Gotta catch them all: Nintendo updates Pokémon games

Last Tuesday marked another spectacular Pokémon Day filled with exciting announcements. Every Feb. 27 is considered “Pokémon Day” since the classic games “Pokémon: Red” and “Pokémon: Green” were released in Japan in 1996. 

This year’s Pokémon Day brought updates for a wide variety of Pokémon formats, from the video game series to the trading card game. Fans were able to tune into the official Pokémon YouTube channel for their “Pokémon Presents” Livestream to hear about these new additions.

The first announcement involved upcoming Tera Raid Battles featured in the “Pokémon: Scarlet & Violet” games. Players had the opportunity to catch a mighty Venusaur until March 5 — which means I unfortunately missed my chance to catch my favorite — and the period to catch a mighty Blastoise started Wednesday. You will be able to catch Blastoise until March 12, and you can catch a mighty Charizard on March 13-17. 

Next, they showed a clip discussing a collaboration between the phone app Pokémon GO and the television show “Pokémon: Horizons.” Part of this collaboration involves the series characters Liko and Roy appearing in snapshots of your Sprigatitos or Fuecocos. It will be active until March 11. 

Pokémon GO players will also have the chance to catch a Pikachu wearing a captain’s hat and possessing a new attack introduced to the app, “Volt Tackle.” 

As someone who still plays Pokémon GO, what I’m most excited about is the announcement of Charcadet’s debut. I especially can’t wait to evolve my new Charcadet into Ceruledge.

Then, there were some announcements surrounding “Pokémon: Cafe ReMix.” You can play puzzles to earn Gimmighoul coins, add Sprigatito, Fuecoco or Quaxly to your staff, and join bingo events to have Koraidon or Miraidon join your cafe. Koraidon will be available until March 14 and then players will be able to get Miraidon from that day until April 1. 

My favorite announcement came up soon after. At some point in 2024, a new Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG) app called Pokémon TCG: Pocket will be introduced. The new app will emphasize collecting by allowing players to open two free digital card packs a day. Some special cards called “immersive cards” will be in the midst of collecting. What makes these cards so special is that they allow you to step into the card’s artwork and view an entire scene play out. 

They are also promoting trading with others and playing rounds of Pokémon TCG. They even mentioned introducing new standardized rules in order to maximize quick play rounds, so people can play at any time. 

Finally, they ended the presentation with a new game trailer for a huge release: “Pokémon Legends: Z-A.” The trailer featured hand-drawn maps turned into digital landscapes plotting out Lumiose City, a place for people and Pokémon to coexist. 

Lumiose City was a featured location in the “Pokémon: X & Y” games. While the fans thought that a “Pokémon: Z” would be developed, one never came, perhaps making this announcement an exciting solution making up for the lack of “Pokémon: Z.” 

The last “Pokémon Legends” game was “Pokémon Legends: Arceus,” an outstanding game that took players back to the origins of “Pokémon” as they helped the research team of the Hisui region. This was a prequel to the “Pokémon: Diamond & Pearl” games that involved an almost entirely open world format. 

If this new game is anything similar to the play style of “Pokémon Legends: Arceus,” I already know it will be a monumental success for Nintendo. Players loved “Arceus,” especially the new format of catching pokémon by being able to watch them in the wild and move around the screen during battles. It added a more realistic aspect to the game. 

“Pokémon Legends: Z-A” will not be released until 2025, unfortunately. However, with the rest of the announcements Nintendo made, I think it is safe to say that people will be busy with “Pokémon” leading up to then. I know I’m going to keep building up my Pokédex on Pokémon GO while I eagerly await “Pokémon TCG: Pocket.”


Featured photo courtesy of @pokemon, Instagram