Mods for Minecraft have always fought to add entirely new gameplay mechanisms and features that give the game a different feel. They've gone as far as to turn it into first person shooters, zombie survival games and more. This time the modding team led by epicSplashBattle over on the Minecraft forums are trying to add the international sensation of Pokemon into Minecraft, and their mod, aptly named Pixelmon, already adds 87 Pokemon and has plenty of working mechanics involving pokemon battles, cathing them and even healing and storing them. Read on to find out more…
Let's start off with the Pokemon themselves. Like I said, there are 87 of them already in the mod and much more planned for the final release. They are all to scale in size and fully animated. Some of them look awesome and have lots of animations and effects, some of them less so and just have a very simple, badly texture model. They spawn randomly and with a random level and roam around your Minecraft world all day and night. There seems to be little biome restriction when it comes to spawning them, but this will probably be added later on. When you start a new world you get to pick your starter Pokemon which is then Lvl 5. Considering the randomness of the level of wild Pokemon, it is very hard to find one your level that you can actually beat. Trainers also spawn in the world and you can challenge and battle them as you find them.
On the mechanics side, the mod is very clunky. To battle anything, you need to send out your Pokemon straight in the face of your enemy, be it a wild Pokemon or a trainer. The battles work a strange way where you alternate between watching the 2 Pokemon jump against each other signifying attacks and navigating a menu to select your next attack. The attacks and effects are plenty and admirably complicate the combat system, but the way the battles work detracts your attention from the awesomeness of the array of attacks to the clumsiness of everything else.
There are also tons of items from the Pokemon games added by the mod like candy, potions, berries and more. Catching Pokemon is a challenge in itself, considering the entire system is not intuitive. Some very simple changes to the UI could easily fix this, and I expect this to be resolved by the time the mod is finished and I'm writing about it again. When your Pokemon faints, you need to heal it at a healing table, which takes considerable resources to craft. This means that the entire Pokemon aspect of gameplay is very much an end-game thing.
This all might make it sound like the mod is a complete mess, but it isn't, it's just noticeably under construction. Most of the things it adds are not something you'd want to be in your game all the time, but are something to try out and play with one afternoon. It's a monumental effort to add something like this into Minecraft, which is why it's taking some time and isn't quite done yet. I want people to pay attention to the mod, but still be aware of it's current flaws so they don't get too excited yet. It shows potential, but needs more stuff. Randomly generated villages with Pokecenters and Pokemarts like in the Pokemon games would certainly make the entire thing feel more whole and rounded out. I honestly think that you should pay attention to this mod, even if it doesn't seem very well put together at the moment. You can get it here:
Download the Pixelmon Mod (1.7.2.) for Minecraft 1.3.2 and below here!
What do you think can be added to this mod to make it more awesome? Leave your feedback in the comment section below.