Another day, another Nintendo leak. This time, for the under-wraps Pokmon RPG headed to Nintendo Switch.
A persistent rumour the game’s two editions will be named Pokmon Let’s Go! Pikachu and Pokmon Let’s Go! Eevee has been quietly doing the rounds for several months. It all became public yesterday when an unverified drawing of a logo appeared online.
If your feet are feeling wet, the floodgates on Pokmon Switch details have been dribbling speculation for some time. The usual sources on Twitter, Resetera and 4chan have not been subtle, and yesterday’s leak prompted round-ups of rumours on numerous sites and blogs since all signs seem to point in the same direction.
That direction? That the Pokmon game for Switch will be set in the series’ original region of Kanto, and be influenced somewhat by the hugely-successful Pokmon Go.
Last year, I heard from sources familiar with the project that the game would indeed be set in Kanto and be a sort-of remake of Pokmon Yellow. The visuals would be familiar and reflect the project’s origins as a higher-resolution version of 3DS games Sun and Moon, I was told, before development took a different turn.
Pokmon Yellow launched in 1998 – 20 years ago this September! – and let you play through Pokmon Red and Blue’s Kanto region with franchise mascot Pikachu as your buddy – travelling with you outside its Pokball, just like in the anime.
It brings to mind a certain, unverified image which appeared online earlier this year. The picture appears to show a section of gameplay where the player character is riding on the back of a Lapras. Eagle-eyed fans suggested it looked like a lot like an updated version of Kanto’s aquatic Route 21, and noticed an Eevee – huh! – on the character’s shoulder, travelling outside its Pokball.
The visuals do look very similar to those of 3DS games Sun and Moon – the same top-down viewpoint the series is known for remains.
Notably, wild Pokmon appear on the map itself as they do in Go. The main Pokmon series has previously shown wild Pokmon popping up via random battles.
Other leaks claiming information on the project have gone further on the Go connection, and suggested Go-style gameplay for catching Pokmon, and some way of linking both Go and Let’s Go! together. A return to Kanto would also reflect the more mass-market appeal of Go, which has so far only featured the earlier and more recognisable Pokmon.
A link between Go and the Switch game would hardly be a surprise. Back in late 2016, around the time the Pokmon Switch project was gearing up, series producer Junichi Masuda said integration between the main games and Pokmon Go would “definitely come down the road”. Several months later, fans found unused code within Nintendo’s 3DS Pokmon Bank storage app which referenced creatures “first met in Pokmon Go”.
It feels like it won’t be long until we hear more.
We’ve contacted Nintendo for comment. In the meantime, let’s check in with a few recent posts by Masuda himself. Just like those posting Nintendo leaks, it seems he can’t resist a tease either.
— 増田順一@GAME FREAK inc. (@Junichi_Masuda) May 11, 2018
— 増田順一@GAME FREAK inc. (@Junichi_Masuda) May 13, 2018