Taking it slow

January 14, 2013 by Tim

Some of you may recall that early last year I made my first foray into the land of Pokemon when Black/White came out. To recap, I was a little too old when Pokemon Red/Blue came out, so I never hopped aboar that particular bandwagon. I then mostly ignored the games for the next fifteen years, until with the release of a new one, I decided to give it a shot.

I wouldn’t say it was a failure, but I didn’t become a convert, either. While I saw the appeal, everything about it just felt clunky and dated to me. In fact at the time I commented on how amazed I was that come 2011 they still hadn’t done more than slightly animated 2D sprites.

Well, last week Nintendo announced Pokemon X and Y for later this fall, and lo and behold, it’s in 3D. And I mean 3D as in “not 2D” not “pops out of the screen” 3D (though I imagine it will have some of that as well, since it is on the 3DS).

I’d be lying if I said the trailer didn’t pique my interest. Certainly having fully rendered and animated creatures and battles makes a world of difference in the visual appeal of the game. A game which, by its nature, generally requires a lot of grinding. So anything visually that spices that up is great in my opinion. Enough so that my first thought was “Ooh, I may need to pick this up and give Pokemon another try.”

However, I’m really hoping they don’t just stop there. A fresh coat of paint is fantastic (even if it took them nearly twenty years), but I think even the most die-hard Pokemon fan has to admit that the formula of the game, even if fun and deep, isn’t all that hardware intensive. After all, they’ve been doing this since the original gameboy. Our handhelds are a lot more powerful these days, and since it’s one of Nintendo’s big franchises, I want to see them really push the game forward.

I realize that the Pokemon/Monster Hunter hybrid that I theorycrafted last year is not very likely, but there are definitely areas Pokemon can continue to step into the “current gen”. 

On the other hand, those are the feelings of an admitted non-fanatic. So while I might say, for instance, that I think it would be really neat to have some sort of crafting/gear system that would allow you to outfit your now three-dimensional little critters for battle, a die-hard Pokefan could probably give me a dozen reasons why that would ruin the “true” Pokemon experience.

So I guess we’ll just wait and see come October (or when we know a little more about X/Y). Maybe the new look will be enough alone to draw me back in. Or maybe Pokemon (as it is and not as I wish it to be) isn’t for me.

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