Was anyone else less than thrilled about the “big” Pokémon announcement today? Maybe I’m just getting old, but simply announcing that a new entry in a long-running franchise is getting a new generation doesn’t cut it for me. I’d like a little meat in my announcements, particularly ones that themselves receive an announcement for said announcement ahead of time like this one.

Don’t get me wrong, the video was a neat little chunk of nostalgia for Pokémon’s big two-oh, but it didn’t really tell us anything we didn’t already know. And I’m not talking about the leaks yesterday.

Oh, before I get ahead of myself (this is a news site after all)…ta da:

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Yup. Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. Pretty neat, huh?

I actually rather like the new generation names. Pokémon has long been built off of “competing” or “opposing” elements or dichotomies – red and blue, ruby and sapphire, diamond and pearl, black and white, x and y – and they’ve long since run out of colors and gemstones. Sun and Moon seem like a natural evolution (I’m more or less positive that Earth and Sky will be generation eight).

But what did we learn today really? We learned the Pokémon will be getting a seventh generation. Is anyone really surprised at this point? Just telling us the names isn’t worthy of a Nintendo Direct in my opinion and it definitely isn’t worthy of the game’s 20th Anniversary this weekend. They could have done that in a regular announcement…like the one they gave earlier this week that we were going to be getting a Nintendo Direct later this week. They could have just told us then that Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon would be coming this holiday season and left it at that. We know we’ll be getting more information down the pipe, because that’s what companies do. It’s called advertising. I suppose we did learn that they’ll be coming out this holiday season, but…I dunno, that doesn’t seem like enough to warrant an entire Nintendo Direct for.

I’m guessing they felt the need to get something out this week for Pokémon‘s 20th Anniversary – the original Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue came out 20 years ago on Saturday. But it wasn’t even worthy of that. This just reminds of someone that forgot their 20th wedding anniversary and rushed to the florist only to find that they were all out of stock, so they end up buying a ratty and dying daisy and…this metaphor got away from me, but you get the point.

When I heard about a “big announcement,” I expected some information (or at least a release date) about Pokémon Go. We haven’t heard boo about that hype-y project since its initial announcement, even amidst the now-debunked and frankly villainous rumors that it had been cancelled. After I heard the leaks, however, I expected the new generations to be announced, but for them to be announced with some details about the gameplay, about what they hope to actually change and accomplish for this new generation of Nintendo’s hype-factory.

It’s no secret to anyone that knows me that I’ve long been disappointed with Pokémon as a franchise and while many extolled and for changing up the formula, I simply didn’t see it that way. Sure they tuned up the EV training to make it less arcane, but I saw that as a quality of life upgrade…and it was still grindy and uninteresting. It simply made it more accessible to the layman. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t bad. But I didn’t see it as ushering in a new age for Pokémon. Likewise, changing from 2D to 3D sprites, while a nice touch, just seemed like more of a natural evolution – a “no duh” – than a complete game changer. I enjoyed and Y. But I didn’t feel like they revolutionized the series.

So Sun and Moon offer them a chance to do something fresh and new…or not. And I had hoped to hear what it was they decided to do (or not do). Maybe they’re going to “revolutionize” the breeding and training mechanics, which are long overdue for an overhaul (and would go nicely with the changes to EV training). Maybe they’re going to finally revamp the archaic battle mechanics. Maybe they’ll make it a real-time strategy game. Maybe they’ll turn it into more of a virtual pet game (I would seriously kill for a decent virtual pet game…get on that, Digimon).

Unfortunately, I don’t know any of these things because Nintendo decided to only give us an admittedly-cute but ultimately vapid announcement that told us nothing we didn’t already know: Pokémon‘s not done, guys.

No duh, Nintendo.

I guess we got a few screen captures of concept art and working images from the new title (presumably) that I’m sure IGN and Kotaku will post ad nauseam and pontificate on what they mean…but I don’t want to pontificate. I want to know. And that’s what big, hyped announcements are supposed to do. They’re supposed to inform, tell us something new. Nintendo Directs have a long-standing history of giving us some of the biggest announcements the company has to offer, and the fact that they told us it was coming, gave us time to get frothed and foaming at the mouth, indicated that this was something big.

Anyways, all that aside, I am excited to hear what Nintendo will do with this new generation. Pokémon hasn’t exactly been one of the most evolving series over time but while I thought and weren’t exactly revolutionary, they did make steps in the right direction. I’m excited to see what further steps – be they shuffling baby steps or giant leaps (not holding my breath) – they decide to make with this newest iteration.

But I still want to hear something about Pokémon Go…

The opinions in this editorial are the author’s and do not represent OnlySP as an organization.

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Brienne Gacke
Writer, journalist, teacher, pedant. Brienne's done just about anything and everything involving words and now she's hoping to use them for something she's passionate about: video games. She's been gaming since the onset of the NES era and has never looked back.

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