If you’ve been playing Pokémon since it first came out – and actually stuck through with them every generation of games – then you’d surely know their magic formula: release a complementary pair of games with slightly varying storylines (at least beginning Gold and Silver, and in Ruby and Sapphire in earnest) and exclusive Pokémon (necessitating trading between versions to complete the Pokédex, which has always been and still is the ultimate goal of the game), among others. Then, a couple of years down the road, a third version is released, with improved features and gameplay, and an upgraded storyline bringing the two main games together, so to speak.
The formula was slightly deviated from in Generation III, when Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire were followed up not with the third game (Pokémon Emerald), but with remakes of the first games, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen. Emerald did come about half a year later. In Generation IV, on the other hand, the third game to Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, Pokémon Platinum, was released, before the Generation II remakes, Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver.
Generation V changed the game altogether, and instead of releasing the perhaps-expected Pokémon Gray, Game Freak instead came up with a second pair of games that were sequels to the initial Pokémon Black and White, aptly titled Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. With Generation VI’s Pokémon X and Y and their remake offers Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire out and comfortably settling in, it is but inevitable for fans to wonder what the next game will be.
It’s amusing and moving to see that they assume there will be a new game (or two) – myself included – and, after all, Hoopa was only recently revealed, and Volcanion has yet to be so. Arceus, though officially revealed 2009, was already available by hacking or cheating in Diamond and Pearl, which were released outside Japan in 2007; and others too, such as Shaymin and Darkrai. Arceus was also revealed after Pokémon Platinum had been released in Japan. On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be much indication that Hoopa and Volcanion are available in-game by hacking or cheating, although the data is present (click for Hoopa or Volcanion) – even for AZ’s Floette, tentatively called Floette-Eternal, which does not evolve and has different stats from a regular Floette.
So it really seems as if there will be an upcoming release to wrap up Generation VI. Based on experience, fans are debating on whether or not it will be Pokémon Z, or Pokémon X2 and Y2.
Game Freak admitted that they want to surprise their fans, but also takes into consideration their feedback on social media to influence what they come up with next (as explained in an interview with Junichi Masuda, the co-founder of Pokémon). They also consider the reality around them, such as a lifestyle that gets busier and busier, and the intense competition traditional video gaming faces from mobile gaming, which is one reason why the games now seem a lot easier (for example, Super Training, which raises your Pokémon’s EVs, are now available at the start of the game – meaning you can train your Pokémon’s EVs from day one. That the EVs themselves are now visible is also a major change). For example, they chose to go Black 2 and White 2 to surprise their fans who were expecting a Gray, but also released Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire due to a lot of demand to create a remake of the originals.
Over the next several posts, I’ll be discussing my opinions to both sides, then make my personal verdict (and wish) at the end.
What do YOU believe will be the next Generation VI Pokémon game? A Pokémon Z or a Pokémon X and Y 2? Comment below!