Will Pokémon on Switch Try Something New?
Although many Pokémon fans hoped the successor to Pokémon Sun and Moon would be a Nintendo Switch game, it was still exciting to hear Nintendo announce during E3 that although it isn’t ready yet, a mainline Pokémon game is coming to the Switch. While the rumored “Pokémon Stars” is unlikely to be a reality (since Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon fill that role), it is supposed to be a core Pokémon game.
However, many fans have been wondering if the Switch’s Pokémon game will take the series in a new direction and shake up the usual Pokémon formula.
As recently as two years ago, the thought of Pokémon moving away from its traditional structures would have been unlikely. Every generation made changes and added new features, but they generally followed the same pattern. Pokémon Sun and Moon, however, had some of the biggest differences a mainline Pokémon game has seen in a long time.
From replacing Gyms with Island Trials to adding Ride Pokémon for traditional HM moves, Pokémon Sun and Moon showed that the developers were willing to change features that have been in the series since the beginning.
With recent rumors that Pokémon on Switch will break away from past games the way The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey did, fans have presented theories that range from an open world to action-based combat. And of course, many players continue to hope for a Pokémon game that lets us visit all of the past regions.
Aside from the precedents mentioned above, the main piece of actual evidence that the Switch Pokémon game will take the series in a new direction comes from an interview with GameInformer from over the summer.
Near the end of the interview, Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori look at old online posts requesting a console Pokémon game and laugh about how they’re finally doing it. One of these posts requests Pokémon gameplay “in a large, open-ish world,” to which they reply, “We’re making it!”
From this interview, we can see that they’re approaching Pokémon on the Switch differently than the handheld games, and that it will most likely have an “open-ish” world.
Personally, as long as they keep a turn-based combat system and the core Pokémon mechanics, I wouldn’t mind seeing the next Pokémon game try new things. As for the world, an “open-ish” structure sounds just fine. What about you? Do you think the Switch’s Pokémon game will shake up the typical formula, and if so, what do you hope to see?