|Pikachu facial capture. I...I don't...|
A Detective. A Fucking Detective.
I just don't even know anymore.
I mean, I say that a lot, and I get dramatic sometimes for comedy's sake, but I am well and truly baffled by this. Essentially, the Pokemon Company has been working on a "Top Secret" game for a little while and just chose to reveal the details for the first time yesterday. The game is going to be for the 3DS and won't see release for a while - they've suggested that they're shooting to release two years from now - and will be, as stated, a detective game where you and your intrepid partner Pikachu try to solve mysteries and do all those detective-y things. You might say "Ohhhh, so it's basically just one of those Pikachu games and he'll just be kind of an annoying sidekick" and no, you are actually incorrect apparently. Pikachu will be cognizant of his own thoughts and ideas and he'll actually be able to communicate them through speech. That's right, Pikachu is going to talk to you, and do so using proper language.
That's part of why the Pokemon Company felt the game was so experimental and 'dangerous' because making Pikachu talk is a -big deal- to them. The little yellow mouse is the mascot still, after all, and likely will never relinquish that role so the branding more or less lives and breathes on his image. So to put him in this kind of game which honestly won't be pandering to the younger crowd - at least one can surmise as much, given that Pikachu will be saying some 'adult'-ish things (commenting on pretty ladies, suggesting a situation is going to be fairly violent) - is a big risk. One that Nintendo is clearly hoping will pay off later on and, let's face it, it probably will. It does, however, leave me just one question about the whole thing as it stands.
Why is Pikachu in this game? Why is Pikachu essentially a functioning adult character stand-in? Why did they announce this game -now- if it won't be ready for two years? Are they fucking Squeenix now? Why did they make yet another drastic genre-shattering game with an existing IP? Why did they not just make a new IP for fuck's sake?
New Nintendo IPs are a rare breed indeed, at least when it comes to something they have any intentions on -making something of-, and with the success of the Professor Layton games, there's absolutely nothing saying Nintendo couldn't have made their own detective series of games that would've been memorable and inspiring enough to jettison the main character into the Nintendo Hall of Fame as it were. It honestly wouldn't take much at this point - just make the character and give it even the slightest pushes and you're set. Just give some perceived notion of at least semi-permanency even if you don't intend it - lord knows Star Fox and Captain Falcon know that pain as do their fans. Yet they're never forgotten, and you can't say that Nintendo put so much effort into that effect, if only for Captain Falcon and not so much Star Fox. Yet, instead of taking a chance on that new IP, we get a weird game where Pikachu has facial scanning and animations because he's going to say “If this keeps up, we’ll have a bag made from Pikachu…” because that's necessary. Totally.
really, the whole 'two years' thing is what bugs me the most, you're better than that Nintendo