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29 January 2013 @ 09:04 pm
Pokémon Gen VI - X & Y!  
So 3 weeks ago, the big news dropped: generation six is on its way! And I must say, it looks like it's gonna be DAMN spiffy based on the trailer.

So basically, I'm gonna squee and speculate and point out some things that I'm worried/nervous about for the future of these games and, well, the franchise itself.

So first off, let me just say that these new starters and legendaries are ON POINT. This is the first time since like...Gen III that I've been impressed with all of the designs of the first-revealed Pokémon. And considering that Gen III was 10 years ago (OH SNAP), it's been a looooong ass time. Although I was pumped for Gen IV, Turtwig and Chimchar didn't click with me right away (Sprout-head turtle and fire-butt monkey? Yeah, okay), and Dialga and Palkia never did. And although I was SUPER pumped for Gen V, Oshawott was OshaWHUT for awhile, and again, Reshiram and Zekrom failed to dress to impress.

BUT THESE GUYS. Oh man, I'm super stoked for all of them. I've always gone with the fire starter first, and this gen is no exception. Fennekin is a pretty little fire fox, and I'm hoping its evolutions will be kick ass (and, hopefully, will put an end to this obnoxious fire/fighting thing that's been going on since Gen III. I would LOVE for it to evolve into a fire/psychic type like that theory that's been floating around on the internet). Chespin is a cute looking grass type, which, based on the Bulbapedia entry, its name in Japanese comes from hedgehog. So a grass hedgehog? THAT'S FUCKING BOSS. Sure, Shaymin from Gen IV basically looks like a grass hedgehog, but this little guy is gonna be so much better than that, I can feel it. And Froakie, oh man. It was love at first sight for me with that one, which is funny since some fans seem to be kinda meh about it, which makes me sad. Unless if the evolutions sway me to pick Chespin over Froakie, I'm totally using Froakie in whichever version ends up being my secondary game. And the legendaries, Xerneas (an awesome looking deer-thing) and Yvetal (a cool looking bird-thing) look like legendaries I'd actually WANT to use. I'm so sick of the dragons and crap that we've been getting for years now, so bring it on you guys!

Now, for the new region. Apparently it's most likely based off of Europe, which makes sense since Gen V was based off the U.S. (more specifically, New York and its surrounding areas). In the trailer there's an Eiffel Tower look-alike, and the cities the characters are running through seem to give off a European vibe. Should be interesting to play through. I'm honestly more excited for that desert area that was shown though. I don't know what it is about them, but I love, love, LOVE wandering around in the deserts in the games ever since they were introduced in Gen III. And this one in particular reminds me of the Orre region, which is where Pokémon Colosseum (and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness) took place. So if it ends up being anything like that, I'll be a happy camper.

In terms of graphics, everything is just mind blowing considering that the handheld Pokémon games have always used sprites. Gen V threw in some 3D stuff into the mix, but it was still heavily sprite-based. Gen VI is a whole new ball game, overhauling everything we've grown accustomed to by giving us 3D landscapes and, more importantly, 3D battles. The battles look GREAT with the 3D Pokémon models, and I can't wait to experience them. However, I have mixed feelings about them because I've always adored the sprites, and it seems like Game Freak is finally saying goodbye to them, despite how they've insisted over the years that they always wanted to maintain having sprites. I'm hoping that maybe we'll still get sprites for the menus and stuff, but who knows. Oh, and a cool idea that I know that will never happen just popped into my head: what if they gave us a sprite-mode and a 3D-mode? You could go into the options menu and choose which you'd rather see when you battle, and you'd be able to switch between the two whenever you feel like changing things up. It'd be extremely time consuming to make a feature like that, but hey, I can always dream. :P

Despite all of this cool stuff, there's one thing about this generation that is incredible. It's getting a WORLDWIDE release. How freaking awesome is that?! That's been one of the biggest complaints for all non-Japanese fans of the franchise, so the fact that they're actually tackling this problem is great. It'll definitely help them with getting more sales since people will be able to pick it up on day one instead of downloading ROMs or importing the Japanese versions because they're too impatient to wait for 6 months or so. And it'll be great for the players since EVERYONE will be surprised by what happens, as opposed to spoiling ourselves about the storyline or the Pokémon whenever we waited for the translated games to come out. So kudos to Nintendo, Game Freak, and TPCi for coordinating a large-scale launch like this. :) Hope it goes over well!

Now, my big concern about this announcement? It feels like it's WAY too soon for Gen VI to be coming out. Let's do a breakdown of the time periods between one generation to the next. (Note: I'm doing this list based on the Japanese release dates because, let's be honest, those are the ones that really define when the new gen begins.)

Gen I to Gen II - 1996 to 1999 - 3 years, 9 months
Gen II to Gen III - 1999 to 2002 - 3 years
Gen III to Gen IV - 2002 to 2006 - 3 years, 10 months
Gen IV to Gen V - 2006 to 2010 - 4 years
Gen V to Gen VI - 2010 to 2013 - 3 years, 1 month

Now, based on this chart, technically the release looks like it fits into the same cycle of 3-4 years. However, as you can see, Gen III was almost 4 years long and Gen IV was exactly 4 years long. So after having two generations that were 4 years long, it feels very strange to be leaving Gen V with only 3 years under its belt, especially considering how this gen was HEAVILY promoted and highly praised by the fans. You'd think that Game Freak would want to cash in on it a bit more before throwing another set of new Pokémon and a new region into the mix.

However, it just occurred to me that perhaps the reason for this shortened gen is because we didn't get any remakes. Gen III had FireRed and LeafGreen (Gen I remakes), and Gen IV had HeartGold and SoulSilver (Gen II remakes). Lots of fans expected (and some still do expect) Gen III remakes, but they skipped them this time around. To me, this isn't terribly surprising. From what I've seen on the internet over the years, Gen III seemed to be the fandom's least favorite for multiple factors ("too much" surfing, no Team Rocket, incompatible with Gen I/II, etc.). And in this Iwata Asks interview for the release of HGSS, none of the Hoenn region games are mentioned, only FRLG are. That's not to say that we won't possibly end up getting them in Gen VI (which would be great because they'd be for the 3DS instead of the DS), but based on how the creators don't seem to acknowledge the existence of Gen III very often, it's clear that they're not too interested in Ruby & Sapphire remakes.

Personally, I kinda wish they had done the remakes in Gen V (despite the fact that it does make more sense to do them on the 3DS in terms of graphics and features). If they had done them, the DS would've have ALL of the main-game regions on it in some form (DP was Sinnoh, HGSS was Johto & Kanto [technically not the original Kanto, but still Kanto nonetheless], BW was Unova, and RS remakes would've covered Hoenn of course). Then after having all of these gens on one system, it would allow them to move on to the new gen without anyone expecting remakes anymore (or at least not for a few more years since, despite the DS's age, its games still feel current thanks to the 3DS's backwards compatibility with them).

However, the colors for X and Y are blue and red, which may or may not be a hint to RS remakes. There was something similar in Gen IV color-wise. Not for the actual version colors, but little hints within the games themselves. Before HGSS was announced, fans speculated about them, one of the hints being that inside the Pokémon Centers, the Pokéball floor tile was gold and silver (instead of the usual red and white). This was also the case for the Park Balls that were used when capturing the Pokémon that you would bring into Gen IV from the Gen III cartridges.

Anyways, I've kinda derailed from the point I was trying to make earlier. Gen VI feels like it's out a bit sooner than it should be, which seems to be bothering quite a few fans. Many of us still feel like this gen is fresh, that we don't need to move on just yet. This is especially true for all non-Japanese players since we got Black 2 and White 2 a few months after Japan. Basically, right now I feel like I'm not ready to leave the Unova region and all of its awesome Pokémon behind just yet. But who knows, come October that feeling might change for all of us.

See ya! ;)

~Melissa~
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