A full scale reinvention of the series may not necessarily be out of the question just yet.
Pokemon is finally getting an HD home console game this year with Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! That said, what we’re getting is probably very different from what people imagined they would get. People have always wanted a Pokemon home console game to get an ambitious title with a broader scope than the handheld games, where Let’s Go seems to be a bit more constrained in what it is doing, even relative to the 3DS games.
For those Pokemon fans who were hoping for a game along the lines of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, a full open world reinvention of its series, Let’s Go is probably a disappointment. But with that said, it could still happen. Speaking to Eurogamer, Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda said that a more open game like Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey could still end up happening.
“Well you know in general, I always want to be kind of facing new challenges and trying to you know, do new things with Pokémon. You know it’s a different matter whether players will actually enjoy that kind of playstyle, but really you know, things like setting up an AI so that you know real world Pokémon appear, or different ways to appreciate the game, I’m always kind of thinking how to approach the Pokémon series from a different aspect so, in that sense, it’s still on the cards,” he said.
I can hope here that Pokemon 8, which is currently slated to hit Nintendo Switch later next year, ends up being a game that has that kind of ambition. But at the same time, I’m not sure if I want to set myself up for that kind of expectation, followed by crushing disappointment. So I’ll just assume it won’t happen.
Pokemon Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Eevee! launch on Nintendo Switch on November 16. If you want to learn more about them, make sure to check out the recent story that reveals the “Master Trainers” that will show up in the post-game.