The Pokemon series of video games is, if nothing else, consistent. Despite a few spin-off titles, the main series of games based on the Japanese card game has put players in the shoes of an aspiring Pokemon trainer since the late 1990s. The recently announced Detective Pikachu, however, appears to be taking things in a bold new direction. With a talking, sidearm-wielding, trilby-sporting yellow rodent by their side, Nintendo 3DS owners will be solving mysteries and uncovering conspiracies starting March 23. What’s more is that a gargantuan amiibo will be available in addition to the new game and a new Pikachu-centric version of Nintendo’s 2DS.
The most interesting aspect of Nintendo’s new announcement is likely the very wordy version of Pikachu viewers of the game’s trailer were treated to. Fans were outraged when, last year, screenings of the film Pokemon: I Choose You! contained series protagonist Ash Ketchum’s favorite companion speaking a single line of dialogue. According to Megan Fahrokmanesh, author of an article on the Verge titled “Pikachu Is Talking Now and It’s Very Upsetting,” recounts how theatergoers were horrified to hear the yellow rodent speak. With such a negative reaction to a small piece of the film, it is difficult to predict how longtime Pokemon fans will react to an entire game featuring Pikachu doing his best Sherlock Holmes impression.
Plus, fans are already shocked at the size of Nintendo’s new amiibo, which they plan to release with the game. Amiibo, Nintendo’s collectible figures that can be used to interact with some of their games, have become a major hit in recent years. The issue with this, however, is that this special Pikachu figurine may become difficult to get a hold of as time goes on. Nintendo doesn’t exactly have a spotless record when it comes to meeting consumer demand. The Wii, their seventh generation video game console, which released in 2006, was very difficult to obtain at first. Nintendo has also been accused of purposely under-producing their NES and SNES classic consoles, which have had fans of the game company upset. If this giant peripheral turns out to be a vital aspect of the experience, those thinking about giving the game a shot may want to consider pre-ordering.
Despite the controversy, the Pokemon series has a nearly flawless track record. Outside of a very small amount of widely-disliked titles like Hey You, Pikachu! for the Nintendo 64 and Pokemon Channel for the Nintendo GameCube, each of the entries into the famous game series have been met with critical acclaim. Though the series seems to be headed in a slightly odd direction with this new addition, it isn’t hard to see fans of the previous games gearing up for yet another adventure in the world of Pokemon.