Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Pokemon X & Y - Because Colors Are Last Gen
So, there was a -thing- this morning that I personally had no idea about, but it was like a Nintendo Direct thing, but specifically for Pokemon. Everyone had anticipated some kind of big Pokemon announcement and would you believe it? They got one. The oddly named Pokemon X and Y were announced for the 3DS, slated for release this October worldwide. Worldwide meaning everyone gets it in the same month, if not the same date which is honestly a little wild, especially for Nintendo and especially especially for a big release like this. Still, it's a nice change of pace that I'm sure we won't be getting used to, simply a nicety for Pokemon fans all around.
The thing to state right off the bat is that X/Y is the next iteration of the Pokemon franchise, if that much wasn't clear enough. So in the stable of Red and Blue, Gold and Silver, Ruby and Sapphire, Diamond and Pearl and finally Black and White, we have X and Y as the next step, showing that there just really isn't too much of a pattern and I think Game Freak just points at something whenever they need a new name. Featured in the video through this Joystiq link is the announcement trailer which includes some footage of the game itself as well as the first looks at the threw new Starter Pokemon for this go at it. They are Chespin, the leaf starter which is supposed to be....some kind of furry little animal I'm sure, Fennekin the fire starter which is also a Fox and I am not going to make a firefox joke and finally Froakie, the water starter that is a frog. So, tick one box for the Pokemon Formula.
Also shown off in the trailer were two obvious Legendary pokemon of which I honestly don't give a shit. Tick off another box. Our protagonists come in boy and girl variations as per normal and appear, well, young, so tick off another box. Also, it generally looks like you're confined to 'Routes' and cities as per any other game, despite the new-found third dimension as it were, so one more box. What I'm getting at here, if it wasn't obvious, is that I'm less and less impressed with the trailer as I watch it because it really does just adhere to the Pokemon Formula as it were, just with a shiny new coat of 3D paint. The world paint, not the 'ooo it's like it's jumping out of the screen' paint, despite it ultimately having that as well because 3DS. That new coat of paint and a plethora of even newer than new pokemon isn't going to make this any better than previous incarnations if they're still going to adhere to staunchly to the Formula.
There are a few things about the trailer that -do- instill hope, however. Hope that perhaps they're going to shake things up a little more than usual, which is to say really shake things up at -all-. The first is something admittedly a little small, but it's fairly obvious at one point that the MC is skating around on roller blades. In fact, it's not really visible in the above image, but it's that scene. Another form of transport is a small thing, I mentioned and it will probably be something that sidesteps things (probably simply take place of the Running Shoes item and get out-classed by the bicycle) but it's -something-. The other thing which is arguably bigger is also something visible in the picture above, in the background. That's very clearly a Pokemon version of the Eiffel Tower and indeed, the rest of the visages seem to have a very European flavor to them which suggests something of a slightly different setting. Obviously every pokemon game has areas that are just kind of....I don't want to say Generic, but simply not attached to any particular areas, so being a little more ambitious in locales is a good sign if nothing else.
I've made it obvious many times in the past that I really, really think what Pokemon needs, as a franchise, is a growth that is hasn't seen since Gold/Silver (being that R/S/E actually took a step -back- and everything has run off that since). I go into every game expecting that growth and walking away a little more disappointed when it's simply not present. I get the why, but it doesn't make it any less frustrating since Pokemon is honestly a unique experience that nobody has managed to replicate properly despite it being a very obvious thing to replicate. When you see something like that stagnate the way Pokemon has, you can't do much else besides just give it up or cling on to the small hope that somebody is going to get the damn picture eventually, and even though Black/White and Black/White 2 were things that happened, I'm clinging on to that. I mean, I'm getting a 3DS eventually anyway for Harvest Moon games and Animal Crossing, might as well get my Pokemon fix as well, right?