Hello, my dear PUCLonians! Due to the recent festivities (which did not touch yours truly, for which I am indeed thankful… an Italian Thanksgiving meal would surely not be easy to survive), Snag and I are walking different paths this week. Be sure to check out his Anything Goes article, and once you’re done, come back here, where we’ll try to make heads and tails of all the rampant speculation about the next main series Pokémon game(s).
(If it had the same title as this article, I’d buy at least a dozen copies of it. Make a note, Game Freak.)
Is it going to be Gen VI or Gen VII?
Let’s get the big one out of the way. Just this week I watched two excellent videos (in Italian, but here’s the link just in case you understand my lovely language: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDzA3EGQ__w And here’s the sequel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGq3Zp6oUoo ) debating this very same question. The pros and cons to the theory that the next game will be a sixth Gen one were very well argued, but in the end both the author and I (and pretty much everyone else in the comments) remained very firmly convinced that the next game will be a part of Gen VI.
The reasons for my belief are mostly (but not only) in-game ones: too many things about Gen VI, and especially Kalos, have untapped potential. Zygarde (and its recently revealed forms), AZ’s Floette, the locked doors at the Kalos Power Plant, the “No, you’re not the one…” girls, Volcanion, all the unanswered questions about the plot… Now, Pokémon is not shy about leaving things unanswered, but not quite to this extent. Plus, I do not think we’ll go two years without a Pokémon game (the market moves a tad too fast for that nowadays), and I can very easily see Gen VII being on the NX, if it indeed does have a handheld component. So I think it’s way too early for Gen VII, but absolutely not too early for a new game.
How about Gen 6.5, though?
Ah, yes, the infamous half-Gen concept. Essentially, some people think that, since there are very few Gen VI Pokémon, and since Game Freak has said time and again that they are looking to shake things up and move away from the usual formula, to suprise people, they may very well be moving away from the Generations structure, introducing new Gen VI Pokémon in the next game. I… find it hard to agree with this.
I think the low number of Pokémon in Gen VI is due to the need for slowing down the inevitable growth in the number of Pokémon. This was compensated by adding in Mega Evolutions; this way, the National Pokédex doesn’t get overly bloated too fast (many already think it is, after all), older Pokémon get a new life, and everybody wins. No one really wants to have 2000 Pokémon by the time the 30th anniversary rolls around, after all. (We might very well have 1000 by then, which is already a pretty insane number.) Plus, there’s an interview with Ken Sugimori, released around the time X and Y came out, where (if the translation is correct) he answers a question about Gen VII designs without correcting the interviewer about this assumption. Since this was two years ago, and it definitely sounded like Mr. Sugimori was already working on at least the general idea for those, I feel relatively confident in saying the next really new Pokémon (and by really new I mean not a new form or Mega Evolution) we see will be a Gen VII one.
So will the next game be Z?
Well… at the cost of sounding like a Magic 8 Ball, signs point to yes. There’s obviously the title of the new anime season: the Japanese anime has always had the same name as the games, and the new one is called “X, Y and Z”. There’s the focus on Zygarde; there’s Pokémon Tretta Ultimate Z (look it up on YouTube, that trailer is pretty amazing). It’s rather hard to imagine that the next game will be called anything but Z. And yet…
And yet what?
Oh, Whimsicott, you’re awake? I thought you were taking a nap.
I was, but you type loudly. And yet, you were saying?
Well… I don’t know. I always feel a bit iffy about things that seem too obvious. I mean, if you asked me to bet money on it, I’d put a few Euros on Z, for sure, because there’s just too much stuff pointing to that. But a small part of me hopes we can still be surprised. Plus there’s the matter of the pentagon thing…
I think I know what you mean, but explain. For the readers, of course.
Suuure. For the readers.
Will we get one game or two paired ones?
If you had asked me, say, three months ago, I’d have said two paired versions, hands down. Here’s why.
Hold on, kids, this is going to get slightly technical.
Sooo… bear with me if you know this already. The way the game determines if a Pokémon has the Gen VI pentagon in its summary is by checking a certain number in the Pokémon’s data. That number is assigned according to the game the Pokémon was generated in. Black and White are 20 and 21, X and Y are 24 and 25, ORAS are 26 and 27. Hacking a Pokémon’s number to be 28 and 29 still makes it have the pentagon. Hacking it to be 30 or 31 makes it not have the pentagon. Hence it seems like there are two more “home locations” planned for Gen VI… but this does not necessarily mean we’ll get two main series games.
I’m guessing you don’t mean they’ll just throw a number to the wind.
Nope. Well, they might, but the other theory is that one of the numbers will be assigned to “Z”, and the other one to… Pokémon GO. See, they’ve said they’ll make it able to communicate with future games, and with the Nintendo Cloud thing coming up, it’s pretty safe to assume you’ll be able to transfer Pokémon from GO to a main series game at some point. So until I knew about Pokémon GO, and before we were hit by the Z and Zygarde storm, I was firmly in the “two games” camp. Now… I have to say it is more likely to be one game, with GO on the side. But I still have not lost all hope for a Black and White 2 kind of deal. (Yes, more games I’d buy in multiple copies while only ever finishing one of them. Man, Game Freak should love me.)
You’re such a hopeless case.
Hey, people like me are the reason they had enough money to make you, so don’t complain.
So… third version?
Oh boy, I certainly hope not. Not literally, at least. I mean, going back to what they did in the first four Gens would hardly be “shaking things up”, right?
We all know Gen V does it better.
Yes. Sure. Anyway… this is the part where we have no facts whatsoever. Z (if Z indeed it is) might be the plainest third version ever. It might be a greatly enhanced third version. It might be a sequel/prequel in the vein of Black and White 2. It might even be a game with an entire region before or after Kalos. (“Flowers” + a train to nowhere in Couriway Town = Netherlands confirmed! … Never mind that there’s all of Belgium in the middle. Poor Belgium is always in the middle.) I have no idea, except I hope with all of my heart that it is not a plain third version. Not just because I want something more, but because we’ve been expecting this game to be announced any moment for months now (yes, we’re kind of spoiled), and if the game is as disappointing as it can be, it won’t be healthy for the Pokémon Company. And I want them to thrive forever and make me a full immersion virtual reality game when I’m old and grey and still trying to make Leafeon viable.
Leafeon sucks so you humans can breathe! Give it a break.
I know, I know. I’m the one who pointed that out, remember? I just wish I could bring one to the U.U.T.C.
No one’s stopping you.
Let me rephrase that: I just wish I could bring one to the U.U.T.C. without having the poor thing torn to tiny, pitiful shreds.
Oh, that’s another matter altogether.
Yeah. Well, anyway, the Netherlands is a great (if slightly damp) country, and I’d love to visit it in a Pokémon game. So while I think that is the wildest of speculations, hey, why not hope for that a little bit?
So your dreams are not horribly crushed? You know, like a Leafeon in OU?
You’re this close to getting expelled from the Grass-type Club, miss. Watch it.
You’re the fool for trying to make the poor thing battle! I was insulting you, not dear Leafeon.
Whatever. So my conclusion on this question is… a big, fat question mark.
Even the question mark is unimpressed with your witty analysis. And also, I think, with you calling it fat.
Gee, thanks, I hadn’t noticed. (Sorry, Unown. You’re perfectly proportioned. I think.)
To sum it up: I believe the next game will be Gen VI. I am about 80% sure it will be called Z, but it might yet be a pair of games (say, X&Z and Y&Z), although that is looking less and less likely. I have no idea what will be in it (besides the new Zygarde forms, of course), but I’m hoping for at least a slightly expanded region and AZ’s Eternal Flower Floette.
What about Mega Evolutions?
That’s a delicate subject. I think it will have new ones, if only just so the meta moves to the new game(s) and you have to buy it (/them). I don’t foresee them putting a ton of new ones in, though.
So… no Mega Whimsicott?
Considering the only way to get you in Gen VI is to wait until almost the end of ORAS… no, I’m very sad to say that I do not see that coming any time soon.
I know, I’m bummed, too. There needs to be more Whimsicott love in the world.
Amen to that.
Well, I’d call it a day, my fluffy friend. My slightly less fluffy friends, aka my dear readers… I hope you enjoyed this. What are your thoughts about the next Pokémon game? Please, share them in a comment. Whimsicott and I would be really grateful.
Until next time,
The Fluffiest Whimsicott