25 C
Saturday, April 1, 2023
25 C
Saturday, April 1, 2023
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    All about Pokémon

    Danial Norjidi

    Fans were treated to a slew of announcements and updates during the recent Pokémon Presents digital presentation in tandem with Pokémon Day.

    Celebrated on February 27 each year, Pokémon Day is an occasion that marks the anniversary of the Japanese release of the Pokémon Red and Green games on the Game Boy platform back in 1996. In line with the celebration, The Pokémon Company aired a digital presentation providing an update on all things Pokémon.

    First up was a segment highlighting the new special artwork for the Pokémon World Championships 2023, the latest iteration of the annual event that sees the best Pokémon Scarlet, Pokémon Violet, Pokémon TCG, Pokémon GO and Pokémon Unite players from around the world gather to compete. The championships will be taking place on August 11-13 in Yokohama, Japan.

    Next was the unveiling of the Pokémon Trading Card Game Classic, which is described on the Pokémon website as “a premium Pokémon TCG set created as a joint production by the design firm nendo, Creatures, and The Pokémon Company”.

    Also revealed was a new collaborative project between The Pokémon Company and Netflix called Pokémon Concierge.

    Pokémon Scarlet
    People playing Pokemon GO. PHOTO: THE STAR

    As Vice President of Content (APAC Ex-India) at Netflix Minyoung Kim explained in the presentation, “With this title, we’re excited to marry an entirely new storyline that expands the Pokémon universe with groundbreaking stop-motion animation. To bring this new world to life, we’ve partnered with the amazing creative team at Dwarf Studios. The series, which will be set at the Pokémon Resort, follows the story of our concierge, Haru, and the many Pokémon who visit as guests.”

    The presentation then proceeded with some news on Pokémon games, beginning with Pokémon Unite, a free-to-play multi-player online battle arena (MOBA) title with a Pokémon twist, which has now entered its second year of service and surpassed 100 million total downloads.

    “More and more Pokémon have joined the fray, allowing for even more strategies and ways to play.”

    The presentation announced that legendary Pokémon Zacian was being added to the game, and that the ‘Adventure in Zacian’s Weald’ event is under way, where players can complete missions to receive rewards and obtain Zacian’s Unite license.

    A boss rush event is also under way in Unite, where players are tasked with standing against formidable foes with their allies and earning rewards.

    In addition, it was announced that an invitation-only league – the Pokémon Unite Asia Champions League 2023 – is being hosted to decide the game’s Asia-region champions. “The teams that win their way through each league will come together in a dramatic face-off in Kuala Lumpur on March 18 and 19.”

    Focus then shifted to Pokémon Café ReMix, a free-to-start puzzle game where the player befriends Pokémon and completes puzzles to create drinks and dishes to serve at their café.

    Announced was the addition of Pokémon from the Paldea region – Sprigatito, Fuecoco and Quaxly. Players who take part in a special in-game event can choose one these three to join their staff. To celebrate Pokémon Day, until tomorrow, players who log in will receive Greninja in a ‘great chef’ outfit. Further, players can now also deliver to an array of five-star chef Pokémon that have appeared in the past.

    Pokémon Masters EX was next. This title sees players embark on an adventure and team up with famous trainers from throughout the history of Pokémon. The presentation announced the celebration of three and a half years of the mobile game with a variety of bonuses and new master sync pairs.

    The spotlight then centred on Pokémon Sleep, which will be launching on iOS and Android in summer 2023. As the presentation explained, in Pokémon Sleep, “Your adventure takes place on a small island. On this island, you’ll find a great big Snorlax and Professor Neroli, who is researching Pokémon sleep. It’s easy to play on this island. All you have to do is get a good night’s sleep. If you leave your smartphone by your pillow when you go to bed, your sleep will be measured, recorded and analysed. Once that’s done, it will be categorised into one of three ‘sleep types’: dozing, snoozing or slumbering. Pokémon that tend to sleep in the same way as you did will gather around Snorlax. As you keep this up, you might even discover some rare in-game sleep styles that most will never see. It seems that each species of Pokémon has several sleep styles. Get lots of sleep and try to find them all!”

    “The idea of Pokémon Sleep is to be a game that makes you look forward to waking up in the morning,” said Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of The Pokémon Company Takato Utsunomiya during the presentation. “By using the Pokémon Sleep app regularly, you can have fun while tracking the regularity of your sleep, or ‘rest rhythm’.

    The presentation also introduced the Pokémon GO Plus +, a new device that can be used with both Pokémon Sleep and Pokémon GO. With Pokémon Sleep, the device helps measure sleep data when placed by the user’s pillow. Within the device is also a Pikachu that can sing lullabies. For playing Pokémon GO, the device allows the user to automatically spin PokéStops and throw regular Poké Balls at Pokémon without needing to pull out their smartphone. There are also future plans to add new functionality that will use sleep data in Pokémon GO too. In addition, “by linking the Pokémon GO Plus + to your Pokémon GO game, you’ll get access to special research in Pokémon GO that will allow you to encounter a Snorlax wearing a nightcap”.

    Updates were also provided regarding the Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, the most recent games in the Pokémon series, which released on the Nintendo Switch in November last year. It was announced that a pair of new Paradox Pokémon are appearing and can be caught in Tera Raid Battles, where Scarlet players will find water- and dragon-type Pokémon Walking Wake, while players of Violet will encounter Iron Leaves, a grass- and psychic-type Pokémon.

    Additionally, Scarlet and Violet can now connect to Pokémon GO. Specifically, this enables players to send postcards from the mobile game to Scarlet and Violet. Based on the location data associated with the postcards, the pattern of the Vivillon Pokémon that appear in the two Switch titles will change. “On the Pokémon GO side, the players who have sent postcards will find themselves able to catch Roaming Form Gimmighoul in that game.”

    The showcase also announced that Pokémon Home support will be coming to Scarlet and Violet in early 2023. To close out the presentation, a trailer was shown for the upcoming Pokémon Scarlet and Violet downloadable content (DLC), The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero, which will come in two parts later this year, namely Part 1: The Teal Mask in fall 2023 and Part 2: The Indigo Disk in winter 2023.

    As Utsunomiya explained, “In Part 1: The Teal Mask, you’ll be visiting the land of Kitakami as part of a school trip, as your adventures expand beyond the Paldea region. And in Part 2: The Indigo Disk, you’ll be studying as an exchange student at Blueberry Academy.”

    “During these adventures, you’ll be able to encounter some familiar Pokémon that you didn’t see living in Paldea. The legendary Pokémon that newly appear in The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero are Ogerpon, with its fearsome mask, and Terapagos, resplendent in its glittering aura,” he added.

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