GBAtemp Recommends: Pokemon XG Romhack

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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




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Osakasan

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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 people asks me why i hate the Pokémon community.

If this is the mooders idea of a good game, i'll keep playing GF's vanilla content, thank you.
 

RichardTheKing

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And people asks me why i hate the Pokémon community.

If this is the mooders idea of a good game, i'll keep playing GF's vanilla content, thank you.
Nah; play Drayano's DS hacks. They're SO MUCH BETTER than Game Freak's stuff, and are rarely overwhelmingly-difficult.
 

pedro702

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people forget this hack is for pokemon conosseurs, so you have to make good team synergy and movesets.

also people forget on original pokemon red and blue if you didnt grind the elite four would have pokemons 15 levels abode you? that was killer imo.
 

RichardTheKing

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people forget this hack is for pokemon conosseurs, so you have to make good team synergy and movesets.

also people forget on original pokemon red and blue if you didnt grind the elite four would have pokemons 15 levels abode you? that was killer imo.
Eh; regarding the RB part, if you only had four main party members (and two HM slaves) and distributed EXP fairly evenly (for example, when I play Pokemon I like to allow my starter to gain three levels before switching to my second member so he can get three more levels, then my third, then my fourth; once they're all equally-levelled, cycle around again), you really won't have any major level issues.

That got quite a bit easier if XY's Affection granting an EXP-gain buff (not to mention the altered EXP Share, which I keep turned off), but even before that was a thing I rarely needed to grind Experience. Friendship, sure, along with Nature and/or Ability (at times), but really the only time I need/want to grind EXP is if I caught a new member at a lowish Level and he needs to be raised up.
 

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Eh; regarding the RB part, if you only had four main party members (and two HM slaves) and distributed EXP fairly evenly (for example, when I play Pokemon I like to allow my starter to gain three levels before switching to my second member so he can get three more levels, then my third, then my fourth; once they're all equally-levelled, cycle around again), you really won't have any major level issues.

That got quite a bit easier if XY's Affection granting an EXP-gain buff (not to mention the altered EXP Share, which I keep turned off), but even before that was a thing I rarely needed to grind Experience. Friendship, sure, along with Nature and/or Ability (at times), but really the only time I need/want to grind EXP is if I caught a new member at a lowish Level and he needs to be raised up.
yeah but on red blue you you get to elite four with pokemon around level 50-53 and lance was just overkill, i always had it easier with the rival even tough he has lvl 63-65 pokemon than lance.

i remenber i had to grind abit to beat rby elite four and same for gold and silver where you get to elite four under 40s and they have lvl 50 pokemon there.

from ruby and saphire and over i never did grind, there was more attacks and better movesets and the level diferences were kinda null.

oviously now from x,y and over its just easy as pie.
 

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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.

Do a write-up on Rejuvenation or Insurgence then, those are good hacks.
But don't you dare talk about Reborn.
 

Clydefrosch

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people forget this hack is for pokemon conosseurs, so you have to make good team synergy and movesets.

also people forget on original pokemon red and blue if you didnt grind the elite four would have pokemons 15 levels abode you? that was killer imo.

team synergy and movesets don't save you from literal puzzle traps. having a balanced team with good moves you realistically can have at that point should be almost all you need to succeed.
instead, this hack presents you with pokemon and teams specifically created to bait you and your knowledge just to SE you with a synergy move twice as strong as your average move. so instead of using the pokemon that should beat the other pokemon, you now have to first tediously learn the other pokemons specific deal to then come up with specific counters to that. which is fine in theory terms or on showdown, but not when preparing that counter can take hours.

the thing about the elite four in red and blue is that most of them were pushovers. terrible ai, terrible movesets, terrible type balance. and a bunch of bugs even if unknown, usually working in the players favor.
every kid i knew made it through them with a charizard using ember, flame whirl, flamethrower and firestorm. occassionally, sometimes scratch or slash.
this was the time where most of us would arrive there with a l90+ starter, l20 lapras and whatever was the strongest you managed to catch on victory road.
there is entire series on soloing these games with one pokemon unevolved no items at minimal battles because it's so easily exploited, especially once you're aware of certain bugs. badge boost alone destroys this entire game.

pokemon balance is hard, it has to be with 800 pokemon and like a thousand moves.
if you allow grind, no difficulty can ever stop a player. which is why they looked into limiting exp so much.
no one gets it right because its impossible to get it just right.
the latest few games made it a habbit to needlessly hobble you by giving you access to exclusively weak moves (in terms of BP) for the first couple gyms, often showering you with comparably needless meta moves with 20bp in terms of tms and rarely allowing you to find pokemon with access to strong level up moves. all of which makes playing the game in a fun way, by leveling a party, a chore, while still not preventing you from just using your starter (which you're often still bound to do because your party gets wiped easily if you avoid using your starter) and overpowering everything in front of you.
you can make that harder by having these trap battles, for sure. but that isn't more challenging, it's really just more tedious, because you couldn't expect these things no matter how good you are and it's rarely hard to know how to deal with them, it's only hard to actually invest the time to do it within the constraints of the game.
 

chrisrlink

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what really amazes me (I played it btw using Dolphin) that they added the fairy type from gen 6 it must've taking some scripting skill to do so and to have the correct type advantages and weaknesses

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

I'm guessing it's against T&R to ask for a link to this hack, since one isn't provided...
hmmmm i always thought patches were legal just not the roms @Chary if I may i found the project thread with the patches only can I post the url?
 
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face235

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I was wondering when this mod was going to get the recognition it deserves.

This was the game I had nominated for Hack of the Year in 2018, but it got roflstomped hard by a Ni no Kuni DS translation.

As for where the mod itself is located, it is here:
https://projectpokemon.org/home/forums/topic/37672-pokemon-xg-next-gen/

It is up to you as to where to find the rom, can't help you on that part. I never had to do that since I still have XD, and can simply dump it to the Wii directly.

I still have a screenshot from when I nominated the game.

Remember the Robo Groudon?
snapshot.jpg
 
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First, the work done by StarsMmd (better to credit him for this right) is amazing.

Not because of the content itself, but because what he has done for the GC Rom Hacking community.
This project came out of nowhere, with incredible changes that many thought impossible to do. He really went far in the changes and really create something well done. Enjoying or not the difficulty.

He worked on many things around GC Rom hacking, either for Colo or XD with Rom Hacks, Randomized and a lot of documentation.

Surprised to not even see his name being quoted here for all the job done.
 
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Flame

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Funnily enough i was looking at the Pokemon Gamecube games to purchase recently. until i saw the price of Pokemon XD - Gale Of Darkness....

i want to try this... rom hack. :cry:
 
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Osakasan

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also people forget on original pokemon red and blue if you didnt grind the elite four would have pokemons 15 levels abode you? that was killer imo.

15 levels meant nothing if you weren't a complete scrub. The game provided you easily with the best pokémon for the Elite four, playing the game at launch i only had issues with Blue/Green, and i still cheesed that battle by abusing items.
 

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First, the work done by StarsMmd (better to credit him for this right) is amazing.

Not because of the content itself, but because what he has done for the GC Rom Hacking community.
This project came out of nowhere, with incredible changes that many thought impossible to do. He really went far in the changes and really create something well done. Enjoying or not the difficulty.

He worked on many things around GC Rom hacking, either for Colo or XD with Rom Hacks, Randomized and a lot of documentation.

Surprised to not even see his name being quoted here for all the job done.

I made sure to credit him when I brought the game up back in 2018 for the contest I entered it in, AND I posted a link straight to the source.
 

pedro702

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Indeed, I stand corrected.
Nevertheless, they are effectively the same thing, just restricted to PC and using RPG Maker's Pokémon Essentials as the base instead of a Nintendo game.
a rom hack is not the same of an rpg maker game... not even close.
So a super Mario game made in unity would be the same as a Mario hack too? makes no sense...
 
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Chary

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First, the work done by StarsMmd (better to credit him for this right) is amazing.

Not because of the content itself, but because what he has done for the GC Rom Hacking community.
This project came out of nowhere, with incredible changes that many thought impossible to do. He really went far in the changes and really create something well done. Enjoying or not the difficulty.

He worked on many things around GC Rom hacking, either for Colo or XD with Rom Hacks, Randomized and a lot of documentation.

Surprised to not even see his name being quoted here for all the job done.
Really good point, and I apologize for not crediting the person who made it. Admittedly, I forgot I had to prep an article for Friday, and I still have limited computer access, so I didn’t want to go find the project page, and spaced out on adding his name to the article when I should have. I’ll go back and add it to the post.
 

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A lot of Pokémon rom hacks are made hard just for the sake of being hard. It’s pretty sad
The good old modder's curse - from Pokemon to Mario, lion share of the hacks will be focused on providing ultra-challenging content. Sadly, it's not exclusive to romhacking community either; Doom modding scene is also dominated by ridiculously hard fan-made levels, for example.
 
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