Pokemon Black and White's setting inspired by NYC

In his recent Iwata Asks column, Nintendo president Satoru Iwata interviews Game Freak's Junichi Masuda, director of Pokemon Black and White, on the inspirations behind the upcoming 5th generation entry in the Pokemon franchise. Among the revelations in the interview is that New York City was a major inspiration for not only B&W's major City (called Hiun City in the Japanese version), but also for the Isshu region in general.

It's not unusual for a Pokemon game's region to be inspired by a real-life place, but this will be the first entry based on a place outside of Japan. This is just one example of the new territory Game Freak is venturing into with B&W, and one of the main points Masuda makes in the interview is that Game Freak's focus for B&W was to shake things up in terms of what's expected from a Pokemon game, especially since this will be the second generation of Pokemon games on the DS. Masuda even goes so far as to say he wanted to "destroy" the expected formula for a Pokemon game, and one of the developer's main focuses was making B&W sufficiently different from Diamond and Pearl.

Read a summary of the interview on andriasang, or check out the whole interview in its original Japanese on Nintendo's official site. And don't forget to tune in on Monday to episode 17 of Pokemon Monday, where we'll discuss the interview further.

Sep 10, 2010


  • SkyDragonc5 - September 16, 2010 5:52 a.m.

    That Explains the Idea of the Far off Region. I hope these work well. I have loved Pokemon all my life. Literally I was born in 1991. It came out when I was 4.
  • CH3BURASHKA - September 13, 2010 8:31 a.m.

    Ugh, as if we don't have enough NYC-inspired cities in games.
  • BoltActionRevolver - September 12, 2010 7:25 p.m.

    If an NY theme, I wounder if I can get a "I *heart* BC (Black City)" They got the part about NY being black though, and in a totally non racial way (Why do I have to specify that. I thought we where past skin color guys)
  • thedonut - September 12, 2010 6:02 a.m.

    If we're only going to see nothing but Gen V pokemon prior to the national pokedex, what about the new pokemon that are going to evolve from, or into the past generations?
  • ZackAttackf - September 12, 2010 3:36 a.m.

    I can't wait for this game. I'll pre-order it soon. :D
  • SoySauceHater - September 11, 2010 10:42 p.m.

    Does anyone know if theres any trading capability between Gen 4 and 5? I just got back into the franchise and I really dont want to leave my Snorlax, Dragonite, Gengar and Porygon behind :/
  • 8bitBaby - September 11, 2010 7:32 p.m.

    yeah, i can see it being inspired by NY. i'm glad that game freak is venturing out into new territory with their inspiration, it's mostly relieved my fear that this was going to be the last pokemon game.
  • AlSwearengenHatesCocksuckers - September 11, 2010 7:07 p.m.

    Ok, not to be a hater, but if you really want to change the formula: MAKE IT IN FUCKING 3D ON AN ACTUAL CONSOLE FOR ONCE YOU FUCKING HOOPLEHEAD COCKSUCKERS! *ahem* Seriously, it's not like the Wii doesn't have the install base to do it. Make the Wii version a different colored version and then sell the other 2 DS games as the others. Step 2: ???? Step 3: $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
  • Crabhand - September 11, 2010 5:52 p.m.

    It certainly is a nice change of pace. And with Black and White getting the first perfect review scores ever from Famitsu specifically for "changing things up", this entry appears to be a great addition to the series. Can't wait until it comes out in America (don't have the resources or the reading ability to import). Oh yea, and apparently the game will be region locked on the DSi, which is really strange.
  • purple_omlet - September 11, 2010 3:41 p.m.

    I'm glad this isn't going to be like diamond and pearl. those games generally sucked, almost as bad as ruby and saphire.
  • BlindMarksman - September 11, 2010 4:06 a.m.

    I just read there would be 156 new Pokemon...
  • BoltActionRevolver - September 11, 2010 3:47 a.m.

    This would explain why ALL the Pokemon are new. I can see some expanding multiple areas on the same island, but now its an ocean away! None of them are he same! IT MAKES SINCE NOW!
  • thedonut - September 11, 2010 3:33 a.m.

    I always thought the final evolution of that grass snake(which I've been planning on picking) looks pretty cool. That final stage of that water otter thing looks cheap though, and kind of inordinate, for a last stage starter evolution(looks more like a legendary, or a fossil) which I can't help but make me think they're not really official. As for the fire pig evolution line, I think it's ok. I was kind of hoping it'll end up being like a fire boar at the end.
  • 510BrotherPanda - September 11, 2010 2:49 a.m.

    @GamesRadarCarolynGudmundson That's exactly what I said on the forums when discussing the new stuff. I still doubt it will be too different from the other games, other than the moving sprites and different perspective. But my opinion really doesn't matter...
  • IsaacFenix - September 11, 2010 1:56 a.m.

    I hope they have a Bum-sludge Pokemon! Maybe it'll be passed out in the subway with a crack needle in one hand and a bottle of whiskey in the other. That's how I know it's really NYC.
  • Onepersonwithnoopinion - September 11, 2010 1:06 a.m.

    We've known about this for a while now. The evo's are actual news to me though.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - September 11, 2010 12:29 a.m.

    Is this going to be for the DS or the 3DS? Pokemon was the only top down game I could really stand to play. I don't know if a 3d pokemon handheld game will be as good.
  • GamesRadarCarolynGudmundson - September 11, 2010 12:27 a.m.

    @Cyberninja - Yup, we're going to talk about it, but I don't think that art is 100% confirmed as legit yet. Tsutaaja's final evo is super cool though, so I hope that one is real. Pokabu's looks a bit too much like Magmortar to me though.
  • likejenga - September 11, 2010 12:17 a.m.

    very cool news, cant wait see the pokemon version of my favorite city
  • Cyberninja - September 10, 2010 11:57 p.m.

    pokebeach has leaked the second and third versions of the starters are you going to talk about it on the next pm

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