Cassette Beasts’ Companions Are What I Always Wanted from Pokemon Rivals
Screenshot by Siliconera

Cassette Beasts’ Companions Are What I Always Wanted from Pokemon Rivals

I always wanted a Pokemon game where the rivals get more attention and are more involved. Pokemon Black and White and Pokemon Scarlet and Violet’s companions both come close! But I really wanted a sense of greater connection. Probably the best thing about Bytten Studio’s Cassette Beasts is how its companion system gives us that with characters. We have these moments where the people are always alongside us, get their own questline moments, and matter. There are even romance options in Cassette Beasts, which basically does everything I’d hope from a Pokemon-like monster collecting game.

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In case you’re unfamiliar with it, Cassette Beasts involves characters from different parallel worlds and places in time all brought to New Wirral. Everyone’s getting by and finding new goals for themselves. Players are found by Kayleigh, who happens to be both a possible companion and romance option in Cassette Beasts. From there, it gets pretty open-ended. There is a story involving creatures called Archangels and getting home, but there are also subplots that can involve characters like Eugene. But even ones not connected to additional, long-running stories can appear, fight alongside you, and become your friend. Like Barkley. Barkley is a good boy.

Cassette Beasts’ Companions Are What I Always Wanted from Pokemon Rivals

Screenshot by Siliconera

What’s great about this system first and foremost is that the introductions tend to be handled well. Kayleigh and Eugene are both introduced as part of the story. You get to know them fairly well over the course of that questline. Others come up as you explore the world and find them at different places. You benefit in not only getting a companion in these Cassette Beasts characters, but someone genuinely useful. Each one fights alongside you in battle and can fuse with you to become a more powerful creature.

The interactions end up feeling natural, and never really forced. You can get involved with character quests for them. These reveal more about their backgrounds, motivations, and personalities. When you stop at campfires to rests, you’ll engage in conversations. Some of these will be unique. For example, Barkley might get some treats or pets, while you’ll talk about specific topics with the human allies. Bonds form as you fight alongside each other and go through quests, so it isn’t like there are forced “event” scenes that come across as unnatural. You’re spending days and weeks exploring New Wirral. It makes sense.

Cassette Beasts’ Companions Are What I Always Wanted from Pokemon Rivals

Screenshot by Siliconera

The way Cassette Beasts handles romance between the companion characters is also pretty tactful. You aren’t automatically forced into a relationship just because you did spend all that time together. After the companion quest is done and you max out all five of their hearts, a conversation comes up. You have the option to pursue something more or not. And if you do, you get an extra cutscene and new dialogue. It feels tactful, but not overbearing or like it changes the focus of the adventure.

It all just works so well. These people we are spending time with become a part of our virtual lives. Bytten Studios seems to get how Cassette Beasts characters could start meaning something to us, and gives us this relationship system with companions that feels fulfilling without changing the focus or getting overbearing. It’s quite a welcome bonus.

Cassette Beasts is available for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and PC.


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Author
Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.