Dawn of a New Pokémon Generation

The sun rises on the newest Pokémon games.

The first significant amount of news for the seventh generation of Pokémon games has been released. A trailer and a press release occurred on May 10th 2016, giving some details about the games, the three new starter Pokémon, and a glimpse at the two new legendary Pokémon that adorn the covers of each game. Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon will release for the Nintendo 3DS on November 18th in North America, Japan, Australia, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. It will release in Europe on November 23rd. Understanding why this is significant requires knowing some of the series’ history.

Pokémon is a long-running and very popular turn-based (the manner in which combat unfolds) RPG (role-playing game, a term that is rather poorly defined, but is often associated with prominent numbers and statistics-based gameplay) series published by Nintendo. The primary games are all on handheld Nintendo consoles (namely the Gameboy, Gameboy Advance, DS, and the 3DS.). The spinoff games can be on any Nintendo platform (console or handheld), and a couple are coming to phones and mobile devices. The primary games all come in sets of two, three, or four games, which focus upon the generation of Pokémon introduced for that set of games. There are usually two (or three, in the case of Gen 1’s Japan-exclusive Pokémon Green) games released initially, and then one (or two for Gen 5, or, currently, zero for Gen 6) special version released a bit later. It’s a blatant marketing trick, but the presence of different versions with different rosters of obtainable Pokémon and the ability to trade Pokémon between any version in a given generation has worked in the series’ favour. As the series tag line goes, “Gotta’ catch em’ all!”

AllMainPokemonGames

I decided to report on this news as a jumping-off point for a quick discussion about my relationship with the series. In terms of the main games, I have only played Ruby (from Gen 3) and Diamond (from Gen 4). I stopped playing Diamond largely because I was worn out after sinking so much time into it, and didn’t really feel like partaking in the main games for a while. More recently, I became slightly disillusioned with turn-based RPGs in general after realizing that, in their most basic form, victory can always be achieved by healing more than the maximum amount of damage an enemy can inflict. Most games are actually much more complex and involved than that, of course, but my interests had moved on towards more action-packed games by the time I reached that conclusion.

Litten-Rowlet-and-Popplio-Pokemon-Sun-and-Moon

Despite all this, I am fairly interested in this new Pokémon generation. My place in the Pokémon fandom has been maintained outside of the main series due to the various spin-off titles I have played over the years. In fact, I can probably thank the recently released Pokken Tournament for motivating me to really pay attention to Pokémon again. Another reason I am interested in possibly playing Sun or Moon is that I like the Pokémon revealed so far. Litten, the Fire-type starter, is a cat, and I love cats. The other two starters, Rowlet the Grass/Flying owl and Popplio the Water sea lion, are pretty cute too. The improvements to the engine the games are running on have interested me a bit too. Human character models are starting to have more realistic in-game proportions to match their artwork. It sounds like Pokémon idle animations for when you are choosing an action in battle may be a thing now too, as Rowlet will rotate its head to look at your avatar when it is your turn. One more reason is that the appearances of the two primary legendary Pokémon (powerful single-specimen-per-game Pokémon that have been on the game covers since Gen 2) for Sun and Moon have been revealed. I don’t really care too much about the Sun legendary, but I like the edgy look of the Moon legendary. If I purchase a Gen 7 game, it will be Moon.

pokemon-moon-legendary

At the end of the day, I’m still not completely certain if I want to buy a Gen 7 game, as I need to spend my money carefully if I want my current most anticipated games. Those games will be more action-oriented and will all release before Sun and Moon. I’ll have to wait and see, but at any rate, I am impressed enough with what I’ve seen so far to look at any future news about Gen 7. Because the games are releasing in just a few months, there should be fairly frequent announcements leading up to their release date. The next news announcement will be on June 2nd, so I’ll be looking forward to that.

(Honestly though, I just want a sequel to Pokken Tournament.)

pokken_tournament_pikachu_libre_machamp
Self-explanatory.

 

Bibliography

D., Em. (2015, December 16). Couterpoint: Regarding Active-Time Battle Systems. Retrieved May 19, 2016, from http://www.thejimquisition.com/counterpoint-regarding-active-time-battle-systems/. This article showed me some of the inherent flaws in turn-based battle systems.

Pokémon. (2016, May 10). Retrieved May 18, 2016, from http://www.pokemon-sunmoon.com/en-us/pokemon/. This page on the official Pokémon Sun and Moon website links to the starter Pokémon profiles.

The first gameplay trailer of Pokémon Sun and Moon:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn25hijDL7c

5 thoughts on “Dawn of a New Pokémon Generation”

  1. I really enjoyed reading this! I grew up watching Pokemon when I was younger so I very much appreciated this post! I never really got into playing the video game, but I loved the TV show and movies. It’s pretty neat to see that Pokemon is still coming out with new characters and stories like at 20 years after it was created. I would love to compare the original Pokemon games and movies to the newer generation you are speaking about! Technology has definitely come along way.

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  2. Well for starters, I found this post to be quite different from the one you posted last week in that this one seemed to be more personal. This isn’t a bad thing, but rather I actually enjoyed it more. It’s interesting to think about how far Pokemon has come since we were all young, and to me it brings back quite a bit of nostalgia every time a new generation comes out. I enjoyed reading your opinion on this topic and I like that this weeks post was short and to the point. Long posts, like your previous one, aren’t a bad idea, but shorter ones, like this one, make it easier for those of us who may not know as much about these topics to follow along and understand what it is your trying to say. That being said, I think that if you were to post longer posts (or maybe even for your short posts too), you should think about maybe separating them into sub categories to make it a little easier to follow.

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  3. My siblings and I grew up watching Pokémon, pretending to be Pokémon as well as playing (with Nintendo’s) and trading with Pokémon cards. This blog post really brought back some nostalgia for me and it was great to see that other people my age like Pokémon and continue to have a passion in it. You clearly enjoy writing about this and that is shown throughout both blog posts, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll post about next week!
    I also love the photos you provided, as well as the video! Very entertaining 🙂

    – Julie P

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  4. As mentioned in the previous comments Liam, this post is different from your first one and I do like that you take on a more personal tone! I remember watching Pokémon when I was younger so reading this brought back a lot of memories and I am glad it is still running and bringing out new characters! This post for me Liam was also easier to follow then your previous one, sometimes longer post can contain too much information and overwhelm the reader, but with this post I believe it was an easier read. Keep it up!

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  5. Liam – you have links to some other sites. I wonder if you might consider breaking up some of your longer text-heavy passages with small, highlighted quotes from those secondary sources? And I like your images and the use of embedded video. In fact, and I don’t know how easy or difficult this will be, but motion might be a good foundational element for your blog. Since you’re blogging about a literally animated topic, more screen shots, GIFs, and/or video might be in keeping with the overall look, feel, and intention of your topic.

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