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Individual Values: A Pokémon Feature - Week 68: Dog Day Afternoon

Jonathan Higgins

Welcome to the sixty-eighth week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday.


Manaphy is going to be distributed starting June 1st, via the Nintendo Network. So, not now--but soon! Every single Mythical Pokémon will be distributed during a specific month for the remainder of this year. Now may be your only chance for a really long time, to actually catch them all!


And hey, battles for the Johto Classic tournament begin today and last through the weekend. If you registered, you have a chance to earn Whitney's Miltank for participating.







Dog Day Afternoon


When I covered Pokémon Snap last week, a small part of me expected it to show up on the Wii U Virtual Console prior to the published piece going up. While my wish didn“t come true -- we did end up getting something Pokémon-related: PokéPark Wii: Pikachu“s Great Adventure. I“m not sure if it was due to financial reasons or just too many other things to play at the time, but I never got around to that game or its sequel when they first came out. Maybe I“ll devote one of these IVs to playing that for the first time. For now:


Let“s speculate s“more about Pokémon Sun & Moon in the weeks leading up to E3. A few things of note have come to light in subsequent screens and tiny bits of footage released since the big Alola reveal, and there“s even more news promised on June 2nd.





There are two unique things about the above screenshots that you might not see unless you know where to look. The first image, courtesy of CoroCoro“s own unique starter trailer, show off what many believe to be a brand new dog Pokémon. I“m kind of curious if it“ll wind up being designed from a handful of exotic, even extinct dog breeds specific to Hawaii, like the Poi Dog, for example. Most generations have tried their hand at some sort of dog-like Pokémon. Growlithe is native to Kanto, Houndour to Johto, Poochyena to Hoenn, Lillipup to Unova, and Froufrou to Kalos. As each region has picked up a unique real-life counterpart, so too has its respective dog Pokémon. Am I blanking on a dog for the Sinnoh region? Seems like Diamond & Pearl had more cats!


The second screenshot is even more interesting. I mean, it“s one thing that both battling trainers themselves are now shown in scenes, as we“ve seen since the reveal trailer. But if you look a little closer--someone“s spectating their match. This could be a special instance, and moments where someone“s watching your fight could only happen a few times. Or--if you“ll indulge me for a paragraph or two--it could be a much larger signifier.


What if, for the first time in series history, battles don“t transition from the “overworld screen” to the “battle screen”? For the past twenty years, mainline Pokémon games“ battle interface has always looked similar to Final Fantasy, where the screen fades and opens up to the arena. It would be a pretty big change if, for the first time, the battle screen worked more like Chrono Trigger--where trainers simply take a few steps back and hawk their Pokéballs out on an arena in real time. It would account for there being little difference in the arena that the main character and his friend are fighting in, as well as allow for spectators to watch whenever the scene“s appropriate. What if a Gym Leader“s subordinates got to watch as you fought for your badge? What if your battle with the Big Bad Team Leader had a group of onlookers--or even civilians--watching as you administered defeat? This small, subtle Thing could be pointing the way for some rather big changes.




“But what about tall grass?” That“s just it -- did you see any in

? We haven“t yet! What if every single Pokémon you encountered was a shadow that ran up to you, or flew out at you, like several have in various environments throughout Generations 5 & 6? The shadow could approach you, and then reveal itself as the game moves into “battle formation” from the same overworld screen. What if, instead of worrying about too many encounters in caves and on the waters of Alola, you could take measures to strategically avoid hanging shadows or other means of enemy encounters? ...Indeed, I realize that“s a bit of a stretch. But you“d be surprised how much just seeing an additional person in a battle scene has got my proverbial cogs turning.


All right: one last thing. It“s been theorized that Alola will have a bunch of islands, like the Hawaiian islands themselves. But how will you travel between them? Like the guy behind Serebii dot net brought up

-- I think Soaring is going to come back. I“d say you“ll travel by boat from island to island most of the time, but being able to take to the sky would solve the potential for another region with…”too much water”.


And there we have it! There“s a little more speculation on my part, to lead us into the next reveal. I“ll be a happy guy if my educated guesses end up becoming true in the next trailer. I wonder if we“ll see the final evolutions of the new starter Pokémon as well. What do you hope to see?

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