Game Freak, which is also developing the Pokemon RPG for Switch, convinced Nintendo to let it launch a brand new IP and role-playing game for the hybrid console next year. Could this be a hit on the same scale as Pokemon has been for the last two decades?
Of the three major games console manufacturers, Nintendo has by far and away the richest selection of IP to call on with which to make new games that sell hardware. As well as Zelda and Mario, millions of copies of Pokemon games are sold every time a new title bearing the name is released. That will inevitably be the case when an as yet untitled Pokemon RPG launches on Switch next year, but it’s not the only RPG in development by the Pokemon studio.
The primary developer of Pokemon games is Game Freak who started it all back in 1996 with the Pokemon Red and Blue games. Since then, the studio has given us another 28 Pokemon titles, with the Pokemon RPG forming game 29. However, Game Freak is also set to release a brand new RPG for the Switch next year, which only has a working title of “Town” for now.
It does also have an announcement trailer, though.
As the trailer above reveals, the game is set in what was once a peaceful village which is now under attack from monsters. We don’t know why they are attacking, but we do know the village hides a secret. The player is tasked with fighting and defeating the monsters using a turn-based combat system. Other villagers can be called upon to help fight when required, suggesting the player will be tasked with helping them (quests?) to gain their favor.
It’s certainly quite different from Pokemon, and that’s no bad thing. Defending a village and population from monsters without knowing why they attack reminds me of Attack on Titan, the very popular manga and anime series, which is also no bad thing.
Combine an interesting story, a mystery that will slowly get uncovered, and the solid gameplay mechanics a Game Freak title is guaranteed to deliver, and this could be one of the Switch’s stand out releases for 2019. And it will have to be to compete against a Pokemon RPG launching.
Town is an important game for Game Freak because it is a combination of new IP and a studio that has a track record of producing games that sell millions of copies. Nintendo will be hoping that Town ends up being another Pokemon, and even if it only comes close to the appeal of Pokemon titles it could secure the RPG a future as a series of (inevitably Nintendo-focused) games.