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05/29/10 Black/White Stuff

Okay, fine, I am getting off my lazy butt and writing about some news. No images here because I can't be bothered; seriously, just go to Serebii/Pokébeach/Bulbanews if you haven't seen them already for some reason.

Fast forward! We have the fifth-generation starters, Grass-type Tsutaaja, Fire-type Pokabu and Water-type Mijumaru. General consensus seems to favor Tsutaaja with Pokabu coming fast on its heels, while poor Mijumaru gets left out in the cold. I'm pretty much with the general consensus here because my opinions tend to be so awfully unoriginal (I mean, hey; my favorite Pokémon is Charizard, after all), but I feel kind of sorry for Mijumaru even though I don't personally like it; it doesn't deserve quite that much hate. I'm personally betting/hoping that Tsutaaja's final evolution is a Grass/Dragon-type, or at least not the Grass/Poison some people are projecting from just the fact it's a venomous snake. Grass/Poison is so horribly boring and uninteresting. Some are speculating that Pokabu will become a flying pig, but I'm a little skeptical, not to mention that Fire/Flying just isn't a very good typing (poor Charizard). Mijumaru could become pretty much anything.

Zoroark was revealed to have the ability Illusion, which was later explained to mean it basically takes on the appearance and name of another Pokémon (how that Pokémon is selected, we don't know) until revealed for its true self, likely by being hit with a super-effective attack or something of the like, as it keeps its Dark typing even when transformed (I totally called it). Oh, and speaking of Zoroark, apparently now redirects to, which can be considered a pretty good sign that Zoroark is going to be kept as its English name.

We also have new battle videos, showing that Pokémon are fully, smoothly animated during battle, both when idle and attacking. This is definitely the most surprising development about Black and White so far; personally, I'd have been perfectly ready to believe it if somebody had told me it was in practice impossible or at least impractical to create several individual animation frames for both the front and back sprites for what will likely be something like six hundred Pokémon, but what do you know. In any case, I'm thinking this pretty much confirms my earlier speculation that the reasoning for the full, pixelated back sprites is because the Pokémon will actually be moving across the battlefield.

Oh, and the camera apparently zooms a bit in and out during battle too, but that's not very remarkable or interesting, though I suppose it makes the battles look a little more dynamic.

The B/W trainers have been revealed and are apparently a few years older than the kid protagonists of the previous games. The girl has seriously strange hair. And the region is called Isshu. Blah blah boring stuff.

In a more recent development, the box legendaries for Black and White have been revealed - simultaneously on both the Japanese and American official sites, no less. They are the white Reshiram as the mascot for Black and the black Zekrom as the mascot for White (no, not the other way around; white on a black background and vice versa, after all, look a lot more stylish and interesting than white on white or black on black). Both of them have some odd similarities to Palkia, or maybe I'm just imagining it in Reshiram's case but I don't think there's any room for argument concerning Zekrom. Regardless, I rather like both of them and am looking forward to seeing their role in the games; they are very yin-yangish in concept (both the white-on-black/black-on-white and the fact that Reshiram has blue eyes but some red in the lighting, while Zekrom has red eyes and blue in the lighting), and it'll be fun to see if that comes into their portrayal in the games. It helps that supposedly there is meant to be a big version difference in addition to the Pokémon version exclusives; technically it could just be something lame like the evil team split in Ruby and Sapphire, but I'm hoping for something more substantial in the storyline. (Before somebody suggests "Maybe you can join the evil team in Black!", yin and yang are not good and evil.)

At least the release date is apparently spring 2011 for both Europe and America, so yay. And September in Japan.

There. I wrote about it.

04/10/10 Black and White Screenshots

So we have CoroCoro scans with screenshots.

It seems like everybody is creaming their pants over the graphics for some reason - am I the only person who thinks it pretty much looks like D/P with a lower perspective? :/ I mean, that's fine and all - it's not like they could have much of a mind-blowing graphical upgrade while staying on the same console - but really, it isn't especially noteworthy.

What I'm far more interested in is the battle screenshot, showing an actual full-body back sprite for Zoroark instead of the partial shots we got before. Even more interestingly, that back sprite looks pixelated, which Zorua's front sprite does not. This leads me to believe that these games will actually show the Pokémon moving across the battlefield when they attack, resizing the sprites as they go nearer or farther away. (See what I mean by there being much, much more interesting stuff here than "omg, slightly more 3D!")

We also don't see a textbox with battle messages or HP bars - presumably that will be moved to the touch screen. Which brings us to the next thing I find interesting here - we see a speech bubble-esque textbox where the female character is speaking to the Pokémart clerk, to make it point to the guy who is speaking. Why would they do that? There is no reason to specifically add something like that to the series as it is. The only reason I can think of to do this is if it isn't always obvious who is speaking, which leaves two possibilities, as far as I can tell:

  1. You can talk to people you aren't actually facing using the touch screen. This would also imply the overworld would be on the touch screen.
  2. ...or, a much more interesting possibility, you will actually speak sometimes and they need a way to indicate this.

If the player character speaks, maybe these games will be more story-based than the previous ones. It would make sense with the whole hype about a fresh start and a new formula and so on.

04/09/10 Black and White

So Pokémon Black and White have been announced.

This is going to sound absurd, but I am actually still skeptical about the assumption that these are truly main series installments the way the fandom ordinarily understands it. After a progression from colors to precious metals to gemstones to diamonds and pearls, suddenly we go back to minimalistic black and white? I think this is an omen of some pretty major changes, at the very least.

But eh, there will be actual information soon enough, so we'll see.

02/15/10 First Fifth Generation Pokémon Revealed

Yes, yes, I'm late.

So anyway, it has finally been revealed that the "Phantom Champion Z" in the title of the upcoming thirteenth Pokémon movie is in fact a new Pokémon, Zoroark (Zoroaaku). It was formally revealed in February's CoroCoro along with its pre-evolution Zorua (Zoroa).

This evolution line consists of two pure Dark-types - would have been nice to see a new type combination, but this is nice too. As far as I've seen in the fandom, people seem to generally like them. Personally, I rather like Zoroark, but Zorua kind of disturbs me. I think it's the tuft of fur on its head.

What primarily interests me is its moves, actually, since it seems like the movie is promoting it as a master of illusions, something not normally associated with Dark-type Pokémon. Presumably we'll see the first fifth-generation moves revealed soon.

I'm still not convinced the new games announced for the end of the year are the fifth generation main series games, but eh, we'll wait and see. At least it is likely that we'll see more fifth-gen Pokémon revealed in the coming months, so that's going to be exciting.

01/29/09 New Game Freak-Developed Pokémon Game Coming Up

So PokéBeach has a translation of an announcement regarding new Pokémon games, and judging from Junichi Masuda's blog post about it, it's being developed by Game Freak. Which makes at least PokéBeach immediately jump to "the main series fifth generation games are coming!"

I'm... really skeptical about that part. They always introduce a few next-generation Pokémon during what is technically the generation before them, and there's a good reason for that: it builds hype. If they suddenly release a fifth-generation Pokémon game with all the new Pokémon at once, people will excitedly buy those games, sure, but if they spent a while before that releasing new Pokémon one by one in different games, movies, etc., people will be more interested in those, too. Why would they randomly choose to do it a different way this time when the way it's been done so far makes the most sense from a marketing perspective?

So I think it will be a spin-off series, one way or another, featuring a few new Pokémon but not all of them. Personally, I'm placing my bets on this being the "action element" Junichi Masuda was talking about wanting to add to the series a while back.