By: Andrew Lister
Nintendo dropped an announcement out of nowhere the other day, letting the world know that there would be an exclusive Nintendo Direct event on June 6th. I jumped for joy when I realized that this Direct event so close to E3 was centered around one of my favorite video game series of all time: Pokemon.
My mind started racing at what Game Freak and Nintendo had planned. Rumors have been amassing about a new project named Pokemon Stars, but what was it? Could it be the first ever Pokemon game in the main series to make it onto the Nintendo Switch? Was it a third game in the newest series of Sun and Moon?
Well, the live event is already past us, and here’s what we found out, for better or for worse, about Pokemon releases for the remainder of 2017.
Pokken Tournament DX
Back when Pokken Tournament was announced for the Wii U, I was super excited. Tekken is my favorite fighting game series of all time, so a crossover with Pokemon was a match made in Heaven. I got the game at launch, and I found it enjoyable. Sure, it wasn’t 100% what I had wanted, but it was a solid fighting game.
I knew it was only a matter of time before the game got ported over to the Switch. Wii U didn’t sell well, but there were a number of amazing games for the system that a lot of people missed out on by not picking up Nintendo’s last console. Even though I saw it happening, I didn’t think that they would focus so much of their time on the port, which is a Deluxe edition.
What exactly is the appeal of Pokken Tournament Deluxe over the Wii U? Well, as with any Switch game, the portability will be a big draw. I usually take my Switch over when we record Tooning Japanese on Friday nights, and we play some multiplayer as a way to kill time before we get started. Being able to set up the screen and play some multiplayer on the go is a big plus.
Aside from that, it looks like we’re also getting five new fighters, including some strange choices like Empoleon and Croagunk, but also some really cool ones like Darkrai, Scizor, and Decidueye. On top of the characters, there will be 3 vs 3 battles that seem like a cross between Marvel vs Capcom and the Tekken Tag games. It also takes advantage of the online system, which will hopefully be more stable than Tekken 7 has reportedly been at launch.
The port of Pokken Tournament DX will launch on September 22nd, and there will be a competitive tournament taking place at Nintendo’s events from E3.
Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon
Instead of a game called Stars, we also saw a glimpse of the next Pokemon games in the main series, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Even though I’m not crazy about the names, the information we received about the two games is intriguing.
We don’t know a lot yet, but we were told that these two games would be a different story from the one presented in Pokemon Sun and Moon. Not only is the story new, but we will get a different variety of Pokemon. Does this mean getting ones that we couldn’t catch that are already part of the game, or could we see more Alolan variants of the original 150? Please, please, please give me a new version of my favorites Vileplume, Hypno, and Pinsir!
If you paid close attention, there does seem to be ways to mega evolve some of the key legendary Pokemon, such as Solgaleo and Lunala. I can only imagine that we’ll see more legendaries.
It seems like this game could have a feel very similar to what they did with Pokemon Black and White and their sequels Black and White 2. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. I like the world of Alola, and unlike some of the other games, the post game play felt a little thin to me. I haven’t gone back to it as much as I did with games like X and Y.
These two new entries in the series drop on November 17th, almost one year after the release of the original Sun and Moon.
Pokemon Gold and Silver
Last year Game Freak released versions of their original three American games, Pokemon Red, Blue, and Yellow onto the 3DS Virtual Console. At the cost of only $10, it was a fun way to feel the nostalgia of my childhood without having to play on the small screen of my Game Boy Color. I assume these games sold well because now we are getting the same treatment with Pokemon Gold and Silver.
These games did receive remakes back in 2010 with the amazing Pokemon Soul Silver and Heart Gold. It’s certainly a better way to play the original Game Boy games, but these new Virtual Console ports will allow a much easier transfer of your team through the Pokemon Bank.
Be prepared to traverse Johto and Kanto once again on the same day that Pokken Tournament drops, September 22nd.
Given that Nintendo seems to have rushed their release of the Switch in order to get a jump start on their competitors and heal the wounds caused by the Wii U, it was probably too much to expect a full blown Pokemon game on their newest system. Pokken Tournament is a safe bet and something they can feasibly get out within the span of this year. Sure, it may not be the game that most people wanted, but it’s still Pokemon on the new Nintendo system, and those that didn’t bite on the Wii U have a solid game to play for the first time.
Given that the Ultra versions of Sun and Moon are coming this year, it feels like there are more questions than answers at this point. We’ll get lots of information going forward in the coming months much like we did with Sun and Moon, probably including weekly videos showcasing some of the new characters and story elements. I’m optimistic that this game will deliver another interesting story within the Alola Region and give me a reason to spend another 50+ hours using my 3DS.
What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments below or head over to our Discord and spark up a conversation!
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