Game Freak

Last week’s Nintendo Direct proved well worth the wait, with a plethora of game announcements and plenty of surprises. In fact, so good was the Direct that it put Nintendo’s E3 presentation to shame. One thing that has caught my attention in the days since the presentation is just how little has been said about Town. After all, a brand new original RPG by Game Freak — what’s not to love? A Nintendo Switch exclusive no less. With that being said, here’s my quaint little attempt to get you interested in the quaint little gem that Town looks set to be.

It’s Game Freak

The first reason here is the most obvious — it’s Game Freak. The guys at this studio are some of the best in the business at crafting lovable, enthralling RPG worlds. There are few who can create role-playing experiences more instantly charming than the Pokémon games.

Granted, they’re often restricted to the tent pole series, and in many ways, they have that formula refined to a T; thus, one could ask whether Game Freak is up to the challenge of straying from that formula with Town. Well, in a word — probably. Not all of their non-Pokémon games are stellar, (I’m looking at you, Tembo.) but more often than not, when Game Freak takes a break from Pikachu & pals they create fun, unique experiences that ranks among the best on their systems. One needs only to look at Drill Dozer or HarmoKnight.

The visuals are a sight to behold

This perhaps surprised me the most about Town‘s reveal trailer. I personally have never thought visuals were a strong suit of Game Freak games. Perhaps it’s their hesitance to embrace new hardware, often supporting older systems long after other teams have moved on, or maybe it’s their dedication to handheld systems. I don’t know. However, one thing I am sure of is that they’ve stepped it up with Town.

Since the reveal, I have been trying to put my finger on just what the style of the game is, and in the end, I think it falls somewhere between Studio Ghibli and Fantasy Life. That’s a style I didn’t know I wanted until it was given to me. Pokémon Let’s Go! Pikachu & Eevee look nice — they’re cute — but the art direction for this title is something beyond what we’ve seen before; I sincerely hope that its a sign of what’s to come with the next mainline Pokémon RPG. For a perfect example of the gorgeous visuals, just take a look at that castle in the background, flanked by cascading waterfalls.

Game FreakSo many possibilities…

We don’t know much about what shape the meat of the game will take yet. Here is what we know so far:

  1. You’re tasked with protecting your settlement from incoming monsters.
  2. The whole game is set within the town.
  3. The town has a dark secret that you’ll discover along your journey.

Naturally, that leaves us with a lot of things to ponder. Firstly, how can a whole RPG adventure hold a player’s interest if it’s only set in one location? Well, they have to make that place the most feature-rich and charming setting for a game one could imagine. Personally, I could see Game Freak implementing a way to upgrade the town, to build on what is already there. After all, the name of the game implies that the setting will take the spotlight, so why not give the player a way to develop it as their adventure develops?

Something else that could be interesting is how recruitment and battling will work. The trailer leaves me curious as the protagonist is never seen fighting alongside other villagers. However, the narrator of the trailer explicitly says that, when the time comes, fellow villagers will battle the invading monsters. So what form will this take? It’s very possible that the game will implement a simple party-based combat system, but from what we have seen so far it looks as though Town could well implement a new and interesting way of incorporating multiple characters in combat. Nothing is set, and clearly much is yet to be revealed, but the possibility is there, and it’s enticing.

Whether or not Town will prove to be a terrific game is yet to be seen. However, the little that Game Freak has shown gives me enough reason to wait for this game with bated breath. Here’s the part where you chip in — what do you think of Town? What are your hopes for the game? Please do share and I’ll see you in the comments section down below!

Callum McAvan
Huge Nintendo fan and horror movie enthusiast with a try-hard Radiohead tattoo on his arm. You can often find Callum either listening to the Persona 4 soundtrack on loop, or eating his own weight in ramen.

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