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Junichi Masuda

The Pokemon Company has shared an official interview with Game Freak’s Junichi Masdua and Shigeru Ohmori. The two developers, director and producer of Pokemon Sword/Shield respectively, had lots to say about the Switch games and more. They spoke about taking inspiration from the UK for the Galar region, what it’s like creating new Pokemon, new features being implemented, the music, and more.

Here’s the full interview:

Game Freak broke some news about Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield yesterday that is not going over well with fans. The Pokedex is limited, meaning not all Pokemon can be transferred to the game. Only monsters appearing in the Galar region will be available.

Game Freak producer Junichi Masuda spoke about the decision further in an interview with USgamer. On that front, he said:

Compared to some other recent RPGs, reaching the “end” of Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee doesn’t take terribly long. Director Junichi Masuda was asked about this in the Japanese strategy guide, which was then published in the English version.

Masuda explained that he didn’t want Pokemon: Let’s Go to entirely monopolize your time – especially in the age of smartphones and the fact that people play other games. The team therefore increased the walking speed “and kept the playtime needed to reach the Hall of Fame on the shorter side.”

This week’s issue of Famitsu contains New Year’s greetings for a variety of developers. Two representatives from Game Freak were included as part of the feature: Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori. Both reflected on the past year and vaguely teased what’s to come in the future:

Here’s what Masuda and Ohmori said:

Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee director Junichi Masuda has commented on the game’s visuals.

According to Masuda, the team wanted to make the graphics approachable – especially for parents. He explained that he “didn’t want to make it a game that would cause parents to feel mistrustful of our games.” Game Freak also “didn’t want it to look scary.” This is partially why the team went about making character proportions “look a bit childish”.

What was the biggest concern for Game Freak while developing Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee? Apparently how much Switch would sell.

Director Junichi Masuda was interviewed for the game’s Japanese strategy guide, which was then published in the English version. In it, Masuda mentioned that the team started development before Switch launched “so we really couldn’t predict at all whether the console was going to sell well or not.” The team was “quite relieved to see it hit record sales figures” following release.

Since the announcement of Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu and Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee, some fans have questioned if the titles could be viewed as a spin-offs. However, in a new interview with director Junichi Masuda, he made it clear that it wasn’t the case. Masuda mentioned in the game’s official Japanese strategy title that the new Switch games “aren’t spin-offs” and are instead “core Pokemon titles.”

Masuda also addressed the possibility of having future Pokemon entries be compatible with Pokemon GO. He explained that if the functionality is well received in Pokemon: Let’s Go, “then we’ll think about maybe having future titles also be able to connect to it.”

Ahead of Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu / Eevee’s launch, Bahamut spoke with director Junichi Masuda. Siliconera translated the discussion points.

You can find a summary of what was shared below. Topics include the game’s visual style, changes that were made, and more.

Having a rival is one of the more well-known aspects in Pokemon. This has been present in the original generation of games, leading all the way up through Pokemon Sun/Moon. But over time, their personality has changed. Early on especially, rivals acted more like jerks. That isn’t as much the case anymore – especially with the likes of Hau in Sun/Moon.

In an interview with GameSpot, longtime Pokemon developer Junichi Masuda spoke about the shift. He noted how back in the day, you couldn’t express quite as much with visuals meaning they really needed to have character with their dialogue and personality. On the other hand, with the HD visuals of today, making the rival a jerk would leave much more of an impression on players.

Eurogamer has come forward with its own interview for Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu / Eevee. Once again, director Junichi Masuda and designer Kensaku Nabana have shared some comments about the new entry and other topics. They discussed the post-game Master Trainers, the handling of Meltan’s reveal, the possibility of an open-world game like Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and more.

We’ve rounded up some of the more notable excerpts from the interview below. Read the full discussion on Eurogamer here.

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