One of the most interesting things about the Pokemon the franchise is how it takes real-world locations and adapts them to areas populated by kids going on adventures with fantastic beasts. The four first Pokemon the regions were based on different parts of Japan, not including the locale shown in spinoff games. After that, the developers branched out with a New York-themed Unova, France-themed Kalos, Hawaii-themed Alola, and most recently a UK-themed Galar.
These influences make each region stand out using recognizable landmarks and themes, from the towering skyline of Castelia City in Unova reminiscent of Manhattan to the soccer league-based Pokemon League of Galar. Even the PokÃ©mon themselves derive from the lands that every region draws inspiration from, from the fashionable Furfrou poodle of Kalos to the ghostly Decidueye line of Alola that draws inspiration from the local owl species and culture. While it’s exciting to see where Game Freak goes next, it would also be interesting to see the developer do more with the idea of âârevisiting these regions that they’ve put so much work into designing.
Pokemon Remakes vs. Revisits
When discussing the idea of ââseeing a Pokemon region, it’s important to distinguish between a developer remaking an older game and a new serial canon in which players can return to somewhere they were before. The Kanto, Johto and Hoenn region games have been remade over the years, with the ILCA Shiny Diamond PokÃ©mon and Shiny pearl configured to remake the original DS games. However, these are usually improved versions of the above with new content.
Game Freak bringing players back to a country they’ve seen before is rarer, but it’s often more interesting. Generation 2 Pokemon the games are a famous example of this, as it is revealed towards the end of the main story that Johto shares a border with Kanto, and both regions operate their Pokemon League from the Indigo board. In Gold, Money, Crystal, and their remakes, players can even explore Kanto again after defeating the Elite Four and Champion Lance, allowing them to see how that has changed in the three years since the events of Red, Blue, and Green. Their ultimate challenge ends up being a battle with Red, the now reclusive silent protagonist the players controlled in the original adventure.
Something similar was done with PokÃ©mon Black 2 and White 2. Unlike the “third version” which most Pokemon games receive with varying differences – such as Crystal, emerald, Where Platinum – Black 2 and White 2 are direct sequels that take place two years later Black and White. Players can explore how the region changed during this time, for example the Cold Storage of Driftveil City becoming the Pokemon World Tournament stadium, and they will find familiar faces taking on new roles.
Pokemon Legends: Arceus could announce more to come
Nothing like Black 2 and White 2 have really been tried since their release almost 10 years ago. PokÃ©mon X and Yes has not released a third version of any kind, PokÃ©mon Sun and Moon instead, we had reimaginations of “alternate universes” in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, and Pokemon Sword and Protect chose to expand what already existed via DLC. However, Game Freak may be giving the idea a new twist with its upcoming PokÃ©mon Legends: Arceus.
Rather than revisiting the Sinnoh region after the events of diamond, pearl, and Platinum, Legends: Arceus is a prequel set in a feudal era when Sinnoh was known as Hisui. Rather, players will get a glimpse of how the region was established back in the days when PokÃ©mon and humans didn’t yet coexist. Games like Gold and Money got things done by introducing new characters such as Koga’s daughter Janine, who is returning to her gym after becoming a member of the Elite Four. Legends: Arceus Instead, apparently introduce the characters’ ancestors, from Commander Kamado (a young Professor Rowan) to Captain Cyllene (a gendered version of Cyrus from Team Galactic).
The concept behind PokÃ©mon Legends: Arceus is unique enough to stand out from games like Black 2 and White 2, but it ultimately serves a similar purpose. Game Freak can explore pre-established territory from a new perspective, giving players a glimpse of how the living and breathing world of its franchise changes over time. There is clearly interest there, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the developer dive back into a more traditional form of revisiting regions.
Why the Pokemon region revisions are worth it
More Pokemon games aren’t known for their stories, which tend to dress up for more stereotypical quests to go through, grow strong enough to beat adults with decades of training, and discover the power of friendship in the making of road. However, the relative success of games like PokÃ©mon Masters EX, in which players are looking for major characters from the history of the series to add to their collection, shows that they can be just as popular as the titular creatures.
This is part of what helps games like Gold, Money, Black 2, and White 2 stand out from your peers. Not only do these games benefit from years of development on their respective consoles, but they also bring more life to the games. Pokemon world by showing that it is not static.
The Memory Link function in Black 2 and White 2 is perhaps the most brilliant use of this vanity. If the player matches the data from Black and White versions, they can unlock cutscenes with main characters that explain why things have changed. For example, one scene shows Nimbsa City Gym leader Elesa confiding in Skyla de Mistralton about her desire to change her look – while also revealing her jovial personality more.
It remains to be seen whether Game Freak will revisit a past region in a future game. Current speculation points to something like PokemonGeneration 9 games are based on Italy. However, the idea of ââa Pokemon game taking at least Gold and Moneyadding an older region to explore and get a better feel for how the world has changed over time. It would almost certainly hit a lot harder for a long time Pokemon fans as cameos or remakes, despite the merits of both approaches.
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