How Has Pokémon’s Battle Animation Evolved? – New Frame Plus

How Has Pokémon’s Battle Animation Evolved? – New Frame Plus

[music] Hello!
And welcome to New Frame Plus, a series about video
game animation. I always find it fascinating to
look back over a franchise’s history and see how the animation of
each game builds upon the last. And the Pokemon series is an
especially interesting case, because it has a scope problem
built right into its core concept. Ever since that
first pair of games, the artists and designers at Game Freak
have had to find an answer to the question: “How are we going to present animated
battles with this many dang Pokemon?” So today, I thought it might be fun to
do a little animation retrospective. Let’s look at the portrayal
of trainer battles in the last seven generations
of Pokemon games to find out: how has Pokemon’s battle
animation evolved over time? Now I’m going to try to keep
this retrospective focused on just the core series
of Pokemon titles (else we’d be here all day). And also, before we start, I want to give a big Thank You
to a particular YouTube channel without which this episode
would not be possible: Nintendo Unity. See, I usually prefer to capture all the
game footage for these episodes myself, but Nintendo handhelds make
that VERY VERY DIFFICULT. Fortunately for me, the folks at Nintendo Unity
have recorded and uploaded HOURS of high quality footage
from every generation of Pokemon! You should check them out; I’m gonna put a link to their
channel in the top right corner. No joke, might not have been able to do
this episode without their videos, so a HUGE Thank You to them. Anyway, we’ve got a lot to Pokemon
games to talk about, let’s get going. [music] Up first, we’ve got Gen 1,
the original 1998 GameBoy classics: Pokemon Red & Blue. And even here at the very
start of the franchise, Game Freak is already looking
at a pretty challenging problem. This game has 151
collectable creatures, each of which can learn a
wide variety of combat moves. And this is a game about battling
those collectable Pokemon, so Game Freak needs a way of
presenting JRPG-style battles between any combination of these creatures
(and their wide variety of moves) and making that look exciting. And they have to do
all that on a GameBoy, with all of the technical limitations
inherent to 8-bit portable hardware. So how did Game Freak ultimately
go about animating these battles? Their solution (and I
think it’s a clever one) was to animate NOT every
Pokemon, but every attack. Each Pokemon is represented in
battle by one of two static images, either a front-facing
or a back-facing sprite. But every attack in the game has its
own custom batch of animations attached. They may have animated
sprite effects, they might make the Pokemon flicker
or shake or bounce around in unique ways. They might even shake
the entire screen. And the clever thing about
this approach is that – because none of these
attack animations require different sprite art
for the Pokemon – literally ANY
Pokemon in the game could hypothetically use
any one of these moves. I mean, they can’t because of the
game’s rules, but visually, they COULD. That is a very efficient
solution to the problem, and it’s a solution that Game Freak would
continue to use for a VERY long time. With the next game in the
series, Pokemon Yellow, and even going into Gen 2
with Pokemon Gold & Silver, the only changes worth noting are
updates to each Pokemon’s sprite art. The approach to battle animation
goes almost completely unchanged. The first truly significant addition wouldn’t
come until the tail end of Gen 2 with… Pokemon Crystal. [music] This enhanced update to Gold and
Silver has the unique distinction of being the FIRST
core Pokemon title in which ALL of the Pokemon were
given their own bespoke animation. In Pokemon Crystal, when your opponent
summons a Pokemon to the field, they pop out of their ball and… …a little summon
animation plays. Now, this animation only exists
for forward-facing sprites, so you’ll only ever see it on your
opponent’s Pokemon during battle. And the animations themselves are…
VERY simple. But even so, some of these have up
to 7 unique frames of pixel art! Up from the 1 front-facing sprite
all the previous games had! And considering the fact that they
had to do this for 251 creatures, that’s an impressive early investment
in the animation of these Pokemon. Now this was clearly
an experiment, and one that was immediately
abandoned for the next game. I’m guessing that Game Freak
ultimately concluded that this approach just
would not scale as future games added more
and more Pokemon to the count, and… yeah, I kinda have to agree. I mean, if you’re going to go
to the trouble to create between 2 and 6 additional frames of
animation for every single Pokemon, it does seem like kind of a waste
to spend all of those frames on the first few seconds
a Pokemon hits the field. Like, there HAD to be a more
efficient way to go about that. This brings us to Gen 3: Pokemon Ruby & Sapphire. [music] The franchise has now leapt to
Nintendo’s shiny new GameBoy Advance, but the series’s approach
to battle animations is only seeing small
incremental additions. Every Pokemon gets another
round of updated sprite art. Now the Pokemon are popping
out of actual pokeballs! And you actually get to
see your trainer throw yours. That’s cool. When the summoned
Pokemon appear, the scaling effect on their
sprite’s looking a lot smoother. The animation of attack effects
is starting to look more impressive. The Pokemon’s sprites
can be rotated now. That used to be impossible. And now both your Pokemon
AND their status bar bob up and down a bit
when it’s your turn, which not only makes your Pokemon
look a little more lively (which, I mean… FINALLY), but also clearly communicates to the
player that it’s their turn to pick a move. And both teams now have this
little platform shape to stand on, which helps them to feel more
grounded and creates a sense of space. The Pokemon aren’t just hovering
in an empty void anymore. Now there is at least the
SUGGESTION of a little battlefield. That is legitimately a LOT of
great presentational changes, and all these incremental
adjustments combined result in what feels like a pretty
substantial upgrade. But underneath it all, the fundamental approach to
animating Pokemon trainer battles is still basically the same: Nearly all animation is
driven by the attacks, and all participants are
otherwise just static images. And this pattern wouldn’t see
another substantial change until the very tail end of Gen 3
a few games later, with Pokemon Emerald. [music] Crystal might have been
the first game to give each Pokemon an animation
to call their own, but Emerald would be the game to find
an efficient way to implement that idea. Rather than giving every Pokemon 3-6 additional frames of pixel art
to animate just a single moment (which is not super practical), Game Freak instead created custom
summon animations for every Pokemon by giving them each just 1
additional front-facing pose and plussing that with some
movement and rotation on the sprite, which is not only a way more efficient
use of resources than Crystal’s approach, but…. honestly,
I think it looks better too! And because translation
and rotation are key components of these new
summoning animations, even though the back-facing Pokemon
don’t get a new sprite to work with, they do still get some animation of
their own when they come on the field. These are looking really nice! And I think It’s
interesting that – so far, both of the times
Game Freak has chosen to give each Pokemon more
sprites to work with (additional frames
of animation) – both times they’ve chosen
to spend that frame on your opponent’s
Pokemon being summoned. That’s an interesting choice! Because when you think about it, they could have made a custom sprite
for all kinds of things! For example… you could add an Attack pose; like, a more aggressive pose the Pokemon
could strike when it’s their turn to move. Alternatively,
you could add a Hit React for when the Pokemon
takes damage, which would lend way more impact to
whatever attack was just delivered. Or you could add
a Weakened state, some new pose to show that a
Pokemon is really on the ropes. Like, maybe they switch to this pose when
their health bar drops to into the red. Any one of these could be used to
make battles more visually exciting and provide the player
more visual feedback. But one potential problem
with all of those alternatives is that they could easily have
the unintended side effect of making Pokemon battles
feel a little more violent. You See, Nintendo and Game
Freak have spent decades now desperately trying to spin the
idea of Pokemon battling as… Chill! and All in Good Fun and Something That Pokemon Enjoy and Definitely Not Dogfighting. No no no, see it’s just fainting! Because of all the
FUN it’s having! So if the one pose we add
to this mix is one which emphasizes aggression or
(even worse) being hurt, that really harshes the whole vibe this
franchise is desperately trying to maintain. What they did instead (and I think
this was a pretty good call), was effectively
create an Emote pose. An animation that lets
each Pokemon express more of their unique personality
when they appear. And I like that a lot. Honestly, I wonder if they could have gotten
even more use out of this new sprite. Kinda seems like a waste to only see that
animation when a Pokemon enters the field. But whatever, it’s just nice having
some animation on these things again. And THIS time,
that summon animation would stick. Which brings us to… Gen 4. [music] The Nintendo DS era is here! Lots of big changes coming!
Just not… quite yet. Hang in there. Starting with Diamond and Pearl, Game Freak would take advantage
of this hardware upgrade to do some more extensive
manipulation of the sprites they had, adding some squash and stretch
to most of their animations and just making everything feel a
bit more malleable and organic. Even the pokeball does a great little
squash and stretch when it opens! I love it. Pokemon Platinum would put some
animation on the enemy trainers AND add a new frame to the back-facing
sprite’s summon animation, finally giving your own team of
Pokemon a new sprite to call their own. And you know, they’ve earned it.
Because they work hard. And Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver
wouldn’t change much of anything. To be fair, they did make some big
additions ELSEWHERE, like allowing EVERY Pokemon in the game to follow
your trainer around the world map, which is wonderful and like one of the
best new features they ever added and probably required a
ton of new sprite work. But it’s not a battle animation
change, is it? Go on. Shoo! At this point, we’re 10 games
deep into the Pokemon franchise, and as you’ve probably noticed – at least in terms of
animating trainer battles – the series has very much settled
into a consistent rhythm. Give each new game a
fresh batch of sprite art, make the attack animations
look a little cooler see if there’s some small
improvement to be made that’s not gonna radically increase
the series’s development scope, and BOOM. SHIP IT. And I’m not meaning to sound critical
either, that’s a really sensible approach! Game Freak had found a workable
solution to a legitimate scope problem, and one which not only gave them
some room to iterate but also allowed them to keep adding new Pokemon
without biting off more than they could chew. But after more than 12 years of
subtle upgrades and improvements, opportunities for iteration on the old
approach were starting to run scarce, and fan expectations for future
games weren’t going to just stop climbing. The series was overdue
for a big step forward, and by gosh we got one with
Pokemon Black & White. [music] Gen 5 brought a HUGE visual
upgrade to Pokemon battles, which is pretty amazing considering
we’re still on the Nintendo DS here. Like, none of these changes come
from an increase in hardware power, just a massive expansion
in production scope. Watch closely as your trainer winds up
to throw that pokeball onto the field. It looks nice, right? Several custom frames of animation dedicated
just to throwing the- hang on WAIT… That sprite’s arm moved. It actually rotated at the shoulder!
That’s not how pixel sprites work! Yes indeed, Gen 5 introduces to
2D Pokemon: skeletal deformation. Instead of just moving
the entire sprite or creating new static poses to
act as additional animation frames, this movement is achieved by breaking
the character sprite into separate parts (in this case,
the torso and the arm) and using a skeleton of invisible joints to
rotate or deform those parts individually. It’s basically turning the
sprite into a simple puppet, a lot like you would
in 3D animation. You’ve probably seen this same approach
used in 2D animated TV shows before. Except HERE, they’re applying
that technique to pixel art, which gives a very neat look. And when you apply that same
technique to the Pokemon themselves? The results look fantastic. Look at them! Look at these Pokemon.
They’re flapping wings! They’re bobbing in place! Their… whatevers are swishing
in the breeze. This one’s swinging around like a
chandelier and flexing its… limbs? Whatever. For the first
time in the core series, these Pokemon are
actually looking ALIVE. This is a big moment
in Pokemon history, and it represents a huge
commitment on Game Freak’s part. Remember: we are five
generations in now. There are, as of Pokemon Black & White:
649 Pokemon in existence. And all of those Pokemon
HAVE to be animated now. Granted, it’s not a TON
of animation per Pokemon. They all basically just have front and
back-facing versions of an idle loop with a more expressive little
fidget thrown in here and there. The animation of individual
attacks are still carrying a lot of the weight with their effects,
shudders, flickers and flashes. But still, just adding this handful
of animations for 649 Pokemon is… a LOT. And the thing is: once
the world saw this, there’s no way the series could
ever go back to static sprites again. The new bar for Pokemon
battle animation had been set. Now I can envision an
alternate history where the Pokemon franchise
maintained and iterated on this particular style
of 2D pixel animation for at least another
generation of games. And I kinda would have loved
to see what came of that. But the eventual transition
to 3D graphics was inevitable, and the arrival of
Nintendo’s shiny new 3DS was as good an occasion
for that change as any. Thus, we arrive at Gen 6. Pokemon X & Y. [music] The leap to eye-popping
3D has finally happened, which necessitates
some scary changes, but also comes with some potentially huge
presentational and production advantages! With the old 2D sprites, just showing a Pokemon from
a different angle required creating a completely
new piece of pixel art. But now we can just
move the camera, which means that, where once we might have
needed two versions of every animation (a back facing one and
a front facing one), now just one animation should be able to
handle the job from any angle you like. And because we’re in a
true 3D environment with a proper camera that can
navigate that 3D space, Game Freak can show any given action from
whatever angle they think is most exciting. They can emulate handheld movements,
they can even go split screen. Heck, Mega-Evolutions kick off a
full blown transformation sequence! What’s more, because certain Pokemon have
similar proportions, as digital models, some of them may even
be able to share rigs, which might allow for a small
degree of animation sharing. And, even better,
once those 3D animations are created, you can pretty easily make adjustments to
each pokemon’s model, textures and shading WITHOUT having to change the animation
those assets are attached to. MORE ON THAT LATER. But even with those
production benefits, taking this franchise
into 3D is daunting. Until recently,
these games have gotten by with little to no animation
on the Pokemon in battle, but that’s not
gonna fly anymore. With a pixel art sprite, we’re generally OK
letting our imagination fill in the gaps, but a static 3D model just
tends to look lifeless. Basically: if you put a 3D
Pokemon in front of us we’re gonna expect to see that Pokemon move
like an actual living creature. So, as of Pokemon X & Y, Game Freak has animated every
single darn one of those Pokemon. Summon animations, idle loops, idle
fidgets, attacks, hit reacts, faints… Every single Pokemon that might appear
in the game needs a full animation set. Which means that Game Freak has to
make a full suite of animations for… 1, 2, 3… about 720 POKEMON. Now, let’s conservatively estimate
that each one of these Pokemon needs, I don’t know… 6 animations to cover
everything they might need to do in battle. That means that – for just the
Pokemon, and JUST for battles – that’s 4,320 new
animations needed. YIKES. That is a scary number. And the real animation count per Pokemon
is almost DEFINITELY more than 6, so let’s just add one more!
Let’s say it’s 7. That takes us up to
5,040 animations! And if we add just one
more to the list? It’s 5,760. With this many
Pokemon in the roster, every single animation addition is going
to have ENORMOUS production consequences. And if you start
factoring into that math all the OTHER animations they’d have
to make outside the battle screen like human character animations,
and… oh geez, Pokemon-Amie… wow… it kinda starts
making you dizzy. Now, it is true that this is
technically not the first time Pokemon has made the jump to 3D. I mean, there were the Stadium games, there was Colosseum,
XD, Battle Revolution… all of those already featured
3D animated Pokemon battles. But all of those games had
the benefit of reduced scope: fewer total Pokemon to animate, only
having to worry about battle animations… And although those games
did sometimes do a better job at showing Pokemon
performing distinct moves, the animation quality was a little…
inconsistent? Perfectly serviceable
for its time, just not necessarily something
that Game Freak could just drop into X & Y and
call “finished”. Even if they wanted to, I’m guessing that X & Y’s 3D Pokemon
aren’t using the same rigs those spinoff games used and transferring an animation between two
different rigs can be a real headache but ANYWAY However they chose to go about
it, it is SO MUCH work… Game Freak apparently had to staff up
pretty significantly for Pokemon X & Y, with the core dev team
consisting of 200 people, which is a pretty large
team for a handheld game. The Pokemon series is a cascading
scope explosion at this point (which, come to think of it,
sounds like a very cool Pokemon move). But knowing that, it kind of starts to make
sense that they keep on producing remakes of older generations using
the latest gen’s tech, right? Like, FireRed & LeafGreen,
HeartGold & SoulSilver… I mean, if you’ve just spent
a ton developing new art and animation assets for
the entire Pokemon roster, you might as well get some more use out
of that updated library before moving on. And re-use that
library they would! If you look ahead to Omega
Ruby & Alpha Sapphire, Sun & Moon,
Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon, and even Pokemon Go and
Let’s Go Pikachu & Eevee, each of those games would bring a new
round of minor adjustments to the fidelity and shading style on the
Pokemon’s digital models. But if you look at
their animations, you might notice that a lot of
them are looking pretty familiar. And that is because they
are largely unchanged. I mean, Game Freak had just invested a ton
in converting the whole Pokedex to 3D and they sure weren’t about
to scrap that new library and rebuild it all over
again just for kicks. And I’m not gonna
blame them for that. Because re-doing all
those animations for an ever-increasing count of
Pokemon for EVERY game (or even just every new
generation) would be bonkers. I’m guessing one of the
only reasons they justified that upfront development
expense for X and Y was with the assumption that
they’d be able to pull from that same animation
library for a long time. And it’s a smart strategy, especially considering
the fact that we’ve got around 800 Pokemon in
existence by this point! [music] It would be easy to call this a
repeat of that Gen 1 to Gen 4 streak; to say that we’ve basically been
watching a second era of tiny iterations, only in 3D this time. But I think that would kinda sell
these recent generations short, because some of the iterative
changes they’ve added have been great and NOT small changes! As of Pokemon Sun & Moon, all of your trainer opponents
get a pre-fight animation, which lets their individual
personalities shine through. And even better, now the Pokemon trainers stay
on the field with their Pokemon and are visibly present
throughout the battle! They’ve got their own idles and
command animations and everything. I love that addition! And Pokemon Let’s Go
Pikachu & Eevee applied all the new presentation
style to the old games, but threw a few retro
twists in there for fun! Like, you remember how the
battles used to start with a still image of the
trainers sliding onscreen? Now the 3D models slide
in the exact same way before they start animating for
the fight proper. And I love that! Which I guess brings us to the
newly-announced Generation 8: Pokemon Sword & Shield. [music] We don’t have a whole lot
of concrete details yet, but I’m going to speculate anyway
because none of you are here to stop me. My guess is that we can look to Let’s
Go Pikachu & Eevee for some clues, as that game seems like it was
probably at least a partial trial run for Gen 8’s features
and presentation. Given that, I would say
that it’s a pretty safe bet that they are going to continue
using battle animations from that same library
we’ve been seeing (or at least using it as a
foundation to build upon). And I can understand why that might
be a little frustrating to some, but the great part about them
continuing to use this strategy is that it frees up resources
for when they want to try adding a NEW animation to the list. It’s probably clear by now that an inherent flaw with my approach
going into this episode is that viewing the franchise’s
animation history strictly through the
lens of battle animation ignores all of the other features that a
game’s animation budget could go to. Just as an example: if you look
back at Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, in terms of scope, those games had the unique benefit of a
significantly scaled-down pokedex, right? They went back down to where things
started with the original 151. That much smaller number makes the
prospect of adding a new animation or two way less intimidating. And what did they do with
that new flexibility? Among other things,
they added follower Pokemon! And follower
Pokemon are amazing! They let you express yourself
by choosing which Pokemon you want to accompany
you around the world map, and they let the Pokemon
express themselves by showing how they walk
or roll or fly or waddle. And that’s great! These are the sorts of additions
that are WAY harder to justify if you’re rebuilding the entire animation
library from scratch for every game. Maybe for Gen 8, follower Pokemon will
finally be a thing for all who-knows-how-many hundred
Pokemon in the Pokedex! We haven’t seen that since
HeartGold and SoulSilver. Or maybe they’ll put those animation resources
toward some entirely new cool feature! But let’s just say,
hypothetically, that they did decide to give the
battle animations another overhaul. What sort of changes
would we want to see? Now, if you asked a younger Me, my dream pitch would probably be to see the
Pokemon actually moving around the battlefield, or performing more specific attack
animations for every type of move, or actually making contact with
their opponent at some point. And while Today Me recognizes that properly executing
on some of those dream changes would likely balloon the game’s
animation budget into the stratosphere (and risk making the game start to look
more like that Fantasy Dog Fighting genre that the series has just trying
so hard to pretend not to be)… I certainly wouldn’t be
mad if they tried it. But now, I actually don’t
think all that is necessary. If I could make a change to the
way Pokemon animation looks now and one that probably WOULDN’T break
the bank (at least, not quite as badly), I think I’d want to see the animations we
already have just be made more appealing. Because that huge
library of 3D animations Game Freak has been
accumulating since X & Y? They look… fine? They’re fine. They do get the job done, and there’s a consistent level of polish
across the whole Pokedex, which is great. I’m impressed as heck by the sheer
scope of what they’ve done here, but… just looking at each
Pokemon individually, I do find a lot of the animation
on them to be somewhat… bland. And it’s not just that
they’re standing in one place, it’s that there’s just not a lot
of animation contrast between them. They all have this similar
level of energy, a similar speed to their movement, a similar rhythm
to their cycles… just a generally same-y
quality to their motion. In a weird way, they sort of strike me as living 3D
incarnations of those old static sprites. Like, the design is doing
all of the appeal work here, and the animation is doing just
enough to make that design look… alive. And maybe that was
somewhat intentional? I mean, so much of this
3D presentation approach is adhering to the nostalgic
feel of classic Pokemon battle: two creatures standing in place, exchanging attacks that are mostly
sold through impressive effects… I don’t know if that’s
an aesthetic choice or just careful scope management (which I could understand), but I feel like keeping the
Pokemon’s individual animations so homogeneous and minimalist really hinders their ability to bring out
each creature’s full appeal potential. Like, imagine if even a
fraction of the Pokemon roster had half as much animation
appeal as Pikachu. Pikachu has benefited from two
decades of focused iteration, and they have polished that character’s
appeal to a mirror shine at this point. And I just KNOW that a large
portion of the rest of the Pokedex has that same
personality potential! I mean, look at these designs!
They’re amazing! This game is jam-packed with
delightful creatures. (and also Pichu) Imagine if they each expressed
more of that in their animation. Heck, look how many more people
fell in love with Eevee the instant they gave that Pokemon
some more love and care. Now, I’ll grant you that putting
that sort of concentrated focus into every one of these hundreds
of Pokemon probably isn’t feasible. And maybe it just isn’t possible to
achieve Pikachu or Eevee levels of appeal without all the additional animations
and screen time those Pokemon get. Or maybe the homogeneity of all these
Pokemon’s animation is just a result of the animators having to crank out
like 10 finished animations per day. I don’t know. I didn’t say this was an
easy problem to solve. All I’m saying is that I’m willing to
bet that if you infuse these existing battle animations with just a
little more interesting contrast, a little more of the personality that each
of these Pokemon’s designs already hint at? The appeal of the roster as a
whole would go up CONSIDERABLY. From a distance, it’s easy to
look at the animation in Pokemon and see a series that
rarely changes anything. To see a franchise coasting on
old assets and ageing designs. And I guess that’s
not ENTIRELY untrue? But I think that assessment really
undersells Game Freak’s achievements. If this retrospective
has shown us anything, it’s that Pokemon is
a series made of slow, iterative improvements and
very carefully-managed scope. Avoiding scope creep is a difficult
discipline for any game studio, and the fact that this
studio keeps finding small ways to make each game
look a little better no matter HOW MANY Pokemon they’ve got to
apply those updates to is really amazing. Whatever GameFreak ultimately chooses to do
with Sword & Shield, I’m excited to see it. If you’re (somehow) not tired
of hearing about Pokemon and would like to learn a little bit
more about Pokemon creature design, JoCat actually made a video
about that subject recently. I will link to it in
the top right corner… now. It’s a really interesting look
at the art design approach to creating one of
these cute little things. But yeah, I hope you have
enjoyed this extended field trip through the history of
Pokemon’s battle animations! And of course, another big
thank you to Nintendo Unity for just existing and recording so
much beautiful Pokemon footage. This video would have
looked like garbage without it. So go visit their channel and give
them some Likes from me, will ya? If you want to see more
videos about game animation, be sure to subscribe
to New Frame Plus, and consider supporting the channel
like all of these wonderful patrons here. Thanks for watching,
and I’ll see you next time! [music]

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  1. Glad to see someone making a video like this that shows that it's not just some walk in the park to make these games. Animation is just a small part of the whole thing. And sad to see that people are just commenting with hatred and not understanding what was being said in the video. That or they just didn't watch the entire video. I wouldn't mind seeing the animations polished a bit myself but I understand all of the work that is going into making this game. They have built an entire new region the largest region we've ever had, created new Pokemon, new characters with an whole new story, remake every Pokemon model, and more than likely every animation because the old animations probably wouldn't just paste onto the newer models, and added no telling how many more features that we haven't even been shown yet, and all of this done on a new system(rig) that they have never had a mainstream Pokemon game on before. And before you say "but Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee was on the switch". Those were not mainstream Pokemon games in my opinion. They were basically Pokemon Go that you could play while sitting at home.

  2. gen 1: quality sprites
    gen 2: quality sprites
    gen 3: high quality sprites
    gen 4: high quality sprites
    gen 5: high quality sprite animations
    gen 6: high quality model animations
    gen 7: high quality model animations
    gen 8: " h i g h q u a l i t y a n I m a t i o n s "

  3. AHAHA ! and now look we don't even have the hole dex so now whats the excuse… They should! have been updating the animations since X and Y If they just take time and focus on that for it least 4 years we got something going it is long overdue to update these animations.

  4. is all great except when u consider it will have less pokemon using the same libarby of animation of the old games

  5. LMAO maybe gamefreak watched this video and was like “yeah maybe we could just take some out we are working rlly hard” 🤣

  6. As far as having pokemon move around the arena… to be honest all they can do is, with some camera cutting, just have the background rotate. Perhaps offer mild alterations to the distance between the pokemon, or just minor position changes similar to, say, the PSP Black Rock Shooter game. Not really anything that would require additional animations, just a fully 3D background.

  7. Itd be cool to actually have the ability to dodge like the do in the anime, it could be based on chance, on stats like how fast ur pokemon is, or both. Like say its based on chance you have 3 seconds or 5 depending on pokemon speed to dodge, and then maybe have a counter attack they do it in the anime all the time. I think that itd make battles more dynamic. How about when your pokemon casts a move the player himself has to control the move in order for it to work? This way it can be more strategical like if my move fails the other player has an advantage, it it barely hits him it does less dmg than if it fully hits him. Or the ability to match a players attack so say an attack lands i have the option to press a button repeatedly to try to beat that attack with mine or with a block if i have a strong defenesive pokemon. Just some ideas even though i know theyd take a lot of work but itd be cool if they happened

  8. It's not like this is gen 2 or something. Pokemon is the worlds biggest franchice, they got the resources to spend. The only reason they don't dump 120-200 000 000 USD into a game is because they know they don't have to. They can rake in billions by doing the bare minimum amount of effort. Which is why we will probably never see the 3d 3rd person open world/well crafted adventure we all dreamed of as kids.
    If some other studio were to be given permission (and the funding) to make a proper spinoff game, complete with a departure from the established mechanics, then maybe. I don't see it happening, as nintendo does not allow such spinoffs to outshine their servicable flagship series.

  9. Actually GEN 1 logic is in sword and shield as well..How 3D animation is done is by bones and particle effects so all Pokemon has got app. same number of bones (bones are like muscles) and just 1 ANIMATION is used in each of the Pokemon and one particle effect for each move(EXCEPT SIGNATURE MOVES) and that makes them more EXPRESSIVE

  10. Sadly the people who are pissed off about Sword and Shield are too closed minded to understand to understand the points raised in this video and will continue to bitch endlessly about how Gamefreak is killing the series and lying about how they wont be giving them their money for the new games.

  11. This is one of the games where i would honestly have to play for myself. Honestly i dont really care for battle animations because it's obvious it's weird to have a diglett scratch. I just want the national dex. We'll see tho.

  12. How do Naruto Storm games with over 150 characters have proper animations? If pokemon games did only just 10% of those animations, it would be spectacular.

  13. I've come to appreciate a lot more the work that gamefreak puts in pokemon. Yeah, it sucks that we're not getting all pokemon for sword and shield, but come on….it was gonna happen sooner or later. Long before it happened the thought of such a colossal work crossed my mind, add ALL pokemon to one game is just a lot of work and resources.

  14. Short answer? Not a tiny bit. The animation in the Sword/Shield trailer look exactly like those in Pokemon Stadium from 19 years ago! Just with a higher polygon count of the 3d models.

  15. In 20 years time they’ll probably end up just rotating the Pokémon forward for every move.

    Muk used Sludge Bomb!

    – rotates forward and phases into ground –

    I T S S U P E R E F F E C T I V E !

  16. I honestly didn't know the gen 3 intro animations were just one different pose while the pokemon shakes and jumps around. Even now as an adult i never figured that out. Good on you, gamefreak, you fooled me.

    Also, while not canon, the mystery dungeon games really upped the quality of animation. Each pokemon had an animation for melee attacks and ranged attacks, idle stances, running animation, level up, striking a pose during the story and getting hit. And those hit animations were not gentle. Some pokemon straight up had tears when they got hit.

  17. Why do you soundlike Professor Kukui in Pokemon sun and moon anime dub. or is that just me ?
    Btw this is my first video watching you

  18. "This game is jam-packed with delightful creatures… and also Pichu"
    I mean, I've been a pokemon fan since Gen 1, but… what's that supposed to mean?

  19. Gen 1 Sprites just look darker, more mean like Charizard is not so fat and Dragonite looks like a bad dragon, not a nice dragon and not so fat

  20. @2:53 – "Literally any Pokemon in the game could hypothetically use any one of these moves".
    One word: METRONOME.

    Or, you could also have:
    – Mirror Move, Copycat, Me First
    – Mimic, Sketch

  21. For me I never really cared about the bland 3d animations, but what I do care is that they said that the pokémon reduction was to make better animations and that is not delivering

  22. I really like how you've explained all the little things I've overlooked. I now appreciate Black and White even more!

  23. This is why I don't mind that sword and shield doesn't have the national Pokedex because of how many animations each and every Pokemon each have they're version of any attack animation.

  24. I'm starting to think the large number of Pokémon should not be an excuse to not work or give maximum effort on the art and animation of each Pokémon. I'm not a developer myself but looking at other big games, there's so much detail in the open world and NPCs compared to the Pokémon games.

    Could someone perhaps put into context the amount of work needed in each stage of Pokémon production, from concept art, to sprite work, to 3D modelling and animation?

  25. They did until they started deleting pokemon so that you have too buy future copy's and not play the one you like for years anymore.

  26. 17:30 But Game Freak didn’t make Battle Revolution, or any of the stadium games. Another developer did

  27. And there new solution to having to animate so much stuff is to just get rid of most of the pokemon. that's what they're doing for sword and shield.

  28. I like that business/development logic is understood in this video. Several points mentioned in this videos would have been thrown as negatives in others

  29. Also it would be really fuckin' cool to see a sequel video to this comparing the 3d animation from gens 5/6 – 8. Vs the animation from the 3d console games like the stadium games, coliseum, and PBR

  30. My favorite Gen visually is actually the 4th. I think the sprites and colors were at their most appealing there. The 5th gen warping animation looks kinda weird to me. 3D would need some more atmosphere to really work. And Let's Go looked BLAND AS HELL in that department. (Thats of course look in general, not animation)

  31. this video oppened my mind about Pokemon Sword&Shield animations, Thanks! although i still feel sometimes that Game Freak and Nintendo are trying to get a alot using less…and pokemon it's the most valuable trademark of the world, shouldn't it receive the same level of detail than a triple A like Red Dead Redemption? Maybe from a business perspective is ok to keep it simple, but if this keep happening it wil surely hit the franchise on the gaming side.

  32. What do you think of Pokemon Sword and Shield so far? Honestly, i'm disappointed, but what do you think?

  33. Thinking about how they got rid of the national dex like, yeah, it's a little upsetting that we won't be able to see all the pokemon from every generation but it's not gonna be pokemon that anyone cares about. Like who's actually even gonna notice that you can't have quilfish in pokemon sword and sheild. Sorry you can't beat the elite four with a whole team of girafarig or yamask. It's just not worth getting upset about (unless they get rid of snivy, we might have a problem there but I don't think they'll get rid of him)

  34. how pokemon stadium has a superior attack animation than sword and shield is beyond me

    (double kick animation it’s a perfect example)

  35. Well, maybe the game would have better animations if they spent more time on the game. Like, 3 years isn’t a lot of time. So how about 5? What about 6? Too long? Well let’s look at Kingdom Hearts 3, that took 6 years. Not Nintendo? Okay, then let’s look at Mother 3, which was in development for 5 years and was ultimately canceled. Super Mario Odyssey was only 4 years and they started from SCRATCH. Let’s go Pikachu was released LAST YEAR and it has better animations than this game. There’s just no excuse, I’m not convinced.

  36. Have a look at what sun and moon look like if they're made to render at switch-grade resolutions. No modified assets, just emulator trickery.

  37. The pokemon 3d models looks like SHIT compared with the lastes 2d sprites(5 gen), pokemons have wrong proportions and colors.

  38. Thank you so, SO much for pronoucing the title of the series correctly then entire video. Awesome and interesting video as well. Great stuff.

  39. I’m willing to deal with the dated animations for a little longer if it means bringing back the Nat Dex, they shouldn’t have even added new battle animations outside of new Pokémon or new Z moves or whatever. The Dynamaxing/Gigantamaxing thing was a poor idea.

    They should have instead focused their attention on the overworld and making that more immersive and believable, and giving Overworld Pokémon more personality and wild behaviors. That way the only Pokémon that actually get new animations are the ones that can be found in the wild, but yet the game still becomes that much richer. It’s the finding and catching of Pokémon that should be made more interesting for now. I don’t know why they Instinct on further complicating the battle system.

  40. What would we have them do? Have them fidget around like they had ADHD? Have a button that give the player the choice between active and static in combat?

    That couldn’t be on the table at all would it?

  41. Watching this after dexit hurts. Also they didn't make the walking animations for LGPE, they were in the data for ALL Pokemon since SM only for them to only be used in the Pokémon job thing (afawk)

  42. The estimates to the pokemon games budget is very low for a game that makes as much as Pokemon does.
    Around 20 to 50 million. And can make several Hundred Million.
    They can afford to make the games and all of the Pokemon look as good or better than Lets go Pikachu and Eevee.

  43. Answer to "how do we animate all these dang Pokémon": cut over half of them in your next game and never put them in

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