Culture News

"Pokemon Unite": Why Pokemon Fans Will Never Get Their Dream Game

Sorry, the Pokemon game you want most is a pipe dream.

The Pokemon Company

Hope, disappointment, complaining, and farming for shinies: Thus goes the life cycle of the hardcore Pokemon fan.

In a brief, 10 minute Pokemon Direct released on June 17th, 2020, The Pokemon Company revealed a slew of new titles including a puzzle game called Pokemon Cafe Mix, a teeth-brushing app called Pokemon Smile, and, most excitingly, a sequel to Pokemon Snap.

UK: Pokémon Presents! youtu.be

New Pokemon Snap arrives over 20 years after the release of the beloved Pokemon picture-taking adventure on the Nintendo 64, and it will undoubtedly benefit from the past two decades of graphic enhancements more than any other Pokemon spin-off. But perhaps even more excitingly, The Pokemon Company announced that this Pokemon Direct wasn't even the big Pokemon Direct. Indeed, the big Pokemon Direct would arrive a week later on June 24th.

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CULTURE

"Animal Crossing: New Horizons" Has All the QoL Improvements Fans Could Ever Ask For

Terraforming functionality, and mainly the ability to afford a home, ensures that Animal Crossing: New Horizons be better than real life.

Nintendo

As the first mainline Animal Crossing game to come out since Animal Crossing: New Leaf in 2012, the upcoming March release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a pretty big deal.

On one hand, Animal Crossing games can and should last for a very long time. There's so much to do, from decorating your home to unearthing every fossil to digging holes around your least favorite villager (looking at you, Diva) and chuckling to yourself as they struggle to walk. But eight years is a long time, and eventually you have a decked out mansion, a full museum, and an ideal town with little left to do other than curate your garden.

www.youtube.com


Thankfully, New Horizons will let players start from scratch on a mostly deserted island, fulfilling every gamer's ultimate fantasy of going from living in a tent to owning their own home––in a town full of cute anthropomorphic animals, no less. But as if Animal Crossing on an island with Switch-generation graphics wasn't a big enough draw already, Nintendo revealed a number of new features in their Animal Crossing: New Horizons Nintendo Direct that seem to fulfill fans' every wish.

For instance, most hardcore Animal Crossing players are familiar with the dreaded map hunt that precedes the true start of a new game. In layman's terms, this is the process of endlessly restarting the game at the beginning to ensure that the randomly generated town map layout has all the right features to maximize space (i.e. beach location, river placement, etc.). New Horizons streamlines the process by...just letting players pick the layout of the island.

Considering how much time people put into designing and curating their town, there are few things worse than having a new villager move in and build their house in the exact wrong spot (who builds their house RIGHT IN FRONT of someone else's house, Diva?). New Horizons has a solution for this, too, allowing players to set up the locations of new villagers' houses in advance of their move.

Animal Crossing Diva Go away, Diva.Nintendo

In fact, almost every new feature in New Horizons seems tailor-made with player customization in mind. Players can now change their skin color, as well as access gender-neutral hair options. Players will get access to terraforming tools, allowing limitless town customization with the ability to turn rivers into solid ground, or vise-versa, and build or destroy hills. There's even compatibility with New Leaf through a new NookLink mobile app that allows players to scan the QR codes from their old custom clothing/art designs and transport them to the new game.

Of course, New Horizons also has Amiibo support that promises a photo mode featuring fan-favorite villagers along with other as-of-yet unannounced functionality.

In fact, the only major drawback to New Horizons is Nintendo's decision to tie game saves directly to the Switch console, without the ability to backup data on the Cloud or transfer through an SD card. Moreover, only one island can be built per console, although up to eight different players can create characters on the same island. Perhaps the lack of transfer support comes down to Nintendo wanting to prevent situations where one person in a family transfers data to a new Switch, resulting in every other family member losing access to their island––but somehow that seems rarer than the likelihood of someone simply getting new Switches and being forced to start their entire game over. Still, Nintendo promises to have some sort of backup support available in situations of loss or Switch breakage.

Animal Crossing Switch Console Nintendo

All that being said, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will almost undoubtedly be the definitive Animal Crossing experience, where we can delight in throwing our lives into the void of a happy animal world simulation. Animal Crossing: New Horizons comes out on March 20th, but in the meantime, we can gaze longingly at the adorably limited Animal Crossing: New Horizons Edition Switch console which has long been sold out on Amazon.

CULTURE

A Statistical Analysis of What Nintendo Will Announce in the New Pokemon Direct

Using rigorous research methodologies to assign each Pokemon Direct theory a real-world statistical likelihood.

Nintendo/ The Pokemon Company

With the new Pokemon Direct suddenly announced for tomorrow morning, fans are wondering what new franchise information might be divulged.

After the widespread disappointment with Pokemon Sword and Shield amongst the hardcore Pokemon fan community, plenty of theories are flying around regarding potential new, upcoming Pokemon games. But I'm not here for mere Pokemon theories. As a man of science, I've used rigorous research methodology to assign each of these theories a statistical likelihood of being announced in tomorrow's Pokemon direct. These are my results:

New Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Game – 0.3%

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Nintendo/ The Pokemon Company

I want a new Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game just as much as you do. Out of all the Pokemon spin-off titles, nothing beats the concept of a roguelike game wherein you can play as basically every Pokemon. But we need to be real, here. Even thinking about a new Pokemon Mystery Dungeon game is setting ourselves up for disappointment. The chance that this sudden Pokemon Direct will include Mystery Dungeon is even less likely than the chance that Inteleon will be joining the Super Smash Roster.

Inteleon will be joining the Super Smash Roster – 10%

Inteleon Nintendo/ The Pokemon Company

Pretty much everyone hates Inteleon. Its design is scientifically proven to be the worst Pokemon starter design in the history of the franchise. Just look at those proportions. What is wrong with this thing? But kind of like Taylor Swift's career, Nintendo is fueled by communal rage. This means that if a new starter from Pokemon Sword and Shield joins Smash, it's almost definitely going to be Inteleon. Why? Because you hate it.

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remake – 20%

Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remake Nintendo/ The Pokemon Company

Gen 4 is probably one of the more underrated Pokemon generations. Save for Lucario, most of the Generation 4 Pokemon get very little attention in newer games. To some extent, this is understandable––the Gen 4 starters weren't especially inspired and, with the exception of Arceus, the Gen 4 legendaries also failed to make a splash. That being said, Sinnoh was a fantastic region, heavily based on the Japanese island of Hokkaido, with regional myths and legends seamlessly blended into the map. Fans have been clamoring for a remake ever since Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire released in 2014, and if Nintendo wanted to bring back the "hardcore" community's good will after Sword and Shield, this would be the way to go. So yeah, chances are low.

New Pokemon Sword and Shield content – 60%

Pokemon Sword and Shield Nintendo/ The Pokemon Company

The post-game for Pokemon Sword and Shield is pretty sparse, all things considered, so it's reasonable to assume that Nintendo will be adding some sort of fresh post-game content at some point. While it's unlikely that we'll see all of the lost Pokemon reinstated, there is a chance that we'll see the return of some of our old favorites. That, or maybe they'll just add a few new Gigantamax Pokemon forms and call it a day. Either way, more Sword and Shield content seems like a reasonable update for any Pokemon Direct in the near future.

Pokemon Sleep updates – 80%

Pokemon Sleep Nintendo/ The Pokemon Company

Does anybody actually want Pokemon Sleep, the new, innovative Pokemon app that plays while you sleep? Who knows, but Nintendo is giving it to us anyways. To be fair, if Pokemon Sleep encourages people to sleep as well as Pokemon Go encouraged people to walk, Nintendo could actually lead the way for a more rested, more functional society. Considering Nintendo's recent focus on the mobile front, updates on their latest Pokemon app game seem like a relatively safe bet. Here's hoping it'll help the bags under my eyes.

Pokemon Home updates – 100%

Pokemon Home Nintendo/ The Pokemon Company

We're going to be getting some updates on Pokemon Home, 100%, no doubt, whatsoever. Pokemon Home is Nintendo's newest cloud-based storage solution intended to tie all the recent Pokemon games together, including Pokémon GO, Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, and Pokémon Sword and Shield. The prior Pokemon storage application, Pokemon Bank, will also be compatible with Pokemon Home. So yeah, this is Nintendo's next big step in fully integrating the Pokemon franchise into the modern era, and frankly, if tomorrow's entire 20-minute direct is wholly dedicated to Pokemon Home, I wouldn't be surprised.

CULTURE

The Next Super Smash Bros. Ultimate DLC Character Is ALL THE HEROES FROM DRAGON QUEST

At long last, Nintendo reveals the Dragon Quest Hero as the third DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Square Enix

Nintendo sure knows how to build up hype, and their E3 2019 Nintendo Direct is no exception.

After the unexpected reveal of Persona 5's Joker as the second DLC fighter for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, fans spent months trying to figure out which new fighter would arrive next. Finally, we have our answer. The next Smash Bro coming to Switch is none other than ALL THE HEROES FROM DRAGON QUEST.

Each Dragon Quest game has a new hero whose name you get to choose. The main hero featured seems to be the Luminary from Dragon Quest 11, but alternate costumes include "Erdrick" from Dragon Quest 3, and the Hero from Dragon Quest 8. Morever, the Dragon Quest Hero's Final Smash seems to bring out the power of all the heroes from the mainline games.

This is a majorly cool reveal for JRP fans, and it's wonderful seeing Dragon Quest getting the mainstream attention it's always deserved.

Dragon Quest 11 is coming to Nintendo Switch, too!

Dragon Quest XI S: Echoes of an Elusive Age - E3 2019 Trailer (Switch) www.youtube.com


CULTURE

New Legendary Pokémon (and Everything Else) Revealed So Far in Pokémon Sword and Shield

Your one-stop breakdown of every new Pokémon and game mechanic in Pokémon Sword and Shield

The Pokémon Company

This morning, Nintendo Direct gave us a slew of new information on Pokémon Sword and Shield, including the free-roam Wild Area, the Dynamax mechanic, and two new Legendary Pokémon.

You can watch the full Nintendo Direct here, but if you're short on time, here's a rundown of everything new to the Galar region:

New Pokémon

Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble

pokemon sword and shield starters The Pokémon Company

Sword and Shield's Starter Pokémon were revealed long before this Nintendo Direct, but we got to see them playing around, and they look especially cute animated on Nintendo Switch.

Wooloo

Wooloo The Pokémon Company

Pokémon designs have become more derivative with each generation, but it's hard to fault them too much now that there are over 800 species. To be clear, Wooloo is a sheep Pokémon that's not Mareep, because Mareep is Electric type and Wooloo is just a sheep.

Gossifleur

Gossifleur The Pokémon Company

This thing is just a stupid flower.

Eldegoss

Eldegoss The Pokémon Company

Gossifleur evolves into Eldegoss, and they're cotton now? Do flowers turn into cotton? Also, they just did Whimsicott in Generation VI, so whatever, I guess we have multiple cotton Pokémon.

Corviknight

Corviknight The Pokémon Company

Corviknight looks pretty cool, and it seems like we'll be seeing a good deal of them since it works as Galar region's taxi system. Also, surprisingly, this is the first raven Pokémon.

Drednaw

Drednaw The Pokémon Company

This is just a Digimon.

Zacian

Zacian The Pokémon Company

Okay, Zacian is insanely cool. It's basically Sif from Dark Souls but Pokémon-ized. They're also definitely the cooler of the two new Legendary Pokémon.

Zamazenta

Zamazenta The Pokémon Company

The other new Legendary Pokémon, Zamazenta, is like a less cool version of Zacian, because Zacian has a sword and Zamazenta just has a weird body.

New Characters

Champion Leon

pokemon champion leon The Pokémon Company

Leon may be the Champion of the Galar Pokémon League, but he also thinks that wearing a cape over a sports jersey makes him look cool. Very weird dude; steer clear.

Rival Hop

pokemon rival hop The Pokémon Company

Hop is a chump, and he'll never be a worthy rival. He's also Leon's little brother, so we can all look forward to destroying his whole family.

Professor Magnolia

professor magnolia The Pokémon Company

Women. In. STEM. Move aside, Professor Oak, the future is female!

Assistant Sonia

Pokemon Sonia The Pokémon Company

More. Women. In. STEM. Who says fashion and lab work can't go together?

Gym Leader Milo

gym leader milo The Pokémon Company

The first new Gym Leader, Milo, is an absolute unit. Look at the sheer size of this lad. Too bad he uses Eldegoss, the lame cotton Pokémon. But dang, this boi hits the rack.

Dynamax

dynamax The Pokémon Company

Dynamax is a new battle mechanic in Pokémon Sword and Shield that you can use once per battle in order to make your Pokémon gigantic for three turns. Their attacks obviously become super-powered, too.

The Wild Area

pokemon wild area The Pokémon Company

The Wild Area is the new open space between towns and cities where Pokémon can roam free. Unlike previous mainline Pokémon games, Pokémon can be seen on the map. Events change based on date, time, and weather, and the environment holds many interactive secrets to uncover through exploration.

Max Raid Battles

pokemon max raid battles The Pokémon Company

Pokémon Sword and Shield's newest multiplayer feature, Max Raid Battles, allow you and three other players to join forces in the Wild Area to fight and catch special, ultra-powered Dynamax Pokémon.

Pre-order Promotions

Amazon

Amazon is currently offering Prime members a $10 promotional credit when buying the game.

Pokémon Sword

Pokémon Shield

Best Buy

Best Buy is offering a $10 promotional credit, too, and also has a special dual-pack available which includes both Sword and Shield.

Pokémon Sword

Pokémon Shield

Pokémon Sword and Shield Double Pack