So, there was a Nintendo Direct video today. Fairly long winded, charting the course of the Pokémon series to date and then announcing a brand new 3D 3DS set of games, Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. Which actually is a fantastic announcement as the series has been badly in need of this change…
I like Pokémon.
Actually, I’d like to rephrase that. I LIKED Pokémon, the last variation to truly capture my heart inside one of those cramped little pokéballs however was Gold and Silver. Since then the hardware has gotten better, the visuals smoothed over and more Pokémon added, but there’s always been something missing from the adventure. Black and White lacked a story I could get behind, for example. It just seemed like a sort of dead end for the series, rather than an evolution.
So, almost in response to that, here is an evolution. Pokémon X and Pokémon Y.
The first in-game footage, now available on YouTube (Beginning around 7:33), showcases a new eclectic 3D cel-shaded landscape, complete with rolling plains, forests and gorgeous towns. The game’s viewpoint has changed from the series’ standard top-down look to a dynamic camera, that changes depending on where you are and what needs to be seen one can assume. The battle engine looks to have been overhauled as well, offering a three-dimensional battlefield with animated Pokémon and great combat animations. It’s all looking rather awesome, actually.
So, where are we when it comes to other details? Umm… good question.
There’s no indication of who we’ll be struggling against, or even if we’ll be struggling against anyone. There is no real footage noting how we catch Pokémon in this universe, although I can assume that will once again involve our intrepid wannabe trainers spending more time in the bushes than should be permissible by law. It looks like another Legendary Pokémon is being thrown in, this time a super-charged version of Bambi, and Bambi is awesome, so perhaps that’s also another plus point towards it.
Is it really still playing it safe though? There’s no doubt the 3DS is capable of more. But we don’t know enough yet, if this is a hundred hour epic through another set of gorgeous landscapes with an interesting storyline then really, it’s understandable – but that said, the move into a fully-3D world is one we’ve been begging for now for some considerable time, and even if it is a bit late to the party (I maintain that a 3D Pokémon should have been ready and out by this stage of the 3DS’ life cycle!) it’s a step in the right direction.
The current release window is October 2013. So it’s still some time away. Until then, watch the video and look at these screens and yeah, it’s about freaking time!