Day 25 February 2021. Pokémon Presents to show the titles that will frame this 25th year of Pokémon life. Hype skyrocketing for what is the franchise that raised a generation of gamers. Generation on the verge of adolescence just in 2006, year of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, year of much, perhaps too much, desired 4th generation Pokémon. 25 years of pure nostalgia enclosed in 20 minutes.
To learn more:
Pokémon New Snap, life beyond the sphere
The Pokémon Presents opens with a video that is nothing short of spectacular, but we'll talk about how important it is later, so for now keep this information in mind, watch it and let's move on to the titles.
In total, three games were shown (with also other information on pokémon day, which interests me relatively): Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus.
We already knew Snap very well and with this trailer it proves to be a really interesting and light title. After all, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon DX was the confirmation that the truly noteworthy titles of the franchise are those parallel to the main saga, why should Snap be outdone?
To learn more:
Pokémon: the choices in the history of video games
Pokémon Shining Diamond and Shining Pearl are the remake of Diamond and Pearl developed by ILCA, the same developer as Pokémon Home. I don't agree so much on the definition "remake" because the game is basically the same. Okay, they had to program the title all over again, but apart from an ugly graphic reskin, there isn't much else. The plot is the same, the environments the same, the characters the same and so on. It is more or less the same work done by Blue point with Demon's Souls, a restoration rather than a makeover.
Pokémon legends Arceus is, on the other hand, the true 4th gen remake in my opinion. A job with very high expectations. An open world RPG set in a feudal Sinnoh that will expand the lore of that land and Arceus. Where is the problem then? The problem is that a year after release, Early 2022, development seems light years behind the times. You can't even remotely compare what we've seen to a 2017 title like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and it's been 4 years. The trailer clicked, the textures were thrown away like lime, and the earth was barren and dead. Expectations are high, but Game Freak in a year he's going to have to do an amazing job to fix all the heavy defects that are there.
Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the true 4th generation remake
To learn more:
Why does Nintendo Direct on Pokémon generate hype?
Have you kept in mind what I told you about the introductory and celebratory video for these 25 years? Well, now I'll explain because it is so beautiful. Nostalgia is not always a harm, indeed, if treated well it can make a tear fall or make the skin shiver. That first-person video, which traces, both in terms of colors and gestures, the growth of each of us alongside the Pokémon brand, is the way perfect to tell a unique love story. This is how nostalgia and remembrance are celebrated.
Video games, on the user side, have two main components: the hardware and the life (including age, environment, relationships) of the gamer. Said down to earth, we we touch video games with our hands, they are concrete and, above all, we often and willingly connect them to important events in our life. If we summarize these two elements in: first person view, sounds and movements on and with hardware that we have all made, seen or heard and consequential keywords which trace a hypothetical red thread; we get a work with all the trimmings to see and review in loop.
To learn more:
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX and the nostalgia factor
There is a though. The video is crazy, but this one emotional network is broken as soon as the roundup of titles starts. For some reason they forgot to continue this push given by the celebratory video and threw the Presents away. Mostly Pokémon Legends: Arceus, that is exactly what fans have been asking for for 25 years, it was thrown there without any fuss, as if to say “Yes, we're working on it”. For heaven's sake, the whole initial medieval cutscene was beautiful, with that dim light and all the colors on the shades of the wood, but it didn't have that sprint.
This was the most serious error of assessment, beyond the titles presented that may or may not like. Here it is a work that has nothing to do with the quality that Pokémon Direct had. This rebranding in Presents is disappointing me not a little, and not for the name, which I find perfectly fitting, but for the cut they are giving it. We hope they return to those of the past because:
I want the direct back, I want those emotions back, I want the tears back on the wave of nostalgia.