It is the 20th year of Pokémon and as such, there are some big events following the little critters all around the world. Hosted by Kirsty Sculler from Nintendo Australia, The panel included representatives from across the wide spectrum of the Pokémon community.
The panellists start off by exploring the power that is Pokémon GO. It seems to have grasped a new degree of social gaming that was not possible in the past. People are getting out there and engaging where it was not possible before. It seems to have filled a void that has been left by books in coffee shops. A simple action, walking around looking at your phone, can give others social cues that you are not only not a threat, but you have a common point of interest which can lead to deeper conversation. However, it is very clear that the second generation and tracking are highly demanded features.
Moving onto the new Pokémon games, Sun and Moon, the panellists explore the hype surrounding the game. The competitive scene particularly is looking forward to the change brought by the new generation. Three years is a long time with no change, and the legendary meta has been causing the scene to stagnate. Additional mechanisms also coming with this generation are described as a fantastic way to help freshen the scene.
We are treated to something special as well. A new Pokémon Sun and Moon video. In it, Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori talked to us about what we can expect from the Alola region. Early on in the development cycle, it was decided that the forms will play a big role in our “walkabout” through Alola. The forms were inspired by the Galapagos Islands and the huge range of finches that evolved with such unique and specialised adaptions. It was rather entertaining to hear that some of the inspirations for the forms, namely that the Exeggutor was not only created because they thought the strong sun would make him grow but also they thought the long neck would look “funny”.
Explaining the reason behind the trip to Hawaii, the four islands gave the developers the possibility to explore not just divergent evolution but a signal which allows a stepping away from some of the older traditional mechanics. As this is the first game in that Ohmori ran, he decided that this was the opportunity to do something exciting and new.
Talking about the new 3D models, it was stated that it gave them more power than before. It allowed them to explore new design features including elements like the rotational head of Rowlett. When asked about which new Pokémon they are most looking forward to, Masuda is excited for a Litten (even though he also wants to climb an Exeggutors neck), Ohmori, on the other hand, was all about the Rockruff. Finally, when asked about a game based in Australia, they did not commit to anything, at least not until after they visit Australia first.
Thanks have to go to Nintendo for organising this great panel. It saw a lot of people not only learn more about the direction of the games but to also get some free loot!