Pokemon X/Y: WHY?! Director Masuda himself answers!

Why...do we see the trainer more?

During our hands on it was really quite a joy to be able to customize the character in the ways that X and Y allows. But what was the design importance of this decision? Masuda: In previous games with the trainer, it was intentional that we didnt make them stand out, or put a lot of emphasis on [them]...So this time we really wanted the player to play that trainer as [him/herself], that they could express themselves through the player. Thats why we added a lot of elements like being able to change your appearance and things like that.

And its true, not only did we begin X and Y a little closer to the character, but we were able to change our appearance throughout our time with the game. It was a lovely addition: we could represent how we were feeling, or be able to match the aesthetics of our team.

Why...Worldwide release?

Its never even crossed our minds what it would be like to NOT know everything about a Pokemon game before it came out. We asked Masuda and Yoshida to just generally speak about the worldwide simultaneous release: So the global release has actually been a goal of ours for the last seven years that weve really been working hard to accomplish. Up until now with all the previous releases the games have come out in Japan first, and a lot of the more dedicated fans will look up that information that gets put up on the internet about the games...all the pokemon, and the entire story before they get a chance to play the game.

This time with Pokemon X and Y...everyone is going to be at the same starting point on October 12, finding new pokemon for the first time--maybe theyll be the first person to discover a certain pokemon, theyll look on the internet and maybe there wont be any information--so thats something were really excited about: everyone starting the game at the same time and then connecting with each other and players around the world, trading pokemon theyve never seen before and just kind of talking about the story that really no one really knows about.

Why...is the pace sped up?

The question for this was actually asking what from the older Pokemon games didnt translate well into Pokemon X/Y? We had seen a lot of classic things preserved in our hands on, but were there things taken out? Turns out not so much taken out, as adjusted. Masuda answers: Nowadays everyone is on the internet, theyre all using social media and theyre busy just with a variety of things, and while it makes things a lot more interesting, people have a lot less time than before. With Pokemon X/Y we focused quite a few details to speed up the pace of the game.

For instance weve shortened some of the sounds that play for certain things, we increased the speed of the players movement, for example you can run from the very beginning of the game and you dont have to get any special items for it. There are a lot of ways weve focused on speeding up the pace a bit of the gameplay.

Why...include the original starters?

So originally we didnt even have the idea of having the player received the red and blue starter pokemon. It was about a year and a half into the development of the games when the mega evolutions for those three pokemon-the designs for them-were finalized. I was looking at the and I was thinking, you know, it would be really cool to give players a chance to see these mega evolutions.

"But with the starter Pokemon I really didnt wanna have them just appear in the wild or something. So we needed to provide some kind of opportunity for the player to get the pokemon, and- lol youll just have to wait and seeeeeeee.

What...are you excited about Mr. Masuda?

We ended the interview by asking both Mr. Masuda and Mr. Yoshida this open ended question: what is one thing youre most excited for fans to get their hands on and see? Pokemon X/Y director, Junichi Masuda answered first.

Really, I just want people to enjoy playing with their Pokemon, petting them with Pokemon-Amie-the new feature. A more general point is that the fun of Pokemon is finding Pokemon theyve never seen before and figuring out how to evolve them. Just kind of talking with your friends, this communication aspect of where you found certain pokemon, or how you evolve and raise them. And this time we have the new pokemon as well as mega evolutions, and I think that new element is going to be more fun than ever.

What...are you excited about Mr. Yoshida?

Pokemon X/Ys art director, Hironobu Yoshida was second to take the floor: Of course you have, with the move the 3DS and the move to full 3D, a lot of things are going to look very different and remade-how the cries sound and and icons...so those are some of the things Im excited about.

But as a designer, first I was very excited about the idea of the mega evolution, that we were going to create these new designs for existing pokemon. I think when we started the work I quickly realized how challenging it would be. You have these already finished designs and changing that to become something different was a very difficult task for us. But I think we did a good job and Im really excited for players to see what we did.

So many questions answered!

So there it is, new and great insights about the next installment of Pokemon straight from the mouth of the creators. If youre itching for more Pokemon news, check out our weekly Pokemon updates, as well as the Pokemon X/Y video spots. Pokemon X and Y are slated for a worldwide release on October 12th.

Zach was once an Associate Editor for Future, but has since moved into games development. He's worked at EA and Sledgehammer Games, but is now Narrative Director on League of Legends and Valorant at Riot Games.