Thursday, December 9

Video game. The Pokémon phenomenon is 25 years old and all its teeth

Photo DR

This Friday has just released the new Pokémon video games, Sparkling Diamond and Sparkling Pearl, on Nintendo Switch. What do these games represent for the series (which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year)?

Loup Lassinat-Foubert : Sparkling Diamond and Sparkling Pearl are adaptations (remakes) of the Diamond and Pearl games released in 2007 for the Nintendo DS. This isn’t the first time we’ve had remakes of previous Pokémon games, it started in 2004, but it’s the first time it’s released on Nintendo Switch. However, the Switch is very popular and it shows in game sales. The Switch-exclusive Pokémon games, Sword and Shield, released in 2019, are the second best-selling games in the series, just behind the original games from 1996.

Compared to the latest games, Sword and Shield, what will be the changes in Sparkling Diamond and Sparkling Pearl?

Each game duo has a different way of approaching geography, the way of exploring their world. Sword and Shield aims for efficiency with its marked routes. It gives the impression of being in a toboggan, where we are directed, but where the pleasure is immediate. Sparkling Diamond and Sparkling Pearl give more freedom, with more secrets but also wandering. Nonetheless, the series has gone to great lengths in accessibility to accommodate new players.

Sparkling Diamond and Sparkling Pearl Trailer

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Are new players ready to experience Sparkling Diamond and Sparkling Pearl?

Yes, because the original versions came out at a time, at the end of the 2000s, when Pokémon was a little less prominent. The license has always been strong, but there was a slight decline after the first “Pokémania” of the beginnings. The Pokémon Company (Editor’s note: company run by Nintendo and two Japanese studios, Game Freak and Creatures), which manages the saga, imposed several changes, which began in 2013 with Pokémon X & Y on Nintendo 3DS. These changes paid off with Pokémon Go on mobile in 2016 and the Switch Sword and Shield games in 2019, which launched the second “Pokémania”. Generally speaking, at Pokémon, when video games are doing well, merchandise is also doing well.

Speaking of merchandise, the latest Pokémon phenomenon is trading cards and stock-outs. How to explain this popularity?

Stockouts are linked to speculators, or “scalpers”, who will buy product until they are out of stock, then resell them at indecent prices on the black market. But these problems soon seem to me to be a thing of the past. The black market is about to saturate and The Pokémon Company will start reprinting cards. Because their popularity goes beyond “scalpers”

At Pokémon, when video games are doing well, merchandise is doing as well.

What is the future for Pokémon?

The next game is coming very quickly, since Pokémon Legends: Arceus is scheduled for release January 28, 2022 on Nintendo Switch. It is a game that promises to be very interesting since it will break the codes for exploration but also in battles to capture Pokémon. It also marks a break in the world of the game since it will take place in the past with steam or manual technologies rather than digital. And as a Pokémon fan, my curiosity is piqued when you consider that the region explored Pokémon Legends: Arceus is the same as that of Sparkling Diamond and Sparkling Pearl, but centuries ago.

A new Switch model

Since October, Nintendo has offered a new version of its Switch console, with the OLED model. With dimensions close to those of the “classic” Nintendo Switch and a similar power, this new model has a larger OLED screen with intense colors and high contrasts. It also features a large adjustable stand for tabletop gaming, a new docking station with Ethernet port for stable online gaming, 64 GB of internal memory and built-in speakers.

Like the “classic” Nintendo Switch, the Nintendo Switch OLED lets you play on a TV and share the detachable Joy-Con controllers for multiplayer fun. All Nintendo Switch games are compatible on the OLED Switch.

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