Pokémon X & Y have been discussed in the latest edition of Nintendo’s ‘Iwata Asks’ blogs, in which company president Satoru Iwata quizzes developers about their games. Game Freak director Junichi Masuda and Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara share their thoughts on the the development of both games.
You can also read my own interview with Masuda here on VG247 tomorrow, ahead of Pokémon X & Y’s October 12 launch.
The ‘Iwata Asks’ interview can be found here, and during the session he asked Masuda to explain why the games are called Pokémon X and Pokémon Y.
He replied, “The X and Y represent the x axis and the y axis,” and explained, “The world holds people with all sorts of ways of thinking, and you can get a sense that they exist in different dimensions. But if you think of them as people who think on the x axis and people who think on the y axis-horizontal and vertical axes-then they intersect somewhere.”
This reflects on the way both games make use of the Nintendo 3DS online functions, that see players from all over the world thrown against each other in battle. He added, “We may think differently, but we all live on the same planet, so everyone eats, sleeps and goes about their business day after day just like everyone else.”
Iwata then said that all previous Pokémon games are named after colours, and to explain why that tradition didn’t continued with X & Y. Masuda replied, “So we consulted a lot of people, like (Ken) Sugimori-san5, and eventually decided this route was simple and easy to understand. And while the pronunciation of the letter may change by country, the shape of the letter is the same the world over-for example, we say “ekkusu” for the letter X in Japanese, but in French they say “ix”-so in that way too, it was an appropriate way to name these games.”
On the all-new Horde Encounters – which see trainers battling a pack of Pokémon at once, thereby giving them a choice over which one they’d like to capture – Masuda continued, “In Horde Encounters, five Pokémon may suddenly show up, but if you observe closely, they each have different characteristics, so you may think, “I’m going to capture that female.” In this way, you can enjoy battles of a different nature than before.”
Ishihara then recalled his experience with the new Sky Battles, “For the Sky Battles, in addition to Flying-type Pokémon, only Floating-type Pokémon can participate. Because of Sky Battles, you have to adapt team lineups that you thought were impregnable, which was fun when I tried it.”
He added, “For example, some people who like the Ghost type may assume that you can’t use them in Sky Battles and give up. But if you try one, you might be able to use it.” He explained that Pokemon bearing the Levitate ability can participate, alongside flying creatures.
What do you think of the games so far? Find out what the critics thought in our Pokémon X & Y review round up.