Pokémon is perhaps Nintendo’s most beloved intellectual property, alongside Mario titles and The Legend of Zelda offerings, and is about to get a whole lot bigger, according to a recent report from Tech Radar. Three titles are on the release schedule this year under the Pokémon umbrella, with the mainline offering being mysteriously projected for late 2019.
Pikachu lovers rejoice, for one of the titles is focused on the bright-yellow electric mouse that for many symbolizes the franchise. Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu! and its counterpart Pokémon: Let’s Go Eevee! are set for release on November 16, 2018, and feature some truly stunning box-art. Developers Game Freak, in conjunction with Nintendo and Niantic, suggest that the games will not only have some method of compatibility with 2016’s smash hit mobile release Pokémon Go!, but will also pay proper homage to the series roots with content related to 1998’s Pokémon Yellow, the last of the trio released for the original Game Boy handheld. It is telling that Nintendo, Niantic, and Game Freaks have chosen Pikachu and Eevee as the mascots for these titles inasmuch as they are two of the most recognizable and cutest pocket monsters on the roster.
The gameplay elements remain somewhat of a mystery, although the trailer being offered does seem to indicate some synergy with the established Pokémon Go! software. Following the series trend of releasing two different flavors of the same title, gamers hot to pick up the title can safely assume that whichever version of the game they choose to purchase, the content will be quite similar with minor differences, a trend that has been reflective of the franchise all the way from the Game Boy iterations to the most recent release of Pokémon Sun, Pokémon Moon, Pokémon Ultra Sun, and Pokémon Ultra Moon for the Nintendo 3DS.
Besides these two being released later this year, an early build of Pokémon Quest has already been released as a digital download available on the Nintendo Switch eShop. Players will be able to enjoy this “free to start” title – generally referred to as free to play, or “freemium” software – with a bevy of extra downloadable content to satisfy gamer’s urges to be the very best (that no one ever was).
The title bears more than a passing resemblance to other mobile game titans, particularly Crossy Road, borrowing the blocky art style and simple gameplay mechanics to provide an easy to learn, difficult to master experience.
Finally, and in whispers, Nintendo has announced that their “core” Pokémon game will be released sometime in late 2019, according to Tech Crunch. A hotly anticipated title that will surely sell millions of Switch console units during the holiday season next year, anticipation has been building surrounding the imminent release of the next fully-featured Pokémon RPG since Nintendo’s latest hybrid console first hit store shelves.
Until then, lifelong fans and casual newcomers alike will have to settle for the three different games being offered up this year in the hopes that none of the upcoming titles sees a major delay.