My initial reaction was, honestly, just wow. Even though I had my heart set on R/S/E remakes (being a Generation III fanboy), I am so happy with what this trailer has promised us atleast. It’s shown us a sneak peek into not only the new animations styles, the new Pokémon, and the new areas, but some of the smaller aspects like rollerskating(!). This completely blew me out of the water when I (logically) expected something small like a sneak peek at a new Eeveelution.

The new animation style is the first thing that drew my attention, and consistently held it. I’ve been so used to the 2D sprites from every other main-line Pokémon game, but seeing what Nintendo and Game Freak could do with the scenery in Black 2 and White 2, I really wanted to see a fully 3D animated world, and they sure did deliver. Not only does it look smooth and well polished, but it has a cute, quirky feel to it that makes it stick out for me compared to many other 3DS games which use a similar animation style. I like how how the all of the Human sprites are taller and more prominent, with brighter colours, so they do stand out as NPCs and characters in the same way you could identify the character sprites from the dark, melding backgrounds of Pinwheel Forest. Personally, I think the way they’ve made the character models as being particularly tall and thin with the head being larger than normal human proportions is a nice tribute to how the pixelated sprites had larger heads than their bodies so you could easily identify them in fewer pixels. Not to mention, this video doesn’t represent how amazing it would look with the 3D activated on your console, which significantly improves the “wow factor” of the graphics for me.

The battle animations, as well, look absolutely amazing in my opinion. I feel like they’ve finally achieve what they were giving us a taste of in Black and White, and Black 2 and White 2. The moving sprite animations were a nice little gimmick in Generation V, and it had a little variety, where the sprite would play at half speed if you had a status, and the Pokémon’s eyes would close if they were asleep, although the animation still played. It looked silly when a Timburr was put to sleep, and it continued to throw its wooden beam in the air and catch it, only in slow motion and with its eye closed. I like how the new 3D models can bring so much versatility in potential animations involving not only attacking and being attacked, but having different statuses induced. If they went all the way with a status like Sleep, and made it so that the affected Pokémon actually fell down asleep, I would probably put my Sewaddle to sleep on purpose just to see how cute it looked in with the 3D models. The video actually shows that the expressions of the Pokémon actually change in battle too, which is most definitely a good sign for more a more immersive, and almost realistic, battle.

The new starters are all really cute, I have to say that straight out. I can see Chespin (the Grass starter) as being very similar to Torchic, Piplup, and Oshawott design-wise; it looks like it could fit right in with these other cute, innocent looking Pokémon. Fennekin (the Fire starter) I really like the look of, and since it doesn’t look like it will turn out to be a Fire/Fighting type, I already like how it will be breaking the chain that needed to be broken. It looks like a classy little fox and really reminds me of Vulpix, and rumours that its evolutions will be Fire/Psychic only reminds me Ninetales even more (Ninetales learns Psychic type attacks, and has a very mysterious lore where it can place a curse on someone for touching its tail). Froakie (the Water starter) honestly reminded me of Palpitoad and Seismitoad at first glance. It had a similar design and a (kind of) similar colour scheme. I love frogs though, and he looks like a cool little guy with an opportunity to have some promising evolutions.

I cannot even begin to describe how happy I am to see the legendaries. After Reshiram, Zekrom, and Kyurem, who just felt like overdone and overworked additions to the legendary dragons archetype, I am excited to see what looks like a giant bird, which resembles Lugia, and a buck-like creature that resembled Cobalion a bit. The colour scheme was what really interested me though; they aren’t natural. They look mystical, and almost man-made. With the series having only just come out of Black 2 and White 2 featuring the DNA Splicer, an item that fused Kyurem with either Reshiram or Zekrom, I don’t think I have to spell out the recurring science-y themes going on here.

The one other thing I wanted to comment is… ROLLERSKATING! I’m sorry, but you can see the male protagonist rollerblading for a few seconds in the trailer video. Not only is the concept just plain awesome, but it’s new and refresing from the same bicycle you get every game. How does your character keep that bike in their bag, anyway? Well, atleast I think it’s a replacement for the bicycle. I think that it works having the bicycle replaced with rollerblades; since this game is a massive technological jump in so many ways, it makes sense to me that some content would take a large leap as well. Plus, I could see this as a way to show off some extra animations with the new 3D models, since riding a bicycle is simply your character on a bike, pedaling his legs.

Honestly, I was so excited when I watched the initial video that I was hyperventilating, and I just could not contain my excitement. For the rest of the night, I was a great combination of excited, happy, and just plain giddy. I feel like this is a huge step for both Nintendo and Game Freak with the main-line Pokémon games, and just the franchise itself, and from what I’ve initially seen, it looks like a huge step in the right direction. I can’t wait to explore this exciting new region that Game Freak has presented to us (with my zippy rollerskates!).

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