Pokemon Presents 2020

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Light Lucario

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This was a pretty fun presentation. Pokemon Smile wasn't really the best first announcement, but it's harmless enough and encouraging kids to brush their teeth is a nice goal. I also like it in the fact that it reminds people that this is indeed a franchise primarily aimed at children. Pokemon Cafe Mix looks pretty cute. The art style looks so charming and the puzzle format looks fun. I'm not sure if I'll get it for the Switch or put it on my phone, but I'll give it a shot either way. The updates for Pokemon Go sounded pretty neat. I wonder how they'll incorporate Mega Evolution and if that means they'll start rolling out sixth generation Pokemon later this year. The Zeraora event also sounds like a pretty fun way to celebrate the DLC. It's kind of disappointing that we can't catch the Zeraora in the Max Raid Battles, but that does make the Shiny Zeraora gift more special in a way.

New Pokemon Snap was easily the highlight of the presentation. I was so shocked when they showed someone taking Pikachu's picture. I thought to myself "Is this what I think it is? Oh Snap! They're finally doing another Pokemon Snap game!" I remember having a lot of fun with the original game myself and it's easily one of the most popular/beloved spin off titles in the franchise. People have wanted a sequel or remake for decades. Honestly, I didn't think that they'd do it since the original game came out so long ago, but I'm happy to be wrong about this. The trailer looked gorgeous, although I'm positive almost none of it was actual gameplay footage. A part of me does worry if the high pedestal the original Snap has been on will make it harder for the new game to be as popular or well received, but I'm sure that it will still be fun. We don't know when it will come out since we didn't get a vague release date, but knowing that it is in development and will included a variety of Pokemon is more than enough to keep fans excited.

I wasn't expecting the announcement of an announcement at the end either. Even though it isn't a Pokemon Direct exactly, wanting to announce another project in just another week makes me think it could be a new main series title. A lot of fans definitely want D/P remakes, but I'm not sure. They have announced remakes around late spring or early summer before, so the timing would fit. I'm just not sure if they'd want to have another main series taking focus over the second half of the Expansion Pass. It's possible that the hypothetical new titles could be released after the Crown Tundra comes out, especially when fall could mean September or October instead of November. I wouldn't be against D/P remakes or new main series titles. I've just been so focused on the DLC and what other new Pokemon I want to raise that I haven't really prepared for the possibility of another new main series title for this year. At least we won't have to wait too long to find out what the new project is.
 

Terror of Death

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I like the art style and overall concept of building up and managing a cafe but I'm not digging the actual puzzle gameplay. I prefer match 3 games where you have to carefully think about moves in advance and build combos rather than simply swirling the orbs around all at once. They probably didn't want to make it too similar to Trozei and Shuffle but this new style seems a little on the basic side. Hopefully there's a little more to it and the micro transactions aren't the usual power-ups and play limit bypassers these game tends to peddle.

A new Snap game was surprising and it's weird Nintendo waited two decades to finally make another one. Sales and reviews were good and it seems to be one the Pokemon communities favorite spinoff games. The 3DS had all the elements in place with the camera, 3D, AR cards and motion controls which were a perfect fit for a photography game. Even the DSi and Wii U to a lesser extent would have made sense but Nintendo has always made strange decisions.

What wasn't so surprising is that the environments look more detailed and vibrant than those in Sword and Shield. Bandai Namco is developing the game instead of Game and Freak so it was almost a given that was going to happen. They worked on the most recent Smash Bro games and Pokken Tournament as well as other franchises such as DIgimon, Dragon Ball, One Piece, Sword Art Online, .hack, Ben 10, Power Rangers, Kamen Rider etc. Their games pretty much have cartoon/anime/manga look perfected to a T.

But you can also tell from the trailer Bandai Namco was probably given a small budget to work with by Nintendo. The Pokemon models look like they might have been lifted directly from Sword and Shield with some slight tweaks to the colors. And as gorgeous as the environments are they don't compare to some of their other games. And it's pretty telling about the disparity among developers when spinoff game made on the cheap still looks better than a franchises mainline game. It becomes more apparent each month how little effort Game Freak put into the Sword & Shield and Let's Go games.

I'm hoping the announcement on June 24th isn't for Let's Go Johto games because it's going to be embarrassing looking at those games side by side with New Pokemon Snap. An announcement for Pokemon Conquest 2 or a new Ranger game would be more appreciated. A new Detective Pikachu game was said to be in development last year so the announcement could possibly be for that.
 
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Light Lucario

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It certainly wasn't what I expected, but Pokemon Unite doesn't look bad. It looks pretty neat and has a different battle format. Admittedly, I think it might be one of the games where it's more fun to play yourself than watch others play, but I was also tired when I watched it live, so that was a factor too. It was fun to see different people around the world playing it and I was especially happy that they were all able to play at home. At this point, I'm thrilled at any kind of basic safety measure.

I can't really blame fans for being upset to a degree at least. People were really hoping for either D/P remakes or Let's Go Johto games. Some of that can be contributed to fans looking too much into the Johto plush toys in the background for the previous presentation and just being eager for D/P remakes, but having another Pokemon Presents a week later for another unnamed project would obviously increase expectations, especially when we finally got New Pokemon Snap last week. Plus, I think devoting an eleven minute presentation for one spin-off title was a bit much, at least right off the bat. I can kind of see why they did when they're partnering up with another developer, although I've heard some pretty bad stuff about Tencent Games since this announcement, but I think it would have been better to combine the two Pokemon Presents instead of waiting another week for a second one.

In retrospect though, it did seem a bit much for fans to expect the next main series game just a week after The Isle of Armor DLC dropped. I understand wanting to know that the games are at least in development, but they don't want to take attention away from the DLC. Even wanting more information on the Crown Tundra is a bit early when they'll probably want to focus on The Isle of Armor for at least another couple of months before promoting the second half of the DLC. They don't want to have effectively two main series games, as the DLC is basically this year's main series title, to compete with each other. This also potentially gives them more time to work on the next main series title before announcing it. There wouldn't be much of a point to announce D/P remakes if they're still too early in development to actually provide any solid information until next year.

The disappointment of not getting any Let's Go Johto games is also kind of ironic to me because I remember how Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee were initially received. Part of that backlash was because a lot of fans wanted either the eighth generation games or D/P remakes back in 2018. These are obviously different fans than the ones who want Game Freak to stop with the yearly releases, but it's just so strange to see such loud vocal backlash over Game Freak not announcing a new main series title for this year. It's still not entirely on the fanbase' part for getting their expectations up too high. New Pokemon Snap alone would make anyone more interested in another Pokemon Presents. If there was something more to this than just Pokemon Unites, like that Detective Pikachu game for the Switch, then it might have been more well received. I'm still willing to learn more about Pokemon Unites, although I'm concerned with it being a free to start game since most Pokemon mobile games make it really difficult to play without using money at some point.
 
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TheJLeeTeam

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My take on Pokémon Unite is that I’m not interested in it but I feel the same with several other spin offs. There are some Pokémon spin offs I’m a fan of and others I’m not. I’ve seen a lot of Pokémon spin off games announced over the years to varying reactions. I was not interested in Pokémon GO at all when it was being developed, I also wholeheartedly thought it was going to flop but it became one of the top mobile games, and though I’m not a fan of it, a lot of people like it. Conversely I was looking forward to Pokémon Art Academy and I remember the reaction to it was lukewarm.
 
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