Why Temtem’s Oceara Is Better Than Most Pokemon

I’m an enormous Pokemon fan and I’ve loved Temtem ever since it launched in January last year. For what it’s worth, I don’t like all catch-‘em-ups – I tried extremely hard to get into Monster Sanctuary and couldn’t, and despite my friends attempting to sell me on Ark by calling it “Pokemon but dinosaurs,” it just doesn’t sit right with me.

Temtem is special in that it’s the first ever Pokemon-esque game that made me think, “Actually, this is a bit different – better in some ways, even.” I reckon one of the elements of Temtem that did a lot of heavy lifting way back in the beginning, though, was Oceara, a rare Water Tem who puts the vast majority of Pokemon’s illustrious roster to shame.

Temtem designs are a bit hit and miss for me. The ones with the eyes – if you’ve played, you’ll know what I’m talking about – make me feel a little uneasy. Fomu, Kaku, and Ganki have very cool designs until those beady pupils start gazing into your soul like some sort of cursed doll from 1854. Other Tems like Babawa and Piraniant are just plain ugly. I’m sorry if they fall into the “so ugly they’re cute” category for you, but for me… yeah. No.

While Temtem has a lot of its own unique designs, it’s difficult not to compare them to Pokemon given the latter’s two and a half decades’ worth of global ubiquity. Zenoreth is rabbit Tyranitar, Valash is non-steel raccoon Excadrill, and Kuri is Cubone minus the skull equivalent of a cute cartoon bucktooth. Don’t get me wrong, they’re cool designs – they’re just not quite as good as their immediate counterparts.

In case you think I’m complaining about Temtem for no reason, the only reason I’ve mentioned all of the above is to qualify how truthful I’m being when I talk about how excellent some of Temtem’s other designs are. I have two personal favourites: Kinu, a guardian spirit of Omninesia’s Banyan that looks like a mixture of a Lake Guardian and Celebi but is better than both of them – and that’s coming from a self-proclaimed Celebi fan. Kinu’s stats, traits, and movepool are all conducive to its status as a rare and serene protector of nature, and it has much nicer eyes than the ones I complained about earlier on. And my other favourite is Ukama, a feisty little water dragon with wicked speed and a gorgeous color palette.

I also like Loali, a mixture of Dustox and Beautifly; Gyalis, an utterly unique crystal grasshopper with fists of steel; Barnshe, a slick bird with fists of feathers (also made of steel); Nessla, a sea monster with the ability to summon lightning; and Vulcrane, a sort of magma dinosaur with a cool skull face. The best Tem in all of Temtem, though – who is probably my third-favourite after Kinu and Ukama – is Oceara. Regardless of how you feel about Temtem, refusing to admit that Oceara is better than the vast majority of Pokemon designs is unnecessarily stubborn and, honestly, completely incorrect.

The first thing you need to know about Oceara is that its name is a mixture of ocean – fairly standard – and Mearas Mearas, which is much less standard. Any Tolkien fans in the audience? Mearas Mearas are a type of horse in Middle-earth. That beats snake spelled backwards any day of the week (Ekans, in case you’re wondering).

Oceara also looks great. Its pale violet coat is brilliantly contrasted with its cloudy white fur, creating a kind of aesthetic integrity that, despite its relative simplicity, puts it up there with the likes of Suicune. It looks as majestic as its supposed to, the rare water antelopes of Deniz often being recognized as proof that a tamer is as good as they claim to be. It’s wicked fast, has the highest special attack stat in the game at the time of writing, and its signature move – Serbatiyo’s Wrath – is excellent both contextually and in practice. All in all, it’s a design as inspired as some of the Tems I’ve been looking forward to for over a year – Valiar, Pocus, and so on.

You might not have given Temtem a try yet – if not, why not? – but it really does have some amazing aspects. Given how receptive the devs at Crema are to feedback, I think that, in time, it will rival the titan it based itself off. I put way more time into Temtem than Sword & Shield, and I’ve played pretty much every Pokemon game ever made – thanks to Nuzlockes, I still play Pokemon basically every week. Temtem, though… Temtem is special, and if Tems like Oceara are anything to go by, it’s going to have an immensely bright future. Just don’t get disheartened if you can’t catch one right away – they can only be found in Aquamarina Caves and their spawn rate is five percent. I spent 20 hours at the start of lockdown trying to get a Luma and… yeah, let’s not talk about that. Just play Temtem, alright?

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Cian Maher is the Lead Features Editor at TheGamer. He’s also had work published in The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Verge, Vice, Wired, and more. You can find him on Twitter @cianmaher0.

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