Temtem early access: Managing expectations, hype and reality

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Temtem has drawn comparisons to Pokemon ahead of its early access launch, but the expectations and hype should be tempered a bit.

For the last two weeks, my feed has been alive with people talking about a new indy game called Temtem. It’s a game in which you play a young character going out, exploring a massive world and capturing, cataloguing and battling with a legion of strange animals. So, yeah, Pokemon.

The articles and comments about this constantly say things like, “the Pokemon game we wanted” and things like that.

Listen, we need to talk about this. Temtem looks fun and its art style is interesting but I think the community is putting a lot of hype into an indie title that can’t possibly match Nintendo’s level of quality.

Regardless of what you think of Nintendo’s games, I remind you that all 400-some of these Pokemon not only have battle animations but walking animations, idle animations, running animations and emotional response animations for outside of battle. They even each have a unique animation for dynamaxing, which is a nice touch. And despite Nintendo constantly getting flack for their online functionality, I promise you their servers are more reliable than that of CremaGames (the company who is making Temtem and you are now Googling).

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We keep doing this thing where something we love disappoints us, so we cling to something similar and put it on a pedestal before even playing it. It never works well.

Recently, everyone that was talking about how video game box stores were dead and that digital content is the way to go hyped Stadia. How’d that go? The launch was incredibly rocky and despite their best efforts, everyone who got one attacked it viciously because it didn’t exceed their preconceived expectations.

I remember selling the Ouya. People kept buying it, talking about how apps were going to replace console games (I’m not kidding). Those same people would come back within a week, heads slumped, asking to return it.

This happens all the time. Something in video games disappoints us a little and instead of working through it, we hop onto something similar that we know so little of. We fill in the blanks with our own wants and desires.

I’m not telling you to not get Temtem. By all means, support a small developer; that’s awesome.

I’d do it if it wasn’t for the fact that I have a Mac and they’re only making a PC release. But please don’t go into it expecting the next Pokemon. If it is? Awesome. That’s impressive. But I’ve been in the gaming community long enough to know that if everyone keeps hyping this up, they’re done for once everyone is forced to face disappointment.

Temtem goes into early access today, January 21, so we’ll finally be able to for ourselves what this “next Pokemon game” is all about. Hopefully, it doesn’t disappoint.