How Has Pokémon’s Battle Animation Evolved?
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How Has Pokémon’s Battle Animation Evolved?

October 10, 2019

[music] Hello!
And welcome to New Frame Plus, a series about video
game animation. I always find it fascinating to
look back over a franchise’s history and see how the animation of
each game builds upon the last. And the Pokemon series is an
especially interesting case, because it has a scope problem
built right into its core concept. Ever since that
first pair of games, the artists and designers at Game Freak
have had to find an answer to the question: “How are we going to present animated
battles with this many dang Pokemon?” So today, I thought it might be fun to
do a little animation retrospective. Let’s look at the portrayal
of trainer battles in the last seven generations
of Pokemon games to find out: how has Pokemon’s battle
animation evolved over time? Now I’m going to try to keep
this retrospective focused on just the core series
of Pokemon titles (else we’d be here all day). And also, before we start, I want to give a big Thank You
to a particular YouTube channel without which this episode
would not be possible: Nintendo Unity. See, I usually prefer to capture all the
game footage for these episodes myself, but Nintendo handhelds make
that VERY VERY DIFFICULT. Fortunately for me, the folks at Nintendo Unity
have recorded and uploaded HOURS of high quality footage
from every generation of Pokemon! You should check them out; I’m gonna put a link to their
channel in the top right corner. No joke, might not have been able to do
this episode without their videos, so a HUGE Thank You to them. Anyway, we’ve got a lot to Pokemon
games to talk about, let’s get going. [music] Up first, we’ve got Gen 1,
the original 1998 GameBoy classics: Pokemon Red & Blue. And even here at the very
start of the franchise, Game Freak is already looking
at a pretty challenging problem. This game has 151
collectable creatures, each of which can learn a
wide variety of combat moves. And this is a game about battling
those collectable Pokemon, so Game Freak needs a way of
presenting JRPG-style battles between any combination of these creatures
(and their wide variety of moves) and making that look exciting. And they have to do
all that on a GameBoy, with all of the technical limitations
inherent to 8-bit portable hardware. So how did Game Freak ultimately
go about animating these battles? Their solution (and I
think it’s a clever one) was to animate NOT every
Pokemon, but every attack. Each Pokemon is represented in
battle by one of two static images, either a front-facing
or a back-facing sprite. But every attack in the game has its
own custom batch of animations attached. They may have animated
sprite effects, they might make the Pokemon flicker
or shake or bounce around in unique ways. They might even shake
the entire screen. And the clever thing about
this approach is that – because none of these
attack animations require different sprite art
for the Pokemon – literally ANY
Pokemon in the game could hypothetically use
any one of these moves. I mean, they can’t because of the
game’s rules, but visually, they COULD. That is a very efficient
solution to the problem, and it’s a solution that Game Freak would
continue to use for a VERY long time. With the next game in the
series, Pokemon Yellow, and even going into Gen 2
with Pokemon Gold & Silver, the only changes worth noting are
updates to each Pokemon’s sprite art. The approach to battle animation
goes almost completely unchanged. The first truly significant addition wouldn’t
come until the tail end of Gen 2 with… Pokemon Crystal. [music] This enhanced update to Gold and
Silver has the unique distinction of being the FIRST
core Pokemon title in which ALL of the Pokemon were
given their own bespoke animation. In Pokemon Crystal, when your opponent
summons a Pokemon to the field, they pop out of their ball and… …a little summon
animation plays. Now, this animation only exists
for forward-facing sprites, so you’ll only ever see it on your
opponent’s Pokemon during battle. And the animations themselves are…
VERY simple. But even so, some of these have up
to 7 unique frames of pixel art! Up from the 1 front-facing sprite
all the previous games had! And considering the fact that they
had to do this for 251 creatures, that’s an impressive early investment
in the animation of these Pokemon. Now this was clearly
an experiment, and one that was immediately
abandoned for the next game. I’m guessing that Game Freak
ultimately concluded that this approach just
would not scale as future games added more
and more Pokemon to the count, and… yeah, I kinda have to agree. I mean, if you’re going to go
to the trouble to create between 2 and 6 additional frames of
animation for every single Pokemon, it does seem like kind of a waste
to spend all of those frames on the first few seconds
a Pokemon hits the field. Like, there HAD to be a more
efficient way to go about that. This brings us to Gen 3: Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire. [music] The franchise has now leapt to
Nintendo’s shiny new GameBoy Advance, but the series’s approach
to battle animations is only seeing small
incremental additions. Every Pokemon gets another
round of updated sprite art. Now the Pokemon are popping
out of actual pokeballs! And you actually get to
see your trainer throw yours. That’s cool. When the summoned
Pokemon appear, the scaling effect on their
sprite’s looking a lot smoother. The animation of attack effects
is starting to look more impressive. The Pokemon’s sprites
can be rotated now. That used to be impossible. And now both your Pokemon
AND their status bar bob up and down a bit
when it’s your turn, which not only makes your Pokemon
look a little more lively (which, I mean… FINALLY), but also clearly communicates to the
player that it’s their turn to pick a move. And both teams now have this
little platform shape to stand on, which helps them to feel more
grounded and creates a sense of space. The Pokemon aren’t just hovering
in an empty void anymore. Now there is at least the
SUGGESTION of a little battlefield. That is legitimately a LOT of
great presentational changes, and all these incremental
adjustments combined result in what feels like a pretty
substantial upgrade. But underneath it all, the fundamental approach to
animating Pokemon trainer battles is still basically the same: Nearly all animation is
driven by the attacks, and all participants are
otherwise just static images. And this pattern wouldn’t see
another substantial change until the very tail end of Gen 3
a few games later, with Pokemon Emerald. [music] Crystal might have been
the first game to give each Pokemon an animation
to call their own, but Emerald would be the game to find
an efficient way to implement that idea. Rather than giving every Pokemon 3-6 additional frames of pixel art
to animate just a single moment (which is not super practical), Game Freak instead created custom
summon animations for every Pokemon by giving them each just 1
additional front-facing pose and plussing that with some
movement and rotation on the sprite, which is not only a way more efficient
use of resources than Crystal’s approach, but…. honestly,
I think it looks better too! And because translation
and rotation are key components of these new
summoning animations, even though the back-facing Pokemon
don’t get a new sprite to work with, they do still get some animation of
their own when they come on the field. These are looking really nice! And I think It’s
interesting that – so far, both of the times
Game Freak has chosen to give each Pokemon more
sprites to work with (additional frames
of animation) – both times they’ve chosen
to spend that frame on your opponent’s
Pokemon being summoned. That’s an interesting choice! Because when you think about it, they could have made a custom sprite
for all kinds of things! For example… you could add an Attack pose; like, a more aggressive pose the Pokemon
could strike when it’s their turn to move. Alternatively,
you could add a Hit React for when the Pokemon
takes damage, which would lend way more impact to
whatever attack was just delivered. Or you could add
a Weakened state, some new pose to show that a
Pokemon is really on the ropes. Like, maybe they switch to this pose when
their health bar drops to into the red. Any one of these could be used to
make battles more visually exciting and provide the player
more visual feedback. But one potential problem
with all of those alternatives is that they could easily have
the unintended side effect of making Pokemon battles
feel a little more violent. You See, Nintendo and Game
Freak have spent decades now desperately trying to spin the
idea of Pokemon battling as… Chill! and All in Good Fun and Something That Pokemon Enjoy and Definitely Not Dogfighting. No no no, see it’s just fainting! Because of all the
FUN it’s having! So if the one pose we add
to this mix is one which emphasizes aggression or
(even worse) being hurt, that really harshes the whole vibe this
franchise is desperately trying to maintain. What they did instead (and I think
this was a pretty good call), was effectively
create an Emote pose. An animation that lets
each Pokemon express more of their unique personality
when they appear. And I like that a lot. Honestly, I wonder if they could have gotten
even more use out of this new sprite. Kinda seems like a waste to only see that
animation when a Pokemon enters the field. But whatever, it’s just nice having
some animation on these things again. And THIS time,
that summon animation would stick. Which brings us to… Gen 4. [music] The Nintendo DS era is here! Lots of big changes coming!
Just not… quite yet. Hang in there. Starting with Diamond and Pearl, Game Freak would take advantage
of this hardware upgrade to do some more extensive
manipulation of the sprites they had, adding some squash and stretch
to most of their animations and just making everything feel a
bit more malleable and organic. Even the pokeball does a great little
squash and stretch when it opens! I love it. Pokemon Platinum would put some
animation on the enemy trainers AND add a new frame to the back-facing
sprite’s summon animation, finally giving your own team of
Pokemon a new sprite to call their own. And you know, they’ve earned it.
Because they work hard. And Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver
wouldn’t change much of anything. To be fair, they did make some big
additions ELSEWHERE, like allowing EVERY Pokemon in the game to follow
your trainer around the world map, which is wonderful and like one of the
best new features they ever added and probably required a
ton of new sprite work. But it’s not a battle animation
change, is it? Go on. Shoo! At this point, we’re 10 games
deep into the Pokemon franchise, and as you’ve probably noticed – at least in terms of
animating trainer battles – the series has very much settled
into a consistent rhythm. Give each new game a
fresh batch of sprite art, make the attack animations
look a little cooler see if there’s some small
improvement to be made that’s not gonna radically increase
the series’s development scope, and BOOM. SHIP IT. And I’m not meaning to sound critical
either, that’s a really sensible approach! Game Freak had found a workable
solution to a legitimate scope problem, and one which not only gave them
some room to iterate but also allowed them to keep adding new Pokemon
without biting off more than they could chew. But after more than 12 years of
subtle upgrades and improvements, opportunities for iteration on the old
approach were starting to run scarce, and fan expectations for future
games weren’t going to just stop climbing. The series was overdue
for a big step forward, and by gosh we got one with
Pokemon Black & White. [music] Gen 5 brought a HUGE visual
upgrade to Pokemon battles, which is pretty amazing considering
we’re still on the Nintendo DS here. Like, none of these changes come
from an increase in hardware power, just a massive expansion
in production scope. Watch closely as your trainer winds up
to throw that pokeball onto the field. It looks nice, right? Several custom frames of animation dedicated
just to throwing the- hang on WAIT… That sprite’s arm moved. It actually rotated at the shoulder!
That’s not how pixel sprites work! Yes indeed, Gen 5 introduces to
2D Pokemon: skeletal deformation. Instead of just moving
the entire sprite or creating new static poses to
act as additional animation frames, this movement is achieved by breaking
the character sprite into separate parts (in this case,
the torso and the arm) and using a skeleton of invisible joints to
rotate or deform those parts individually. It’s basically turning the
sprite into a simple puppet, a lot like you would
in 3D animation. You’ve probably seen this same approach
used in 2D animated TV shows before. Except HERE, they’re applying
that technique to pixel art, which gives a very neat look. And when you apply that same
technique to the Pokemon themselves? The results look fantastic. Look at them! Look at these Pokemon.
They’re flapping wings! They’re bobbing in place! Their… whatevers are swishing
in the breeze. This one’s swinging around like a
chandelier and flexing its… limbs? Whatever. For the first
time in the core series, these Pokemon are
actually looking ALIVE. This is a big moment
in Pokemon history, and it represents a huge
commitment on Game Freak’s part. Remember: we are five
generations in now. There are, as of Pokemon Black & White:
649 Pokemon in existence. And all of those Pokemon
HAVE to be animated now. Granted, it’s not a TON
of animation per Pokemon. They all basically just have front and
back-facing versions of an idle loop with a more expressive little
fidget thrown in here and there. The animation of individual
attacks are still carrying a lot of the weight with their effects,
shudders, flickers and flashes. But still, just adding this handful
of animations for 649 Pokemon is… a LOT. And the thing is: once
the world saw this, there’s no way the series could
ever go back to static sprites again. The new bar for Pokemon
battle animation had been set. Now I can envision an
alternate history where the Pokemon franchise
maintained and iterated on this particular style
of 2D pixel animation for at least another
generation of games. And I kinda would have loved
to see what came of that. But the eventual transition
to 3D graphics was inevitable, and the arrival of
Nintendo’s shiny new 3DS was as good an occasion
for that change as any. Thus, we arrive at Gen 6. Pokemon X & Y. [music] The leap to eye-popping
3D has finally happened, which necessitates
some scary changes, but also comes with some potentially huge
presentational and production advantages! With the old 2D sprites, just showing a Pokemon from
a different angle required creating a completely
new piece of pixel art. But now we can just
move the camera, which means that, where once we might have
needed two versions of every animation (a back facing one and
a front facing one), now just one animation should be able to
handle the job from any angle you like. And because we’re in a
true 3D environment with a proper camera that can
navigate that 3D space, Game Freak can show any given action from
whatever angle they think is most exciting. They can emulate handheld movements,
they can even go split screen. Heck, Mega-Evolutions kick off a
full blown transformation sequence! What’s more, because certain Pokemon have
similar proportions, as digital models, some of them may even
be able to share rigs, which might allow for a small
degree of animation sharing. And, even better,
once those 3D animations are created, you can pretty easily make adjustments to
each pokemon’s model, textures and shading WITHOUT having to change the animation
those assets are attached to. MORE ON THAT LATER. But even with those
production benefits, taking this franchise
into 3D is daunting. Until recently,
these games have gotten by with little to no animation
on the Pokemon in battle, but that’s not
gonna fly anymore. With a pixel art sprite, we’re generally OK
letting our imagination fill in the gaps, but a static 3D model just
tends to look lifeless. Basically: if you put a 3D
Pokemon in front of us we’re gonna expect to see that Pokemon move
like an actual living creature. So, as of Pokemon X & Y, Game Freak has animated every
single darn one of those Pokemon. Summon animations, idle loops, idle
fidgets, attacks, hit reacts, faints… Every single Pokemon that might appear
in the game needs a full animation set. Which means that Game Freak has to
make a full suite of animations for… 1, 2, 3… about 720 POKEMON. Now, let’s conservatively estimate
that each one of these Pokemon needs, I don’t know… 6 animations to cover
everything they might need to do in battle. That means that – for just the
Pokemon, and JUST for battles – that’s 4,320 new
animations needed. YIKES. That is a scary number. And the real animation count per Pokemon
is almost DEFINITELY more than 6, so let’s just add one more!
Let’s say it’s 7. That takes us up to
5,040 animations! And if we add just one
more to the list? It’s 5,760. With this many
Pokemon in the roster, every single animation addition is going
to have ENORMOUS production consequences. And if you start
factoring into that math all the OTHER animations they’d have
to make outside the battle screen like human character animations,
and… oh geez, Pokemon-Amie… wow… it kinda starts
making you dizzy. Now, it is true that this is
technically not the first time Pokemon has made the jump to 3D. I mean, there were the Stadium games, there was Colosseum,
XD, Battle Revolution… all of those already featured
3D animated Pokemon battles. But all of those games had
the benefit of reduced scope: fewer total Pokemon to animate, only
having to worry about battle animations… And although those games
did sometimes do a better job at showing Pokemon
performing distinct moves, the animation quality was a little…
inconsistent? Perfectly serviceable
for its time, just not necessarily something
that Game Freak could just drop into X & Y and
call “finished”. Even if they wanted to, I’m guessing that X & Y’s 3D Pokemon
aren’t using the same rigs those spinoff games used and transferring an animation between two
different rigs can be a real headache but ANYWAY However they chose to go about
it, it is SO MUCH work… Game Freak apparently had to staff up
pretty significantly for Pokemon X & Y, with the core dev team
consisting of 200 people, which is a pretty large
team for a handheld game. The Pokemon series is a cascading
scope explosion at this point (which, come to think of it,
sounds like a very cool Pokemon move). But knowing that, it kind of starts to make
sense that they keep on producing remakes of older generations using
the latest gen’s tech, right? Like, FireRed & LeafGreen,
HeartGold & SoulSilver… I mean, if you’ve just spent
a ton developing new art and animation assets for
the entire Pokemon roster, you might as well get some more use out
of that updated library before moving on. And re-use that
library they would! If you look ahead to Omega
Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, Sun & Moon,
Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, and even Pokemon Go and
Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee, each of those games would bring a new
round of minor adjustments to the fidelity and shading style on the
Pokemon’s digital models. But if you look at
their animations, you might notice that a lot of
them are looking pretty familiar. And that is because they
are largely unchanged. I mean, Game Freak had just invested a ton
in converting the whole Pokedex to 3D and they sure weren’t about
to scrap that new library and rebuild it all over
again just for kicks. And I’m not gonna
blame them for that. Because re-doing all
those animations for an ever-increasing count of
Pokemon for EVERY game (or even just every new
generation) would be bonkers. I’m guessing one of the
only reasons they justified that upfront development
expense for X and Y was with the assumption that
they’d be able to pull from that same animation
library for a long time. And it’s a smart strategy, especially considering
the fact that we’ve got around 800 Pokemon in
existence by this point! [music] It would be easy to call this a
repeat of that Gen 1 to Gen 4 streak; to say that we’ve basically been
watching a second era of tiny iterations, only in 3D this time. But I think that would kinda sell
these recent generations short, because some of the iterative
changes they’ve added have been great and NOT small changes! As of Pokemon Sun & Moon, all of your trainer opponents
get a pre-fight animation, which lets their individual
personalities shine through. And even better, now the Pokemon trainers stay
on the field with their Pokemon and are visibly present
throughout the battle! They’ve got their own idles and
command animations and everything. I love that addition! And Pokemon Let’s Go
Pikachu & Eevee applied all the new presentation
style to the old games, but threw a few retro
twists in there for fun! Like, you remember how the
battles used to start with a still image of the
trainers sliding onscreen? Now the 3D models slide
in the exact same way before they start animating for
the fight proper. And I love that! Which I guess brings us to the
newly-announced Generation 8: Pokemon Sword & Shield. [music] We don’t have a whole lot
of concrete details yet, but I’m going to speculate anyway
because none of you are here to stop me. My guess is that we can look to Let’s
Go Pikachu & Eevee for some clues, as that game seems like it was
probably at least a partial trial run for Gen 8’s features
and presentation. Given that, I would say
that it’s a pretty safe bet that they are going to continue
using battle animations from that same library
we’ve been seeing (or at least using it as a
foundation to build upon). And I can understand why that might
be a little frustrating to some, but the great part about them
continuing to use this strategy is that it frees up resources
for when they want to try adding a NEW animation to the list. It’s probably clear by now that an inherent flaw with my approach
going into this episode is that viewing the franchise’s
animation history strictly through the
lens of battle animation ignores all of the other features that a
game’s animation budget could go to. Just as an example: if you look
back at Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, in terms of scope, those games had the unique benefit of a
significantly scaled-down pokedex, right? They went back down to where things
started with the original 151. That much smaller number makes the
prospect of adding a new animation or two way less intimidating. And what did they do with
that new flexibility? Among other things,
they added follower Pokemon! And follower
Pokemon are amazing! They let you express yourself
by choosing which Pokemon you want to accompany
you around the world map, and they let the Pokemon
express themselves by showing how they walk
or roll or fly or waddle. And that’s great! These are the sorts of additions
that are WAY harder to justify if you’re rebuilding the entire animation
library from scratch for every game. Maybe for Gen 8, follower Pokemon will
finally be a thing for all who-knows-how-many hundred
Pokemon in the Pokedex! We haven’t seen that since
HeartGold and SoulSilver. Or maybe they’ll put those animation resources
toward some entirely new cool feature! But let’s just say,
hypothetically, that they did decide to give the
battle animations another overhaul. What sort of changes
would we want to see? Now, if you asked a younger Me, my dream pitch would probably be to see the
Pokemon actually moving around the battlefield, or performing more specific attack
animations for every type of move, or actually making contact with
their opponent at some point. And while Today Me recognizes that properly executing
on some of those dream changes would likely balloon the game’s
animation budget into the stratosphere (and risk making the game start to look
more like that Fantasy Dog Fighting genre that the series has just trying
so hard to pretend not to be)… I certainly wouldn’t be
mad if they tried it. But now, I actually don’t
think all that is necessary. If I could make a change to the
way Pokemon animation looks now and one that probably WOULDN’T break
the bank (at least, not quite as badly), I think I’d want to see the animations we
already have just be made more appealing. Because that huge
library of 3D animations Game Freak has been
accumulating since X & Y? They look… fine? They’re fine. They do get the job done, and there’s a consistent level of polish
across the whole Pokedex, which is great. I’m impressed as heck by the sheer
scope of what they’ve done here, but… just looking at each
Pokemon individually, I do find a lot of the animation
on them to be somewhat… bland. And it’s not just that
they’re standing in one place, it’s that there’s just not a lot
of animation contrast between them. They all have this similar
level of energy, a similar speed to their movement, a similar rhythm
to their cycles… just a generally same-y
quality to their motion. In a weird way, they sort of strike me as living 3D
incarnations of those old static sprites. Like, the design is doing
all of the appeal work here, and the animation is doing just
enough to make that design look… alive. And maybe that was
somewhat intentional? I mean, so much of this
3D presentation approach is adhering to the nostalgic
feel of classic Pokemon battle: two creatures standing in place, exchanging attacks that are mostly
sold through impressive effects… I don’t know if that’s
an aesthetic choice or just careful scope management (which I could understand), but I feel like keeping the
Pokemon’s individual animations so homogeneous and minimalist really hinders their ability to bring out
each creature’s full appeal potential. Like, imagine if even a
fraction of the Pokemon roster had half as much animation
appeal as Pikachu. Pikachu has benefited from two
decades of focused iteration, and they have polished that character’s
appeal to a mirror shine at this point. And I just KNOW that a large
portion of the rest of the Pokedex has that same
personality potential! I mean, look at these designs!
They’re amazing! This game is jam-packed with
delightful creatures. (and also Pichu) Imagine if they each expressed
more of that in their animation. Heck, look how many more people
fell in love with Eevee the instant they gave that Pokemon
some more love and care. Now, I’ll grant you that putting
that sort of concentrated focus into every one of these hundreds
of Pokemon probably isn’t feasible. And maybe it just isn’t possible to
achieve Pikachu or Eevee levels of appeal without all the additional animations
and screen time those Pokemon get. Or maybe the homogeneity of all these
Pokemon’s animation is just a result of the animators having to crank out
like 10 finished animations per day. I don’t know. I didn’t say this was an
easy problem to solve. All I’m saying is that I’m willing to
bet that if you infuse these existing battle animations with just a
little more interesting contrast, a little more of the personality that each
of these Pokemon’s designs already hint at? The appeal of the roster as a
whole would go up CONSIDERABLY. From a distance, it’s easy to
look at the animation in Pokemon and see a series that
rarely changes anything. To see a franchise coasting on
old assets and ageing designs. And I guess that’s
not ENTIRELY untrue? But I think that assessment really
undersells Game Freak’s achievements. If this retrospective
has shown us anything, it’s that Pokemon is
a series made of slow, iterative improvements and
very carefully-managed scope. Avoiding scope creep is a difficult
discipline for any game studio, and the fact that this
studio keeps finding small ways to make each game
look a little better no matter HOW MANY Pokemon they’ve got to
apply those updates to is really amazing. Whatever GameFreak ultimately chooses to do
with Sword & Shield, I’m excited to see it. If you’re (somehow) not tired
of hearing about Pokemon and would like to learn a little bit
more about Pokemon creature design, JoCat actually made a video
about that subject recently. I will link to it in
the top right corner… now. It’s a really interesting look
at the art design approach to creating one of
these cute little things. But yeah, I hope you have
enjoyed this extended field trip through the history of
Pokemon’s battle animations! And of course, another big
thank you to Nintendo Unity for just existing and recording so
much beautiful Pokemon footage. This video would have
looked like garbage without it. So go visit their channel and give
them some Likes from me, will ya? If you want to see more
videos about game animation, be sure to subscribe
to New Frame Plus, and consider supporting the channel
like all of these wonderful patrons here. Thanks for watching,
and I’ll see you next time! [music]

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  1. I don't know what it is exactly, but I personally have a strong dislike for the Black and White battle "idle" animations. The Pokémon almost all look lifeless to me even though they're technically moving more. It feels like the awkward growing phase between the old 2D and X and Y's 3D, and it's the only time I feel the battle animations got (subjectively) worse.

  2. Black and White has the best animations, great personality and with huge impact for every pokemon, that treatment on every 3D model would be amazing!

  3. The one thing that really bugs me in 3D Pokémon is that they throw the Pokéball and then the Pokéball just disapears as the pokémon comes out. How would I possibly call back a Pokémon with my Pokéball if its gone? I would love to just see your trainer catch your Pokéball again after it came out, and also see the trainer withdraw the Pokémon like in the Animé

  4. I hope Ill see gen 4 remakes, Just keep the jazzy music, Reuse any animation you want i don't care, I just want my next 900+ hours of entertainment and nostalgia

  5. yeah,I still prefer the spin-off battle animations.
    they should be the standard. I mean,the battles are what we basicly do. that´s 90% of the gameplay

  6. And this is why there's no national Dex in Sword and Shield. It's a ridiculous amount of work. I cant even fathom the pain it would take to do 6 or 7 animations for almost 900-1000 Pokemon.

  7. Honestly, I maintain that Pokemon peaked during Gen 5, maybe Gen 6, both mechanically, and aesthetically. To me, Gen 5 looks the prettiest, and full 3D is neat and all, but it never really 'fit' Pokemon for me. Maybe that's just because I grew up on Gen 1 and 2. Gen 5's animations just make the Pokemon look so alive compared to all others. Those comments you made about the 3D animations looking kinda bland and samey is so true; Gen 5 gave each Pokemon their own energy.

    Although part of the reason why I actually really like Let's Go is because that game completely sells it with the animations. Graphically, it is beautiful and there is so much character displayed when Pokemon are out of the Pokeball.

  8. Videos like this really put things into perspective how much time and effort goes into creating these elaborate Pokémon games. It can be really time consuming and even though sword and shield are on stronger consoles, they there’s literally almost 1k Pokémon now (even though some are being cut) and that’s a LOT of resources needed

  9. Hot take:
    Reusing animations and models isn’t a crime. Masuda did say that the newest games’ animations were made with not just quality, but FIDELITY in mind. (Define that word. I’ll wait.)

  10. Gen 4 was my first Pokémon generation, I got Platinum when I was 7 and I'm so glad that I grew up with that generation.

  11. While the 3D models may look more modern and current, they lack the liveliness and character of the older sprites. The presentation with the animated battles are so bland. They still haven't managed to match the scale and character of Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon Battle Revolution.

    So it may be a little less about animation and more about overall presentation, because it is boring. Persona 5 and Dragon Quest XI both have standard turn based gameplay, but the way the battles flow are a lot more lively.

  12. From just watching the 3D pokemon in battle during this video has made me realize that they look like they're just chilling and staring at each other. Not really the energy you'd think they want in their rpg fighting game. With the sprites they had a single circle under them to connect the area they're standing on so it was as obvious that they were standing next to each other.

  13. 1998 Pokemon Stadium Charizard breathes fire out its mouth and Blastoise shoots hydro pump out of its cannons.

    2019 Sword and Shield Charizards flamethrower materializes above its head and Blastoise shoots hydro pump from its forehead.

  14. Future proofing is using 2d art. The 3d art is always going to look like garbage 10 or 15 years after it has been created.

  15. Put into perspective that it's also every pokemon x2(for normal and shiny forms), then pokemon with other forms, and then spinda….

  16. One thing to note about allowing any Pokemon to use any move – it allows moves like Metronome, Copycat, Assist, etc. to exist, something that the game's scope otherwise simply wouldn't be able to accommodate for.
    On the one hand, I'm sure that we could survive without those kinds of moves, but on the other, things like Espurr using Oblivion Wing ( are hilarious, and it's really amazing that the game's animation system is able to permit cool game mechanics like this.

  17. Give us a Pokémon and me phone app or something you can make a full on Pokémon game then put it on the phone or something the phone won’t die any time soon we have been using the android store and apple store for YEARS far longer then any console has been around and Pokémon is not a complex game I can literally play it on my phone with smogon just make it so you tap an area and you walk to it bam! I would pay 60 dollars for a full game even on the phone

  18. That comment about them giving Eevee more love and care when it has always been one of the most popular Pokémon in the series that was given all of the attention in the world?? Wild.

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