First of all sorry, my English it’s not that polite as I would like, I will try to translate everything the best way possible.So Vandal (spanish website) was another one of the selected websites that had the chance to interview Kazumasa Iwao and Shigeru Ohmori in Nintendo Europe, located at Frankfurt.If you speak spanish, you can read the interview here.All the credits go to Vandal.Big PostBefore starting I would like to clarify that a good part of the questions that I am going to ask come from the doubts that I have seen in the forum of Vandal by users of the game. Having said that, I would like to know more about how Necrozma becomes Dusk Mane Necrozma or Dawn Wings NecrozmaKazumasa Iwao: In the video that you have seen, which takes place when the game is already in an advanced point of the story, Necrozma takes control of Solgaleo or Lunala, depending on the version you are playing, and it is as if absorbed them inside itself. I hope you like it.Is USUM an alternative story or complementary story to Sun and Moon?Iwao: It’s more like a new story. There will be characters that appeared in Sun and Moon like Hau or Lillie, but this time the relationship with them will be different and we will see a different facet of these characters.Instead of Team Skull this time we have the Ultra Recon Squad, who are they?Iwao: The URS come from another world, where they confronted Necrozma and tried to control it, but something went wrong and their world became dark. A similar threat approaches now Alola, so they came to Alola to investigate what happens and thats what they are doing when they encounter player’s character.Players liked the idea of the Trials and the Kahuna, but they wonder if the gyms will come backIwao: This time the traditional gyms won’t be there and the Trials continue, that traditional form of the region of Alola for trainers to improve. But we made an extra effort to reinforce the Trias, in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon we made some changes and added certain elements to improve its gameplay.Even if there won’t be traditional gyms as such, [USUM] will have a new feature based on the same idea and we want the players to try it by themselves.Traditional players have played Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon but one of the goals you wanted to acomplish was attract new players, did you succeed?Shigeru Ohmori: The base of Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon is Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, but you can enter in the series with USUM without problems. It is important for Pokémon to be accessible to everyone. We have been very careful so the entry level could allow you to start playing easily, but also has depth, the more you play, the more you discover and the more you enter into the game. So we’ve made sure it’s for all-time players and also for a wide range of players who may not have played too much Pokémon in the past.The Ultra Beasts that appeared in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, what role will they have this time?Iwao: Part of the story is related to fusion of Necrozma with Solgaleo or Lunala and the power he obtains that allows him to open Ultra-Wormholes. Using these powers, more and more Ultra-Wormholes are opened in Alola, and with that new Ultra Beasts come to Alola and the story tells how they came from other worlds on the other side of the Ultra-Wormholes and how they can return to their world. When creating a whole new story that revolves around Necrozma it was important to go deeper into the idea of entering the Ultra-Wormholes and exploring the area, so it is something that came about naturally.What came first, the idea of taking the game to another dimension and put another setting or, otherwise, you were looking for a different setting and the idea of traveling through the Ultra-Wormholes??Iwao: Regarding the part of traveling through the Ultra-Wormholes, in Sun and Moon we already had the Ultra Beasts appearing at a moment of the history in front of the eyes of the player, and we thought that surely many had asked: “What is this stranger Pokémon-like creature coming out of that hole and what is that hole?”.This time we want to go deeper into what the Ultra-Wormhole is and where it leads to know more about it. That is what we set ourselves.Until now the game had a world that could be associated with our real world, with scenarios that could be familiar to the player and in the last video revealed we have seen a futuristic city.Iwao: In the development we raised the idea of whether there are worlds connected with this one. The Ultra-Wormhole gives us this possibility, to think that there are other worlds beyond the Pokémon one, which may be something that we would never have imagined, or perhaps are very similar. We want people to explore the Ultra-Wormhole and discover all the possibilities they offer, to see the worlds we have created and that are going to be found throughout the game. We want them, as they play, to think, “There can be similar worlds out there.” It would make us very happy to think such things.We have already seen that there will be new Z moves, is there anything new that will we find in this regard?Iwao: This time we have added some new Z-Moves for players to try out. In those that already existed we have not made any changes, and one of the reasons why we have done so is that we did not want to break the balance that existed in the game that the players are used to in Sun and Moon, because we wanted a kind of continuity between the two games. That’s why we have not changed the existing Z-Moves and the changes that have been in comparision with Sun and Moon have been details like the design of the RotomDex, which has been adjusted and improved to make it more beautiful.I remember seeing an interview some time ago in which the people responsible for Sun and Moon said that with the Z-Mode and Poké Finder they wanted to strengthen the union between the player and their Pokémon. Is that the reason that they have now improved the Poké Finder in Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon?Iwao: Yes. As you say, now players can take a photo with the Pokémon they are with, convert the photos into some type of ornament and exchange them with other players in the Festi Plaza with the Alola Photo Club options. The idea is to transform the link that the player has established with the Pokémon that accompanies them and turn it into something tangible, that can be seen in the game and that you can experience directly.It is not only for new Pokémon, you can also use some that you have been living adventures for years, you can also do it with some that you have from some game of ten years ago and that you have brought from the Pokémon Bank and turn it into a tangible memory somehow in the game. It is about establishing a link with a particular Pokémon that you have trained for a long time or a kind of Pokémon that you like especially. Convert that player link with some Pokémon into something physical that is in the game.Is there any way to take that photo out of the console to print it?Ohmori: We have not implemented anything similar on this occasion. Maybe you mean that if there is something similar to Pokémon Snap, but nowadays it is more common to share this kind of thing in social networks.Iwao: When proposing the generational change, for us it made more sense to have this mobile feature of taking the photo and sharing on the networks and in the Festi Plaza rather than printing a real physical photo, that’s not how photos are shared nowadays.Alola was a big world. Could the next step in the series be an open world?Ohmori: The future has many different possibilities for Pokémon and you never know what is going to happen. What we are going to do is analyze the different generations, the different technologies and possibilities. Our developers look at the Wi-Fi possibilities, the scenarios, the spread of Internet connectivity and the development of various technologies and we want to be at the forefront of all this so that Pokémon continues to grow. Of course we would like an open world, but we have that in which the Pokémon series develops with technology that people like.Older players complained that Sun and Moon was too easy, are Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon going to be more difficult?Iwao: We always go around the difficulty settings. In Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon in particular the base is certainly Sun and Moon but, without doubt, it can be said that Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon is a bit harder and players will see that it is a bigger challenge. But it is not about simply increase the difficulty; we have to ensure that it is accessible to players that start the game for the first time and everyone who enters the game has fun. We do not want it to be so difficult that people can not get into it and have fun if they are newbies. We have put a lot of effort into adjusting the difficulty and balancing it so that everyone can enjoy it.I had doubts before today about whether or not the games had enough new content and now that I have seen that yes, can you say that it is a totally new game?Iwao: If we compare it with the previous games of the series we could say that these ones looks more like Emerald or Platinum, we call them the superior versions. But we do not want to reproduce the patterns of the past; the idea to create new experiences for our players has guided us, so this time we made many changes in the story, changed other things and added elements of action, so we want players to enjoy it as if it were a new game rather than as a new version. We have worked hard so there is so much content that players enjoy it as a new game.I have to ask this question, do we know anything about the version of Switch?[There are murmurs, smiles and open laughts, since it is the question that everyone asks]Ohmori: The first thing I ask people is to play Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon and enjoy them and then, calmly, there will come a time where more games will come out. But we can tell you as new information that Pokémon will appear and you can capture them with PokéBalls.Will there be connection with Pokémon GO?Ohmori: We are always thinking about the different possibilities to make Pokémon advance, we are always thinking about it and studying all the options.So this is it, something that I would highlight about this interview is the gym-like feature, and that URS tried to control Necrozma.
I was replaying Pokémon Sun to get hyped for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, and I got very frustrated when I found out that there are basically no haircuts for curly-haired people.I know this may sound nitpicky, but character customization is a big deal for me, and it kinda takes me out of the game if I can’t see myself in that character.You don’t need to add a ton of options, but add some. It’s not like my hair has a crazy haircut, I just have a mini afro.
The staff at Eurogamer Portugal got the chance to interview Shigeru Ohmori (director of Sun & Moon) and Kazumasa Iwao (director of US&UM) at the headquarters of Nintendo in Frankfurt, revealing some new details about the upcoming games.If you speak Portuguese, you can check it out here.I thought the people here would like to read it, so I translated the transcript to English. Warning: big post ahead(I do not own this, all credit goes to Eurogamer.)Why did you decide to make these versions? You have announced a new game for the Nintendo Switch, so what’s the reason for investing once more on the 3DS?Shigeru Ohmori: We’ve been developing Pokémon games for the Nintendo 3DS since we released the X and Y versions and since then we’ve built a huge fanbase on the platform. Then we also made Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire and felt that we had created something really good, that brought the 3DS to its limits at the time. After that we started preparing Pokémon Sun & Moon and decided to rework the system and build it again from the beggining. At that moment, we believed it was the further we could go. However, we have plenty of fans and we realised that there was much left to do with the Alola region and wanted to explore it more. Thus, we decided to try again and take the system absolutely to its limits and offer something new and exciting for the fans.Regarding the story, is it a sequel or an alternate narrative?Shigeru Ohmori: These new versions are not a sequel like Black 2 and White 2. They are what we call an “enhanced version”, just like the Emerald and Platinum versions in past generations. But this time we didn’t want to do exactly what we had done before, in order to create a different and more surprising experience for the fans. With this in mind we decided to make two enhanced versions, this way you keep the experience of trading with friends. We hope that the players, whether they have or not friends who played Sun & Moon, get that experience.In X & Y you invested in Mega Evolutions, but after that, when you released Sun & Moon, you changed the focus to Z-Moves. What was the reason?Shigeru Ohmori: In fact, in X & Y we created Mega Evolutions for several Pokémon, but when we were designing Pokémon Sun & Moon, it was the 20th anniversary of the series and we wanted to make something new and surprising for players. We also wanted it to be something any Pokémon could take part of. As you know, Mega Evolutions are restricted to certain Pokémon.Eventually we came up with Z-Moves and any Pokémon can use then, leading to different strategies that vary from player to player. In the Pokémon World Championships there are players who resort to Z-Moves to complement their strategies. From our point of view, as producers, that’s precisely what we were looking for, to change the battle environment and have people come up with new and unique strategies.Kazumasa Iwao: Z-Moves will return in Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, of course, but we wanted to upgrade them. Thus, the new Necrozma forms have, each one, a new Z-Move. Kommo-o also has a new Z-Move, which after being used raises the stats.The DexNav, one of the new functionalities of Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, was one of the best additions to the Pokémon saga. But when Pokémon Sun & Moon came out, I realised it was gone. Are you going to implement it again?Shigeru Ohmori: It was an idea that followed from Pokémon X & Y. In these games, every time you went to the green zone of the grass, you’d find new Pokémon you hadn’t seen before. On the other hand, in Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire you didn’t have so many, so if the same set of Pokémon kept appearing, like Zigzagoon, the players wouldn’t have interest in going to the grass, one of the central aspects of Pokémon.Bearing that in mind, to turn things more interesting, we created DexNav, showing the Pokémon that could appear in the area. It was one of the main reasons for implementing that functionality. However, it’s not that interesting or useful if there is a great variety of Pokémon. In Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon there are many different kinds of Pokémon you can find, so we didn’t implement the DexNav.In reality, DexNav was useful because there are Pokémon with hidden abilities, and that was an easy form to get Pokémon with those abilities.Kazumasa Iwao: Well, regarding encountering Pokémon, there is Island Scan, a feature that existed in Sun & Moon and that will be back in the new versions to help you encounter rarer Pokémon. There is also a new feature, thanks to a more powerful and useful version of the Rotom Dex. One of its utilities is RotoLotto, that enhances certain special effects in the game like easier Pokémon capture or the reduction of steps to hatch the eggs.In the first versions, after defeating the Pokémon League, we could explore new parts of the region and capture the various Ultra Beasts. Regarding the end game, what will be different in these new versions?Kazumasa Iwao: In the previous games you had Solgaleo and Lunala, the two Legendary Pokémon of Sun & Moon. This time you can ride these Pokémon and explore the Ultra Wormholes. As you may know, Solgaleo and Lunala have the ability to open these portals and in the new versions you’ll explore what’s inside. At the other side, there is the Ultra Beasts’ world, where you’ll be able to find them. In addition to the Ultra Beasts, there are other places where you can find strong Pokémon. For example, Mewtwo is in the game.Still with regard to the post game content, there is much more content after the main story ends. For example, Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon have 100 small events you can find navigating the map. There is really plenty of content in these versions for the players to enjoy.Is Necrozma an evil Pokémon? Until now we have had powerful Pokémon used by malicious people for evil purposes, but Necrozma seems to be the first truly evil Pokémon. It’s all black, and it even stole all the light in Ultra Megapolis.Kazumasa Iwao: It’s a great question! Until now, in the Pokémon series, as you said, we never depicted any Pokémon as being necessarily evil. In Necrozma’s case, depending on your perspective, you may think it’s evil, but in other point of view it may be not. In fact, there is a natural conflict with the characters that appear in Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon.Has anything change in Festival Plaza? I think it is a bit confusing and did not understang its purpose. I know you could train Pokémon, but Poké Pelago was an easier and more effective system.Shigeru Ohmori: The Festival Plaza is an important part of the world we created, so it is still there. However, we added some functionalities like Alola Photo Club, where you can take photos and save them and/or share them with other players. The basis for this is Festival Plaza. There is also another new addition in this area, but we can’t talk about it at the moment. We can only say it’s related to the battle system of previous games.Regarding Poké Pelago, we’re happy to know you liked it. There were some changes this time to make it even easier to evolve there your Pokémon. We hope you’ll like the changes.Back to Necrozma. On the one hand we have Pokémon and on the other hand we have Ultra Beasts. Is Necrozma the missing link between these two types of creatures?Kazumasa Iwao: We didn’t give that particular role to Necrozma, but regarding the Ultra Beasts, you’ll be able to visit their world. By doing that you’ll learn more about them, where they live and why they exist. You’ll also find out what type of relationship Ultra Beasts have with people as you progress with the story.In one of the most recent videos we announced UB Adhesive, which comes accompanied by the Ultra Recon Squad. This Ultra Beast has a different relationship with people and you’ll find out more about that on Pokémon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon’s story.I felt that with Pokémon Sun & Moon you moved away from the traditional formula and risked more. Is this your plan for the Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch and the future of the series?Shigeru Ohmori: We make Pokémon games since the Gameboy era and we always have had a connection with the hardware we were developing for. The Gameboy was portable and you had to use the link cables to play and trade with friends. Then, with the advance of technology, Gameboy Advance came out, where you had a wireless adaptor to battle and trade wirelessly. Eventually 3DS appeared, with funcionalities like Streetpass and a wireless comunication environment.Whenever technology evolved, Pokémon followed that evolution. We have always advanced together with time. It’s one of the philosophies we have when we develop a new Pokémon. However, despite this progress, we still have these central elements, which are Pokémon, their capture, battles and growing up with them. This is the core of Pokémon and what we want to do for the series’s future.I realised you added a Surf minigame where in the end, depending on our performance, we get a score. Is there any reward for completing this activity?Kazumasa Iwao: As you saw, in Mantine Surf you can resort to several techniques to reach higher scores. At the end you receive points and you can use them to pay the Move Tutor, who can teach you Pokémon different moves they couldn’t learn in Pokémon Sun & Moon. You can also trade your points for useful items.There are many places where you can do Mantine Surf, namely areas that link two islands. We want players to use this activity to help them progress during the story.TL;DR: No DexNav because there is a ton of wild Pokémon variety; Island Scan returns; Rotom Dex may help you finding Hidden Abilities (although it’s unclear); new mini-events scattered through the map; Necrozma isn’t evil, or is it?; Alola Photo Club is integrated with Festival Plaza; Festival Plaza has a new battling feature (6v6? FRONTIER??); we’ll know UB backstory; UB Adhesive is different from the others; Move Tutors confirmed; Mantine Surf gives you points to buy Tutor Moves and items.