This week was a relatively quiet one up until the Pokémon Presents Livestream happened on Wednesday morning. Usually, The Pokémon Company president, Tsunekazu Ishihara, runs these presentations, but this time Chief Operating Officer, Takato Utsunomiya, hosted the event. We learned lots of exciting new information on upcoming Pokémon Nintendo Switch games as well as updates to existing games.
New elements in Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl
We at iMore have been excited about these Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl remakes for a while now, but the presentation definitely made them even more appealing. Among the most exciting Gen 4 news, we learned Pokémon can follow you in the overworld, the updated Union Room lets you interact with local and online players, you can change your character's clothing, and changing the statues in your secret base affects what kind of Pokémon appear in the Grand Underground - some of which can only be found down there.
It looks like these new elements and activities bring this classic Pokémon game into modern times while managing to capture the magic of the originals. Some people still aren't happy with the top-down chibi art style, but I really like it since it really is a loyal portrayal of the classic games. Not to mention, seeing those cute chibi characters walking around in different outfits makes me more excited than I thought possible.
Pokémon Go's awkward 5-year celebration
It's kind of crazy to think that Pokémon Go has been around for five years. What started as a unique new AR concept in 2016 quickly ballooned into a worldwide phenomenon for people of all ages. To celebrate, Pokémon from the Galar region will be catchable between Friday, August 20 at 10 AM to Tuesday, August 31, at 8 PM local time. Not to mention, legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta can be caught between August 20 and August 26.
This event comes at a strange time when many players are boycotting Pokémon Go over pandemic rollbacks. These changes require people to get closer to gyms and Pokéstops and thus means players must get closer to each other. With COVID variant cases on the rise, many fans are understandably upset with these changes.
Niantic has stated that it is looking into the matter and will report back on September 1, but having a big Galar region event that brings people outside and in closer proximity is exactly what people are upset about. It kind of feels like Niantic is steamrolling the issue when it would probably be better to postpone the event until the matter is resolved.
Dialga & Palkia Switch Lite Lazy or nostalgic?
It's not too surprising that Nintendo is releasing a new limited edition Switch Lite since it depicts the two legendary Pokémon from Diamond and Pearl. Nintendo basically did the same thing around the same time as Sword and Shield, with a Switch Lite that had Zacian and Zamazenta on it.
Some people aren't very impressed with the look of the Dialga & Palkia Switch Lite, and that's understandable given that it looks very much like the same design used on a special DS Lite a few years back. Whether this was just a lazy reuse of an already available design or nostalgic throwback is debatable.
Either way, preorders for this limited edition Switch Lite are going to sell out within minutes just like all Switch hardware does. If you're interested in grabbing one for yourself, you'll need to be on top of things and make the purchase as soon as you can.
No, Pokémon Legends: Arceus isn't a BotW ripoff
Of all of the upcoming Pokémon games, Legends: Arceus has gotten my attention the most. Instead of focusing on becoming the ultimate gym master, players control a character from ancient Sinnoh who is trying to build the world's first Pokédex. It's more of an open-world game with a battle system that fights directly in the overworld. Plus, we now know there are Hisuian regional forms like the Growlithe that resembles an ancient lion dog statue. Incidentally, the internet has fallen in love with this good pup as well they should. He's a good boi.
Many people are comparing Legends: Arceus to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. While I can see how there are some basic common elements, I feel like this comparison isn't valid. Just because a game uses a cell-shading art style, which definitely existed before BotW, doesn't mean it's a ripoff of Zelda's visuals. As far as the open-world part goes, Pokémon games have always been about using Pokémon to explore new places and capture new creatures. Nothing about Legends: Arceus seems out of the ordinary to that end.
Now, there are some elements that definitely have a new feel to them, like crafting Poké Balls from materials. But this still doesn't give off a Zelda feel. If anything this more open-world approach is a truer 3D representation of the handheld games than Sword and Shield were. And honestly, it looks exactly like what I had hoped Pokémon games would become years ago.
Pokémon Unite coming to mobile, but still no Blastoise
This week the mobile version of Pokémon Unite finally got a release date. It will come to iOS and Android on Wednesday, September 22, 2021. The best part is that pre-registration is currently available on the App Store and Google Play Store. To encourage everyone to join in, every player will receive a Pikachu license if at least 2,500,000 people preregister and a Special Festival Style: Pikachu Holowear if there are at least 5,000,000 preregistrations.
Since players can link their Nintendo Switch accounts to their mobile Pokémon Unite accounts, this high number seems very achievable. After all, we've already had millions of people play the Switch version, and being able to continue from multiple devices sounds pretty appealing. It will be interesting to see how well crossplay and cross-platform play works, though. Hopefully this won't lead to even worse connectivity issues within a team.
The only strange thing about this Pokémon Unite section of the presentation is that neither Blissey nor Blastoise were mentioned, even though we already knew that the former was coming to the game that same morning. Many people thought Blastoise would be the first Pokémon added to the lineup since it was teased from the beginning, but this hasn't been the case. Instead, we learned that Mamoswine and Sylveon will eventually be joining in, but no battle roles nor exact dates were listed.
That's it for this week. I hope you're excited about some or at least one of the things mentioned during the Pokémon Presents. There are some awesome games coming to Nintendo Switch and mobile devices in the coming months and I'll be here to discuss them with you.
Until next time.
- Rebecca Spear
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Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.