Welcome to a new upcoming month GL and GR readers, as such Sony is giving its PlayStation users some free games if you have their PSN+ service. So if you do and own one of the following consoles, then see what you’re getting this month for free:
- Zombie Driver HD
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Do you have Microsoft’s Games with Gold which is a fancy title for Xbox Live Gold subscription? Then you will get the following games for free for a very limited time so act while you can for the month of June:
- Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: Russia (June 1-30)
- Smite Gold Bundle (June 16-July 15)
Xbox 360 (compatible with Xbox One)
- Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed (June 1-15)
- LEGO Indiana Jones 2: The Adventure Continues (June 16-30)
Throughout the years, we’ve seen quite a few interesting early prototypes and demos of games surface online. There was that Rayman demo, which showed the game as it was on the SNES. There were the kiosk demos for Mario Kart DS, complete with all manner of interesting tracks not found in the final version. And in general, there have been tons of completely unreleased games posted online too, like Mr Tuff, Jelly Boy 2 and Nightmare Busters.
But today, something was found that puts all of them to shame. A game whose mere discovery was history in the making.
Yep as the title suggests, a prototype ROM for Pokemon Gold and Silver was posted online, complete with tons of content from the game’s early development. It’s got Pokemon not found in the final game. It’s got locations and items not found in the final game. In other words, it’s the holy grail for video game collectors and beta enthusiasts.
So, here’s the page about it on the Cutting Room Floor Wiki.
As well as our thoughts on many of the interestings things found in it. Starting with the bit everyone wants to know. The Pokemon that never made the final cut…
Cause at this point in development, Pokemon Gold and Silver had a very different cast list lined up. Like this line of fire type starters, presumably the early equivalents of the Cyndaquil family:
As you can see, they’re nothing like the final versions. Hell, they don’t even look like they’re based on the same species, with their designs being more inspired by mice (and perhaps Eevee) than whatever the hell Cyndaquil’s family are meant to be based on.
And the craziness is far from over there. Nope, other interesting early Pokemon designs include this Tangela style monstrosity (perhaps an early evolution meant for it?), a very strange two headed ghost creature and something best described as dog made of balloons. They’re all fascinating designs, and real glimpses of what we nearly got in the final games.
Existing Pokemon also had a few design tweaks too. For instance, look at Scizor here. Notice anything different?
Yep, he seems to have a more ‘organic’ design at this point in development, with his claws seeming more like Hydreigon’s extra heads than anything else. It’s an interesting change and makes us wonder whether the whole ‘steel typing’ aspect may have been a late consideration in of itself.
What’s more, he’s not exactly alone on the design change front. Oh no, Heracross went through a fair few changes itself:
As did Kingdra, Hitmontop and Feraligator. Oh boy, that last one looks even less like the final version than Typhlosion did:
What even is that? Some sort of seal/dinosaur hybrid? Whatever it is, it’s as far a cry from the crocodilian we got in the actual game as you can ever imagine.
Also, intriguing are the designs that seem to be from future generations. Such as these two, which ended up appearing in Ruby and Sapphire as Gorebyss and Huntail respectively:
Or this one, which clearly inspired Lickitung’s actual evolution from generation 4:
Or even this one, which seems to be Happiny from generation 4.
Again, it’s an interesting look at how things change around in development and shows that scrapped Pokemon from one generation often ended up being kept and reused for a later one. Huh, wonder what other video games series do something similar? After all, Shigeru Miyamoto did say that cancelled Mario games inspired Pikmin, and scrapped dungeons from The Legend of Zelda The Wind Waker were apparently retooled into dungeons in future titles in the series…
Either way, you can find the full list of Pokemon and their sprites on this page here, so go and check it out if you’re into that sort of thing:
For everyone else? Well let’s look at the locations now…
Or at least, the one location we actually have information about. You see, this is the current map for Pokemon Gold and Silver:
Whereas this is the one from the prototype:
Yeah, Johto changed a lot in development, didn’t it?
What’s more, it seems the whole concept of the game’s region as a whole changed in development too. Why? Because the map you see above is clearly based on Japan as a whole, with the towns and cities representing areas in the real-life country. This implies that at some point in the series’ development, Nintendo and Game Freak had plans to turn whole countries into regions for the games, with future games likely taking the player to areas based on other real-life countries much earlier than generation 5. It’s an interesting difference in world building and makes us kinda wonder how future games would have worked along those lines.
Would Kalos have been the whole of France? Would Unova have been the entire USA?
Probably, and that would have made for some very different games to the ones we actually got. There’s a haunted wasteland route, a tropical island city, more gatehouses than ever before, all of which can be seen on the full map here.
It definitely seems like an interesting world, and one that had even more variety than the actual game’s region did.
Still, enough about maps and locales for the time being, onto something else. Like say, some of the moves scrapped from the game…
Earlier today, the Pokemon Company held an event discussing various upcoming Pokemon games. One of these was the generation 8 game, which was said to be heading to Nintendo Switch in 2019. One was Pokemon Quest, a random mobile/eShop title with a Minecraft esque art style.
And then one more title which no one saw coming. Namely, a new anime esque set of Pokemon games on the Nintendo Switch. Titled Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee, these games are a return to Kanto with an updated art style, changed mechanics and more integrations with Pokemon GO.
Here’s a trailer showing the new titles in action:
As you can see, at a basic level they’re much like the traditional titles. You’ve got a region to explore with Pokemon to catch and trainers to fight (albeit the same one from the original games). You’ve got the villain team in the form of Team Rocket, and all the setup that entails. And you’ve got the traditional connectivity the series is known for.
But these aren’t your traditional Pokemon games. Oh no, they’re actually more like a hybrid of Pokemon Yellow and Pokemon GO, with a setup mimicking the former being integrated with a battle system inspired by the latter.
Which in turn means that the traditional Pokemon encounter system is a thing of the past. Now, you’ve got Pokemon GO style catching mechanics instead, with your Poke ball throwing deciding whether you catch the Pokemon instead of how much damage you do to it beforehand.
And the changes don’t step there. Oh no, you know how we said the games are inspired by Pokemon GO?
Yeah, well it doesn’t stop at inspiration. Instead, the games actually integrate with Pokemon GO too, even letting you go as far as to transfer Pokemon from or to Pokemon GO in the process. That’s not completely unexpected for long-time fans (since evidence of ‘gifts from Pokemon GO’ have been found in the main series code since Sun and Moon), but it’s still interesting to see these two branches of the same series get tied together more none the less.
Especially given that now Pokemon GO accessories are being tied in to the games too. Yep, these games are being released alongside a special Pokemon themed controller too, known as the Poke Ball Plus. This accessory not only acts like a controller in said game, but also a Pokemon GO Plus for Pokemon GO as well, with Pokemon from Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee being sent to the device and heard through the speakers too.
Again, it’s an interesting setup, and one that quite unexpected given how siloed the different parts of the franchise used to be.
Outside of Pokemon GO connections, Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee also have a few other intriguing new features and tweaks too. You can customise both your character and main Pokemon, in a way reminiscent of cosplay Pikachu and gen 7’s clothing system. You can have your favourite Pokemon walk behind you again, like in Pokemon Yellow and HeartGold/SoulSilver.
And perhaps most interestingly of all, you can play with friends too. Yeah, this one has co-op multiplayer, with others people able to travel the region and battle alongside you with a single Joy-Con for a controller. That’s a pretty cool addition if you ask us, and one that the actual main series really needs to bring over too. After all, it’d certainly make demonstrating the game to friends more enjoyable, and let you do battles without needing extra games or systems!
So yeah, Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee do have quite a bit of promise and seem like rather enjoyable looking spinoff games overall. Sure, they won’t please everyone, but with these games acting as a tutorial to the series for Pokemon GO fans (and a stop gap until 2019 for the rest of us), there’s not really any point being too critical of them none the less.
Either way, check them out if you’re interested, and consider buying them on November 16th if you’re after something a bit different.
Or not, your choice. Gen 8 is coming in 2019 if that’s your preference here.
Either way, everyone wins.
But hey, what do you think of the new games? Are you excited to try out Let’s Go Pikachu or Let’s Go Eevee this November? Or do you think you’ll be waiting until the core RPG titles next year instead?
Tell us what you think here in the comments or at the Gaming Latest forums today!
Pokemon Conference Reveals (Serebii.net)
As you likely know, the last year or so has been filled with surprised announcements and reveals. We’ve seen classic series return in new forms, like WarioWare Gold on 3DS or Mega Man 11 on all modern systems. We’ve seen unexpected ports and remakes, like the ones for Crash and Spyro on PS4 (or Luigi’s Mansion making its way to the 3DS). And with everything from lootbox drama to a Nintendo CEO stepping down, it seems the insanity just keeps on coming.
And now, it seems like it’s about to get even crazier. Why? Because according to Japanese TV show Oha Suta, there’s going to be a ‘shocking’ Pokemon announcement on its episode this Thursday, with the show’s website even going as far as to say it’s the moment a new story begins.
(Though later updates changed the description to say it’ll be ‘full of Pokemon information’)
So, something important will be revealed this Thursday at 7:05 JST/11PM GMT. But what will it be?
Well, it’s hard to really know to be honest. On the one hand, the obvious expectation is that it’s probably related to the Switch game in development, with rumours about said game and its status as a reimagining of the series swirling around right now.
Add to this the good timing of such an announcement (given that a Pokemon Direct is all but confirmed soon and that Pokemon news is always released prior to E3), and that’s a good indication that the news could related to this ‘Pikachu and Eevee focused return to Kanto’ title rumour mongers have been mentioning online.
Hence in our minds, it seems like the announcement may tie into that somehow. Maybe it’ll be a name reveal with a logo and some other basic information. Maybe we’ll see a new Pokemon or two from the title, or a glimpse at some of the new mechanics. Honestly, with the revelation that the reveal is shocking, anything seems possible here.
But it’s not confirmed and given the massive size of the franchise and array of expanded universe possibilities there, the announcement could well related to everything from an anime movie to a toy line or trading card reveal. It’s hard to be sure one way or another really.
So, for now, we’ll just wait and see what the future brings. Either way, what do you think is going to be announced? What do you think the shocking Pokemon reveal set for Thursday’s Oha Suta show will be?
Tell us your thoughts on the matter here in the comments or over on the Gaming Latest forums today!
Pokemon Reveal + Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon Battle Competition (Serebii.net)