- Apr 1, 2017
A Quickish Review Of:
Pokémon Brick Bronze
I'll be honest, when I heard there was a Pokémon fan game created inside of Roblox, I asked myself, "Has science gone too far?" I know what some people are thinking already. "Eww, Roblox? I'm never touching that." You know what? If you're that person, I honestly can't blame you. Roblox has a renowned reputation for being one of those games that harbors excessively annoying children and brain-dead morons. But before I even talk about the effect Roblox has on this game, I'll give out my numerical score for this game.
8.5 / 10.
8.5 / 10 if you're not digging the rainbow text I worked soooo hard on.
8.5 / 10 if you're not digging the rainbow text I worked soooo hard on.
Of course, there are plenty of reasons behind my decision to give this game quite a high grading, but there's also plenty of reasons as to why I didn't generously bestow upon this game a perfect score of 10 / 10. To summarize this game, it stands out very well as one of few fan games to be so fully developed in a 3D environment. However, the one real drawback to this game is the pay-to-win aspects of it. Pay-to-win has probably never been an issue in a Pokémon fan game, which is why it's something I'd like to address in detail for this review.
The story of Brick Bronze follows the traditional Pokémon formula very well. You get a Pokémon from a Professor, collect gym badges, and fight off some evil organization that feels the need to put the word "team" before their organization's name. Like regular Pokémon games, you also have a rival of sorts that helps add some atmosphere to the game while progressing the plot. In the case of Brick Bronze, his name is Jake and you can't rename him Asshat, even if you wanted to (We'll be talking about Roblox's obscene filtering system soon as well). Now, the first instance of Pay-to-win has already presented itself just after you've collected your starter Pokémon.
If micro transactions are truly not a bother to you or if you think rants aren't important then feel free to jump to the next section.
That's right, you can buy another starter Pokémon just in case you're not satisfied with one out of all 21 starters (including the newest editions from Sun and Moon). However, you can do this before you even walk two steps and fight your rival for the first time. I would know because I ended up fighting Jake with both a Chimchar and a Popplio. But before we dive into the economics of this pay-to-win environment, let's talk a little bit about what a R$ even is. R$ is just a way to abbreviate the term "Robux." Robux is a form of currency used globally across all games that offer paid services on Roblox. It is only obtainable through a few methods, the most common being purchased with real money. Here's an official Roblox page describing how one obtains Robux. In comparison to the average cost of other services and cosmetics provided on Roblox, Brick Bronze offers large quantities of goods for cheap amounts of cash, but the problem here is that Robux have to be bought in some form of bulk. The minimum amount you can pay for in one purchase is 400 Robux. That equates to 4.95 US Dollars, meaning an additional starter from any region costs about 30¢. On the bright side, the remaining 380 Robux you would have after buying another starter is more than plenty to last you through the rest of your play-through. This micro transaction process is just very unfortunate for the individuals who can't afford to compromise between Charmander and Torchic (I'm looking at all you EDGELORDS out there) and want nothing more from the game. This is of course the only way to obtain starters without any outside interference. Good luck trading for another starter by the way, because with low female-to-male gender rates that all starters have, not many people are out there to trade you their offspring. Breeding starters is made difficult because of this, the fact that Ditto is not available in game yet, and worst of all, you can't soft reset your purchased starters. That's right, you'd have to buy another one if it has a bad nature and/or it's not female unless you're lucky like me :joy:. But of course there's more to buy in this game than just starters. For just 50 Robux, you can buy an Experience Share that functions like it does in modern games this early as well. I can definitely say that I would've had to grind an awful lot just to keep my Pokémon on par with the game's pace if I didn't buy this from the get-go. It's really unfortunate that you're expected to pay a portion of real money to obtain an item that has been present in literally every official Pokémon game. On top of the Exp. Share, a Shiny Charm is available for 500 Robux (AKA MORE THAN THE MINIMUM PURCHASE) as well as a new item called an Ability Charm for 500, which is required to obtain Hidden Abilities in the first place. Ok, so you can pay money for some more options, what's the big deal? The big deal with having to invest so much money in order to obtain HAs is the fact that there is a large focus on online battling and trading in Brick Bronze. Which means you are automatically limited in options against others if you don't invest in an Ability Charm. If online was not a part of Brick Bronze, I would have no complaints over this feature if competitive was obsolete in the game, but your own story mode can be deprived of certain items without Battle Points. How do you get Battle Points in Brick Bronze? Well, you either beat others in online battles or you buy them with Robux. Do you see the large hole that micro transactions dig in this game? Four out of six of my team members would've been practically unobtainable without micro transactions and Eevee would've been unobtainable if I had not joined the official Brick Bronze group on Roblox. In fact, here is my party screen by the time I completed the current six gym demo:
How about we do some accounting to figure out how much Robux I spent in a single playthrough? I purchased an additional 2 starters (50), two bulk packages of 6 batteries to play the mining game from DPPt (36), an upgraded hover board (50), six 50BP packages (120), the EXP. Share (50), and a Master Ball (50). 356 Robux (almost all of my $4.95 I invested) for all of that. I couldn't even find an Old Amber from all that mining (which is why I settled for Archeops who's just as good really) and I only managed to buy a TM for Ice Beam and a Sceptilite with the 300BP I purchased. Mega Stones were honestly the biggest nuisance to deal with. Just in advance, if you'd like a mega Blaziken, Swampert, Sceptile, Gyarados, Gengar, Gardevoir, or Gallade, it's going to cost you 200 BP. Almost every other mega stone can be bought with PokéDollars, the regular currency you get from beating trainers. While this encourages participating in online battles, it's also quite unfair to make them obtainable through different methods like this, even if that is just my inner saltiness speaking. Overall, it's a shame that without investing some real cash into a fan game that could very easily become subject to a cease and desist you can't have the full experience of the game. If you think that it ends here, I've got some bad news for you. There's even more to spend on for temporary boosts.
On top of the Shiny Charm, you can purchase temporary increased shiny rates to make collecting shinies a really easy task. aDrive's series shows just how easy and quick it is to find shinies with said boosts in his own series. Some of these boosts make competitive an even easier endeavor to undertake. Perhaps all these complaints about competitive are unnecessary since many opponents you'll face will probably be simple-minded 10 year-olds who think they stand a chance, but nevertheless an advantage in acquiring competitive 'mons that is fueled by real money is still something to look down on in a game.
By the way, all I did was type in my own name, Shakeel, and it all got censored. I'm pulling out the racism clause here :sleeping:
"Wow, Raiden, you sure did do an awful lot of bagging on this game for giving it such a good score." Well, truthfully this is my only complaint about the game aside from one small thing that saddened me. There's a lot of good to talk about and the experience is so wonderful that I'll try to be shorter when it comes to covering the rest of this game's aspects.
I know what its like to compose for fan projects and because that's my primary role in anything fan game related, I think the soundtrack is worth mentioning in moderate detail. First of all, you can find a few selections from the game as well as the composer's page here.
Many songs are just remixes or revamps of existing pieces of music in the Pokémon world, such as the desert theme from RSE. Every original piece is very fitting for where it is placed in game and definitely sets the mood of the game. Despite all of this, I had the game muted for half the time? Why? Because I was disappointed in the trainer battle theme. Don't get me wrong, it's a great song, but the problem is that I recognized it from somewhere else. Sure enough, the trainer theme is taken straight from Pokémon Azurite, another fan game that is well in the works. I know nothing of whether or not the permissions to use that song were in check, but it was a definite deterrent from listening to the music in general. If that isn't bothersome then I highly recommend you enjoy the serene soundtrack of this game when playing through it.
Aesthetics & Gameplay
As mentioned earlier, Brick Bronze is a 3D game and controls like it's half X&Y and half Sun and Moon. You can walk in the cardinal directions and their midway points, but most of the time you can rotate the camera to your liking, letting you essentially walk in any direction you'd like to. Many pieces of the landscape are climbable and can be jumped off of, which makes exploring new areas more fun and interesting. The Roblox engine allows for puzzles that are far more interactive and complicated than your average Pokémon puzzling experiences. Gym puzzles can actually require more than a bit of thinking in certain situations.
Ah yes, everyone's favorite. "Hardcore" parkour.
The battling system functions just as well as Pokémon Showdown and feels a lot like it. Everything is fully functional, leaving little to talk about. Unfortunately there is no fancy camera work or actual 3D models. Brick Bronze uses animated graphics ripped from the modern Pokémon games. The battle backgrounds often have animated elements such as blowing sand or falling leaves and are generic 3D renditions of areas just like you'd see in 6th gen and onward. Even with relatively low quality terrain due to the nature of Roblox itself, the background is often mesmerizing and filled with objects that contribute a whole lot to the scene, especially in the 4th gym and in the route with all the glowing mushrooms.
I'm going to refrain from covering the story because that and nostalgia are pretty much the only reason why fan games hold any value. But if there's one thing that I'll say about it, it's that it involves a lot of legendary Pokémon throughout it, which is something that a lot of fan games tend to do that kind of takes away from their significance. Other than that, the story will keep you wanting more. I ended up finishing the game in two days because of my desire to keep going and seeing what was ahead. Unfortunately, the closer you get to the end of the demo, the more rushed the story-line feels. The last 3 badges currently available felt like they were obtained one after the other. At the least I can say the game has a good hook that draws you in all the way to that point at the very least.
Overall, it is somewhat difficult to review a game where the experience is everything. Like I said though, this game is an 8.5 / 10 and I really do mean it when I say it's worth busting out your old Roblox account or creating a new one for the first time just to take in the beauty that is this project. You can feel all the hard work each team member put in to make this project possible and while it may be difficult and/or tedious without the assistance of micro transactions it will definitely be another great adventure to undertake in the world of both fan games and Pokémon as a whole. Thank you for reading this review (which was really just an assembly of my thoughts after beating the game). I just thought this game was engaging and unique enough to talk about for a bit, even if a lot of it was complaints. After all, if you don't speak up, nothing will ever get fixed ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Pokémon Brick Bronze can be found here:
It requires the Roblox launcher to be installed to play it.
Also this review was going to be a lot longer but I suck which is why this is a short review. Sorry about that. q.q
Stay classy, Relic Castle!