Palworld: an honest dynamic review

As many of you (namely one person) asked me to do a review of Palworld while I am exploring it, here I am.

First of all Ill start with copying the specs and performances review I made on Lemmy:
Performances Review on Linux / MacOS / SteamDeck
I am currently playing on Linux using Proton GE Custom latest version (8.27 but also tested 8.25).

My experience is the following.

Specs

- Ryzen 7 7730U (8c/16t) Laptop
- 16GB RAM (14 RAM + 2 VRAM)
- Decent performance SSD
- Ubuntu Linux 23.10 (with Xanmod 6.7 x64v3 Kernel)
- Wayland

Experience

- Could not test anything above Low settings due to severe stutter even in the menu and 95% RAM which lead to PC being stuck

- At low settings with different resolutions (from 720 to fullscreen 1080) i have 80-85% RAM usage (starting from a 21% base load) and 25-ish FPS performances

Workarounds

- Once you get the game installed, add it to Steam as a non steam game pointing directly to the game .exe, compatibility forced to Proton GE or Proton Experimental
- If it gives you some Visual C++ dependencies error, use ProtonTrick to install it in the Steam prefix
- I did not find any performance tips and tricks

Conclusion

While being playable, I feel that the game can see huge improvements on Linux. However, I think there is also a lot of telemetry (local or remote) / logging in the mix as every pre-release version has (looking at you My Time At Sandrock) and probably the graphics part (especially the engine part) needs to receive some improvements too, so I bet in about 1 month we will see a steady 40-ish FPS with those settings

The Game so Far

It's a strange game. Someone (sorry I don't remember which one of you) told me it resembles 80% ARK + 10% Pokemon + 10% Innovation. I did not play ARK (yet) so for me is 90% innovation.
I won't give a lore overview (if any) because you can read Wikipedia or Steam for that and for the trailers.

I will write in the comments (if necessary) the various new things I learn, but I will try to make this as a "journal" of a semi-casual gamer experience so that you can (maybe) walk in my shoes and get a taste of the game.

I will also make screenshots.

Is it Pokemon?
Every game involving capturing and enslaving (ahem training) innocent-looking creatures can be seen as a Pokeclone. We have various examples of innovative games taking the capture monster genre on another level (ye I am paid by Cassettes Beasts) but the innovation here seems more on the atmosphere than on the functionalities.

Of course all the Open World 3D part, crafting and so on was unseen on Pokemon until Pokemon Legends Arceus and (lol) the last installments. Anyway, the difference here is that you are NOT a good guy. The very first thing you have to do before capturing a Pal is beating it until it almost faints. If you continue, you kill it and fetch its loot. More: once you catch a Pal, the best thing you can do is enslaving (ahem assigning it) to your Base, which is basically a home for you and your servants (I can't see them in a different way). Even if you can actually treat them nicely (replenishing their food, building relax facilities) you are also free to be hyper efficient and replace the weakest ones with new ones you just caught.

So, is it Pokemon? No. Has fluffy and fantastic creatures, you can catch them with a Sphere, but the game is absolutely not oriented to the same audience Pokemon originally was oriented to. Or at least, that audience craves violence now, it seems.

I still haven't encountered the Pal that I can put in the Bazooka but I'll find it.

What else?
To me, I think this game is leveraging on the viral stuff around the politically incorrect (is that a word?) way of treating the Pals but I can also see a lot of things to discover in the open world settlement. The environment is already very very interesting, I think is also procedurally generated. You have a lot of challenging but funny quests and goals and for example I was very happy when I first crafted some decent clothing by (lol) beating a sheep-looking Pal, stealing its Wool making a Pal in the base process it for me.

/Part 1

I'll keep you updated!
 
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HammerKoopa

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The very first thing you have to do before capturing a Pal is beating it until it almost faints. If you continue, you kill it and fetch its loot. More: once you catch a Pal, the best thing you can do is enslaving (ahem assigning it) to your Base, which is basically a home for you and your servants (I can't see them in a different way). Even if you can actually treat them nicely (replenishing their food, building relax facilities) you are also free to be hyper efficient and replace the weakest ones with new ones you just caught.

BATMAN, THERE IS NO LAWS AGAINST THE PALS BATMAN
1706118915261.png
 
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alCannium27

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If any Pokemon fan tell me you ain't abusing pokemons by beating them into a pulp and lock them into a tiny ball which literally shreds their physical bodies into digits, with which they maybe put into digital purtatory for potentially eternity, and send them into cock fights for profit, or leave them feinted, to die defencelessly in the wild

then they are off their rockers, and i spit in their general direction and call their fathers hamsters and their mothers slept with furries. Bah!

This should have been darker - not even the nintendo float away with wins equivalent of """rescuing""" pals - but literally monster hunter in which you either murder or tame them to do ypu biddings

As i have said and will always say: humanity do be fuck yeah forever

Oh, and how about this? You tamed them by violence, and some of them may rebel, Shadow of War style? That's the man's game
 

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I don't know much about this game, but I am hoping that its success is a catalyst for something bigger. Pokemon single player has been boring for over a decade now and the formula is begging for new life. I am hoping that a developer creates a beautiful pixel-art pokemon clone that features role-play elements of the Johto region.
 
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Ross_Я

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I mean... It is kind of wrong to diss the fans of the original vibe?
Like, when I use pokemon in my TTRPG or whatever, I also tend to go for way more realistic and violent depictions of killer animals, I dig that. But at the same time, you cannot argue that the original vibes of the Pokemon games (my latest one was the Emerald, so my experience ends there, if anything) was fairytale-ish friendship and magic stuff, even given all the fighting.
And is that really bad? I mean, here we have this idea that art is absolutely free to interpretation of every viewer - and some viewers do nasty things with original idea. But sometimes it is good if the original idea sucks, and author can go fuck himself and his idea. It's a long discussion, but here are the general points.
So, in case of Pokemon, is original idea really that bad? I think, Pokemon is one of the few games where having multiple interpretations is a good thing. Like, sometimes I want to play DOOM or Manhunt, but on ocassion I want to play Viva Pinata. Pokemon games allow you to interpret it both ways, and I do not see the reason to go against any of those, since both are viable and quite enjoyable.

I am hoping that a developer creates a beautiful pixel-art pokemon clone that features role-play elements of the Johto region.
I am feeling we have enough of those.

As for the Palword itself - I really don't care, but to provide something to the topic of the thread, I've just made this screnshot:
LIC_Palworld.PNG
 
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I mean... It is kind of wrong to diss the fans of the original vibe?
Like, when I use pokemon in my TTRPG or whatever, I also tend to go for way more realistic and violent depictions of killer animal, I dig that. But at the same time, you cannot argue that the original vibes of the Pokemon games (my latest one was the Emerald, so my experience end there, if anything) was fairytail-ish friendship and magic stuff, even given all the fighting.
And is that really bad? I mean, here we have this idea that art is absolutely free to interpretation of every viewer - and some viewers do nasty things with original idea. But sometimes it is good if the original idea sucks, and author can go fuck himself and his idea. It's a long discussion, but here are the general points.
So, in case of Pokemon, is original idea really that bad? I think, Pokemon is one of the few games where having multiple interpretations are the good thing. Like, sometimes I want to play DOOM or Manhunt, but on ocassion I want to play Viva Pinata. Pokemon games allow you to interpret it both ways, and I do not see the reason to go against any of those, since both are viable and quite enjoyable.


I am feeling we have enough of those.

As for the Palword itself - I really don't care, but to provide something to the topic of the thread, I've just made this screnshot:
View attachment 87359
The specs are insane, confirmed
 
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GENOSAD

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I think Palworld is just another Jiminy Cockthroat game, but made by an indie studio this time around. Even with that aside, it's almost sickening to see how many other IPs it blatantly rips off in its UI and design. Breath of the Wild comes to mind, as the tablet you get is practically a carbon copy of the Sheikah Slate, and you get the exact same jingle and font whenever you discover a new area.
I can't in good conscience admit to there being any "innovation" in the game, unless you count lazily applying rules from already-successful games as "innovative." The worst part is that this game shouldn't even be popular in the first place when you think about it. Knock-offs like this are universally panned and skipped over because they're always inferior to the product they're ripping off. But, for some reason, it worked this time. And I think the fact that it worked just speaks to how much of a cultural dead-end we're occupying. When something as bland and derivative as this becomes successful, one has to wonder why anyone would try to make something new.
 
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I did play craftopia which was made (and still is as its in alpha) by the same studio and is the predecessor to palworld. Craftopia already was over ambitious and had absolutely everything but only 10% of it.

You also have the monster catching, training and breeding and you can even breed monsters with humans, since its a Japanese game. And you can craft Panzer IIs and shoot at those monsters. Or build villages and have NPCs and monsters work there. Or explore the asset flipped world.
But the world is literally dead. The same few music tunes on repeat. No voiced dialogue, no Tutorial, no working quest log etc. No meaningful lore or goal. Complete aimless game where you can do everything but not fully.

I just can not believe that palworld makes it better. Because then craftopia couldn't be so incomplete because they tried everything out in that game and stopped parts of the way. And craftopia even has a magic system similar to morrowind. And sword play and gun play and a lot of gimmicks like Fortnite.
 
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Ross_Я

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I think Palworld is just another Jiminy Cockthroat game,
Jesus, this one is brutal. I do not always agree with Yahtzee, but he is, in general, rather good and drives points home.
And I've skipped this particular review because I couldn't care less about Ghost of Tsushima.
But, darn, this one is so on point about the gaming industry as a whole. Three years later fucking nothing have changed.
 
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alCannium27

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actually, having not played the game with an accumulative 5 minutes knowledge of it from 3 video "reviews", i can honestly say, good for them.

Innovation is really a dirty word, how innovative was the Mac book, huh? When it comes down to it, nothing but a bunch of over priced buzzwords - no Steve, It's not art, It's a bunch of close sourced cheap low power hardware you swindled a bunch of impressionable shitheads into paying way above what they are worth with your bullshit artistry. I.curse thy souls and may your essence be forever tormented in the cauldrons of papa nurgle himself.

what people need are things they enjoy using, the right combination of tools, parts, colors they can get the most out of. Why GTA FUN? GTA LOTSA MINI games. Palworld shows games need to give players what they want, not to innovate for innovations' sake.

Because if your innovation is not wanted, you are not ahead of your time, you are out of your depths. Read your audience, stop burying your heads up in your buttholes and MAKE A PRODUCT.
 

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Read your audience, stop burying your heads up in your buttholes and MAKE A PRODUCT.
The whole fucking problem in one sentence.

See, this modern stance of "games are product" is what killed gaming industry that I've known in the first place. For me games are art, and art without any innovation is just a copy. And it might be even good to have a copy of some brilliant artwork. Maybe even two copies. Maybe even five. But we, at this point, have dozens of copies of the same formula. As I love to say: there are lines everywhere, lines that shouldn't be crossed, and we definitely crossed one that says how much copies of Mona Lisa one should hang around the house. At this point, it is better to innovate for innovation's sake.

Maybe it actually applies to games-as-a-product stance as well, because when there are too much products without innovation, I think it just shows that there's no progress in techniques. Sure, it sells, and might be even popular, but all that just shows that society stagnates and rots. IMO, at least.

From, uh... artistic point of view, same products are just boring. I mean, I hate all those cars which are built on the same platform, I miss the variety of phones designs, et cetera.
 
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GENOSAD

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Innovation is really a dirty word, how innovative was the Mac book, huh? When it comes down to it, nothing but a bunch of over priced buzzwords - no Steve, It's not art, It's a bunch of close sourced cheap low power hardware you swindled a bunch of impressionable shitheads into paying way above what they are worth with your bullshit artistry. I.curse thy souls and may your essence be forever tormented in the cauldrons of papa nurgle himself.

what people need are things they enjoy using, the right combination of tools, parts, colors they can get the most out of.
"Don't do new and creative things, just eat the same slop you enjoy and don't refine your taste."
 
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alCannium27

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"Don't do new and creative things, just eat the same slop you enjoy and don't refine your taste."
Very, clearly they aren't "CUUMSOOMING" the same product because Pal World isn't something they can have in today's market, is it? All the "saminess" stern from the individual parts, but which game has ALL THE PARTS? Granted, I'd prefer it just be rid of the animorph furry Pals and do humans instead -- yes, Fallout: Cesar's Legion, do it, DO IT!

From, uh... artistic point of view, same products are just boring. I mean, I hate all those cars which are built on the same platform, I miss the variety of phones designs, et cetera.
I beg to differ -- games should be iterative, it should be based on what's popular with their fanbase and incrementally add new bits on top of that. What we have today is companies getting rid of the bits that are actually popular to the players, removing popular maps in COD, removing features such as gun simulation in Total War, removing open world from the Sims... Palworld is the exact opposite of that -- it's a hodgepodge all the bits the developers thought was wanted by his audience, and instead of "streamlining" the experience, he just threw them all in and evidentally made it work somehow.
I remember when I was a kid, playing GTASA, I thought wow, imagine what this franchise can be in 10 years -- player costumization, stats that influences in-game socialization, gang management, etc... if this is what they have on offer now? Then BOOM! GTA IV, and now GTA V and perhaps VI... just more minigames and bigger maps, but what about my fat CJ? How about letting me date random NPCs on the street? And GTA V even tried to get some of that old features from SA back in like booty calls.
"Modern Gaming" is a whole lot of fudging under the hood but not much on the surface. Heists are just missions with branching paths, booty call is a barebones girlfriend "mini-game", about the only idea that's actually new is the ability to switch protangonists. And guess what? That's ALLRIIIIGHHHTT!
Nothing wrong with vanillia, if you like vanilla, you are normal. If your usual vendor suddenly told you, the paying customer, that vanilla bad and bland and you should feel bad, ditch that MF and try to make him bankrupt.
 

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I beg to differ -- games should be iterative, it should be based on what's popular with their fanbase and incrementally add new bits on top of that.
So... innovation. New bits.

I remember when I was a kid, playing GTASA, I thought wow, imagine what this franchise can be in 10 years -- player costumization, stats that influences in-game socialization, gang management, etc...
Will that even be GTA anymore? And yes, you are actually talking about innovations here - yep, what made San Andreas good for you is new features, which Rockstar didn't follow with, as you wanted more new features.

it's a hodgepodge all the bits the developers thought was wanted by his audience, and instead of "streamlining" the experience, he just threw them all in and evidentally made it work somehow.
Yes, but the problem here, (as I understand from the discussion as I didn't even saw a screenshot from Palwolrd at this point), is that the dev didn't add literally anything new to the whole formula. It is, as you've said, a "hodgepodge" and nothing more. You see, it is more in line with franchises you've mentioned - Total War or COD, which do not change much and simply add or remove features from their "hodgepodge" and then add a number to the new release.

And this is kind of baffling. You pretty much support innovation with your GTA: SA example, and diss the hodgepodge-games, but then protect the Palworld, which is the hodgepodge itself. So, basically, your whole argument is "hodgepodge can be done right". Sure, it can. Even broken clock are right twice a day.

"Modern Gaming" is a whole lot of fudging under the hood
If only there was a whole lot of fudging under the hood. Maybe we'd had a better optimization then.
 
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alCannium27

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So... innovation. New bits.


Will that even be GTA anymore? And yes, you are actually talking about innovations here - yep, what made San Andreas good for you is new features, which Rockstar didn't follow with, as you wanted more new features.
Double wrong again.

You are only ever able to see my points as individual parts. So I ask you, what part of GTA is truly innovative without isolating it from the greater world?

3D Open world driving game -- Simpsons: Hit & Run before it
3D Cars & Guns -- Driver before it
Character Customization: tons of 2.5D & 3D CRPGs before it
Character Getting fat through eating: Literally The Sims before it
Girlfriends - dating women by doing shit they like and increase a "love meter"? Any Dating Sims
Friendly followers -- a lot of CRPGs also had this
Cutscenes? Oh, Come on!
Was it the edgy humor that was also in the likes of Duke Nukem?

What parts have the GTA franchise invented by itself? GTA is huge, it's got lots of weapons, and it's got NPCs? Was it the fact you can both drive and shoot in an open world game?

NO!
All of these had been done before, some not in the same place at the same time, but all have been done before. GTA simply took them, curated them, weaved them together into a cohesive whole.

What is Palworld seemingly doing? It took open world, it took monster capture, it took settlement building and management, and I dunno what else, and put them all into the same game.

Tell you what? How about... you come back here when there's a Palworld 2 and see if there are any new mechanics? Because this is what you are saying now, that Palworld 1 is not innovative because it's not got any new things from its predecesor. IT'S GOT NO PREDECESOR! THIS IT, SON! The first game in the franchise, like it or not, is the GTA hodge podge of things that people like.

And it's ALLLLLRRRRIIIIIIGHHHHTT!
 

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GTA III came out before Simpsons: Hit & Run and Driver 2 didn't have guns.
Anyway, if you take it that way - eveyrthing has been done before in one form or another and it is impossible to invent new things. I might be only looking at individual parts, but you just generalise it all under a wide umbrella. Like, what, this is a portrait? It's not innovation, artists have painted countless portraits throughout the ages! And yet portrait can be innovative.
Innovation doesn't mean you have to re-invent the whole genre from ground up. Innovation at its basic means you just gotta add a new flavor. Fuck, you can probably call it "soul" at this point, but yes, even simply adding a new flavor means innovation, because it is new, therefore in this particular view soul is innovation and innovation is soul.
Like, people were prone to call the following game GTA clones when they came out, but Mafia was innovative, because it did its own things. Saints Row was innovative, because it did its own things. Even Just Cause was innovative because it did its own things. On the surface all those games are just GTA III. But every single one of those games has been loved enough to make a franchise (for better or worse), and it was because they didn't simply copy-pasted GTA III, but added their own small ideas, their own approaches and, ultimately, their own flavor.

Edit: probably the best example here would be turntablism: from a first glance, there's nothing new in it, since people simply cut other people's tracks to make their own. So, basically, they add nothing new. And yet turntablism was the most innovative way of making music; it was completely new way of making music, something that has never been seen before.
In other words: you can cut up stuff and just remix it and it still will be innovation if done right. It doesn't matter if the Sims did dating or character's weight before - in case of GTA: SA it still was innovative, because it has been done differently, in different mechanics and with different approach.

I cannot tell you where exactly lies the line that turns a copy into a work of its own - it is yet another thin line which is next to impossible to describe. But judging by the opinion of the people, Palworld failed to cross that.
 
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alCannium27

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Anyway, if you take it that way - eveyrthing has been done before in one form or another and it is impossible to invent new things. I might be only looking at individual parts, but you just generalise it all under a wide umbrella. Like, what, this is a portrait? It's not innovation, artists have painted countless portraits throughout the ages! And yet portrait can be innovative.
The truth is literally right there, and you refuse to see it
Yes, everything's been done under the sun, that's the point -- sure, somethings are not yet done exactly, but nothing is built on nothing. This is the point of "innovation" -- differentiated from "creation"
According to Merriam-Webster:
Invention can refer to a type of musical composition, a falsehood, a discovery, or any product of the imagination. The sense of invention most likely to be confused with innovation is "a device, contrivance, or process originated after study and experiment," usually something which has not previously been in existence.

Innovation, for its part, can refer to something new or to a change made to an existing product, idea, or field. One might say that the first telephone was an invention, the first cellular telephone either an invention or an innovation, and the first smartphone an innovation.
The word "innovation" was meant not to be novel, but to be something iterative of the first. Palworld is indeed unique, with the blend of elements that had come before to create something unique, and certainly something without anything to replace it. Pokemon with guns and slavery? There, there's your innovation.

That's why "innovation" is a dirty word, it's not the blend of ideas that matters -- for a video game, what matters is that it's fun, and the game delivers. Which comes back to my point -- I don't care if you are selling Super Hot or Grand Theft Auto III: Miami, is it fun? Yes? Then you've earn your money. All the rest, including """innovation""", is bullshit.
 

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Innovation, for its part, can refer to something new or to a change made to an existing product, idea, or field. One might say that the first telephone was an invention, the first cellular telephone either an invention or an innovation, and the first smartphone an innovation.
Yes.

Pokemon with guns and slavery? There, there's your innovation.
And yes.

That's why "innovation" is a dirty word, it's not the blend of ideas that matters -- for a video game, what matters is that it's fun, and the game delivers.
And then you proceed to contradict youself. It's weird - it seems like you understand precisely what innovation is, but have a very weird way of interpreting it. How do you think the game becomes fun? How do you think it is determined that the game delivers? It can't be just fun - there are reasons behind that quality, and the blend of ideas is precisely one of the reasons. One of the main ones.

Once again: I know nothing about Palworld, but it seems like it's blend of ideas is... controversial. And, it seems, it is not innovative enough. No, really, there's nothing dirty about this word - it is pretty straightforward. Especially when you've dropped the exact definition of it.
 
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