
  15. Chary

    OP Chary Big cat like
    Chief Editor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    10,498
    Country:
    United States
    Fair, bur there's challenge and then there's the opponent using 10 level higher than you Pokémon in three back to back fights you can't stop or heal between. And they all have super effective high power moves no matter what. And you're trying to catch them which means you don't want to kill them either, making you a sitting duck. I like it but I hate it.
     
    Sumasuun, RichardTheKing and Aheago like this.
  16. Aheago

    Aheago Advanced Member
    Newcomer

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2021
    Messages:
    67
    Country:
    United States
    There’s a difference between having a challenge, and unbalanced difficulty

    99.9% of rom hacks are unbalanced and difficult just to be edgy
     
    RichardTheKing likes this.
  17. Chary

    OP Chary Big cat like
    Chief Editor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    10,498
    Country:
    United States
    I agree, but it's clear the person who made this went to extreme lengths to add in so many more things, too. Honestly I find it to be a marvel adding in the modern gameplay stuff. It's at least a million times better than "Pokémon Red but the first rival battle is vs a lv100 Blastoise" stuff you see flood the Pokémon haxminf community.
     
  18. RichardTheKing

    RichardTheKing Really lovin' NFO style
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2020
    Messages:
    513
    Country:
    Australia
    I do recommend Drayano's DS Pokemon hacks - SacredGold, BlazeBlack, BlazeBlack 2. They do make the games more difficult, but not insanely so; it's a comfortable difficulty curve, in my experience.
     
    Chary likes this.
  19. Chary

    OP Chary Big cat like
    Chief Editor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    10,498
    Country:
    United States
    Left unchecked, I could probably write 20 Recommends on Pokémon hacks alone...it was a toss up between those Drayano hacks, this, or the cute Battle Frontier hack I also found...which I might write about anyways because I'm a sucker for Emerald.
     
    Sumasuun and RichardTheKing like this.
  20. RichardTheKing

    RichardTheKing Really lovin' NFO style
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2020
    Messages:
    513
    Country:
    Australia
    I would like GBA Pokemon ROMhacks more...if it wasn't for the base games' overly-strict anticheat system. Y'know, replacing Pokemon that fail a checksum with Bad Eggs that cannot easily be removed.
    That's why I tend to prefer DS ROMhacks, since Game Freak eased up significantly there and afterwards.
     
    Sumasuun likes this.
  21. pedro702

    pedro702 GBAtemp Legend
    Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2014
    Messages:
    10,660
    Country:
    Portugal
    works just fine on nintendont on wii or wiiu.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted
Loading...

Hide similar threads Similar threads with keywords - Recommends, GBAtemp, Pokemon