Pocket Monsters Red and Green (also known as Pokémon Red and Pokémon Blue) released for the Game Boy in 1996 and the company is pulling out all of the stops to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the series. Even though the logo itself is pants. Like, I guess all of the marketing money went elsewhere, and while I admit I am no Claude Monet, I would have been happy to draw a little doodle for free. Anyway. McDonald's Happy Meals saw the return of official Pokémon Trading Cards to their bundles and people were practically frothing at the mouth to buy as many cards as they could carry. On Pokémon Day, a virtual concert with Post Malone took over the Internet with a cover of Only Wanna Be with You featuring samples of music from the Pokémon games. And it's actually a good song too. The Pokémon Company also announced New Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl and Pokémon Legends: Arceus, and with less than half of the year left, it's not slowing down now.
Pokémon Unite was revealed last summer and TiMi Studios has had its nose to the grindstone developing the free-to-play title. Check out the newest gameplay trailer here.
If you're scratching your head at the title, let me jog your memory. After its announcement, it became the most disliked video on The Pokémon Company's official YouTube channel. Yikes. Plenty of people were expecting a reveal on the scale of the Pokémon Diamond and Pearl remakes, whereas Unite garnered criticism for its collaboration with Tencent Holdings and its free-to-play model, rather than focusing on how an opportunity to create a novel competitive scene within the series could encourage newcomers to Pokémon. However, you've got to give TiMi Studios its due in this new trailer.
The Arenas are looking polished with a soft and bright aesthetic, and the range of competitors available is intriguing. Each Pokémon has a different role, playstyle and difficulty modifier to contend with: Pikachu is a ranged attacker that's easy to learn whereas Lucario is a melee all-rounder who requires an expert level of knowledge. To be honest, two of my favourites are here already - Cinderace and Crustle - so I'm happy. The Pokémon begin in their base evolution and then accrue points in battle that bring it into its final and most powerful evolution. Holowear is also a major element of the game, and these are themed outfits that can be purchased in the shop using various different currencies or tickets. Witness Garchomp with a snorkel and tell me Pokémon Unite was a bad idea. I dare you.
Pokémon Unite will release for Nintendo Switch next month and is coming to iOS and Android devices in September 2021.
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