The announcement of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet this past weekend made me immediately ask if there is such a thing as too much Pokemon in a year?
I started in an era when getting a new Pokemon title every other year was seen as a bit of a luxury. You used to get a new title, then a combo-remake title like Crystal, Emerald, or Platinum, and then a re-roll of an older version over a few years before getting something completely new.
But in November we got Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, in January we got Pokemon Legends: Arceus, and now Nintendo has announced Pokemon Scarlet and Violet for later this year. Given past experience, that means some point in Q4 early enough to stuff the sales channel… consoles still depend a lot on physical sales… before Christmas, so early November seems likely.
Now, there is some nuance to this I suppose. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl weren’t even made by Game Freak, but by another studio using their framework, so it didn’t take away from Game Freak’s time. (This was a first, by the way.)
And Pokemon Legends: Arceus, which was made by Game Freak, is something of a departure from the core RPG line of Pokemon games, so it could be argued that it isn’t really in the same mix as the other two.
Twitter, however, seems to disagree with that.
And what does that say about Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and its lifespan as the newest game in the lineup? That was about two months. I still have to get the nation pokedex.
But here we are in an age of shortages and inflation (and war) and we have a bounty of Pokemon game options. So I guess we have that going for us.
Anyway, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are coming.
And, first, I want to say that I am not in love with that name. Not that it is bad, but “Scarlet and Violet” just doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily as “Diamond and Pearl” or “Sword and Shield.” But it isn’t as awkward as “Black 2 and White 2” I guess, so there is that. But it is what it is and we will live with it.
Nintendo is doing its usual routine of giving us a drip feed of information, something they will drag out through the summer to keep us all engaged. But we did get that critical bit of initial information, the piece that we all crave, the tidbit that will start a thousand arguments online… we got the new starter Pokemon. They are Sprigatito, Fuecoco, and Quaxly, and are apparently meant to reflect in some way the setting of the new title, which is based on Spain this time around.
I got a text from my daughter, excited that there was going to be a grass type cat Pokemon. Others dubbed him “Weed Cat” online.
I am not sure what to make of Fuecoco, aside from wondering why he has a Kraft single stuck to his chest. Was he making a grilled cheese sandwich and lost track of it.
And then there is Quaxly. I am good with a duck Pokemon I guess, though at first I thought he was wearing a policeman’s hat. But on closer inspection, I guess that is his hair, a blue coif set to rival Donald Trump. Sure, I guess.
Anyway, branding these new starters became an immediate obsession online.
Fan art about the new starters is everywhere. Again, we all love a new set of starting Pokemon, even if we are initially put off by any of them. Fans tend to grow to love them.
And then we’ll see the horrible monster they will evolve into eventually and feel a bit betrayed.
Seriously, they do not have a good track record on that front.
There is also a trailer available, which people have been dissecting for clues.
While the announcement was a bit of a surprise to me at least, there is still plenty of time left to finish up Shining Pearl and maybe work my way through Pokemon Legends: Arceus before it arrives on the scene.