To those expecting to catch Charmander, Pikachu, and Mankey their first time through Pokemon Black & White: Sorry, familiar Pokemon are out.
The latest titles in the never-ending Pokemon saga are Black & White, coming to Japan next month and expected in North America sometime in 2011. However, when the games finally arrive, they may seem unfamiliar in more ways than the new 3D graphics, starter Pokemon, and triple battles. Gamefreak has revealed that every single Pokemon players encounter while playing will be new, too, with all Pokemon from previous games excluded.
Did your heart sink a little to think that you won't be seeing a new Pikachu's face in Black & White? Well just beat the game, and then they'll show up and be allowed for import, said GameFreak's Junichi Masuda in a recent blog post. But on the first playthrough, players will only see new Pokemon.
Masuda writes that GameFreak wanted to put "kids and adults on the same starting line and give all players the feeling of 'What is this Pokemon?' as if they were playing Pokemon Red or Pokemon Blue for the original Game Boy again." Masuda says it was tough to design all new Pokemon again, but that it's paid off already in comments made by those allowed to sample the game from outside of the company.
"You don't even know the type of the Pokemon, so you're surprised at the skills," one tester said. "There are only Pokemon that you've never seen, so it's fresh and new," said another. This was just the type of reaction GameFreak was looking for. Pokemon has been around for more than 14 years since the original Japanese release (12 years in North America), so it's good that GameFreak is trying to do something to freshen up the series for longtime players and new players alike.