Let me start off by saying that I have played every single Pokemon game since the very beginning. Yes, every three or so years, I have gone to my local GameStop, purchased the newest iteration of the series, and increasingly hoped that the cashier won’t ask if I’m purchasing it for my children … which I don’t have.
I say this so that you won’t think throughout reading this article that I’m some nostalgia-obsessed “90s kid” who only played through the first game and is desperately clinging onto their childhood. Well, maybe the last part is kind of true, but who isn’t?
This morning, the very first trailer for the newest games in the series, Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield, was released. (I even woke up at 7 am just to check it out, in case you question my dedication.) I walked away from the trailer feeling, for lack of a better word, conflicted.
On the one hand, I’m, excited that a series I’ve followed since I was single-digits in age is continuing. But, on the other hand, so much about the trailer seemed decidedly off. The names of the games seemed a bit uninspired compared to previous entries such as Sun and Moon or X and Y. The name of the region, Galar, even seemed decidedly un-Pokemon-like in a world with area names such as Kanto, Johto, and Unova.
And then there’s the Pokemon themselves. Maybe it’s because I was a bit groggy and sleep-deprived when I first watched the trailer, but something about them didn’t seem like Pokemon. They seemed more like those weird fake Pokemon leaks that pop up online before a new game is released.
That being said, the “fire bunny” does seem pretty adorable, even if its name is pretty uninspired. (Scorbunny, really?) Overall, though, I felt like I was watching some CGI Digimon show, not the trailer for a new Pokemon game. (Apologies if that reference has hit the nerdy threshold for you.)
That said, I did have some positive takeaways for the game. The graphics look amazing, a true buildup of every Pokemon game preceding it. Additionally, there are current theories that the new region will be based on the UK, which would be an interesting new direction for the series. Plus I’m downright ecstatic to see what unique aspects the series can bring to a unique console like the Nintendo Switch.
Do I sound like a bitter old weirdo that still plays a game meant for children? Possibly. But the truth is I’m going to get the game no matter what, and will likely enjoy it no matter what. I believe my skepticism more lies with my mild disappointment with the past few games, as I feel like the last game I truly enjoyed was X and Y in 2013. That being said, I’m not going to give the game a bad review before I even play it. It’s not like I’m a Marvel fan.