While it isn’t a significant anniversary year, it’s hard to deny Pokémon is on a hot streak at the moment. From the hype surrounding new MOBA-style release Pokémon Unite last year and the continued reinvigoration of Pokémon Go with lots of regular updates, there’s been plenty to draw in all sorts of new players.
On top of that, we’ve seen an excellent remake in Pokémon Shining Pearl and Brilliant Diamond, and a fresh take on the formula altogether with Pokémon Legends Arceus. So what more could Game Freak and The Pokémon Company have in store for us?
The most recent Pokémon Presents presentation highlighted plenty of nuggets of newness bound for these games, and even new ones to look forward to. Once you’ve munched on the Rare Candy that is our highlights from the show, leave us your own in the comments.
Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s starters and world | James
Although the live-action reveal was a fun change of pace, it’s a little disappointing to step back to a more traditional Pokémon game format for Scarlet and Violet after the freedom of Arceus, the thought of having a few brand new pocket monsters to journey with is exciting.
A crop of brand new starters sees a new cat-inspired ‘mon, a duck wearing a hat as well as a tiny crocodile (or Spragitato, Quaxly and Fuecoco as the game refers to them), and they all look interesting. Giving tiny croc Fuecoco a fire type could lead to some interesting signature moves and who doesn’t find cats adorable?
The starters’ names and the aesthetic of the as-yet unnamed new region give a strong vibe of Spain. In particular, in one of the town’s you notice a tall building – marked with signature pokéball, naturally – which is reminiscent of Barcelona’s famous cathedral Sagrada Familia.
A different region is always interesting to explore, particularly one as colourful as this, and from the gameplay we’ve seen it looks as though the Wild Area introduced in Sword and Shield, or possibly the entire map outside cities, will show pokémon in the overworld.
Hopefully we’ll see Gamefeak continue to push the quality of life elements improved in the last few games, so that it feels like a significant step forward from the last traditional, non-remake release.
The internet may have fallen for Fuecoco but we all know Spragitato is really the best of the three.
Arceus trainer battle update | Liam
The highlight for me was the Pokémon Legends Arceus update announcement, mostly because it has motivated me to get back into the game. After a few days of catching ‘mon every evening, my time in Hisui has dropped off over the past week but having seen what’s coming I’m ready to give it another go.
I’m mostly interested in the new Training Grounds battles that are being added, as trainer battles are something I’ve missed so far in Arceus. There’s been a few, and perhaps there’ll be more to come in the content I’ve yet to unlock, but so far the game feels like it’s lacking in traditional encounters so hopefully this update, which includes matches tailored to your chosen Pokémon, will scratch that itch.
Elsewhere, the show motivated me to try some of the other spin-off Pokémon games that are knocking around. I’ve previously dismissed most of them outright, but some of the titles, especially Pokémon Unite, look worth a try.
The real highlight, however, was probably the animatronic Pikachu lurking in the background behind The Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara like some sort of shadowy shareholder. Perhaps sentient Pokémon toys are the one’s really in charge? It would explain why there’s been so many games coming out lately.
Great balls of electricity!
What was your Pokémon Presents highlight?