So I’m really into Pokemon. Like a lot. Next to GTA, Team Fortress 2, Left4Dead it’s amongst my favourite game(s). Like the sweaty but sexy nerd I am I’ve done a little digging into the released screenshots;
First off the battle screenshot!
Zorua! Notice the outline has parts missing. This is common when resizing sprites, if a picture is shrunk then you can expect pixel loss. It’s probably happening all over that image but it’s most noticeable on the outline. In the whole screenshot it’s clearly Zoroark attacking. In Pokemon games the enemy usually doesn’t move during an attack, there are exceptions.
What does this tell us? They might have made the battle system more reactive, or that they’ve added a zoom/panning (think Golden Sun).
What backs this up is the “spot” the Pokemon stand on has edges. Does this mean it’s now a flat polygon?
The most noticeable feature here is the whole sprite is now in view. This seems to be at a cost though – the back sprite has a base zoom of 2.
There are isolated differences as some pixels aren’t doubled. So again – Zoroark’s sprite is showing signs of a real-time zoom, though this time it could be put down to the standard way in which Pokemon moves are animated (with zoom, rotation, colour overlay).
My apologies for the poor cut outs. If Zoroark is halved in size then the height differences of both Pokemon are quite similar.
There seems to be a problem with shadows too in that the they don’t match up to Zoroark, unless its standing on one leg. This is probably just an oversight with how they render the shadow, which looks to be a semi-transparent sprite with a black overlay.
The horizon is also curved.
Given how much they’ve emphasised the 3D engine in other screenshots it might be safe to assume a Golden Sun style battle system will be in the Gen 5 games. Either way the battle graphics look a lot more dynamic than the slideshow that has been in every Pokemon game so far.
*Just remembered the move likely being used there is Dark Pulse which only shakes the Pokemon, so there’s no other reason for Zorua to be resized other than for a new camera technique.