There’s a new Pokémon coming out for the Nintendo 3DS, and guess what? As Nintendo President Satoru Iwata points out in this 10-minute installment of “Nintendo Direct,” Iwata’s regular State of the Union address, it might actually be “new.”
In this latest installment, which was released today, Iwata takes us through the entire history of the Pokémon franchise before revealing some new footage and creatures from the upcoming Pokémon X and Pokémon Y. He slowly weaves his way to telling us, at around the 6:50 mark, that not like any Pokémon in the history of the gaming, this will be a worldwide release, with both American and Japanese versions being released simultaneously this coming October.
In case you’ve skipped the subsequent years since Pokémon Red and Blue were released way back in 1998, the franchise has made baby steps in its own evolution as a game. Arguably the last major changes to the core gameplay, besides additional characters and moves, came with the introduction of DARK and STEEL type Pokémon in 2000’s Pokémon Gold and Silver. (In case you forgot, Pokémon all have some elemental “type” geneology, like FIRE, WATER, ELECTRIC, etc.)
That looks like it’s about to change with Pokémon X and Y, which will moving away from the 2D aesthetic of the franchise. Gameplay will become three dimensional, featuring a nice cell-shaded vibe that fits the series. This--paired with 2011’s Pokémon Black & White’s story finally considering the dark side and weight of a game about a fatherless teenage protagonist’s unending tirade to enslave every wild animal in the world and force them to battle in gladiator style deathmatches--could make for a very new approach to what's traditonally been a very kid-friendly videogame.
Now, if they can do away with some more of the vestigal limbs that the franchise continues to carry (I’m looking at you HM’s), we’ll be able to see an exciting new direction for one of the world’s most popular videogame properties.
Follow Colin at @scallopdelion