Detective Pikachu Returns is a sequel a long time coming. The original title came out several years ago on the Nintendo 3DS. It turned the Pokemon world on its head by delivering us a coffee-drinking, mature-sounding, talking Pikachu that could talk with a certain human. The two went about Rime City and attempted to solve mysteries with the help of Pokemon that they met along the way. The sequel is coming out to the Nintendo Switch on October 6th, and the team has been hyping the title up while revealing some key insights into the development process.
For example, in a chat with ComicBook.com, director Yasunori Yanagisawa talked about how they decided which Pokemon to put into the title. After all, since the original 3DS game, there have been multiple generations of new Pokemon that could influence the game, and we know from trailers that some of the newer generations will make an appearance. So, how does one choose when you have so many options?
“There’s a lot of Pokemon that are appearing in this game. There are various reasons that they’ve been selected, but mainly it’s seeing the Pokemon’s unique characteristics and making sure that it’s appropriate for the environment that they’re interacting with. For example, seeing Pokemon that are working on something, Pokemon that are playing, for example, if there was a Pokemon that was playing with a soccer ball at the park, there’s a certain Pokemon that might be appropriate for that scenario. There’s that aspect and there’s also the preferences, different preferences in Pokemon on the developer side. If they want to see a particular Pokemon appearing, they’ll choose that. As for Growlithe, [I] really like dogs so having Growlithe in this game made sense,” said Yanagisawa.
It’s good to hear that the dev team isn’t above going for “their personal favorites” instead of trying to figure out the “logical choices” they can make. In a different part of the interview, the director noted that if he were to put a different Pokemon in the role of “detective,” it would be Pichu. That might not sound like a big change from Pikachu, but Yanagisawa stated that Detective Pikachu is modeled after an adult. So, a Pichu would be modeled after a kid and thus give the game a different feel.
We’ll find out soon if Detective Pikachu Returns brings a “bolt of brilliance” to the Nintendo Switch.