Tuesday morning was an exciting time for Pokémon fans as Nintendo made a surprise announcement of a Pokémon-themed Direct. That was a huge deal for Nintendo for quite a few reasons, but it also comes at a very interesting time in Nintendo’s history. Seeing as Nintendo has just recently released a new console capable of both home and portable play, everyone’s minds naturally went to one possibility. Could this finally be the day Nintendo announces a Pokémon game for the Switch? Could this finally be the day Pokémon gets a long-awaited home console treatment? Could this be Pokémon Stars as people were calling it?
Well… no. In the 8 minute Direct, Nintendo essentially unveiled 3 games with the tragically common theme of being either a port, a minor upgrade, or both. We did get a Pokémon game on the Switch, but it was Pokkén Tournament DX, a port from the Wii U. We also did get an extension of last year’s Pokémon Sun & Moon, but it was Ultra-Sun and Ultra-Moon, the same game from half a year ago with a new story mode and on the same console. Both were in the vicinity of what fans were asking for with the hypothetical Pokémon Stars for Switch, but it just wasn’t it. In fact, it felt like a cash grab more than anything. The only announcement from the event that didn’t leave fans too disappointed was Pokémon Gold and Silver coming to the 3DS eShop. However, even that still felt like a cash grab in a way.
Needless to say, many fans weren’t very happy and I don’t blame them all that much. Not that the announcements were that bad, though. I mean, if we look at this objectively, there’s still a good game coming to the Switch, and fans of Pokémon Sun & Moon still get a little something to tide them over… even if it’s a bullshit way to accomplish that. No, my big problem with this situation is that these announcements shouldn’t have been handled this way. This Pokémon Direct was a stupid idea.
Okay, let me rephrase that. It’s not that the idea of a Pokémon Direct is in itself bad. Under the correct circumstances, that’s actually a really good way to hype fans up for an upcoming Pokémon game by giving it its own treatment. That is if the announcements themselves warranted such a treatment. Unfortunately, I don’t personally see a reason why any of these announcements required its own Direct, especially a week before E3. All of these would be best served for and would make fans less angry had you saved these games for next week. Why? Because even though you still aren’t giving the fans what they wanted, you could still cushion it with other game announcements that would’ve outshone it. Plus, at least you’re not stringing fans along by promising big and exciting things for the Pokémon franchise only to announce 3 ports.
In short, if you’re going to host a Pokémon Direct, you should’ve had something completely new to announce. It doesn’t even have to be Pokémon Stars. It could’ve been literally anything else. Pokémon Snap on the 3DS or Switch. Another Pokémon Dungeon Crawlers game. Detective Pikachu. Hell, even Hey You, Pikachu! 2 would’ve made the Direct better. Seriously!
Alternatively, if you’re strictly trying to port things, might I recommend porting Pokémon Red, Blue & Yellow to the iPhone? That would be kinda exciting to announce. Or, if it were me, I’d get the Pokémon Stadium games and Colosseum games and release them in a collection for the Switch. Throw in Battle Revolution for good measure, too, and you have yourself a good appetizer while the next proper, full Pokemon game comes out.
Look, I’m not attacking this Direct because I was disappointed personally. I simply believe this was a poorly timed and poorly executed move by Nintendo towards the die-hard Pokémon fans. Whether or not you expected Pokémon Stars to be announced (I personally didn’t) and whether or not you’re that big a fan of the series (I’m a bit casual with the series myself), you can put any other franchise in the same position and see the problem. If a Kirby Direct was just a port of Rainbow Curse, a repackaging for Planet Robobot, and Kirby Super Star on the eShop, people would be just as mad. My main point is that if you’re going to make a specialized Nintendo Direct for a series, you better be prepared to bring out something big.
Look on the bright side, though, Pokémon fans. At least they didn’t mention Pokémon Go. Oh my! If they made a Pokémon Direct with no Stars but Pokémon Go made the cut, there would be blood.
Did you see the Pokémon Direct Tuesday? Were you disappointed, excited, or in-between.?Let me know in the comments below.
I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!