Cassette Beasts – Game Review

Growing up in the 00’s as most kids my age, I became obsessed with Pokémon. The games, the cards, the TV shows, the movies. Any piece of Pokémon content came my way, and I happily devoured it.  Savouring every new Pokémon I would see for the first time. For Pokémon clones however my favourite has always been Digimon, although Monster Sanctuary did come close. Yet when I saw a new one coming out which was based on the Wirral, I had to check it out!

Details of Cassette Beasts

Developer: Bytten Studio

Publisher: Raw Fury

Platform: Windows (Steam), Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One

Release Date: 26th April 2023

Age Rating: 7

The Story of Cassette Beasts

Cassette Beasts review - the brilliance of Pokémon all grown up |  Eurogamer.net
Image Source: Eurogamer

Taking place in New Wirral you are given a selection of various beasts before you begin your quest. Having selected your starting beast you will proceed to stumble across your first companion of the game- Kayleigh. They guide you through a tutorial and then you really have free roam of New Wirral. With the game being more akin to the newest Pokémon entrees’ Scarlett and Violet.

Gameplay of Cassette Beasts

Cassette Beasts review: a Pokémon-like that totally satisfies - Polygon
Image Source: Polygon

The biggest differences from main competitor Pokémon are three things. You transform into your beasts and not capture them. You record their forms with a cassette you can use to transform into them, you don’t actually catch them. Something all animal lovers can appreciate. And lastly you fight as a duo. With you being able to find, unlock, learn more about, and develop friendships with various companions. Each companion has their own series of quests that tells you more about them. Whilst also having you exploring areas of the map you might not have saw or been able to get to the first time you visited. 

With several different objectives from the start Cassette Beasts more closely resembles the open world nature of the newer Pokémon games; Scarlett and Violett. There are side quests where you can help out townsfolk, companion quests, multiple different types of boss fights and much more! You will never find yourself being bored as you explore the Wirral.

The Beasts of Cassette Beasts

Cassette Beasts is a clever (and complicated) riff on Pokémon | Digital  Trends
Image Source: Digital Trends

Firstly, I need to mention the wide range of starter beasts you have to select from at the start. This is by far one of the more difficult early challenges in the game. However, don’t be to disheartened to pick anyone you wish as most can be caught relatively easily. I myself went for Bansheep- a sheep banshee. The design was simple but brilliant and really popped vibrantly out from the assorted battle backgrounds.

Cassette Beasts 'Fusion' trailer - Gematsu
Image Source: Gematsu

Somewhat like in Digimon your Cassette Beasts can fuse together with it only being allowed to be used once per battle. It sees your two Beasts fuse into an amalgamation of the two. Which does bring some memorable combinations as well as some frighting nightmare fuel creations. With hundreds of variations you will be kept busy trying to see them all.

Another unique aspect of this game is its own versions of shinnies, called Bootlegs. Bootlegs have a different colour than the normal beast and will inherit a different typing allowing for even more shiny hunting to have every variation of your favourite beast!

Summary

Cassette Beasts review: a Pokémon-like that totally satisfies - Polygon
Image Source: Polygon

In conclusion, Cassette Beasts is the best Pokémon like game to braise the world in recent years, and that’s coming from a die-hard Digimon fan. I found myself falling in love with the story, the art style, the world, the beasts, the fusing mechanics and much more! The ability to take moves from one beast and apply it to another meant levelling up multiple beasts were actually worth it, as you could stockpile deadly moves. This is a game ultimately made by Pokémon fans for Pokémon fans, improving on ways that bring more customization and freedom to the player than Pokémon does. All this dressed in a lovely purple and green colour schemed UI that really pops with the cell shading art style.

Overall Rating: 10 – Masterpiece!

Platform Played On: Steam Deck

Game Time At Review: 41.8Hours

Recommendation: Yes

You can purchase Cassette Beasts on Steam.

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