In a recent interview with German magazine N-Zone, Pokémon Sun & Moon’s director Shigeru Ohmori and producer Junichi Masuda sat down to answer a few questions about the upcoming entry in the main series of Pokémon games. [Thanks, Nintendo Everything.]
Ohmori answered the majority of the questions, with the topics ranging from how much they changed between Generations 6 and 7 to the addition of Poké Rides and how they function in the Pokémon world. The reasoning behind the time difference between the two games was also explained, as well as Pokémon-Amie’s change into Pokémon Refresh.
Here’s just a few excerpts from the interview.
N-Zone: Mr. Ohmori, why did you change so much in Generation 7 compared to Generation 6? Is there a specific reason for that?
Ohmori: Pokémon Sun and Moon was the first time I’ve taken on the role of director. For previous games, this used to be Mr. Masuda’s responsibility. It now fell to me to judge what I wanted to change and what I wanted to keep the way it is, since we both agreed that previous games had several aspects worth keeping. (Masuda nods in agreement)
Ohmori/Masuda: For the series’ 20th anniversary, there’s one thing I wanted above everything else: to deliver a fresh new gameplay experience to all players – to those who’ve been playing for 20 years and to those who will be playing a Pokémon game for the first time. One of the many ways we’re using to accomplish this is replacing gyms with trials, which is something completely new in Pokémon games.
Were other games, such as Yo-kai Watch, the reason for rethinking parts of the game, like introducing side quests?
Ohmori: Naturally, things change over time, such as what games are popular. We’re obviously aware of that and take it into consideration when developing a game. However, there’s no game that has directly influenced us like that. Our goal is always to create a game that is especially well received by players, so we’re thinking about things like how to attract players who like playing on their smartphones, or people who like watching YouTube videos.
Are Poke Rides a new kind of HMs? What’s the benefit for players?
Ohmori: In the Alola region, people, Pokémon and nature work together and coexist in a relatively small space. To reflect that, we introduced this new system that essentially allows you to use smash rocks or surf with Pokémon at all times. It just fits well with the way we envisioned this world and it helps give players a feel for the way of life in this region and to enjoy it during their adventure.
Why did you change the way time works in the games? What were you hoping to accomplish with this?
Ohmori: The big difference between the two versions is the 12 hour time difference between Sun and Moon. This leads to different kinds of Pokémon essentially being available at the same time. If it’s daytime, you’ll find Pokémon that appear during the day in Pokémon Sun and nocturnal Pokémon in Pokémon Moon. We hope to encourage communication and trade between players that way and also to deliver various exciting experiences while they play. People should carefully consider which version to buy: “Do I buy Sun or Moon… or maybe even both?”
In the same vein: why was Pokémon-Amie renamed? And will Pokémon Refresh be more than just feeding and combing Pokémon?
Ohmori: During battle, Pokémon might get dirty or wet when fighting a Water Pokémon, for example. After a battle, you can clean them or blow-dry them. Since we’ve added and changed so many aspects, we thought it would be best to give it a new name. This kind of interaction, watching your happy Pokémon, is something that we hope players will once again enjoy a lot.
To read the entire translated interview, you can go here.
Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon will release for the Nintendo 3DS worldwide on November 18th and in Europe on November 23rd.