Feb. 27 is Pokémon Day, which commemorates the franchise’s anniversary of the 1996 Japanese release of Pokémon Red and Blue. The Pokémon Company hosts an annual livestream showcasing what they have planned for the upcoming year. While it was only 14 minutes long, Pokémon Presents was chock full of new and exciting Pokémon content for all types of Poke-fans.
Perhaps the most exciting announcement of the entire livestream was the reveal of the newest addition to the mainline Pokémon series: Pokémon Scarlet and Pokémon Violet, slated for a late 2022 release. Beta game footage was showcased along with a reveal of the region’s starter Pokémon: Sprigatito, Fuecoco and Quaxly. Fans were surprised to see the game’s official website describe the game as open-world with no borders between cities, towns and wild areas. Not much else has been announced about the game, but fans online are already rushing to share which starter they think they will choose.
Although the announcement of a new region is exciting, some are nervous about the games’ timing. Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl were released in November 2021, and Pokémon Legends: Arceus was released earlier this year in January. Fans are wondering if these games will become secondary to the development of the newer games. However, Sword and Shield have enjoyed a lot of updates, even after their release in 2019. In 2020, DLCs The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra were released, and the game has hosted multiple special battle events and max raid battle updates. Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl still have a lot more Mystery Gift events to go through before they reach the level of the original games, so there’s a good chance more updates are on their way. Plus, fans have pointed out that the Global Wonder Station still hasn’t been added to the game — leaving a lot to be expected in future updates.
A free update for Pokémon Legends: Arceus was revealed and released the same day as the livestream. The new Daybreak update adds in Massive Mass Outbreaks: a phenomenon where multiple mass outbreaks pop up for a limited amount of time. Additional quests were added that delve into the mystery of these outbreaks. There are also new trainers and Pokémon that can battle at the Jubilife Village training grounds. In a smaller addition, players now have the chance to take pictures with other characters in the game at the photo studio. And finally, a boss battle against Origin Forms Dialga and Palkia was hinted at. This first major free update offers an optimistic outlook for future updates, and some trainers are hoping for larger DLC updates like what we saw with Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl announced the release of Oak’s Letter, an opportunity for players to meet and catch the Mythical Shaymin. Players have until March 27 to connect to the Wi-Fi Mystery Gift feature and download the gift.
Pokémon Go announced they would be adding in Pokémon first seen in the Alola region from Pokémon Sun and Moon, which means that there will be Pokémon from up to seven different regions in the game. After the full launch, the only region not fully implemented in the game will be the most recent region of Galar.
Pokémon Unite launched a new mode called Full Fury Battles, a new limited-time game mode available for players to try. Hoopa joined the large team of playable characters following the livestream. Hoopa is free to try for a short time, or you can unlock its Unite License by completing a few challenges. Duraludon was announced to be joining the game soon as well.
Pokémon Masters EX wanted to celebrate its two-and-a-half-year anniversary by releasing a new challenge and new characters. By playing through the new Victory Road level players can unlock Sygna Suit Red, Blue or Leaf. Additionally, trainers May, Raihan and Skyla are joining the team together with new partner Pokémon.
Pokémon Café ReMix added in a new feature and three new events for Pokémon Day. The new Deliveries feature allows you to send off Pelipper to send treats to new faraway Pokémon. Victini can also join your café if you’re lucky enough to find it during your deliveries! Bulbasaur’s Happy Pokémon Day event gives you a special crown for your Bulbasaur and an additional seven-day log-in bonus. There’s also an increased chance of running into a shiny Piplup at your café, along with 11 free uses of the new delivery feature. The livestream also teased that the second anniversary in June will bring even more new game modes and Pokémon.
A short animated series that focuses on the Hisui region was also announced for a release later this year, although not many details were given.
We learned a lot about what we will see from the franchise, but a few games were left out that players have been looking forward to seeing in the livestream. First off, Pokémon Live wasn’t talked about at all, despite the recent launch of a limited beta version in Canada. The game was slated for a late 2021 release but has since been delayed to a nonspecific “soon” release. The beta launch seems like a good sign that the game will come out soon, but more details in the livestream would have been nice. Fans joked that there was no news on Pokémon Sleep, a game announced in 2019 in the Pokémon Press Conference that since hasn’t been talked about much. Some fans were also disappointed with the trailer for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, which they took for a teaser for “Detective Pikachu 2” because of the live-action element. However, the future of the “Detective Pikachu 2” movie is murky because of the many conflicting details that have come out. Even though some small points were missed, this year’s Pokémon Presents was filled to the brim with exciting new releases and updates. And for the record, I’m choosing Sprigatito for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.