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Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long die-ha

Dreams of electric Bulbasaur
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Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long die-hard

Setting is, obviously, one of the most important aspects of fictional media. A setting is what can separate two stories from being seemingly identical. What is Star Wars without that galaxy far, far away or Lord of the Rings without Middle Earth? Locales are as much characters as the cast. Pokémon is no different. Each generation, clearly much work is put into bringing to life the world the monsters and their trainers inhabit. Before I move forward to talk about the setting of Pokémon Black and White, Isshu, I’ll take a moment to look back on the evolution of setting in the Pokémon games since the beginning.

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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

I may be the only one but I always saw Kanto as the industrial counterpart to Johto's cultural background. Kanto had lost site of it's cultural roots and was advancing forward (Silph Co. and the Power Plant) while Johto was precariously situated between the foggy past and an uncertain future. The two regions were separated by a mountain, but it was much more than that.

It really says something when the definitive legendary of Kanto is a genetically-engineered monster and an embryo that most believe was nothing more than a mirage. They lost site of their roots and lost themselves and what it means to be human in the process. Conversely, Johto is defined by Celebi, the Pokemon that bridges the perceived barriers between the past and present. Johto is a land lost in time, with no clear place in the world of Pokemon.

The two regions are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other, in both the zeitgeist of the Pokemon world and in the thematic evolution of the Pokemon series.
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

One might argue that Hoenn is too diverse, hence the love it or hate it attitude it garners.

Personally, I thought Shinnoh was a nice inbetween of the extremes the first 3 went too.
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

I agree that the two complement each other well. Johto and Kanto have an almost symbiotic relationship together that goes beyond simply sharing an Elite Four. The journey through Kanto in G/S was almost like a reflection not only on our journey in Johto but our first adventure back in R/B/Y, and then when we returned to Kanto in FR/LG, it almost felt incomplete without Johto on the other side of Indigo Plateau.
 

PDL

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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

I'm mostly going to agree with the OP. Kanto is very bland compared to the later games, but this makes sense since they were the first games and world-building was really not one of the higher priorities. However, it's simplicity is part of it's charm IMO... Plus it's the only Pokémon game I can really think of where you can really sequence break.

In FR/LG, the Sevii Islands more then made up for the "compactness" Kanto had. In fact, I sorta felt it had more of a connection with Jotho, and I seem to spend way more time on those islands then in Kanto itself (save for the Safari Zone).

Jotho was far more interesting in my opinion, but Kanto in Gen II was almost completely pointless save for Pokémon only found on that side (It has been improved in their remakes though).

Since one of the main themes of Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald was the relationships between Pokémon and their enviroment and the connection of the land, sea and sky, it only made sense to have a far greater emphisis on the setting. Not only were the routes interesting and fun to tranverse (surfing issues aside), they were also very beautiful to look at (The best route is definitely Route 120, the rainstorm that clears into a blue sky is breathtaking, combined with the uplifting music is a wonderful experience). The game mechanics only enhanced the settings further. Pokémon looked like they really belonged to their respective routes, the weather affected Pokémon battles, even the berries seemed to blend in better. Say nothing of the different cities and towns themselves. Fortree City still remains the most interesting city in all the games. But enough gushing over the RSE games...

Diamond and Pearl's settings were also intricate. They weren't bland, but they were pretty complex. Sinnoh sorta felt like a massive ruin/cave system just waiting to be explored, but given how central the legendaries were in those games, it's hardly surprising. The region felt pretty ancient and cold, yet it was almost as varied as Hoenn. Again, like the RSE games, they were fun to tranverse, especially when you got Rock Climb at your disposal. Platinum managed to improve on this at least tenfold, especially Mt.Stark. I always loved volcano settings in video games.

Even the games set in Orre were interesting to look at. The fact that they were barren wastelands provides an extremely stark contrast to the lush Hoenn region which the games were compatable with.

What will Isshu bring? So far we only really know about the city, and the area that differs in the different versions. Looking at the map, I can't help but notice all the bridges. This makes sense though, since bridges manage to connect places that are otherwise inaccessable to one another. It might be a metaphor for Pokémon players and the increased multiplayer features present in the games.
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

Come to think of it, Hoenn is really quite diverse, because I realised that there are different settings like a volcano (and a place with what I think is soot from the volcano, which is beautiful), lots of water (and even a place filled with rapids) and there is even an ice cave, even though it's so obscure that players would normally not know it existed. Some of the towns are even quite imaginative too, like a town with treehouses and one which is within a crater around a body of water. All in all, Hoenn was diverse and memorable.

Sinnoh was also memorable around the same level as Hoenn, I think, especially the ice mountain, which gave me the chills because this is the first time there is a snowy route. Another thing about Sinnoh I like are the bridges, because they gave depth to the place, like the Cycling road and the town with a drawbridge. There was nothing about the places in Kanto I remembered, though, except the ghost tower, but I guess that's just me.

Anyway, Isshu looked like it will be another diverse location, with a large desert and a metropolitan city for example. The foreign touch is what I would like to see, because I wanted to see some notable comparisons between this place and the other Japan-based Pokemon locations. Maybe the PokeCenter will have some cultural differences?
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

I may be the only one but I always saw Kanto as the industrial counterpart to Johto's cultural background. Kanto had lost site of it's cultural roots and was advancing forward (Silph Co. and the Power Plant) while Johto was precariously situated between the foggy past and an uncertain future. The two regions were separated by a mountain, but it was much more than that.

It really says something when the definitive legendary of Kanto is a genetically-engineered monster and an embryo that most believe was nothing more than a mirage. They lost site of their roots and lost themselves and what it means to be human in the process. Conversely, Johto is defined by Celebi, the Pokemon that bridges the perceived barriers between the past and present. Johto is a land lost in time, with no clear place in the world of Pokemon.

The two regions are two sides of the same coin. One cannot exist without the other, in both the zeitgeist of the Pokemon world and in the thematic evolution of the Pokemon series.
I completely agree with you.

I don't get how sinnoh is considered less diverse the hoen. Sure Sinnoh has an obnoxious amount of mountains and an unnaturally long snow route; but Hoen has an obnoxious amount of water and unnaturally long rain forrest route.

Hoen's unique cities (Fortree, sootopolis, pacifilog, lavaridge) are more unique then sinnoh's cities, but most of them bored me (Lilycove, mauville, slateport, petalburg, oldale, littleroot). The design all kind of blends together whereas sinnoh cities had unique architectural styles that that makes them stick out despite not being on treetops, or inside a crater.

This also helped make johto and kanto feel more diverse in HGSS then previous incarnations.
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

I liked Hoenn a lot and I feel it would benefit significantly from the new graphics.
 

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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

Was the writer trying to prove a point by completely ignoring New York City when listing North American cities known for their skyscrapers?
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

I liked Hoenn a lot and I feel it would benefit significantly from the new graphics.
Imagine Mt Chimney. Now image Hiun city's round view, but on top of a volcano.
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

Was the writer trying to prove a point by completely ignoring New York City when listing North American cities known for their skyscrapers?
No, maybe he just likes Toronto.
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

Personally, I liked Sinnoh almst as much as Hoenn. It's lacking in water compared but has its share of interesting places: the four lakes, the eternal winter of Snowpoint, the way Sunnyshore's built, the southern marsh, and of course Spear Pillar. But it didn't compare to Hoenn's sights of Fortree, Sootopolis, a cave where tides change, the Sky Pillar, and mysteries hidden beneath the ocean.

I believe Isshu is in another country and that means Ash'll need a passport. Doubtful they'd completely rewire the full Pokédex just because Isshu isn't based in the same area as the other four. It'd just confuse everyone.

Was the writer trying to prove a point by completely ignoring New York City when listing North American cities known for their skyscrapers?
I want to think Isshu's like Oblivia: a completely original location. Other than Santiago, I can't think of any other big city that borders both the ocean and the desert. Yet Chile's mostly desert while Isshu is more green than Johto.
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

Was the writer trying to prove a point by completely ignoring New York City when listing North American cities known for their skyscrapers?
I am completely of the opinion that New York City sucks but I suppose I didn't think too deeply about it when I did not include it.
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

It is true that Kanto is horribly bland because of the graphics, technology, etc at the time of Generation I, but they've had plenty of time to add onto it and they haven't. It still is boring and bland.

I think both Hoenn and Sinnoh are equally diverse. They are both missing what the other has but are still both very nice.
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

In FR/LG, the Sevii Islands more then made up for the "compactness" Kanto had. In fact, I sorta felt it had more of a connection with Jotho, and I seem to spend way more time on those islands then in Kanto itself (save for the Safari Zone).
Maybe its because the Sevii Islands used Johto Music. :p

As far as regional diversity goes, Hoenn wins and thats a fact. You may or may not like the region itself but there is no denying that it was the most diverse region ever. Sinnoh definitely comes very close though.
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

Sinnoh is my favorite region just take a look at mt stark or new moon island or flower pardise expessically were legendaries are its amazing and detailed
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

It is true that Kanto is horribly bland because of the graphics, technology, etc at the time of Generation I, but they've had plenty of time to add onto it and they haven't. It still is boring and bland.
That, I think, is because of GameFreak's slavish dedication to continuity with previous releases. Kanto is as bland today as it was in 1998 for the same reason that new pre-evolutions need strange incenses to justify their existence and stranger and stranger methods keep popping up for new evolutions. A lot of this idiocy could be rectified with some simple retconning, but that's a rant for another time.
 
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Re: Looking Forward: It Isshu What It Is: Outlook and speculation from a life long di

I want to think Isshu's like Oblivia: a completely original location. Other than Santiago, I can't think of any other big city that borders both the ocean and the desert. Yet Chile's mostly desert while Isshu is more green than Johto.
You can't think of any other city bordering the ocean and the desert? How about Los Angeles?
 
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