Pokemon X and Y has a lot of changes compared to previous games in the series, but the changes include much more than just updated visuals.
Longtime composer Shota Kageyama stepped into a larger role in sound creation and design for Pokemon X and Y, taking over for director Junichi Masuda. Previously working on HeartGold and SoulSilver, Black and White, and Black 2 and White 2, Kageyama was responsible for leading the recording of 3000 to 4000 Pokemon cries, coming up with melodies, and harnessing the 3DS for prettier music.
“I used to rely on Masuda a lot, asking him, ‘What do you think about this?’ and so on,” Kageyama said, “but here I had to take responsibility for myself. I had to start by analyzing all the music in the series and reminding myself of why it’s the way it is, then write a report for Masuda on how I think the sound should work, what direction it should take.”
Kageyama was overwhelmed by the amount of work necessary for new sounds in Pokemon X and Y, but is thrilled with the results. “The process wasn’t without some level of nervousness for me,” Kageyama said. “Still, there’s something like 3000 or 4000 voices overall used in Pokemon-Amie, which I tell you was a huge pain to do. Just recording all of those cries was an enormous process… It’s far more expressive than it’s ever been, and I think it’s a real evolution, something you’ll definitely want to take out the headphones for.”
Interacting with Pokemon in the game’s Pokemon-Amie feature is enjoyable because of how interactive the Pokemon seem. The amount of work Kageyama and his crew put in had to have been worth it.