Nintendo hosted a new Pokemon-focused Direct today and many were hoping that this would be the long awaited announcement of the rumored Pokemon Stars for Nintendo Switch. Unfortunately it was anything but…
Game Freak and Nintendo announced today that Pokken Tournament DX will be the first Pokemon game to debut for Nintendo Switch this September while new Pokemon 3DS titles, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, will release in November. Game Freak also announced that Pokemon Gold and Silver will finally join the Virtual Console line-up.
Pokken Tournament… really Game Freak? Let me first say that Pokken is a pretty fun game. I’ve played quite a few knuckle-whitening bouts with my family during the holidays, but Pokken was far from what I wanted announced during this Direct. Like many fans, I have been anxiously awaiting the announcement of a main line Pokemon title for Nintendo Switch. Up to this point it was widely rumored that Game Freak would announce Pokemon Stars, a mash-up of Sun and Moon, before or during E3. Pokemon Stars would have been an excellent way to entice current 3DS Pokemon players to jump over to the Switch, but instead Game Freak has gone a more frustrating route.
Not much information for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is given during the Direct since it mostly focuses on Pokken. All we have for now is that the two new 3DS titles will feature an alternative story within the Sun and Moon region of Alola while utilizing new, never-before seen Pokemon. From the brief glimpse however, it appears that we are getting more of the same old Sun and Moon we have already come to love (Lunala and Solgaleo get weird mask things so I guess that makes them new Pokemon?). This announcement really begs the question, why not just make a title like Pokemon Stars for Switch?
If Game Freak and Nintendo are going to go through the trouble of making a new handheld Pokemon title using the Alola Region, it makes so much more sense to make this title for the Switch and push players to jump over to the new console. The Switch is in need of some major 1st-party announcements. The console has been selling quickly the past few months, but the only major titles under its belt are Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Arms since its launch back in March. While these are all great titles, they aren’t necessarily enough to keep current Switch owners satisfied or get potential buyers to pick up the new console. An announcement like Pokemon Stars would have pushed many Nintendo/Pokemon fans into purchasing a Switch and could have been a major boost for the console’s sales.
As of right now, it looks like Nintendo and Game Freak are looking to make a quick cash grab via both 3DS and Switch by re-releasing Pokken and the updated Sun and Moon. The problem here is that none of the titles look or sound all that enticing. Pokken Tournament DX is only adding 5 Pokemon to the roster which isn’t really that much. The extra fighters do look like excellent additions to the game, but it feels like Game Freak is tacking on a bit of DLC to make the DX version seem like more than it is. As for Ultra Sun and Moon, lets hope that more information is given at E3 because as it stands there doesn’t appear to be any real reason to purchase these titles.
How do you feel about today’s Nintendo Direct? Also feeling disappointed by the lack of Pokemon Stars? Excited for more Pokken action? Or maybe you are somewhere in between?
Sound off in the comments!