Today saw The Pokemon Company hold a 25th anniversary stream which consisted of a bunch of exciting news and announcements for the franchise.
The first major reveal was Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl. These are faithful remakes of titles which first launched for the Nintendo DS in 2007.
These remakes have maintained the original storyline and world layout of their progenitors, but revitalises the world with a gorgeous new visual style. It looks great, and is set to land on Nintendo Switch later this year.
Perhaps more exciting is Pokemon Legends: Arceus, an open-world RPG adventure which seems to be a bold new direction for the franchise. Taking place in the past, players will explore a new vision of the Sinnoh region where humanity is still coming to grips with the world of Pokemon. It looks like Breath of the Wild meets Pokemon.
After receiving your first Pokemon, players will be free to explore a sprawling world and catch creatures outside of battle for the very first time. It appears that stealth, items and other mechanics can be used to sneak up on creatures and add them to your party. Hopefully the world itself is filled with puzzles to solve and quests to embark upon, too.
While it seems to maintain a familiar user interface, the battle system has also been expanded beyond anything we’ve seen the series tackle before. After keeping its formula so samey for 25 long years, it’s so refreshing to see Game Freak and Pokemon shake things up.
Your home village will serve as a base of operations before venturing out into the wild, where you can return to heal, buy items and likely progress the story. The trailer still leaves much to the imagination, so perhaps the traditional progression of earning badges and conquering the Pokemon League has also been abandoned in favour of new ideas.
Both of these games are a move in the right direction after the polarising reception to Pokemon Sword and Shield, and the impressions I’m seeing online to all of the announcements is very positive indeed. I will admit that Legends: Arceus looks very rough from a visual perspective, but will hopefully improve in terms of fidelity and performance by 2022.
The presentation also provided another look at New Pokemon Snap for Nintendo Switch. The photography simulator looks adorable, and will feature a robust storyline where you take pictures on land, in the air and even under the sea. Players can also edit their photos and share them online, earning extra points when they’re voted on by fellow photographers.
Which Pokemon game are you looking forward to the most? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter @trustedreviews.