With a new Pokémon game on the way, the core franchise is finally making a leap from hand-drawn sprites through to 3D pocket monsters. It’s a bit of a shake-up for the series as well, as 15 years of games have slowly evolved to create a signature style. But according to it’s developers and managers, it’s a long overdue decision.
Speaking to Polygon, Pokémon Company international marketing director J.C. Smith said that Pokémon Coldplay X and Y was a game that had “been a long time coming”.
Obviously, Game Freak wanted to make sure that when they created this new universe on the 3DS, that it looked fantastic; both in the polygonal style and also when people are able to see the 3D effects as well. It’s really exciting to see the Pokémon come to life a little more.
After spending the previous couple of Pokémon generations on the DS, developer Gamefreak found themselves in the deep end of the visuals pool with the 3DS, something that took them some time to get used to. But according to Smith, it’s going to be worth the wait.
“But even in this early stage of development, it’s looking really cool,” Smith said. Pokémon X and Y does indeed look like a breath of fresh air in the visual department, but don’t expect it to be a complete revamp of the franchise either. Instead, it’ll be a mix of old and new ideas, according to Smith.
There’s always been an evolution of the look and feel; it just happens to be that we played Black and White, and Heart Gold and Soul Silver, and Diamond and Pearl, and Platinum — all of those games on the same platform. So it feels like it’s been a long time in the same way.
But between the original Game Boy and Game Boy Color, and moving up into the DS now, it’s always had that change. There’s never been a conscious decision to reboot, it’s just a decision to try new things and express the world in a new way.
Pokémon X & Y is out in October this year on the doomed 3DS handheld system.