Review: Pokémon Infinite Fusion

Hello again, little monsters. It’s Saturday for me again, which means I am free to write about ANYTHING I want. Something Something Saturday features a review today. A review of a very unique Pokémon game, that you can download for free. Today I review Pokémon Infinite Fusion (v 4.4)

The Concept:
The game takes you to Kanto again which by now I even know better than the layout of my 20m² apartment. It mostly follows the original story of Red’s journey to become a Pokémon champion, however since this is an RPG-Maker game and NOT a Romhack there are quite a few twists and turns in both the story and the very way the game plays, because in this game you combine Pokémon into a “new” Pokémon. These Pokémon consist out of a head part, which takes 2/3 ‘s of its original HP, Special Attack and Special defence along with ⅓ of the stat whatever you use for a body, and the body provides ⅔ of the physical stats and ⅓ is given to it by the head. With this you can create some awesome combinations of typings, movesets  and abilities. All you need is some DNA Splicers and some room on your team. A great concept for both casual players, who want to create some fun fusions or for hardcore battlers who want to create their perfect lifeforms. The sprite style is based on the Pokémon Fusion Generator website, so it consists of somewhat sloppily pasted headsprites and pallet swaps, but these combinations can be utterly hilarious. Would you rather prefer some decent sprites for your beloved creatures like me? No worries! The game has an amazingly healthy community on both Reddit and Discord where plenty of helpful people will help you obtain some amazing custom sprites, which are very easy to use. In terms of the game concept , I would even go as far as to say that there is no better game out there, this is the most unique yet still Pokémon feeling fangame I have played.

Story and Flavour:
The game also features a story about Team Rocket trying to use the fusion to conquer the world. The way the game delivers it is truly phenomenal, the story felt more compelling than Firered and Leafgreen playthrough, and also blew Let’s Go Eevee’s storytelling out of the water. Giovanni feels a lot more fearsome and his goals quite a bit more tangible. This time he ACTUALLY has a half decent plan. You will meet new people and fight Team Rocket alongside allies at times, which gives the game some much needed gravitas. Do not worry however the game also is quite lighthearted , it will never be as grim as Pokémon reborn, yet also never as silly as Pokémon Clover. By doing so the game keeps the feeling very much intact. Dialogue has been changed to reflect our modern  world a lot better and is rich in fourth wall breaking humor and plenty of easter eggs. Gone are the NPC’s who don’t really say anything, these people feel much more alive. When you walk into an apartment in Celadon city , people of different floors will interact with each other, gossip about the guy upstairs being into weird shit, or have issues you can only resolve by talking to a friend of them first. It makes the whole package feel much more interwoven, something that is often lacking in the main series and that is certainly missing in plenty of fangames.
The picture portrayed of a Pokémon world where there is over 90.000 species of Pokémon to catch is done very well, contributing to a compelling and immersive experience.

Technical Stuff:
Before we address the main thing, the gameplay lets go over the technical thingies an umbrella term for everything from music to graphics to…uhm.. like controls and stuff, forgive me for the crude terms, I am a very atechnical woman.  Let’s begin with the looksies first. It features a Gen III/ Game boy advance tile and sprite set, as well the options to go into a quasi 3d like in the fourth gen games. You have the choice from 3 different menu sets and few screen sizes. Let’s talk about the negatives first so we can end on a positive. Their own design layout named Next Gen is very very ugly, not just bad looking, no like if Muk had a mother in law and she woke up with the wrong goop out of the bed ugly.  Luckily we can choose the classic Gen III layout so that problem is fixed. The game features some custom locations, like the Rocket Sewers , Virtual Reality and “the nightclub’ as well as Johto of the past that all look lovely and well and cleverly designed…. well except virtual reality..that’s colorful so I like it..but mapwise it’s a tad lazy. The biggest gripe I have with the graphics is that there are huuuuge frame and speed drops when things get visually spectacular.
Ice Beam looks very pretty but you will always see it in slow motion. Virtual reality makes me happy when I run through it…unfortunately I ran at slower than a Slugma.
Other than that there are a few graphical glitches, you can glitch through some rocks, when you walk under cycling road you glitch onto it and some doors and stairways look bigger than their actual ‘transportation zone’ On a positive note, there are no weird resizing glitches or sudden pop up, and should you ever get stuck the game features an item..as well as that it rebranded teleport to an alternate to fly, for an easy fix. I do love the music in the game, Team Rocket bases of less consequence oftenly feature the “Prepare for Trouble song’ the Arcade features Pokémon Stadiums Minigame theme, and some songs now have variants with more intensity. In case of the “Prepare for trouble’ song however I must add that , each time you get into an encounter it reloops, which can get annoying. So bring some repels on your journey if you don’t want to go insane. The custom tracks would also benefit from a bit longer runtime in general before looping but that is just a nitpick. All in all technically , I have played better games but nothing except for the massive slowdown is too much of a dealbreaker to me.

Gameplay:
Onto the biggy the actual gameplay of Infinite Fusion. Here I can happily say that this is THE single best Pokémon-fan game I EVER played. In fact it might even be in the top 3 favorite pokémon games whatsoever for me. I adore this game. It manages to balance things exactly right. Want to play it a bit casual, you can do that, want to hunt for the greater teams, you got options for that as well. The difficulty is spot on, dead drop perfect. Many fan games like Reborn or Pokémon Insurgence tend to go over the top with their difficulty.  Pokémon in my eyes has always about building your very own dream team, Reborn’s special gyms kinda force you to bring specialised teams and run a dozen mon’s at the same time, while Insurgence can be quite grindy if your intentions is just to try out some of their new Pokémon, it also almost wants you to do EV training, which I will flatout say is not fun. No matter how good you are as a battler EV training SUCKS. Fangames that force me into such antics really kill my high. Infinite fusion has non of those antics. Yes you will not be able to outlevel bosses like Giovanni if you run a 6 mon team, not unless you do some serious grinding, no you cant willy nilly trough an Igglybuff and Smoochum together because they look cute and expect it to be a powerhouse. You will have to be smart about what moves you pick, gone is the days of just four attacks of both special and physical, you will have to build your mons.. but that is what this game is about and it hands you the tools accordingly.
NPC’s tell you how fusions work…more or less, trainer school is a good place to visit, and all the moves you are given by gym leaders (non randomised)  and the moves npc’s give you help you build actually decent teams. Status Moves like inflicting burn , poison or paralysis are no longer unpractical time stallers, they actually matter in the battles. The amazing randomiser, (where you can very specifically determine stat pool differences)  makes this game a true gem. Though you have to save your game in a normal slot first, you can randomise your second games. I really recommend anyone to play randomise, because the level of surprise when encountering these fusions in the wild is just priceless… and beats finding a pidgey or rattata again by a million times over. The game offers you every tool you need to have a good time. Do you want to run multiple mon’s , the game offers you near infinite repeat battles so you can grind a new one up toute suite.  Do you want to switch up movesets easily? No problem, HM’s are forgettable and as soon as vermillion city you encounter the move tutor who learns you old moves for a mere 1000 pokedollar. Do you like the casino? It’s there.. and every single game is playable. Battle frontier like battles? Present after beating the third gym. Except for follower Pokémon(which with 90.000 possible combinations would be quite impossible)  everything you can possibly want is there.
Well , the game only features the full Kanto and Johto dex along as some Hoenn and Sinnoh guest appearances.  Around the time you reach Erica, the game starts to deviate from R/B and FR/LG quite a bit, new puzzles, new stories, new npc’s and these puzzles are often more challenging takes on old classics or sometimes even completely new ideas. For example , in the post game you go to the Slowpoke well in Azalea town and find out it’s clogged with shelders. To solve this you have to push Slowpokes with strength towards them so they evolve and are no longer clogging the draining hole. What a clever idea. Whitney’s gym puzzle being based on the counting game from Pokémon stadium featuring all kinds of cute mon’s a stroke of brilliance, and I loved the added challenge of the Silph Co dungeon.
This game walks the perfect line of challenge versus frustration and will make you into a better Pokémon trainer, even if you are a casual player, without forcing you to hatch a gazillion eggs and slay fifty gastley’s just to get some stats.
You still can decide how you play this game. With a clever team you can easily take on opponents of up to 15 to 20 levels higher and still come out victorious, do you play to have cute mons , there is plenty options for you to get them strong enough to beat the tougher bosses, and with not one but TWO active daycare centers as well as pokeballs that improve iv’s or draw out hidden abilities the competitive trainers can enjoy this too. Clever items such as miststones, which evolve any Pokémon regardless of method or level as well as side quests to get special items or moves allow for maximum customisation. With a super solid campaign and a very health after game including Johtho and Gym Leader rematches, (the best postgame since Gold.. and maybe Omega Ruby) this free game is very much for every type of player, for any amount of time. With a very alive Reddit community, expandable box system and so many options, I am even tempted to catch them all.

My rating
Though some mon’s look very cobbled together, and other technical problems are bound to incur, there is nothing like this game that even remotely compares for me in terms of fangames. I would rate this an absolute MUST PLAY, this may very well be the best Kanto based game I ever played, it feels alive, vibrant, and real. I was completely immersed during my time with Infinite Fusion. If you have some time to kill, a love for the games and a creative spark in you, this is definitely a game for you to. Become a better trainer, and have more fun than in any other Pokemon Fan game, this one game I truly love.

So how about you my little monsters? Have you played Infinite Fusion yet? What is your favorite fangame? Let me know in the comments. Keep fusing your Pokémon, keep playing games and most of all stay pink! Until we read again.

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