In what's likely to be Nintendo's biggest game and most important launch this year, players will once again catch, train, battle, and collect them all. Pokémon X & Y will release to the burgeoning 3DS market worldwide by the end of 2013. We're in-house at E3 2013 to listen to Nintendo's developers talk about the games and why you should care, even after completing Pokedex after Pokedex.
How's everyone doing? I'm just going to capture as much information about Pokémon X & Y as I can, so I hope you'll excuse me if I get messy. I've played every Pokémon game so far, but I haven't beaten any since Red. The closest I've come since the original pair of games was Black Version 2, but can X & Y hold my attention through to the end?
Obviously improved graphics and new starters might do the trick, but hopefully I'll see something here to really get me excited. I think we'll get started in just a few minutes. Refresh the page if you're here with me… if you're not enjoy the full discussion below!
JC Smith taking the stage from Pokemon Company International to introduce Tsunekazu Ishihara, President and CEO of The Pokemon Company. Welcome!
Pokemon X & Y will be available worldwide on October 12th, 2013. It's the sixth generation of Pokemon games and the first made specifically for Nintendo 3DS (Black and White Version 2 had some 3DS features, but they were still DS games). With the release taking place worldwide, everyone will be joining the world and collecting Pokemon at the same time (normally Japan gets Pokemon games months ahead of America and Europe. It seems like the worldwide launch will help deflate pirated versions being used by dedicated players.)
Here's a timeline of all the Pokémon games leading into X & Y. Crazy that there are 649 Pokémon to date. I'm not surprised I couldn't keep up. I realize some do, but if the point is to collect them all it gets exponentially harder with every new game.
Ishihara is talking about trading and communication between gamers with Pokémon. Apparently it was very difficult to get trading to work on the original Game Boy, but I can't imagine Red and Blue without that feature. I remember trading the starters with my brother and getting screwed over by an unruly Squirtle who leveled up too fast and therefore disobeyed me.
Pokémon X & Y are the culmination of all the different elements up to now. Junichi Masuda, Director at GAME FREAK Inc. is on stage now. They're going to play the opening movie for X & Y (for the first time).
Legendary Pokémon transitions to riding Pokémon around the world, panning shots of different environments, now some touch-screen interactions with Pokémon, then shots of the trainer on his bike, skating, and a female trainer showing off her fashion.
Everyone involed in making the decision to launch X & Y worldwide had a hard time with the change. For example, localization presented a huge challenge. 800,000 Japanese characters had to be turned into over a million English words. 3D models also presented a challenge to the team, but Masuda feels that the hard work will have paid off by the time X & Y and have arrived to the whole world. It's been a long time dream of GAME FREAK's to release a Pokémon game to the whole world at one time.
New features time! Masuda says that the game is actually 7-in-1, with the option to play in any of the supported languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Korean.
The new communication system between players is called PSS: Player Search System. There are three different categories: Friends, Acquaintances, and Passersby. These obviously refer to different ways to connect with other players: directly by friend code, over the internet, and via StreetPass or local wireless.
Interacting with Passersby by battling or trading will turn players into Acquaintances. Play with them again and you can add them to your friends list. Another screen shows a limit of 100 contacts. Now it's time for a live demo.
Entering a new battle has a set of default rules, but you can change them to your liking. Battle is staring with Clauncher and Skelp, two brand new Pokémon. The camera moves around a lot and this battle seems similar to past games, but also a lot more dynamic.
Now the developers are doing a trade. Neat animation! Seems pretty easy. Following these two interactions, X & Y asked the player if he'd like to add the other as a friend. "Yes" "Friend Code Registered!" Looks like it works.
80 million trades have gone out over the Global Link service. That's a lot of trading! Now Masuda is going to talk about modeling all the different Pokemon in 3D. They're looking at a dragon-looking monster… or a bat. The developers say it looks more like a bat. Now they're looking at a Confidential art document breaking down all the different aspects and looking at the monster from different angles.
Now they're showing a wireframe, what it looks like with shading, basic color textures, further color to bring it closer to the drawing, another new shading technique, animations, and finally what it looks like on 3DS. It's facing off against Charizard, using a move called "Boom Burst," a normal-type move.
Earlier this morning, the E3 Nintendo Direct presentation announced Pokemon Aime, which uses the touch screen to pet, feed, and treat your monsters. You can give Pikachu some chocolate, which it seems to like. Another feature in this uses the 3DS camera to detect your movements. Titting your head to the left or right might cause the monster on-screen to mimic that move.
When you do this frequently, your Pokemon will work harder to excel in-game, dodging attacks in battle for example. Next Masuda is introducing new types of battles for X & Y.
First is Horde Encounters. This makes the "wild" Pokemon encounters more thrilling, giving you up to five varying monsters to face off against at once. Rather than just introducing harder or stronger Pokemon which the player could catch and use to break the game, Horde Encounters allow them to ramp up difficulty without making your party overpowered.
Next is Sky Battles. This utilizes your flying-type monsters for some dynamic looking actions. The player is using a Pokmeon called Talonflame. It uses a powerful attack that also damages itself with recoil. When the opponent throws out a new monster, the player switches to Haunter. The camera changes and animations remind me a lot of Pokemon Stadium, which basically means they make the old games look like garbage.
Now for the Question and Answer part of the panel. Someone asked about multiple save files. No. Someone else asked about transfering Pokemon from previous games. The developers responded that they are planning a solution for that.
Another person asked about including ALL legacy Pokemon in X & Y. The developers said they had nothing to announce on that. Someone else is asking about Fairy-Type monsters and if there's a significance for this new type in the story. Masuda says the Dragon-type has an advantage on all others, and no one wants the Dragon-type to be weakened, so they came up with Fairy-type to balance it without nerfing the Dragon-type. They hope to make the game more balanced this way.
Someone else asked kind of a dumb question, so I won't bother typing it here. Someone else asked how many new Pokemon would be in the new games. No announcements on that yet. Why did they choose to base the world on France? "How did you know it was France?" "Well it really looks like France." Crowd and developers laugh. France has a focus on beauty and that's one of the themes in X & Y. "We weren't supposed to talk about that, but oh well."
Someone else asked about making it easier to catch monsters and become competitive with them very quickly. The hidden specifications behind catching Pokemon will hopefully be made easier to understand for trainers looking to get into battles. Obviously competitive Pokemon training isn't a big priority in my mind.
"How deep is the player customization?" "Nice job noticing that." Nothing to announce. Someone else asked about movement in game being 4-way previously, but it's now 8-way in X & Y. "You're paying close attention, aren't you?" Yes, it's 8-way with the circle pad.
Someone else named Ash (everyone laughed) asked about the music and inspiration for it. X & Y uses a streaming-style which allows the music to go on 3DS without any modication or down-rezzing. It's the music as they created it, as they intended it.
Someone else asks about Mewtwo and how it changes into new forms. "And would you like Mewtwo to appear in this form in the new Smash Bros. game?" Long pause from the developers on that one. "I can't really explain what that Pokemon was and I can't say whether it will appear in any other games as well." With Smash Bros. games, the Pokemon games always talk with Sakurai about the possibilities.
Next question: "Will a "Team Rocket" return to the scene and what will the rival look like?" There's probably going to be "some kind of team in the games. It's one of the core aspects of Pokemon games." "Team-Something." There may be more than one rival in X & Y.
Will the PSS work in conjunction with the on-board friend system on 3DS? They are integrated completely, so if you register a friend, they'll already be in your PSS friends. "It might be a good idea to register a bunch of friends in advance."
What different kinds of transportation are available? The developers showed riding Pokemon, roller skates, swinging on vines. Gyms and fields have new types of movement. The same movement type won't be available everywhere, it'll be contextual.
I didn't understand that last question. Dude seemed nervous. It's OK! They're just people, dude! Online battles are pretty similar to how it is now, seeing your opponents team before you battle. One new feature for internet-battles is that you can choose the song playing during your battle.
Last question: What benefits do riding Pokemon offer on the map, as opposed to the bike for example? You'll have to use certain types of monsters to cross different kinds of terrain. Does no one remember riding a water type accross water? This can't be that difficult.
It's obviously been a long day. I'm cranky, but one thing is for sure. I want to play Pokemon X & Y a lot more now. Do you? Tell us in the comments. Stick with GameRevolution for more E3 coverage!
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