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I Can't Believe It's Not Pokémon! - Let's Play Haypi Monster
Mobile Leprechaun

[table of contents]
Episode 1: A Picture-Intensive Intro and Summary of Previous Action

RAMBLY INTRO


Second liveblog; haven't even finished my first yet, so I'm pretty well setting myself up for failure here. I suppose I will begin by explaining what this "Haypi Monsters" is exactly. It's one of the multitude of free games in the iOS App Store, and it's a pretty new one at that, having made its debut about five days ago as of this writing. Just a heads up here, but it did not occur to me to do an LP of this game when I first started, so I'm afraid I'll have to describe most of the beginning stuff rather than show you with screen shots. Oh well, it was kind of a boring beginning anyway.

Here is what caught my eye as I was idly rambling about looking to cram my new phone with games and time-wastes. As you can see from looking at the third promotional image, the battle system in this game is suspiciously familiar... Hmmmm... ¬_¬

After a brief download, I was able to hop right in and get to the game itself. Thanks to the magic of screenshots, you are too!

THE GAME ITSELF


Please pardon the reduced quality of the GIFs. Here's our lovely title screen. I wonder who our obligatory cute little mascot is...

After the title screen, I was whisked into the world of Haypi by Professor Oa-, I mean, a fugly little leprechaun-vole guy. He went into exposition mode, and there's like a story to it all about evil taking over the land and making the 'mons violent or something, but it's really not that important. The game then proceeded to tie me to a post and do all of my shit for me since apparently new players are idiots or something. It was sort of like when the old man from Pokémon Red/Blue shows you how to catch a Weedle, except it took much longer and even demonstrated the most basic of concepts. On the positive side, though, it taught me about the weird Synthesis feature, which I will get into later.

This is like the game's overworld. As you can see, the overworld's hub is the green tree place that says "Home" on it. The places that branch from the hub are where you can fight and catch wild 'mons, but it's pretty different from what you'd see in Pokémon as you'll see in a minute. There's also PVP and co-op areas to the sides, but I'm obviously not even close to being ready for either of those. It's fairly obvious from looking at the little floating islands that each one has an elemental-theme and has 'mons with corresponding types there.

Now at this point you might be thinking, "Gee, Mobile, so far those Pokémon comparisons you made in the title are pretty loose. I think you may have oversold the similarities a little." But hang in there for me. I promise you, it's about to get into Game Freak lawsuit territory up in this biznatch. Observe:

This is the 'encyclopedia' entry for my starter, Draco. You can get to said encyclopedia from the "Home" hub. Sadly, part of the game holding my hand at the beginning meant that I didn't even get to choose my own starter, so I'm sort of stuck with the Charmander look-alike. Mine was a girl, so I named her Charlotte, as I am unable to resist a good Poké-Pun.

Whoa, hold on. I didn't really look at the 'dex entry too carefully before now. What did it just say?

This dragonling is so young that its eyes can't yet open.

...Uh... So those are like just pupil and iris patterns on its shut eyelids, then...? Okay, this is now my headcanon.

Also, just did a metric-to-English conversion on the height and weight and HOLY SHIT CHARLOTTE IS SIX AND A HALF FEET TALL AND WEIGHS TWO HUNDRED TWENTY POUNDS! Whoa, that's just... Um... That's a big fucking starter. So I guess I had a giant, blind, helpless baby parrot as a starter, then? Okay... Whoa...

You can also view your 'mons and their stats from the "Home" hub. This is what Charlotte looks like now. She evolved into a Charmeleon Draconio at level 12, and according to the 'dex she's the exact same size as when she was a Draco. That's some weird-ass biology, even for a 'mons game. Behold her measly moveset of only three attacks. Let's have a look at two of them.

Here's Strike, which I have found to be basically the default move in general. Almost every 'mon I've fought/caught thus far knows Strike. This move is a "Neutral" type attack. Now I might be grasping at straws here, but let's make a quick comparison between this move and Tackle from Pokémon.

Strike description:

Charge at your opponent.

Tackle description from Gold/Silver/Crystal:

A full-body charge attack.

Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald:

Charges the foe with a full-body tackle.

FireRed/LeafGreen:

A physical attack in which the user charges, full body, into the foe.

Colosseum/XD:

Charges the target with a full-body tackle.

Yeah, you see where I'm going with this. Now let's see Burn:

The other move Charlotte started out with. I'm not even gonna bother comparing it to Ember. On the subject of debuffs, however, I have found that debuffs can stack in this game. In other words, you can be poisoned, burned and asleep hypnotized at the same time. Kinda neat, provided you're not the one this is happening to.

While we're still at the "Home" hub (which I have sadly forgotten to take a screencap of), let's look at some of the other things you can do from here.

This is the "Synthesis" area. Now I'm not sure whether or not they lifted this feature from some other 'mons game, but I will give the Haypi folks some points for originality on it. After completing a level in the game, you are awarded with items and money. When you clear an entire area, you are given something called a Synthesis Scroll. What you do with one of these is you take a few hapless little unevolved 'mons of the type specified on the scroll and you put them on those nest-looking things. Then, you pay a fee, and presto! Your poor little innocent critters have been fused into an abomination before God. During the beginning railroady bit, I was forced to subject a couple Plant-type Com Mons to this process, resulting in...

Choffing! His species is actually called Twiggy, but I thought he looked like a half-Chestnut half-Koffing. Two can play at the unoriginal name game, Haypi. That hold item he's got is supposed to evolve him into a Branchy at level 18 or something. Whather or not I end up leveling him that far remains to be seen.

Here's the reward center, another place accessible from the hub. Every day you're able to collect some free items after waiting for an allotted amount of time. The item that was in the first slot was two Sealing Cards, Haypi's answer to Pokéballs. I am sort of lost as to how being online factors into the rewards, but eh. Speaking of online...

Here's the game's omnipresent chat. So far, most of the people who chat appear to be fairly sane, with a couple eight year-olds who just learned the word "fuck" here and there. That guy up at the top added me as friend recently. I'm not exactly sure why, but I think it might be because I made a "the rent is too damn high" joke. He seems pretty cool. c:

More chat. Not sure why I needed two screenshots of it, in retrospect. "were UNSTOPPABLE!"

And here is my trainer card thing. As you can see, I am a hideous leprechaun-vole with an over-large sunhat and Mickey Mouse gloves. I am also level 10, which means that all 'mons I catch are automatically scaled down to level 10 regardless of their level before capture. :( I'm not sure if lower-level 'mons are scaled up, but something tells me that they aren't.

Okay, so far the Pokémon similarities are a tad clearer, but the accusation that this is a blatant ripoff is still a bit sketchy. Well, let's see what you think after we look at...

THE BATTLE MECHANICS

This right here is where the action takes place. This is a level in the volcano area, which is the furthest accessible area for me so far. Basically, instead of walking around in grass or a cave for chance encounters and interacting with NPCs and such, this game has you go about the battling-business Mario Party style. You roll a die and move however many spaces on the board. Most of the spaces are battles with wild 'mons, but sometimes you'll land on spaces that give you something good, like money or stat boosts. Conversely, some spaces also grant undesirable effects, so the outcome of your run sometimes depends on whether or not you land on the good spaces. Really though, for the tougher runs, it's mostly a matter of how many healing items you have, and how willing you are to use them at given points. Let's see what a battle looks like.

This is what I was talking about when I said that Haypi Monster is a Pokémon ripoff. That is pretty much a wholesale clone of the entire Pokémon battle experience right there. Also Joey is a super-unoriginal 'mon name just sayin'. The small card icon up by the health bar means that there's another 'mon to battle after this one. Having wild team battles appears to be another one of this game's idiosyncrasies. Notice how it says "Both monsters are equal in stats" despite the fact that the Joey is a higher level than Shellda here. At the beginning in each battle, the little dialog box will indicate which 'mon is "more powerful".

I have since learned that this is utter bullshit. What it actually means is that one 'mon has a type advantage over the other (a fact that should be glaringly obvious already), but it otherwise has absolutely no bearing on power or stats or any of that. You could be whatever the HaypiMon equivalent of a Magikarp is at level 1 fighting a level 75 Captain Ersatz Ho-Oh, and it would still tell you that your 'mon is "more powerful". Bleh.

Swords Dance. Almost forgot that. They took Swords Dance too. If Game Freak ever finds out about this game, there's gonna be a hell of a legal fiasco. Also, lookit the Sandshrew. Look at him. He was stolen away from Nintendo's bosom. Kidnapped, I tell you!

I've been grinding my sorely-underleveled little team of two on the hardest level so far, pitting them against level 18 'mons and driving them as far as I can before the both of them give out. One good thing about this game is that you don't lose money upon blackout. Instead, you are given the option to use a Revive Card (if you have one) or buy yourself back into the game for three gold coins. Both options will let you continue from where you were with full HP and PP as though nothing happened. However, I had foolishly piddled all two Revive Cards I had on my person in earlier ventures and was unwilling to pay up to continue.

So I got to look at this screen for the umpteenth time. Why yes, Mister Free Game, I would love to have you lecture me through simple mechanics again! Please, show me the helpful "Detail".

...Uh, no hablo Chinese. Maybe if I select a different language...

But alas, switching it from "Language" to English did nothing. I guess we could call that a FAIL HELP help fail?

(Is tomato'd.)

Okay, awful jokes aside, suppose I wanted to have some more of those gold coins on hand in case I needed to revive my team in a pinch. Hell, those coins are useful for more than just that. You can use them to buy all sorts of high-end items in the shop that you can't buy with the silver coins, and you can even buy 'mons straight out of the Pokédex for as low as 150 gold coins. But see, gold coins are not easy to come by, and you're only awarded about three at most each time you clear an area. How would you ever hope to get enough dough to buy that Squirtle-equivalent you should have been allowed to pick at the beginning? Well...

You can turn your worthless green paper money in for some, of course! Yes, for only $100, you can get a whole barrel of virtual money to spend on stuff for your team of virtual monsters who aren't even proper Pokémon! Great deal, huh? Blehhhhhh.

Right, enough bitching about how this is an Allegedly Free Game, let's look at my team of virtual monsters who aren't even proper Pokémon. Those two up top are my current fighters, Shellda the Shellder Chowda and Samshrewd the Sandshrew Armon. They happen to be the two best suited for the volcano area, and they are likely going to be shoved into a dusty corner and forgotten about after I clear it. Or maybe not, if the next area is the rock/ground place. Who knows.

As you can see by what I named the Pinchey and Katch that's really what they called the shark one in my team, I have gotten the opportunity to read some Homestuck over the holiday season. Vriska and Feferi have not been trained much and possibly never will, but again, who knows. The spider-looking one, WHGW?! (short for What Hath God Wrought?!) is another Synthesis victim, made from two Buds into an Octobud. You would think you need eight for that, but I won't complain since there's less effort involved. Finally, the one on the end is Misdreavape the Mischief... These species names are going to kill me, I swear. She's probably nothing special. Moving on.

From left to right: PsyFawkes the Mythik (possibly useful later), good ol' Charlotte, Chaz the Lizzy, and Astley the Paranormal. I am drowning in Com Mons with terrible names.

Ooh, here's something interesting for a change. On the very far left we have a 'mon I was given out of the blue after I completed the first area (I think). This is what is called a Poe. The 'dex entry says that it can evolve into different things by eating certain types of honey. Hmmm, I thought, how familiar... So I named her EveeThePooh. :B

As for the others, from left to right, Growlike the Flare, Dudette the Geo, and Rocko the Joey. If I end up getting a male whatever the turtle one was, I'm naming him Filbert.

One thing I forgot to mention: You may have noticed that my working team consists of only two 'mons. This is due to a restriction the game has on me until I get to a certain point, one achievement needed for each other possible slot. Again, bleh.


Whew, that was a long first installment. I'll try to be less wordy for next time. I'll also try to grind Shellda and Samshrewd until they evolve so next installment will be more interesting. Feel free to comment if you'd like, and any criticism on my LPing skills is welcome and appreciated. Until next time. :D
27th Dec '12 6:05:54 PM flag for mods
comments
Well, if you're looking for games that concepts were shamelessly ripped from, that Synthesis thing reminds me a bit of Dragon Quest Monsters.

I think your skills as a L Per are just fine. Don't worry about being too ambitious and starting multiple projects at once; I have at least four unfinished blogs, but I believe that it's better to take long breaks and experiment with new things than to press on when things get difficult or boring (though they should be returned to occasionally to appease the audience). I just hope you're having fun with this rip-off, because I rather enjoyed reading this, and I encourage you to keep on.
EndarkCuli 28th Dec 12
Mobile, you are awesome. Please keep being awesome.

Also, "Lizzy"... wut.
WonderSquid 3rd Jan 13
...Cool. o-o
TheJinny 31st Jan 13
Really? Synthesis is rather similar to DNA-digivolving/Jugrossing.
azu 18th May 13
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