The Pokémon Company announced the next iteration in the long-running franchise at the end of their Pokemon Presents direct. It’s the 26th anniversary of Pokémon Red and Green’s release in Japan, and to cap off the news of how the critters are going to be celebrated for Pokémon Day, it was revealed in a partially live-action trailer that Game Freak was working on more 9th generation titles for the Nintendo Switch: Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet. Wild Pokémon seem to be rendered in full 3D like the recent Pokémon Legends: Arceus, but rather than being set in an ancient land like the Hokkaido-inspired Hisui, these new games seem to be set in a sunny Mediterranean environment (I’d hazard a guess at Spain?). The official website boasts “various towns blend seamlessly into the wilderness with no borders” and describes it as an “open-world experience”.
The modern setting and colour-based title are evocative of the more traditional games, like the original Red and Blue, but it’s too early to tell if Game Freak will stick to its tried and tested formula or if these games will be as much of a departure from previous games as Legends Arceus was. Nothing about the trailer indicates anything about whether the story will reach the lofty heights of the Black and White or if the gameplay will feature nifty but seemingly short-lived mechanics like alphas, z-moves, mega evolutions, or dynamaxes. We’ll no doubt find out closer to the release date in late 2022.
These designs are all Fuego
Accompanying the reveal of the game is a sneak peek at the obligatory Grass-Fire-Water starters of the region: Sprigatito is the capricious, attention-seeking Grass Cat pokémon; Fuecoco is the laidback Fire Croc pokémon; and Quaxly is the tidy, well-groomed Duckling pokémon.
If you’d permit me to editorialise, these are probably the strongest starter designs we’ve had since Pokémon’s inception (or maybe the third generation). Usually, there’s a member of the lineup whose design stands out as weaker than the others (Chikorita immediately comes to mind) but these three all leave a strong impression. Sprigato is unreasonably cute, Quaxly’s got style and big duck energy, but there’s something about Fuecoco’s goofy, earnest smile that makes me want to take a hydro pump for him.
If you’re suffering from Pokémon fatigue from the likes of Legends Arceus, Masters, Unite, Go or the announcement of these new games; you can always give other creature collecting games a try like the Shin Megami Tensei series (and its obscure spin-off series Persona), Ni no Kuni, or even Temtem. If you can, will into existence a release date for Digimon Survive!
A flamboyant ultra nerd, Dave participates in the Underlevelled Tournament both for the thrill of the fight, and to avenge the orphans lost in the climax of the previous tournament.
Hobbies: street dance, collecting manga volumes, reading, editing
Likes: short-to-medium walks on the beach, pointing out how things can and will be misconstrued as racism, fighting games, RPGs, anime, Hades, alternative hip hop, conscious hip hop, Mara Wilson, overly long bios, ice-cream
Dislikes: insincere media, his own uncanny resemblance to Richard Ayoade, mayonnaise