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A Pokémon Retrospective: Generation 8 – 2019 To 2022

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Switch PokemonSwordPokemonShield
Picture: The Pokémon Firm

Six years in the past, operating as much as Pokémon’s twentieth anniversary, we did a rundown of every of the generations of Pokémon, after which introduced it again three years in the past to cowl Technology 7.

Now, we’re actually within the information cycle for Technology 9’s Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, so it’s time to have a look again on the final three years, the eighth era of Pokémon, which covers one of the crucial divisive instances Pokémon has ever seen…

A Pokémon Retrospective: Technology 8 – 2019 To 2022

The Construct-Up

All of it started on Pokémon Day in 2019. Following on from 2018’s Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee!, a Pokémon Direct was broadcast that centered solely on one trailer and that trailer showcased the primary footage of the primary model new Pokémon sport for the Nintendo Swap, Pokémon Sword & Defend.

In some ways, the build-up contained a few of the extra imaginative reveals. Whereas The Pokémon Firm toned down on the amount of reveals, it actually elevated the model and strategies. When you had the same old Nintendo Direct reveals or Pokémon World Championships reveals, there are two different large reveal strategies of notice. In September, there was an ‘difficulty’ the place Rotom corrupted the official web site and had a distorted picture on it. This storyline led to the reveal of Sirfetch’d. And in October, TPC held a 24-hour nature livestream set in Glimwood Tangle to ultimately reveal the brand new kind, Galarian Ponyta.

Nevertheless, all was not effectively with this cycle. Following the second Pokémon Direct and near-unanimous constructive reception of Pokémon Sword & Defend reveal, in a single fateful E3 Treehouse phase the information dropped that not all Pokémon can be coded throughout the sport and thus couldn’t be caught or transferred inside. This created a really loud wave in the neighborhood with YouTubers and folks on socials creating campaigns about it — arguably fuelled by misinformation and mistranslations distorting folks’s disappointment within the determination — and resulted in folks being way more important of every part Pokémon than ever earlier than. This even included harassment and threats in opposition to not simply these in The Pokémon Firm, however these within the Pokémon fandom. Fortunately, that has principally subsided within the years since.

The Primary Sequence

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Picture: The Pokémon Firm

Technology 8 is definitely fairly distinctive in that its fundamental sequence video games are vastly completely different from one another.

The primary fundamental sequence sport is Pokémon Sword & Defend, which launched November fifteenth 2019 globally. This sport was set within the Galar area, modelled after the UK, and had you play as a brand new coach who participates within the Gymnasium Problem, a play on the sports-focused components of the UK, and it then goes off the rails as the person who runs the Gymnasium Problem turns into obsessive about fixing a problem that’s hundreds of years away. In complete, by the top of the era, Pokémon Sword & Defend launched 89 new Pokémon. It has since turn out to be the second best-selling Pokémon sport of all time.

Mechanically, this sport introduces, Dynamax, which makes your Pokémon large for 3 turns with particular strikes which have vast results. This additionally ties into a brand new co-op function, Max Raid Battles, a twist on the Raid Battles seen inside Pokémon GO that has as much as 4 gamers workforce up collectively to defeat a Dynamax Pokémon for varied rewards and an opportunity to seize it.

The sport additionally featured the primary open areas of a Pokémon sport, the Wild Space; whereas not a completely open world, this open space was cut up into segments with completely different Pokémon, and the Pokémon various based mostly on the climate. All through the open areas, you may discover Pokémon Dens which might be used to begin Max Raid Battles, and there have been even frequent Max Raid Battle occasion distributions providing particular themed occasion raids each few weeks all through the three years of the era.

In January of 2020, following the sport’s launch, a Pokémon Direct was held which revealed that, for the primary time in Pokémon historical past, moderately than an enhanced model, Pokémon Sword & Defend would function the primary paid downloadable Growth Pack, which might launch in two components all year long. This additionally coincided with patches for all gamers so as to add over 100 outdated Pokémon into the sport. Even if you happen to didn’t purchase the DLC, you may commerce with those that purchased the DLC and caught them, take part in Raid Battles hosted by those that purchased the DLC, or simply switch them in from previous video games.

The primary of those DLC packs, The Isle of Armor, launched varied new Pokémon, particularly Kubfu and Urshifu, and had you go to the titular Isle of Armor the place you get mistaken for a brand new entrant into the dojo. You get given a Kubfu and are advised to coach it. This was a much more detailed open space than the Wild Space and centered extra on exploring and battling.

The second DLC pack was The Crown Tundra. This pack was extra narrative-focused and passed off in one other open space that introduced winding caves again. Right here, you met the character Peony and investigated varied Legendary clues all through which lead you to discovering the story of Calyrex, the brand new Pokémon Regieleki & Regidrago, and the Galarian Types of the Kanto Legendary trio Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres. This pack additionally launched an adaptation of Max Raid Battles referred to as Dynamax Adventures the place you undergo a gauntlet of Dynamax Pokémon utilizing Rental Pokémon to discover a Legendary.

In 2021, every part modified when two extra fundamental sequence video games have been revealed on the similar time. In a primary for the franchise, a mainline sequence title was developed by a studio other than Recreation Freak. Pokémon Good Diamond & Shining Pearl are remakes of the unique Diamond & Pearl and developed by the corporate ILCA in Japan. These video games have been very devoted to the originals and didn’t embrace many adjustments aside from the inclusion of the battle system from Sword & Defend and a few adjustments to the Underground and Contest methods.

Nevertheless, Recreation Freak’s different fundamental sequence title, Pokémon Legends: Arceus, is an enormous change to every part that has come earlier than in Pokémon. This sport is about in Hisui, the area that grew to become Sinnoh, and has you play as an adolescent who acquired introduced again in time by Arceus to assist remedy a disaster. The gameplay may be very completely different and has you undergo 5 open areas catching Pokémon and calming Noble Pokémon, large Pokémon which were despatched berserk by varied vitality. The gameplay is completely different and has you capable of throw PokéBalls at Pokémon within the overworld and has seamless battles with a less complicated battle system in comparison with Sword & Defend. It additionally launched a wide range of new Pokémon, principally evolutions of older Pokémon or particular regional variants of older Pokémon.

The primary sequence in Technology 8 was an enormous shift. Pokémon Sword & Defend continued because the aggressive sport, even after the discharge of Good Diamond & Shining Pearl and Legends: Arceus, and — with out utilizing Pokémon HOME — the three video games are largely unbiased and separate, a marked change from all generations prior the place the video games have been almost absolutely interactive.

The Pokémon

Technology 8 introduced in a complete of 96 Pokémon into the fold. 81 in base Sword & Defend, eight within the DLC and an additional seven in Pokémon Legends: Arceus. This was the best quantity because the shift to 3D in Technology 6. It featured the return of Regional Variants in Galarian and Hisuian Varieties and in addition added particular types given for varied Pokémon after they Dynamax; Gigantamax Varieties. These types had no adjustments aside from visuals and the particular transfer used however over 30 Pokémon have Gigantamax types.

The Starter Pokémon have been the Grass-type Grookey, the Fireplace-type Scorbunny and the Water-type Sobble which simply remained the identical kind as they advanced, a primary for fairly some time. After they advanced to their last evolutions, the drummer Rillaboom, the soccer participant Scorbunny and the spy Inteleon, they later gained particular Gigantamax Varieties which pushed their motifs even additional.

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Picture: The Pokémon Firm

The remainder of the designs are arguably amongst most of the finest Pokémon has delivered shortly, and alternate types have been used all through. Alcremie is a Pokémon based mostly on whipped cream and comes with over 60 completely different types based mostly on its flavour and the candy used to evolve it. Cramorant is a fan favorite with particular types which have it consuming an Arrokuda or Pikachu, relying on the well being when the shape is activated.

This era additionally reintroduced an idea that, Sylveon apart, had been gone since 2006; evolutions of outdated Pokémon. Primarily that is achieved by evolving regional variants of Pokémon, however with Pokémon Legends: Arceus, a number of that advanced straight out from older Pokémon have been launched together with Wyrdeer, Kleavor, and Ursaluna.

Following the large quantity of Legendary Pokémon in Technology 7, Technology 8 pulled again a bit and began off with simply the 2 heroes of Galar, Zacian & Zamazenta, and the mysterious Pokémon utilized by Rose to convey on the Darkest Day, Eternatus, with all three having strikes that do elevated injury in opposition to Dynamax Pokémon. The DLC and future video games modified this additional. The DLC launched nothing however Legendary Pokémon which tied in to the tales of every DLC pack, and even launched Regional Variants of Legendary Pokémon. Pokémon Legends: Arceus then adopted up by including one more Legendary Pokémon, Enamorus which is a fourth addition to a Legendary trio launched in Pokémon Black & White and even has a Therian Forme.

Legendary Pokémon have been only a few on this era, presumably as a result of lack of films. The one new Legendary Pokémon launched was Zarude, a Darkish/Grass-type Pokémon that inhabits the jungle. It even has an alternate “kind” of Dada Zarude, a Zarude with a Celebi cape as seen within the film, Secrets and techniques of the Jungle. This era additionally gave a Gigantamax kind to the legendary Pokémon Melmetal.

Technology 8 actually upped the sport within the notion of distinctive Pokémon. From possessed teapots to hungry squirrels, there have been new Pokémon for everybody.

The Anime

Journeys
Picture: The Pokémon Firm

Following the slice-of-life anime model of Pokémon Solar & Moon which had Ash win his first-ever league, the anime shifted to a mixture of journey and slice-of-life with what was recognized in Japan simply as Pokémon, and within the West as Pokémon Journeys. This sequence adjustments expectations and, moderately than simply discover the Galar area, it centered on each single area and had probably the most continuity of the Pokémon anime with lots of Ash’s outdated pals, enemies, and acquaintances returning.

This sequence had Ash turn out to be a analysis fellow at Cerise Laboratories alongside a brand new coach, Goh. Goh met a Mew way back, made discovering the Legendary Pokémon his objective, and decides the way in which to that objective is to try to catch each single Pokémon there’s.

Ash additionally finds a brand new focus with the Pokémon World Coronation Sequence after first assembly Leon in Galar. Deciding to hitch up, Ash rises by the ranks battling Gymnasium Leaders and outdated pals to achieve the Masters 8 to hitch the ultimate event in opposition to varied champions from internationally to see who’s the World Coronation Sequence champion.

As the primary anime had a selected focus, and following the success of Pokémon Generations, a number of net anime sequence have been launched.

The primary was Pokémon Twilight Wings, a brief sequence set particularly in Galar. Every episode centered on a selected Gymnasium Chief of the area and offered perception into their previous.

Evolutions
Picture: The Pokémon Firm

Pokémon Evolutions was the religious successor of Pokémon Generations and had an episode based mostly on every area of the primary sequence, that includes a retelling of assorted story components together with Leon’s struggle with Eternatus, Barry preventing Group Galactic in Lake Acuity, and extra.

Pokémon Hisuian Snow was created by WIT Studio and was a three-episode tie-in with Pokémon Legends: Arceus. It centered on the unique character Alec and confirmed his first journey to Hisui as a baby and when he returns years later.

Lastly, PokéToon is a set of shorts from varied completely different animation studios in Japan and is now releasing on Pokémon TV. It tells varied touching tales associated to people and Pokémon.

Motion pictures

This era was distinctive in that it has solely had one film. As a result of world scenario, this film acquired delayed from the standard July slot in Japan after which took a yr to make it by to the West.

Secrets and techniques of the Jungle featured Ash assembly a boy referred to as Koko. Koko was raised by a Zarude after the Zarude discovered it as a child. Koko grew up pondering he was a Pokémon and ultimately discovered the reality when scientists who labored together with his mother and father began to search out the Coronary heart Tree on the coronary heart of the jungle the place the Zarude lives.

Spin-off Video games

After the majority of Technology 7 and the latter half of Technology 6 have been predominantly cellular, the spin-off titles began to shift with extra of a console focus, although some video games have been obtainable on each console and cellular

Console

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Picture: The Pokémon Firm

In the beginning of the era was Pokémon Thriller Dungeon: Rescue Group DX. This sport was a full remake of the unique Pokémon Thriller Dungeon video games on the GameBoy Advance/DS and featured a 3D graphical model that matched the art work of the video games. Solely the primary 386 Pokémon and any evolutions they’d have been obtainable within the sport, and it included Mega Evolution for the primary time.

After over 20 years of individuals wanting it, in 2021 a sequel to the Nintendo 64 basic, Pokémon Snap, was launched. New Pokémon Snap expanded on the idea including varied new phases with branching paths and lots of of Pokémon to work together with. It featured on-line leaderboards and showcases so you may present your finest images round.

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Picture: The Pokémon Firm

Console & Cell

Pokémon Café Combine was launched in June 2020 and was a continuation of the ideas set by Pokémon Trozei, Pokémon Battle Trozei, and Pokémon Shuffle and has you full phases by clearing puzzles, with every stage having particular necessities for completion. As you full phases, you create dishes to provide to numerous Pokémon, with the hopes to recruit them as employees. The sport then acquired upgraded in 2021 to Pokémon Café ReMix, appearing as a gentle relaunch of the sport with extra options.

Pokémon UNITE launched in 2021, developed by TiMi Studios. This free-to-play title is a battle enviornment sport the place between three and 5 gamers be a part of a workforce and battle in opposition to one other workforce. You acquire factors by defeating wild Pokémon and different gamers, and have to attain them. After the time is up, the workforce with the best rating wins. It will get routine updates including extra Pokémon and outfits. It has since joined the Pokémon World Championships as of 2022.

Cell

Pokémon Smile was launched in 2020 as a easy cellular sport to show kids to brush their tooth. In it, you catch Pokémon just by brushing your tooth effectively. Over time it has obtained updates together with a latest addition of Johto Pokémon to the sport

Pokémon GO continued on by the era, including Pokémon from much more areas, now with Pokémon from each era inside it together with Pokémon from Sword & Defend and even Legends: Arceus. Over the era, it needed to alter to the brand new world circumstances led to by the COVID-19 pandemic and allowed for gamers to play raids remotely, take part in occasions remotely, and extra.

Pokémon Masters EX launched proper on the finish of Technology 7 and has had continuous updates ever since. It has added extra trainers, often called Sync Pairs, from all areas of the sport from Kanto by to Galar.

Pokémon Buying and selling Card Recreation

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Picture: The Pokémon Firm

The Pokémon Buying and selling Card Recreation has continued on all through Technology 8. Eradicating Pokémon GX, it launched a brand new idea, Pokémon V, which acted in the same method in having excessive HP and powerful strikes, however they went even additional with the addition of Pokémon VMAX, that are the TCG’s equal of Dynamax. This will increase the Hit Factors additional however the opponent features three Prize Playing cards in the event that they knock it out.

Pokémon V expanded even additional because the era went on. Pokémon V-UNION playing cards had it’s a must to play 4 items of a card out of your discard pile in an effort to apply it to your bench. These playing cards are very highly effective however the means to get them performed imply they haven’t seen a lot use in aggressive TCG play.

Pokémon VSTAR are the newest addition and act as an amalgam of Pokémon VMAX and Pokémon GX. They’ve elevated injury and Hit Factors however have a particular transfer or Potential, the VSTAR Energy, which you’ll be able to solely use one among per sport between all VSTAR Powers in your deck.

The Pokémon Firm has additionally launched a successor to the wildly standard Pokémon Buying and selling Card Recreation On-line within the West. Pokémon TCG Reside is its successor and is coming to PC and Cell quickly, with beta obtainable at time of writing in Canada and Mexico.

Aggressive Pokémon

Worlds
Picture: The Pokémon Firm

The Pokémon Championship Sequence hit a stall with the worldwide scenario and the Pokémon World Championships in each 2020 and 2021 acquired cancelled.

In the course of the interim, they stored issues going with the Pokémon Gamers Cup on-line occasions for VGC, TCG, and infrequently Pokkén Match DX, and the Draft the World tournaments for the TCG. The Pokémon Firm additionally held a number of occasions in Japan, and Pokémon Korea held the Pokémon Trainers Cups and different occasions within the West.

It was then introduced that 2022 can be the return to reside occasions, with Regional Championships coming again in March 2022 in the direction of the 2022 World Championships. For the primary time, Pokémon GO and Pokémon UNITE have been added to the circuit making there be 5 video games within the Pokémon World Championships.

A Look to the Future

Whereas the era began off with the group imploding as a result of lack of all Pokémon within the video games, in some ways Technology 8 was one of many strongest generations. From a enterprise perspective, the video games offered the perfect for many years, the TCG has offered over quarter of its complete card quantity in simply these three years, spin-off video games on devoted units have returned to excessive acclaim, and a number of net anime sequence have come. The Pokémon Firm has been making an attempt numerous new ideas on this era, they usually don’t look set to cease experimenting.

Whereas there are nonetheless some unreleased tasks that we find out about, notably Detective Pikachu 2 on the Nintendo Swap and Pokémon Sleep on cellular, as we go in the direction of Technology 9 and Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, now we have to marvel simply how a lot momentum will carry over, if these new concepts will proceed.

How will Pokémon GO, Pokémon UNITE, and Pokémon Masters EX adapt to the ninth era? Will motion pictures return? Time will inform, however tell us your ideas under on how Technology 8 ran and what you hope will come sooner or later.

Pokemon SV Screenshot 13
Picture: The Pokémon Firm





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