Brandon Ratcliff ’20 / Emertainment Monthly Assistant Video Games Editor
With all the recent buzz surrounding the anticipated Pokemon game for the Nintendo Switch, it seems like we might be making a U-turn back to Kanto. The notable Pokemon leak site, 4Chan, has spilled the beans on the new series titles. They were correct with their knowledge on Pokemon Sun and Moon. So, it’s hard to not take what they say somewhat seriously. The new titles are expected to be called Pokemon Lets Go Pikachu and Pokemon Lets Go Eevee. Both Pikachu and Eevee have been cute mascots for the series since Pokemon first began. Its seems only fitting that these two would act as mascots for a two game series. Many rumors suggest that the franchise may return to Kanto. So what are fans rumored to see if we go back to the original region?
Based off the leaks, these two games will be either a remake or a sequel of Pokemon Yellow. Pokemon Yellow was the combined version of Pokemon Red and Blue, that had a storyline more similar to Ash from the anime. Pikachu was the starter Pokemon and you received Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle throughout the adventure. The Lets Go series is expected to be similar as players would receive either Pikachu or Eevee as their first Pokemon.
There is one major difference that dramatically changes the game from Pokemon Yellow. Players are rumored to experience a brand new storyline with a new rival. The original hero and rival, Red and Blue, supposedly play a role in this new story. If this is true, it changes so many aspects of the game. Every Pokemon game features an evil team the player must overcome. Will the original evil Team Rocket make a comeback or will the game bring in a new bunch of crooks?
The game is also rumored to bring in some new and some old features. An old feature fans have been praying for is the return of walking Pokemon. In Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver, players could have literally any Pokemon follow behind them. It disappointed a lot of fans when the feature didn’t return in subsequent games. Hopefully, we will see this satisfying feature in the new games.
Another rumored feature is the Poke Ride mechanic from Pokemon Sun and Moon. Poke Ride eliminates the need for the Hidden Machine moves needed to interact with the games overworld. For example, pushing rocks to get through a cave or surfing over the ocean to travel between cities. The infamous “HM Slave” is used to refer to the Pokemon on the team thats present to help traverse the world rather than fight. The most recent Pokemon games eliminated the need for Hidden Machines and HM Slaves with the Poke Ride feature. Players now summon Pokemon fro a pager to help them travel. Its a feature that some like because maximizes their teams battle potential but others dislike it because its not their own Pokemon taking them around.
A new feature that is surprising many is the integration with Pokemon Go. This feature is exciting some fans but utterly horrifying others. Many fans want to keep the format of Pokemon the same. Even the mentioning of Pokemon Go features makes many shudder. A possible meaning of “integration” could be catching Pokemon could use the Switch motion controls to throw Pokeballs.
Another feature similar to Pokemon Go is a sort of online hub. There has been online features since Gen 4 in 2006 when Pokemon moved to the Nintendo DS. Over the years they have become more advanced with different features and mini games. With the Switch being the most powerful system Pokemon game has been on, surely we can expect to see the most advances online hub yet.
There isn’t much information about the region or map itself. It is unknown what sort of changes we can expect to see in an extremely familiar region. The Kanto region has appeared in the first four generations of games. Nintendo has their work cut out for them to make the region feel refreshing rather than repetitive. On the other hand, Kanto will be reborn with graphic capabilities greater than past regions. Areas that have amazing reinvention potential are the Cycling Road, the Safari Zone, Gyms, and the Pokemon League. Who knows, maybe the Johto region will be accessible in the Lets Go games.
While these features could be great additions to the games, they are just rumors at the end of the day. Nothing is official until we hear it from Nintendo itself. There are so many possible direction the Pokemon franchise could take with these new games. Fans should expect news sometime soon as the Nintendo has confirmed an announcement sometime in May. After that, many people are eagerly awaiting news from many different games that should make appearances at E3. Hopefully then, Pokemon will give us all the info we want.