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Pokémon X & Y Iwata Asks Explains Sky and Horde Battles

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

Also has a few (laughs)

With Pokémon X & Y now just days away, or hours if you ordered from a cheeky online retailer, Nintendo's lining up its final marketing push for the title's global release alongside the 2DS handheld. One part of this is a new Iwata Asks, which is a follow up to the dedicated Nintendo Direct video that was broadcast recently. As such, it's a discussion between Satoru Iwata, Game Freak director Junichi Masuda and The Pokémon Company President and CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara.

Much of what's discussed treads over familiar ground, such as the choice of the X & Y naming convention as a bid to accommodate a global launch and, therefore, have letters and shapes commonly recognised across different cultures, as well as the challenge of modelling and producing 'mon in a 3D graphics engine. There are some interesting parts, however, such as this segment that covers Sky and Horde battles — Sky Battles are restricted to Flying types and only some others, while horde battles involve taking on multiple wild Pokémon at once.

Iwata: Along with the addition of the new Fairy type this time, there are new battles called Sky Battles and Horde Encounters, so the gameplay would change a lot, too.

Masuda: That's right. As for Horde Encounters, we tried to create a sense of life.

Iwata: You mean of how the Pokémon live?

Masuda: Yes. We thought it would be interesting to get a glimpse of how the Pokémon live.

Iwata: As in nature, animals often group up.

Masuda: Right. In Horde Encounters, five Pokémon may suddenly show up, but if you observe closely, they each have different characteristics, so you may think, "I'm going to capture that female." In this way, you can enjoy battles of a different nature than before.

Iwata: You can also enjoy the tactics, right?

Masuda: Yes.

Ishihara: For the Sky Battles, in addition to Flying-type Pokémon, only Floating-type Pokémon can participate. Because of Sky Battles, you have to adapt team lineups that you thought were impregnable, which was fun when I tried it.

Iwata: You think about your Pokémon team composition, and even if you think it will be all right, there's this new situation of aerial battles, causing you to rethink your composition.

Ishihara: Yes. For example, some people who like the Ghost type may assume that you can't use them in Sky Battles and give up. But if you try one, you might be able to use it.

Iwata: Oh, because they can levitate.

Ishihara: Right. Something to look forward to this time is making new discoveries about which Pokémon you can use in Sky Battles.

As is the norm for an Iwata Asks article, there's a fair amount of jollity on hand, so as we've done in the past we'll share one of our favourite (laughs) sequences.

Iwata: We are releasing both games simultaneously around the world for the first time in the series, something we have wanted to do for a long time. How does that make you feel Ishihara-san?

Ishihara: That has been a goal for years, so it's inexpressible. But simply put, when development began, I thought it might be impossible! (laughs)

Iwata: Even though it was your idea, you thought it would never work. (laughs)

Masuda: I questioned it at first, too.

Iwata: You too?! (laughs)

Masuda: Yeah! (laughs)

Iwata: Actually, I thought that, too. (laughs)

Everyone: (laughs)

Just think everyone, you'll soon be playing Pokémon X & Y, and you won't get at all addicted! (laughs)

[via iwataasks.nintendo.com]

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User Comments (27)

Chriiis

#3

Chriiis said:

I love how they are giving it even more of a natural feel with Hordes.

Haha, at least they won't be torture like certain boss battles from the Mystery Dungeon series, particularly Time/Darkness/Sky.

cue ---> (laughs)

XCWarrior

#5

XCWarrior said:

Love how there is one female and four males in that picture. Got to imagine there is a lot of horde in-fighting going on to try and get to spend some time with the lady!

Silent

#10

Silent said:

''Masuda: That's right. As for Horde Encounters, we tried to create a sense of life.
Iwata: You mean of how the Pokémon live?
Masuda: Yes. We thought it would be interesting to get a glimpse of how the Pokémon live.''

Pokemon MMO confirmed

sinalefa

#12

sinalefa said:

I don't say two days, I say two badges.

Because that is what I need to get before I beat White 2. And I wanted to beat White 2 before playing these ones. Besides, I need to wait around 10 days for my copy to arrive.

Justaguest

#15

Justaguest said:

aww I was excited for them. They really wanted to realease it at the same time but it couldnt be helped:(

Corleonis88

#16

Corleonis88 said:

the only way they could have stopped this from happening is by releasing it on the eshop earlier like they did with zelda ww.........
(laughs)

BulbasaurusRex

#18

BulbasaurusRex said:

I wonder if you could use any Pokémon with an Air Balloon attached in a Sky Battle, only for normally non-eligible ones to automatically faint when they take a hit and get their balloon popped. This also begs the question of whether or not you can use Pokémon that are known to be able to fly but are neither a Flying type nor able to naturally have the Levitate ability such as Beedrill, Venomoth, Magnezone, Dragonair, Heracross, and Dunsparce.

BulbasaurusRex

#19

BulbasaurusRex said:

@sinalefa Unfortunately, that'll take you a while, as you still have the big showdown with Team Plasma as well as Victory Road and the Pokémon League itself to get through after you finish getting the badges.

GamerZack7

#21

GamerZack7 said:

Days away? The launch day is tomorrow if you live in Australia, aka the future! (Kricketot chirp)

Zombie_Barioth

#26

Zombie_Barioth said:

@BulbasaurusRex
Thats what it sounds like to me. If not I wonder what'd happen if your Pokemon mega-evolved and lost its ability to levitate. What about something like Garados thats technically a flying type?

Shambo

#27

Shambo said:

Iwata: You too?! (laughs)
Masuda: Yeah! (laughs)
Iwata: Actually, I thought that, too. (laughs)
Everyone: (laughs)

What a joyous bunch :D

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