The announcement of a new Pokémon game coming is no surprise. When Nintendo announced they were doing a Nintendo Direct specifically about Pokémon, what else could it be. The trailer, which is embedded below, blew me away and makes me more excited than I should be.
When Black 2/White 2 was announced I had my doubts that the Pokémon games would ever move into full 3D. Luckily, Game Freak has my back and finally everything will be polygonal. Ever since I played Pokémon Stadium back in 2000 I have dreamed of this. Don’t get me wrong. The sprites in Black/White look great and animate well, but they don’t express nearly as well as the models do in Stadium. When my Nidorino gets hit by a low kick launched by my opponent’s Machop, I want him to be affected by the attack instead of just standing there in some idle animation. It adds a lot more excitement to battles and will surely increase replay value.
Game Freak has definitely gotten more inventive with their level design since they started using 3D elements in the background starting with Diamond/Pearl, but now that they have thrown sprites out the window and embraced polygons they should really be able to cut loose. I can’t wait to see what they’re cooking up. In the trailer, they show the protagonist swinging across a pit on a vine. Hopefully, this is an indication of some light platforming, which could help traversal be a little more fun, and not just merely an animation that asks you beforehand if you want to swing on the vine or not.
The one thing about the trailer that failed to impress was the starter Pokémon for this generation. They look super generic, but I suppose after coming up with 600+ monster designs it becomes a little difficult to do something truly different. Hopefully, their final evolutions look more awesome. The two legendary Pokémon they showed looked appropriately legendary and on the nose about the game title. Game Freak obviously isn’t taking the same route as Black/White in respect to the Pokémon included in the game won’t be all new. The only new Pokémon they showed were the aforementioned starters and legendaries beside classics like Psyduck and Magikarp.
That’s about all the concrete information one could glean from the trailer, but I’d like to throw some speculation out and see what you think. One of the first images of the game is of the main character looking at himself in a mirror. This image reminds me a whole lot of making and customizing a sim, you know, in the Sims series, so maybe we’re looking at being able to alter your character’s appearance. Being fully polygonal would make that easier to accomplish. That would be really neat if that’s a feature and would help make the adventure feel more like it’s your adventure.
Also, this is a first-party Nintendo game on the 3DS, so it has to have some StreetPass functionality, right? I have no idea what that could be, though. There have been some really crap StreetPass features, I’m looking at you Resident Evil: Revelations. But, Fire Emblem shows that it doesn’t have to be completely lame. Hopefully, it’s not something forgettable like getting a berry. I think it could be cool if they did something like Super Street Fighter IV. Maybe let you set up a team of Pokémon and they’ll battle anyone’s team that you encounter via StreetPass. That’d be neat, right?
As I said before, I’m more excited for Pokémon X/Y than I really should be. I’ve been playing Black constantly since the trailer came out, trying to fill in the blanks on my collection. Is anyone as excited as I am? I’d love to hear someone else speculate about possible StreetPass features or just game in general.