This six-minute Pokemon Black & White trailer may be in Japanese, but sticking funny wigs on your Pokemon and shoving them out on stage has a truly universal appeal.
Working in this industry, there are times where I've really wished that I spoke fluent Japanese. This is one of those times - I'm sure that the entire first part of the above Pokemon Black & White trailer is probably interesting, but who's to say for sure? It could be an announcement of a cool new social feature for the next Pokemon generation that lets gamers across the world play together. Or it could be something like stunningly pointless local video chat.
But you don't need to speak Japanese to understand the middle part of the trailer. It seems that Pokemon Musicals will be this generation's take on the "Pokemon Contest" idea introduced in Ruby & Sapphire versions. I'm not sure what makes them musicals, but you do get to put grass skirts (just asking for trouble on a Fire-type, IMO) and silly orange afro wigs on your Pokemon and make them humiliate themselves for our enjoyment.
If that's wrong, I don't want to be right.
But you know what is wrong? If my eyes don't deceive me, that trailer shows what is clearly an evolution to Luvdisc, perhaps the single dumbest-looking Pokemon of all time. Really, guys? Luvdisc? I am going to Pokemon-Musical-embarrass the hell out of that thing.
We also get a brief glimpse at the new villain team, Team Plasma ... and judging by their appearance, they got lost on their way to the Ren Faire. I guess Team Forsooth Traveler, I Challenge Thee to a Battle of Pokemon was just too long.
Update: Reader Simalacrum has been nice enough to fill us in on what they're talking about in the first part of the trailer - as expected, they're all multiplayer features.
-The C-Gear will let you and up to three other players link together, where you can see their status, position on the map, and help each other with items.
-Hi-link mode is a first for the Pokemon series, allowing co-op play on the same map, where players can complete missions (and presumably battle the evil medieval Team Plasma) together.
-The musical is a contest that gets you rare items for being super-adorable.
-If you're connecting over the wireless infrared connection, you don't have to go through the hassle of meeting up at a Pokemon Center to battle your friend.
This is actually very cool stuff, especially the co-op play - potentially a huge first for the series. But it's not nearly as funny as the idea of dressing up and debasing your companion Pokemon for items, so I'm just going to leave that initial post as-is.