Remember that one month in the summer of 2016, when it seemed that everyone and their mother was outside, phone in one hand, power bank in the other, catching Pokémon? Good times, right?
The upcoming fall might see the revival of that trend. The month of November brings us two new Pokémon titles from Game Freak. Just like we’ve gotten used to it by now, the games titled “Let’s go, Pikachu!” and “Let’s go, Eevee!” play the same, with the only difference being the starter Pokémon of your choice, as well as several version-exclusive creatures that are restricted to that particular title. Both games are based on the third title in the series, “Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition”, and are intended to be as newcomer friendly as possible. Yes, that means Kanto region, Professor Oak, Team Rocket, and The Elite Four, the original 151 Pokémon … The works. November 16th is the date these games will be released worldwide.
What is new to this pair of games is their integration with the Pokémon Go mobile game, as the players will be able to easily transfer the monsters they’ve caught in the wild to their Switch games. Another novelty is the use of the console’s motion controls – the game is played with a single JoyCon, and its motion controls are used to emulate the action of throwing a Poké Ball and catching a Pokémon. The second controller is meant for two-player co-op play; all you have to do to join an ongoing game is flick the JoyCon and you’re in.
Another new item is a special controller called Poké Ball Plus, which acts like a basic JoyCon but also lights up, rumbles, and makes a noise like the Pokémon that is supposedly caught inside the ball. This device will also work with Pokémon Go on the selected phones.
For those of you who are looking for more of a challenge in their Pokémon games, Game Freak has announced that there is a more serious, adventure–like title, with more demanding RPG elements, but more details about this game are yet to be announced. All we know so far is that the game will be published sometime in late 2019. This ‘core’ game will also feature a brand new Pokémon and some Pokémon from the Alola region.
To tide you over, there is the Pokkén Tournament game which focuses only on the battle elements, akin to the Pokémon Stadium from the Nintendo 64 days, mixed with the Tekken fighting game series and with some strategic elements added in the mix. The regular version of the game, developed by Bandai Namco, can be played on the Wii U console and on arcade machines, while an enhanced version, Pokkén Tournament DX, is playable on Nintendo Switch. Apart from that, another issue that someone who’s “gotta catch them all” might have with the game is that there are only 23 playable Pokémons in the Switch version, with another 36 pocket monsters (six of them are exclusive to the DX version) that act as a Support Pokémon that can be called upon during the fight in order to help the player. The Switch version also supports split-screen multiplayer, which is another feature restricted to this console.
We’ve saved the best for last – there is a Pokémon game on the Switch which is available for free on the eShop. It is called Pokémon Quest and its a unique mix of the more traditional Pokémon games and Minecraft (even the creatures you’ll meet and guide in the game are modelled in a Minecraft – like fashion). That means that you’ll simultaneously have to lead your Pokémon team and upgrade your base camp. The training and levelling up of Pokémon is done through battling and using new items called Power Stones which, depending on their type, raise a certain stat – attack, defence, HP and so on. Though the game is free to play, it also offers in-app purchases. The game will be coming to Android and iOS mobile phones in June.
If that is not enough to satisfy your Pokémon cravings, there is yet another option – a fan-made, free to play MMORPG title called Pokémon Revolution Online
It currently covers four regions (Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, and Sinnoh) and adds custom maps, bosses, and Pokémon to the well-known look and feel of the GameBoy Advance games, as well as the joy of playing a genuine multiplayer game.
There you have it – three currently playable games, with different approaches and play styles, and another three coming in the upcoming months. Enough to please anyone who considers themselves a true Pokéfan.