Palworld is a game that seemingly came out of nowhere and took the world by storm, selling millions of copies in mere days. But with great success comes great controversy, especially in the case of Palworld where many claim it is a complete rip-off of the Pokémon games made by Nintendo.
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Is Palworld a Pokémon Rip-Off?
Having played over 30 hours of Palworld, I can confirm this is simply not true.
Merely having a mechanic where creatures can be caught and tamed and then used for battle doesn’t make Palworld a Pokémon rip-off. And while a few Pals may have some design characteristics that remind us of certain Pokémon, it looks like a case of inspiration. It has already been proven that they are completely different assets.
Besides that, Palworld’s gameplay loop is far from being similar to the Pokémon games. One thing is for sure though – it is way better than any of the recent Pokémon titles.
So let’s look at what makes Palworld stand out as its own game.
Palworld isn’t a game where there are multiple towns with you going around fighting the gym leaders of each town. No. Palworld instead is a survival game where the open world is vast and full of wild Pals and different biomes with only a couple of small villages here and there.
You are required to make your own base and even have your captured Pals work within the base doing several tasks. This is a vital part and is needed to progress throughout the game as you build bigger and better things.
Also, in typical survival fashion, you even have to manage your hunger AND the hunger of every Pal in your team and the ones working at your base. Pals can even get sick or depressed and you have to actively take care of them, as opposed to simply going to a Pokémon Center and getting them healed like it is in Pokémon games.
You even have the ability to hunt down and cook the meat of the same Pals you capture and tame as your pets. You can even feed the meat of a Pal to a Pal of the same species, which is essentially cannibalism. But Pocketpair just doesn’t care, and I love it! You will never see things like this in a Pokémon game.
Explosive Real-Time Combat
What makes Palworld fundamentally different from the Pokémon games is the fact that it isn’t turn-based battles. Instead, Palworld has real-time battles in full 3D space where not only do your Pals fight but your character can attack as well.
You can also mount your Pals and then control its attack as well as use your own weapons while riding. The number of ways that you can approach any given fight in Palworld is just astounding.
You can choose to fly above and breathe fire upon your enemies below as you ride on a dragon-like Pal. Or, you can destroy everything in your path by using a Pal as an explosive grenade or rocket launcher. The possibilities are endless with over 100 different Pals already in the early access version of the game.
Fighting And Even Capturing Humans
Due to how restrictive games are these days, one would automatically assume that one can’t capture a human with a Pal Sphere, right? Wrong.
In Palworld, you can capture humans. You can have them work at your base and even fight for you just like any other captured Pal. The game says that capturing humans is considered inhumane on the Palpagos Islands and still lets you do it anyway. But that’s a conversation for another day.
Gamers around the world will agree that adding guns to any game instantly makes it ten times better. Just being able to shoot the heck out of your enemies is undeniably fun, and Palworld does exactly that. If you ever imagined how Pokémon with guns would look like, this is it.
The game starts off with you making simple tools like bats, spears, and bows. But soon it expands your arsenal to more powerful weapons such as handguns, rifles, assault rifles. Hell, it even has rocket launchers!
Having guns in a game changes its entire dynamic and adds so much more to its combat. Pokémon games never allowed this due to the family-friendly nature of the franchise. But Palworld manages to add guns into the game without adding blood and gore. So, it ends up looking funny and goofy and something you can still show to a younger audience.
All of this is proof why Palworld isn’t a Pokémon rip-off and also why it is such a success. Pocketpair didn’t care about the things game developers typically worry about as they try to pander to certain audiences and standards. If anything, the Palworld vs Pokemon controversy has only brought more attention and players to the new title. And these players, including me, know how much fun it is!
Palworld continues to prove its mettle by constantly topping the charts, and The Pokemon Company hasn’t really said much about the baseless comparisons. And that’s all there is to it.