Critical Chicken
Pokémon PresentsNewsTuesday, 27th February 2024 by

Pokémon Legends: Z-A might finally redeem the Kalos Region

It’s Pokémon Day 2024, so, as is tradition, we’ve just been treated to a Pokémon Presents stream and a slew of enticing announcements.

Chiefly among them was Pokémon Legends: Z-A, a new Nintendo Switch game (and the next “mainline” Pokémon title) set in the Kalos Region’s Lumiose City. That’s “Lumiose City” as in “the central city in Pokémon X and Y (the one with the shit camera controls)” — and that’s “Kalos Region” as in “not the Unova Region game literally everyone was expecting”. Huh.

Other than the fact the game is slated for a worldwide release next year, the prerendered trailer doesn’t give too much away — but there are a handful of informational titbits to glean if you’re so inclined. For example, Lumiose is undergoing an “Urban Redevelopment Plan” intended to promote “a vision of beautiful coexistence between people and Pokémon”, presumably placing Legends: Z-A before X and Y in the timeline. There’s also an emblem resembling the Galaxy Expedition Team logo from Pokémon Legends: Arceus, so it’s possible they’ll be involved again, too.

The game’s name also hints that we’ll be learning more about Zygarde, as well as the 3,000-year-old, weirdly-incongruous-feeling character AZ.

Pokémon X and Y smacked of being rushed (maybe even downright unfinished) when they released in 2013, and we never got a “Pokémon Z” to wrap up the story — meaning Zygarde didn’t get its day in the spotlight until Pokémon Sun and Moon came out in 2016. So it’s nice to think the Kalos region and its mythology might finally be about to get fleshed out a bit.

What’s in a N-Ame?

That said, what even is that name, and how do these logos keep getting worse?! I had to wait for IGN to post about the game before I could work out what its name was, and even they were calling it “ZA” (without the hyphen) at first. (Do they not get briefed on this stuff?!)

And even knowing it’s meant to be read as “Z-A” — like, how is it meant to be read out loud? Is it “zee ayy”, or is it “Z to A” — like “A to Z”, but backwards? Perplexing.

Equally perplexing was the announcement of Pokémon Trading Card Game Pocket, a new mobile app from Creatures, Inc. that’s due for release this year.

It looks cute, and looks like it’ll bring the simple, tactile joy of ripping open a Booster Pack and faffing with the cards to a digital medium pretty successfully. It also includes in-person trading and quick battling, as well as “immersive cards” that let you step inside the artwork and have a look around.

But: Pokémon Trading Card Game Live only got relaunched last year. It, too, allows for unwrapping, collecting, trading, and battling. And it’s available on smartphones. So… why the new app? Is it going to replace PTCGL, or sit alongside it?

Will players be able to use their PTCGL card collection in PTCGP (and vice versa)? Why not just add immersive cards and quick battles as features to the existing game?

The Pokémon Company lives to be baffling.

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