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AJ, Nate & I got together to talk about the Pokémon companies first game for the Nintendo Switch, Pokémon Quest which is out now. We liked the game but believe it will be better on mobile once it releases for those platforms this summer in June. Below, you can find the full transcription of the chat!
Justin: So, The Pokémon Company announced a lot of stuff last night. We had a tease for a new main series release for next year, we had announcements of a release date for “Pokémon Let’s Go, Pikachu” & “ Let’s Go, Eevee”, and we had the announcement and release of Pokémon Quest. Obviously, we’re going to talk about those other games when they are released, but what do you guys think about Pokémon Quest?
AJ: I think it’s not a good Switch game. It’s a neat mobile game. It’s a cool “available now” announcement
Justin: Best Pokémon game ever made
Nate: Haha, yeah, maybe not… I’m with AJ, it just doesn’t feel like a console game. The moment they introduced those, I forget the name, “Pokémon Coins” or something?
Justin: The tickets?
Nate: Yeah, it was like gems for Clash of Clans. It just reminds me so much of those games that go “You pay some more money, you can get this instantly!”.
Nate: Just seeing this in a console game, I get it’s “freemium”, but I don’t like seeing that on the Switch. I want to pay for a game and get the entire game.
AJ: Yeah, because that format works for when you carry your phone with you everywhere. It’s okay to pick up your phone every once and a while and say “Yeah, I’m going to check on some things” and then put it back in your pocket or “I’m at the airport, I don’t want to wait, here’s $5”, you know? On the Switch though, you have so many other options. When Bob and I were streaming this on his channel, I said: “I just don’t feel good playing this on my Switch”. There are just so many other things I could play on that.
Justin: Your right, it’s different with the Switch because you, you kind of commit to it. You have x amount of time and you’re going to play a game. It’s not I’m going to check in on wether or not something finished cooking and then leave
AJ: I think if this could work on the Switch, well it can’t, but maybe on the Wii U if it was powerful enough to render different things on both screens. One game on the TV and on on the gamepad or I’m watching something on Netflix and playing Pokémon… what’s this game called?
AJ: Right, Pokémon Quest. Not “I’m dedicating my whole console to this small experience”. Where even on mobile, I mean on mobile it’s rare that your entire focus is going to be exclusively on this.
Nate: For me,this is a game where on the Switch you don’t want to invest more then half an hour. I got kind of bored after half an hour but I could see picking it up for fifteen minutes or something and it could be really fun. I’m thinking, this is coming out in June for mobile?
Justin: Yeah, they haven’t put a hard date yet, just sometime in June
Nate: So when it comes in June, I’m actually excited for it on mobile but not on the Switch. I would rather jump in a game of Mario Kart 8 or collect some more moons in Mario Odyssey.
AJ: Yeah, if you want to, I mean, I think mobile games do have a place on the Switch. Like Angry Birds, I think Angry Birds could work on the Switch. Things like this, a tapper game or clicker game I don’t see working on the Switch. Like Capitalist Adventure on the PS3, why?
Nate: Right, it’s a mobile game and when you move it to a console it’s not the same type of satisfaction. These games are designed to be enjoyed at five minutes at a time, not “I’m going to sit down for 30 minutes just to play this game”.
AJ: “I’m going to put on a podcast and play Pokémon, what its called?Pokémon Quest!”
Justin: It’s sad because you see things like Mario Run, it’s a shame that business model didn’t work out as well as they had hoped because I could see where that idea could work well for this game. If they said “Pay us $10 or $15 and it removes all the timers”, I would be down for that! Obviously, maybe don’t make that an option on the mobile version. If they did that for just the Switch version, I think it would open this game up a lot. But then you see things like Fire Emblem Heroes and its just killing it with micro transactions. Market wise, they did the experiment with Mario Run and it didn’t work.
Nate: Which is really sad, because I preferred that with Mario Run. I enjoyed that game. To see them go back to this more standard mobile model with in-app transactions is sad.
AJ: That’s because Mario Run fell flat on it’s face. I mean it did fine for their first shot at trying a new market. But it didn’t do well as far as most mobile games are concerned. Pokémon GO is structured more like a standard mobile game, that game is able to take traction. People see it out and are like “Oh, your playing that game?” A majority end up playing it because it’s free, chances are your not going to spend money on it but some are and then it’s going to make millions.
Justin: Not to sidetrack to much but I’m still surprised that out of all of the Nintendo mobile games, for Fire Emblem to be the clear winner is odd. The amount that it’s selling is just mind boggling to me.
AJ: Because they nailed it for what it is. It’s a Fire Emblem lite game for mobile. It’s free so people aren’t scared from a paywall and the stuff they spend money on is harmless yet addictive. It’s like “I don’t need this bunny Camille” but I want it.
Nate: Which is really kind of disappointing, I don’t know if you guys saw it but they are adding back in microtransactions to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp just for the sheer purpose of a paywall. There’s this stuff and you can’t get it without paying for it.
Justin: Yeah, it sad to see. I think the one-time payment option for this game would’ve helped for Switch owners but I mean obviously they know what they are doing and they are making money on Pokémon GO, so they don’t have the motivation to do things differently.
AJ: Let’s be honest, the majority of the money made from this game is going to be on mobile. The only reason it’s on Switch is for posterity’s sake. They wanted to be able to say “We have a Pokémon game for Switch and it’s available now! Switch First!”
Justin: One thing I’ve seen as something people are really attacking is the art style. I actually enjoy it.
AJ: Yeah, it’s a side game whatever, it’s cool.
Justin: I actually really liked Pokémon Rumble World on the 3DS and oddly enough it’s a lot of directions I wish this game took with the one-time transaction and kind of blocky characters. In Rumble they are like windup toys or something like that but it was fun. The controls just seemed better in Rumble.
AJ: Yeah, I mean…
Justin: I don’t want Gen 8 to look like this but I’m cool with it for a side game.
Nate: I liked it because it was different. It’s not something we’ve seen from Pokémon before. I’m not the biggest fan of voxel style games anymore but people on mobile it could be different. It’s new for them though and I like that it’s something new. I’m with Justin that I don’t want to see this in the mainline games.
AJ: I don’t think they want to see it. This is something different. If it goes well we may get another series in the franchise but we won’t, I mean, maybe we’ll see Pokémon Quest Easter eggs in Gen. 8. Something like, “Look this stupid little kid had a Pikachu voxel toy”.
Justin: I kind of want the Gen. 8 PokéDolls to be voxel form.
AJ: Yeah, that would be cool. What if it was the substitute was that?
Justin: Done. Sold. Approved. Game Freak, get on it.
AJ: Green lit!