Pokémon Direct: FEATURED

UPDATE: GameStop is now taking pre-orders for the Red Edition and Blue Edition Pokémon X & Y 3DS XLs.

I have a confession to make. I’m somewhat manic about the Pokémon franchise; it’s one of my go-to games. Like Fire Emblem: Awakening, Cave Story and other games I’m infamous forPokémon is something I look forward to because of the borderline insane amounts of time I spend with each new game in the franchise. That’s why when Iwata announced the first-ever Pokémon Direct in January 2013, I was up at 6 AM EST to cover it. With barely a cup of coffee in me, I soldiered on for a good few minutes to take in the global announcement of Pokémon X & Y.

Pokémon X & Y Pokémon X & Y

Kind of thought those memories were behind me, but alas…another Pokémon Direct is upon us, ladies and gentlemen. And I know we don’t normally cover this kind of news, but when Nintendo chooses to bring certain games to the forefront via a Direct, you kind of figure something decent is coming to light. This Direct comes with just about a month standing between us and the new games… What surprises does the Pokémon Company have in store? Without ado, let my somewhat sleepy coverage commence!

Nintendo is delivering this presentation directly from “Pokémon HQ” in Japan. Like the first Pokémon Direct, the presentation began with a look back at Pokémon Red & Blue. Wait, no—the entire series. They talked about experimentation and the nostalgia associated with looking back at the evolution of the franchise. There’s a focus on connectivity throughout this entire beginning sentiment. “Because you interact with others, Pokémon games are different than games you play alone.”

Pokemon Direct: Pokemon Bank & Pokemon Transfer

Pokémon Bank is a new tool that allows for up to 3,000 Pokémon to be stored via the Internet. Further, PokeTransporter allows you to transfer Pokémon from Black, White, Black 2 and White 2 via the Pokémon Bank tool. There was plenty of talk about the advantages this service provides. More information will be offered up soon! It’s effectively a Pokémon version of “the cloud.” There will be an annual fee associated with these services in order to ensure maintenance and compatibility with future games. More will be announced regarding these aspects in the not-too-distant future.  You can learn more about Pokémon Bank here.

Pokémon Direct: Kanto Starters Pokémon Direct: Mega Charizard

Unlike previous entries in the franchise, your starter isn’t given to you by the Pokémon Professor, but by your friend. The Professor will offer you one of the Kanto starters at some point during the game. Why bring back Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle? It’s because Venusaur, Charizard and Blastoise all three have Mega Evolutions! I managed to grab a look at Mega Charizard during the feed, as an example. There was plenty of discussion on how Mega Evolutions occur; this is the biggest mystery of the region where Pokémon X & Y take place. And now that I have it, here’s some official art for the Mega Evolutions:

Pokemon Direct: Mega Venusaur Pokemon Direct: Mega Charizard Pokemon Direct: Mega Blastoise

For more information about Mega Evolutions and official artwork and screenshots for previous Mega Evolutions, check out the official website. Before leaving us, Iwata announced the Pokémon 3DS XL/LL, formerly a Japan exclusive, for release in North America and Europe on September 27th, 2013.

Pokémon Direct: Red and blue Pokémon X and Y-edition 3DSes

Pokémon Direct: Satoru Iwata, Tsunekazu Ishihara, and Junichi Masuda

That’s a wrap. The second Pokémon Direct will soon be faintly remembered, like a dream in a sleeper’s eye. What piece of news from this presentation has you most excited? Be sure to let me know! I’ll be updating live through the morning with assets as I have them—stay tuned!

View the entire Pokémon Direct presentation, in English, below.

Jonathan Higgins
[Former Staff] Jonathan parted ways with Operation Rainfall on June 15th, 2014. You can follow him on Twitter @radicaldefect.