Imagine if you will, a world without Pokemon. A world that never heard the phrase "Gotta catch 'em all!” Kind of hard, eh? Well, if such a world existed, then likely, Robopon would not have existed either.
To say that Robopon's inspiration was Pokemon would be an understatement. From being a kid who has to become a champion master of Robopon, he goes by the phrase "Gotta build 'em all" (sound familiar?) and has to "build" all 150 Robopon, not including the secret ones (ala Pokemon & Mew). There is even a group of people whom identify themselves in the game as the "Elite Eight". As to the role they play, and how familiar it is to Pokemon, I will leave that up to you to find out.
However, to discredit the game as simply a Pokemon clone, and nothing more, would be undermining some of the innovation that went into this title, such as the move customization. To learn new moves, you must find "software" in this game, and it acts much like the TM's from Pokemon, using one will invoke a new skill. However, they came up with a neat idea for this. Combining software can create certain super-moves. Like, if you give your Robopon 1 "Water" software and 1 "Fire" software, he will learn a water move, and a fire move. But, this also creates a secret move called Steam. And if you use, say, 1 "Dark" software and 1 "Light" software, you get a secret move called Babble. The combinations here are mid-boggling.
This title also introduced a piece of technology called the IR port. Not to be confused with the unit currently being used by the game Boktai, this game, instead of detecting the amount of light present, detects signals from Remote Controls. Yes, remote controls, like the one you use to flip through channels. How it is used, I will let you find out, since I don’t want to spoil all the fun.
My biggest argument with this game is the horrific control scheme. There is major control lag; any given button can take upwards of a second or more to react, unlike the instantaneous reactions of most games. And, a rather big annoyance, if you want to go out of a building, you have to step on the doormat. You don’t have to touch the door, just step on the mat. You may be thinking "Aw, that’s not so bad, that’s actually kind of convenient." Well, given how bad Robopon's controls already are, this method of exiting a building can make even the simple task of investigating the other side of a house, hard work.
This game is not for the faint of heart, and only hardcore gamers need apply. But if you like nostalgia and want to see one of the biggest rip-off scenarios since Martha Stewart, then Robopon is the game for you.