It seems a brand new main line Pokemon RPG is coming to the Nintendo Switch after all, despite it not being announced during the Nintendo Direct live stream on June 6. The question Pokemon fans are asking now is, what kind of main series game will we be getting? A sequel, a remake, a companion game, or an entirely new gen 8 adventure?
First, a bit of context: the Inquisitr reported several days ago that people were seriously angry after the Nintendo Direct because the only new Pokemon RPGs announced, Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, were to be Nintendo 3DS exclusives, and the only new game announced for the Nintendo Switch was a Tekken-style Pokemon action game called Pokken Tournament. People had been counting on Pokemon Stars, an all-new RPG adventure meant specifically for the Switch, and the first part of the live stream even hinted that it was coming.
The general air of dissatisfaction with The Pokemon Company’s recent game announcements made it all the more exciting when, last night at E3, company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara announced via a YouTube clip that a new Pokemon RPG is coming to the Switch.
“Gamefreak has begun developing a core RPG Pokemon title for the Nintendo Switch,” Ishihara said in the announcement, which was translated from Japanese to English in the video’s dubbed-in audio. “It may not release for over a year, but we hope you’ll look forward to it all the same.”
Most fans on the Pokemon forum of Reddit think the announcement was a way to silence those upset the game was not revealed during the Nintendo Direct — the game is indeed coming, but it might not have been announced this early if the complaints had not been so numerous. Others argue it is a great way of increasing interest in the recently released Switch and encouraging more people to buy it now in preparation for the Pokemon release down the road. No matter which way you slice it, the hype is already building, even though we don’t know anything about the game other than its genre and what device it will be playable on.
By piecing together evidence from the past, though, we can make some educated guesses as to what kind of Pokemon RPG we will be seeing on the Nintendo Switch. The possibilities include:
1. Pokemon Diamond and Pearl Remakes
People have been clamoring for remakes of the fourth generation Pokemon games pretty much ever since the generation three remakes, Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, were released in 2014. Generations one and two got remakes before that, and so generation four would seem to be next in line.
There are also lots of signals spotted in recent games and marketing materials released by The Pokemon Company that point to Diamond and Pearl remakes. The Inquisitr has published several in-depth articles examining these signals.
2. Pokemon Red and Blue Remakes
Chronologically, Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remakes do seem to be next on the docket. However, Pokemon-themed YouTube content creator Dookieshed makes an extremely good case that Pokemon Red and Blue are more likely to be revisited next.
First of all, he notes, the gameplay engine on which the generation four Pokemon games ran is still considered more than adequate. In fact, the two games widely considered to be the best Pokemon RPGs yet made, Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver, use the generation four engine and are still very popular.
The generation three engine, on the other hand, is outdated, so much so that the generation three core series games were already remade with Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. And what other games used the gen three engine? Why, the most recent remakes of Pokemon Red and Blue. Gamefreak (the development studio behind the Pokemon games) clearly thinks the games from that era need an update.
Consider all this alongside the fact that, even though Pokemon has always been popular, Red and Blue have way more nostalgia factor than the generation four games. As Dookieshed asks rhetorically, what would sell more, gen four or gen one? By this logic, Pokemon Red and Blue remakes do seem more likely.
3. A Threequel to Pokemon Sun and Moon
Pokemon fans did tend to love Pokemon Sun and Moon‘s Alola region, and so is it possible Nintendo and The Pokemon Company will be sticking to the Hawaii-inspired locale even after the franchise moves onto a new platform? True, Pokemon has never produced a trilogy of games that take place in the same region, but they had never produced a sequel at all until generation five. What’s to say they won’t try something new?
Also, as Dookieshed points out in the video embedded above, remakes seem unlikely given the Pokemon franchise’s history; a pair of remakes and a pair of sequels have never been included in the same generation before.
4. A Companion Game
This is probably the least exciting option on this list to Pokemon fans, because it means the “new” adventure would be retreading old ground. After each of the pairs of new RPG adventures came out during the first four Pokemon generations, a third “director’s cut” game that fused the best elements of the two titles and made some minor improvements on the entire formula was released. Pokemon Red and Blue came out, then Pokemon Yellow. Pokemon Gold and Silver, then Pokemon Crystal. Alpha and Sapphire, then Emerald. Diamond and Pearl, then Platinum. The cycle has been disrupted by the past two generations with no “director’s cut” of the new adventures from generations five and six, but it is a possibility The Pokemon Company will return to the gimmick for follow-ups to Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon.
5. Gen 8
A pair of all-new adventures, complete with a new region, new protagonist, and new Pokedex, seems like a distinct possibility. It is true that a break of only two or three years seems like a very short break in between generations (Pokemon Sun and Moon kicked off generation seven in November 2016), but it would be a first if the current generation were to be split between two consoles (the 3DS and the Switch). No other evidence to support this has been given, but it would likely be the most exciting of these prospects for Pokemon fans since it means a whole new world to explore.
Can you envision any possibilities for the Nintendo Switch Pokemon games that are not discussed on this list? And out of these possibilities, which appeals to you the most? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
[Featured Image by Diane Bondareff/AP Images for Mattel]