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Rivvon

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Just this week, Eurogamer published an interview they conducted with game director Junichi Masuda regarding LGPE! In this article, I share my thoughts on what was discussed. What do you think? Do you agree, disagree? Anything from the interview you found particularly interesting?

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magical leaf

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A few things:

I personally feel as time goes on, while it's understandable, it's getting increasingly pointless to feel so much anger at this game for being "casual". It's becoming more and more clear that LGPE is appealing to a different demographic, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Yeah, it might not be my cup of tea personally, but to say it lacks any sort of charm or draw would be misguided, I think. I personally think this would end up being a very "what you see is what you get" type of game. Everything is stripped down barebones to make things as simplistic as possible, which to be honest, might be preferable for some. It means you won't have to worry about soft-resetting for Natures and correct Abilities for one, so maybe this would end up working in the long run for some people, anyway.

That said, there's a different debate/discussion on whether LGPE would be the start of either a new series, or a foundation of how Pokemon gaming will be on Switch from here on out. I'm really interested in how others would feel about either option, but I think whether you like these games or not, it's going to be hard to turn a blind eye to them because I get the gut feeling that LGPE is going to leave its mark in subsequent Pokemon games. To what extent is something we'll see, of course. And of course this could all depend on how well these games sell, but don't be surprised if you see elements of LGPE (whether it be the graphical style or whatever) reused in the Switch main series games moving forward.

A big criticism to Game Freak (or TPCi, I'm not sure who really authorized this but it's probably both) is paywalling a rare Pokemon for the sake of raising merchandise sales. Part of me feels like this is partially business genius in a sense because Mew is popular, but part of me feels like it's rather scummy at the same time. $50 for a controller that works with one game and one game only (assuming LGPE is the only one in its series), even if it comes with a rare Pokemon, is a high price. If it's absolutely necessary, I would've been ok with $25-30 as the price tag, but nothing higher than that.

TLDR: Much like SM and USUM, Game Freak is exploring outside of their comfort zone. This, of course, is a divisive move like it always has been. BW and B2W2 weren't exempt from this because they got the same treatment. Whether this "experiment", so to speak, pays off will probably determine what Game Freak's priorities are come 2019 and beyond.

Laslow

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A big criticism to Game Freak (or TPCi, I'm not sure who really authorized this but it's probably both) is paywalling a rare Pokemon for the sake of raising merchandise sales. Part of me feels like this is partially business genius in a sense because Mew is popular, but part of me feels like it's rather scummy at the same time. $50 for a controller that works with one game and one game only (assuming LGPE is the only one in its series), even if it comes with a rare Pokemon, is a high price. If it's absolutely necessary, I would've been ok with $25-30 as the price tag, but nothing higher than that.
For what it’s worth, I’d say this is specifically a thing if you really want to have a Mew in your copy of Let’s Go. For seasoned players, I’m sure Mew has been obtained one way or another.

And then there’s Meltan.

Astronaut

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tl;dr
While some say that pokémon is for kids, these are the first ish-core series games that genuinely are made specifically for young children.

bobandbill

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My main annoyance with the interview is Masuda's rambling non-answers to questions about if there are other challenges or puzzles and all. Not a reassuring sign imo. And part of the fun was overcoming the strength puzzles or the like imo! If you don't have the places that really feel like exploring a cave, that you sometimes get lost in and so forth, then you lose the sense of adventure, and that's part of the Pokemon experience for me.
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“We wanted to spend more time and put more effort into making the Kanto Pokémon, the original 151, as well made as possible, and expressing them as well as we could.”

Haven't they already been doing that since like gen 6? What about the non original 151 pokemon?

Oh man I love pokemon but they really think low of children's playstyles. Surely a japanese kid is smart enough to know how to progress without dumbing the game down.

Rivvon

Age 26
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I personally feel as time goes on, while it's understandable, it's getting increasingly pointless to feel so much anger at this game for being "casual". It's becoming more and more clear that LGPE is appealing to a different demographic, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
I definitely agree. There is nothing wrong with these games catering to a more casual playstyle. What baffles me is how Masuda is describing them, however. Instead of just being upfront and saying that they're meant for a casual experience, he tries to sell "capture combos" and the Master Trainers as something that will be exactly up the alley for "hardcore" players, when in reality I doubt those two features will satisfy what said players are looking for. So I can't help but wonder, is it just PR talk to not scare away "hardcore" players? Or does Masuda genuinely believe these minor things will satisfy the "hardcore" crowd? Because if it's the latter, the fate of the 2019 "hardcore" titles will likely not be one that the less casual crowd would like to see.

My main annoyance with the interview is Masuda's rambling non-answers to questions about if there are other challenges or puzzles and all. Not a reassuring sign imo. And part of the fun was overcoming the strength puzzles or the like imo! If you don't have the places that really feel like exploring a cave, that you sometimes get lost in and so forth, then you lose the sense of adventure, and that's part of the Pokemon experience for me.
It was very interesting how he didn't directly answer, well, anything, except for the question about a possible open-world game. The way he responded to if we might see a Johto-style Let's Go!, instead of just saying something like "We'll see if the fans want it," but instead starts talking about eggs, was very odd, I felt. I wonder what they are planning for the 2019 titles that he has such things on his mind.

And I definitely agree with your point on a sense of adventure. Part of what makes a region memorable is how fun it is to explore, and with more straightforward-regions like Alola, they can be pretty all they want, but if the entire experience is walking down a hallway, it's not all that memorable once you put the game down. HMs can easily be replaced with a Ride Pager-like item so long as the sense of exploration is there.

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magical leaf

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I really do think Masuda is trying desperately not to favour one side over another in an effort to continue pushing the idea of "Pokemon is for everyone". Were he to actually say "hey, this is purely a casual game", then I imagine the more hardcore players would skip out on the games entirely, making it a bad PR move.

.... I mean, not that most hardcore players would be enticed much by what LGPE has to offer anyways, but I suppose he's just playing safe.

Laslow

Ashe – House of Blue Lions

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“We wanted to spend more time and put more effort into making the Kanto Pokémon, the original 151, as well made as possible, and expressing them as well as we could.”

Haven't they already been doing that since like gen 6? What about the non original 151 pokemon?
I actually think he’s vaguely referring to how they’ve tried to give the first 151 some unique animations and behaviours in-game. For instance, riding a Charizard when it’s your "following" Pokémon, or having a rolling Electrode follow you around. Fluidly animating 800+ Pokémon is not a trivial task. They could be doing more — for instance, more animations, particularly in battles where the XY/SM battle animations end up being reused. Or having a larger set of Pokémon in the game.

But there are limits particularly when there’s a next-generation Pokémon game on the horizon. I think they’re being realistic, even if Masuda’s being vague as all hell about it.
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