TELLING US A LOT, WHILE NOT TELLING US ALL THAT MUCH
Look, Nintedo and E3 just don’t really go together. They’ve already given up on holding actual conferences like most of their competitors do and instead focus on their Nintendo Treehouse streams. The lack of spectacle, though, often makes them seems rather disappointing by comparison, whether that is justified or not.
Still, at least they started with the games we actually wanted to hear about. Zelda looks like it will be amazing and Pokémon Sun and Moon…Okay, yeah, they immediately dropped the ball again after Zelda. Above you’ll find a new trailer, released after the Tree house stream, and below we’re going into what we learned from both that and the stream.
Let’s consider what people wanted to know, going into this stream. For example, how big is the region? What is the name of the obligatory evil team? How many new Pokémon are in this generation? How does Zygarde fit into things? Will new Pokémon be revealed? And of course, what do our starter Pokémon evolve into?
We only got an answer to the last question and that was more ‘sorta’ than yes. We get that the game is still about 5 months from being released, but we got very tired of hearing “We can’t talk about that yet” around the third time it was repeated.
At times it seemed like more effort was being put into patting themselves on the back for designs decisions rather than telling fans about the new games. Granted, this did serve to show us the cosmetic and functional changes we can expect in the games, but a fair number of the questions dove right into ‘who cares?’ territory.
The whole thing felt a little lazy from start to finish. The first trailer shown was basically cut together from already existing trailers with no new footage, for example. Seeing gameplay was nice and it certainly seems like the Alola region will be a lot of fun to explore, but it was rather disappointing in terms of news. Stating ‘there have been cosmetic changes between generations’ is like stating that water is wet.
Granted, some of these changes are cool. Whereas personal animations were restricted to important trainers up until now, even random trainers in the field get them now to show off a bit of character.
Furthermore the camera is bit more dynamic in battles and you can now keep track of how your Pokémon’s stats have changed with a visual aid.
This will inevitably lead to people complaining that gameplay is being dumbed down even further and we find it hard to disagree, but we can’t fault Gamefreak for including a little help for first-time players. All in all, we quite like the new GUI and its streamlined approach. We especially appreciate no longer having to bother with the bag to select Pokéballs in battle.
There was also a bit more info on Solgaleo and Lunala. Both have a special ‘phase’, Radiant Sun and Full Moon respectively, that triggers when they use their signature attacks. What these do is, at time of writing, unclear.
As mentioned, there were new Pokémon introduced…sort off. These were:
Yungoos, which is adorable and terrifying.
Pikipek, which ditches the terrifying for more adorableness.
And later on, Grubbin, who decided to just stick with looking kinda gross.
Now, this might have been the stream screwing up for us but when Yungoos was caught as part of the gameplay, they suddenly decided to talk about to talk about the new Rotom Pokédex. This would have been fine, if they hadn’t put up a still image of the Pokédex that covered the action and prevented us from learning anything about Yungoos from its Pokédex entry. If that was intentional, it’s kind of a dick move, Nintendo. Either deal with it and just show us, or plan the segment out better. Thankfully we did get to see Pikipek’s enty, though they did their best to speed through it as fast as possible, and we learned that it will apparently evolve twice.
The strange thing was, after the stream, Nintendo came out with the trailer at the top of this article. It showed Magearna’s ability in action and what we imagine is its personal move, though the name has not been announced. It also showed off the new Pokémon including Grubbin, who did not appear during the stream. It raises the question of, if they were going to tell us anyway, why not give us the info during the actual segment as opposed to through a trailer uploaded later?
That aside, we did learn something interesting during the gameplay. A bit of dialogue refers to the Alola region’s four protectors. Generally speaking, protectors in Pokémon games are legendaries and we’ve seen three for this generation.
Assuming Magearna, Solgaleo and Lunala are the protectors, who is the fourth? Considering the attention Gamefreak has been paying him, it could be Zygarde, but since he fits in better with X and Y’s legendaries, it seems unlikely. Why would a Pokémon found in Kalos be a protector in the Alola region?
Speaking of X and Y, these games were foreshadowed heavily there. We’ve mentioned the strange souvenir you could obtain in X and Y, which is most likely from the Alola region and claims to be based on a legendary protector. Maybe this means the fourth legendary simply has not been revealed yet.
Finally, of course, is the new battle royal mode. 4 Trainers using 3 Pokémon each challenge each other. You can attack any of the three opponents you wish and, when one person loses all three, the winner is determined based on who has KO’ed the most Pokémon and who had the least Pokémon on their own team KO’ed.
While we would have appreciated a mode where you simply battled until one was left standing more, we can appreciate that this would be boring for anyone knocked out of the running early. Battle royal still seems like a nice new way to battle.
Finally, the thing people wanted to know most is sadly also something we got no information about. We still don’t know anything about what our starters will evolve into.
It should be noted, though, that Popplio learned Disarming Voice during the gameplay segment. While the fact that it learns one fairy type move probably doesn’t mean anything, it could be a sign that the predicted evolution types are wrong.
…Okay, we’re clutching at straws on that one, but we hate the idea of Litten evolving into a fire/ground type! We will clutch at those straws until they break!
What did you guys think? Was there anything you particularly liked or disliked from what you saw in the stream? Let us know in the comments!