When the (so far) Japanese-only Pokemon + Nobunaga’s Ambition was announced we were initially confused by the new Pokemon game before us. Not only was it a strategy RPG teaming pocket monsters with Japanese history, it was coming to the nearly dead DS. Now we know that, according to a translated interview, it was almost even stranger.
Above: The most recent Japanese trailer
When Tecmo Koei came to the Pokemon Company with the proposal for a crossover game, they pitched the adorable creatures crossing over with Dynasty Warriors games just as Gundam had done before to huge profits. But even though any normal person’s mind would be tempted by visions of Pikachu taking down dozens of warriors in one attack, the Pokemon team decided combining with the older, more RPG-styled series Nobunaga’s Ambition would be better. The translation doesn’t say why, but our theory is the Poke-bosses wanted to sidestep the need for Pikachu and others to hold a sword and kill people like Warriors games require (experienced Poke trainers know fallen opponents merely pass out).
The game is planned for a March release in Japan, and we really hope that Nintendo gives this one a chance in the US. However, when you combine the tiny selection of upcoming DS games, the niche nature of the series outside Japan and the difficulty in localizing something so steeped in Japanese culture, it doesn’t look good. Perhaps a letter writing campaign is in order. It worked for Xenoblade.