Demon Buster Trainee
- May 14, 2014
- Generation Started
- 1st Generation
- Favorite Pokémon
- Pikachu, Rayquaza and Zeraora
- PkmnGO Team
Masuda and Kensaku Nabana (game environment designer) talked to the website GameSpot about the the Let's Go games, Meltan, the rival and much more.
You can read the full interview on GameSpot's site.Despite being inspired by Pokemon Yellow, Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee seem to introduce a lot of new elements not found in previous Pokemon games. What new things should we expect?
Junichi Masuda: The main flow of the story plays out very much like Pokemon Yellow Version. One of the reasons we wanted to do this is that we imagined a lot of fans of the original game were going to be playing through it. There are different parts, but I think they'll recognize the main beats of the story and feel some nostalgia there.
At the same time, we did add a decent amount of sub-events that weren't in the originals. It kind of gives it a different feel because there's a lot of trainers alongside their Pokemon in the actual world itself, so it would be a different impression than the original game, while also covering the same story.
Team Rocket seems to play a more prominent role in Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee. Does this mean we'll see more of Jessie, James, and Meowth during the story?
Masuda: Yeah, they definitely appear more in the game than in the original Pokemon Yellow Version. With these two games, we really set out at the very beginning with a main target in mind, which was younger kids who maybe didn't own their own smartphones and weren't able to really participate in the Pokemon Go craze that happened. They weren't able to go out and join in on that fun, so really providing them with a really fun experience that also had some of that Pokemon Go gameplay. But at the same time, we wanted to introduce these new players, for whom this might be their first Pokemon game, through the original story, kind of ease them into the Pokemon experience that way.
Also, I thought it would be fun if players who maybe enjoyed the original game--they're now much older, probably in their 30s--they'd be able to interact with maybe their own kids or other kids that they know that are playing the game. They would actually know the general flow of the story, maybe able to give advice like where to go next and things like that. With Team Rocket, because the animated series is popular--it's in like 85-plus countries--I imagine a lot of those younger kids will have seen the animated series, even if they haven't played the game. So, we're trying to add in the elements like that to make it easier for them to get into the world and recognize the setup.
In the original games, your rival was a huge jerk, but the one in Let's Go seems much friendlier. Why the change?
Masuda: I think the biggest reason that rivals were more of a jerk in the early days is that we were just limited with what we could express with the pixel graphics. There's not much you can do with that kind of little sprite on the screen, so we worked harder to characterize them through dialogue and give them certain personalities. Also, because it's just dialogue and there's not a whole lot going on on the screen, it doesn't give as harsh of an impression even if they're jerks, I think. Now we have HD graphics and the visuals are much more impressive. If you also made him a jerk, the impression would be a lot stronger on players. Another thing, just my own personal take, is that it feels that people with those kinds of personalities these days are not as accepted by players, I think, as they were back then.
In the original games, there was text or some sort of setting where "Pidgey eat Caterpie," for example. That was fine back then, I think everybody liked it. But, I think, as Pokemon has gone on, the fans kind of have their idea of what Pokemon should be. If we did that now, I think a lot of people wouldn't really like it, it would give them a bad reaction.
What about the old man standing outside Celadon Gym who says he loves looking at the pretty girls? Did you have to tone that down as well?
Masuda: Yeah, we definitely re-evaluated all those kinds of things. But at the same time, the fact that you remember that means that it was something memorable. We had to be very careful about which things to change and which things to keep as they were. Definitely check it out for yourself and see if he's still around.