Internet, Use Splash Attack!
In the whirlwind day and a half since our coverage of rumors from industry insider Emily Rogers, a potential logo and titles have leaked for Pokemon Switch, an alleged insider has been posting artsy teases, and Nintendo has registered two pretty damning domain names. Also, Eurogamer’s Tom Phillips got in on it. It’s a lot to take in, so let’s see if we can make sense of all of it in this comprehensive breakdown of what Pokemon Switch looks like so far.
First, look at this post from 4chan:
That post is from March 31st of this year. Now let’s see which of these Mr.35249333 (if that even is your real name), was right, and wrong about.
Possible Integration With Pokemon GO
Let’s start by recapping the notorious Emily Rogers’ activity in working the rumor mill regarding to the new Pokemon title. As per our aforementioned coverage, this past Saturday, Emily stated on ResetERA that she has reason to believe that Pokemon Switch will be an RPG with “at least two versions,” and hit store shelves by the end of 2018. Yesterday, on her personal blog, someone asked Emily what should be expected from the new Pokemon title. Aside from restating that the title would be announced by the end of the month (that means, in the next fifteen days from when this is posted), she dropped a bunch of Pokemon GO stats, and asked people to consider what Nintendo could be learning from the mobile titles success. Emily also mentions that the naming and branding for the titles may “raise a few eyebrows,” as well as mentioning “the announcement isn’t that far away.”
We’ll touch on the branding more in a moment, but Emily’s comments about the Pokemon Go Plus wearable line up well with Nintendo’s plans to supplement the hybrid console with peripherals. In an interview with Game Informer back in 2016, when asked about cross promotion between GO and then unreleased Sun and Moon, series producer Junichi Masuda stated, “we definitely want to have some kind of connectivity, some way the games can interact…I think a lot of people maybe learned about Pokemon for the first time with GO, the core concept of throwing out a Pokeball and catching a Pokemon, so we don’t want to waste that.” Masuda went on to say “We want to have a way for people who enjoyed one to enjoy some of their progress in the other.” In another Game Informer video interview with Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori, director of Sun and Moon, they both make a point of mentioning that the switch is suitable for playing outside – just like GO.
Then, on Monday, Tom from Eurogamer posted this tweet, highlighting this sick shirt.
— Tom Phillips (@tomphillipsEG) May 14, 2018
Cool shirt, Tom.
The Logo & The Title
Overlapping with all of this has been playful, comic-book art-style teases by twitter user and alleged insider PixelPar.
— Pixelpar (@pixelpar) May 15, 2018
In the above art, at the top you can see a large, Japanese, watercolor logo with a Pikachu tail, and the words “Let’s Go!” in which the O is a Pokeball. Beside it is a checkmark, as it checks out with this logo that appeared on 4chan yesterday. The text translates to “Pokemon: Let’s Go! Pikachu!” It’s accompanying “second” version is allegedly titled “Pokemon: Let’s Go! Eevee!”
PixelPar also compiled this video breaking down all of their own artistic teases. Notice how Red and Blue are specifically present in later images?
Adding to all of this, two Pokemon related domain names were registered today by CSC Corporate Domains, the same company that Pokemon developer Game Freak and Nintendo have used to register previous games including Pokemon Sun and Moon. It’s worth nothing that when said Sun and Moon domains were registered in February 2016, the titles were revealed by Nintendo the next day.
Then, there’s this image which appeared online earlier this year.
Fans had been saying the area looked an awful lot like a 3D version of Kanto’s Route 21, the strip of water between Cinnabar Island and Pallet Town. Most notably, we can see what looks to be an Eevee sitting atop the players head, as they ride a Lapras across the water as players did in Sun, Moon, and their Ultra sequels. Pokemon can also be seen swimming in what would be the game’s overworld, including a Magikarp and Tentacool to the right, as well as Oshawott and Sewaddle in front of the player.
Today while covering the leaks and rumors, Tom Phillips happened to mention that he “heard from sources familiar with the project that the game would indeed be set in Kanto, and be a sort-of remake of Pokemon Yellow.” Tom also claims he was informed that the title would sport visuals closer to that of the recent 3DS games, before “development took a different turn,” linking to an article about the psyche-out that was Pokemon Stars.
Well, it looks like Mr.35249333 (whom I now believe to truly be named that at birth) could be right about almost everything. I guess all there is to do now, is wait for Nintendo to make an official announcement. The countdown to E3 is only getting more unbearable by the second for Pokemon fans.
It’s also worth noting that this past Thursday, Masuda shared this tweet.
— 増田順一@GAME FREAK inc. (@Junichi_Masuda) May 11, 2018
Pretty incriminating stuff, considering fans of the series have noticed Eevee popping up across marketing materials and merchandise more often in the past few months. Plus, a new Pikachu-and-Eevee-centric merch line is coming to Japanese Pokemon Center on May 19th, which is not subtle. I wouldn’t expect a full blown announcement/reveal of the dual-titles at that event, but I imagine a date will be set then for a Pokemon-centric Nintendo Direct.
What do you wanna see from the new Pokemon titles? Do you like the idea of going back to Kanto, or Pokemon Go-esque mechanics in place of the ones we’re used to? Discuss in the comments below. I personally would be super psyched about returning to Kanto and seeing my 3D Poke-pals following me around my childhood home. For more Nintendo hype, check out this interesting list of trademarks the company registered yesterday!