Saturday, April 6, 2013

Majin Mew

Earlier today, Nintendo announced a new Pokémon...or rather a new form of an old Pokémon.

If the first thing you thought of was this, you're not alone.

What took me by surprise was the original leaked scans a few days back. This past Wednesday, supposed magazine scans showed the new Mewtwo form (which I affectionately call Majin Mew) alongside Ash and Co. in a poster for the new Pokémon movie. I admit, I was skeptical. Nintendo already announced they planned on revealing a new Pokémon on Saturday, so it was quite possible that this was a fake to trick people. My conviction was further backed up by another movie poster which featured the same characters, poses and backgrounds. The only difference was that Mewtwo was in his normal form. Even after the leaked images were posted to Serebii, I was still a skeptic. Yes, I am currently eating my own words and it burns more than the wasabi Lickitung ate in Pokémon Stadium.

Before this, Unown and Pichu were the only Pokémon to have forms introduced in a future generation after their debut. And even then, those are purely aesthetic. Pokémon that actually change shape and abilities like Deoxys and Landorus all have new forms introduced in their respective generations. Sure, evolutions and pre-evolutions are created after a Pokémon's initial debut, but these are entirely new Pokémon altogether.
For an exclamation mark, Unown isn't very excited
Didn't see this coming did you?
I should know by now that relying on past precedents to predict the future of Pokémon is just as effective as using Splash in battle. When Ruby and Sapphire were first released, we were primed to think that it would be immediately followed by Emerald. After all, Yellow immediately followed Red and Blue and Crystal immediately followed Gold and Silver. Instead, Nintendo threw a curve ball and gave us Firered and Leafgreen.  

Fast forward to fourth gen. Ok, so we think we know the system now. The first two versions are released followed by the past gen remakes and then the third version. Wrong! Platinum shortly followed Diamond and Pearl and fourth gen wraps up with Heartgold and Soulsilver.

Don't hold your breath
And now we go to fifth gen. Pokémon fans are still just as oblivious as Slowpokes. Not only do we get a two-version direct sequel instead of a third version, we completely skip over the heavily hyped Ruby and
Sapphire remakes and go straight to Gen VI. I said it once and I'll say it again, you can't predict Pokémon's future by its past! Sure, while the basic premise, core gameplay and starter types haven't changed, it's clear that Pokémon doesn't fall into a set pattern.

So what do I think about Majin Mew? While I'm not the biggest fan, I'm excited that X and Y are taking risks. Pokémon X and Y defy how we think Pokémon should be. For the first time, we are treated to a fully 3D Pokémon game that plays like the main series handhelds, the starters and mascot legendaries were known day one, and Eevee gets a new evolution whose type is ambiguous. Majin Mew will be controversial to older fans who love Mewtwo. But despite the risk, changes are necessary to keep a series like Pokémon fresh and thriving after all these years. If you haven't already, watch Majin Mew in action. If it's any consolation, at least it shows how awesome battles will be in X and Y.