Pokémon Stars release date, gameplay, trailers and all the latest news

After Nintendo’s E3 conference, we now know that we’re getting a bespoke Pokémon experience for Nintendo Switch! After announcements revealing Pokken Tournament DX coming to the console, and Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon coming to 3DS, we’re also getting a brand new catch-’em-all for the new hardware, although it’s certainly a way’s away.

Game Freak confirmed it is working on an “all new Pokémon RPG” for Nintendo Switch. However, it won’t launching for another year or so. What could it be?

Trusted Reviews has rounded up everything we know so far as well as a wishlist of what we’d love to see from Pokemon’s Switch debut.

What is Pokémon Stars?

A recent Game Freak job listing asked for artists and designers to work on a console RPG based on a hugely popular franchise. Like many, our first thought was Pokémon Sun and Moon to be adapted for Nintendo Switch, which sounds like a perfect match. But after the E3 conference, we now know it’s a brand-new RPG, rumoured to be titled “Pokémon Stars”.

While we have a confirmation of the game being in the works, we don’t even have a single screenshot, let alone a release date, trailer or any indication of gameplay specs. With that, it’s quite clear we’re at least a year or two away from the game coming to the console – perhaps a debut trailer at E3 2018 would be the most likely possibility – but in the meantime, we have a wish list of the five things we want from the game.

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Pokémon Switch – 5 things we’d love to see

1) Console quality visuals

This should be a no-brainer for anyone who has seen how gorgeous games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey on Nintendo Switch, setting a new benchmark for portable gaming. Pokémon Switch will be the first time since the Gamecube this predominantly portable franchise makes a splash on home consoles, and should bring with it a breathtaking anime style that blows its predecessors out of the water.

Sun and Moon’s playful art design helped it shine on the 3DS’s aging hardware, despite some noticeable framerate issues and lack of 3D support. Many of these issues stand the chance of not only being fixed on Switch, but majorly improved.

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2) More expressive characters

We know it’s supposed to be a kid’s game, but having the protagonist smiling widely like a lunatic regardless of the situation is oddly jarring. We’d love to see Pokémon Switch include character models that are far more expressive than their contemporaries. Not only would this show off the console’s power, it’d also lend the universe a meaningful sense of emotion beyond its innocent exterior.

The islands of Aloha were absolutely jam-packed with clothing stores perfect for customising our trainer, and combining this with more expressive animations seems like a natural progression. Oh, and more cute hats are essential.

Related: 12 Common Nintendo Switch Problems and How to Fix Them

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3) Amiibo Support

We were honestly quite surprised that Pokémon Sun and Moon lacked any sort of substantial Amiibo support. Nintendo’s plastic addiction was in full swing at the time of release, so why not incorporate them into one of your biggest franchises?

The Nintendo Switch supports the figurines through the right joycon and official pro controller, making it a perfect fit for some cool digital bonuses. Who knows, Nintendo could be holding back a new line of Amiibo for the game’s release. If so, they’ll no doubt be impossible to track down when the time comes.

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4) More Pokémon Variants

Sun and Moon showed that an old dog is perfectly capable of learning a few new tricks. By modernising the established formula and introducing new pocket monsters, it effectively built a new foundation for the series moving forward. Pokémon Switch should add another layer to this, bringing with it a worthwhile amount of new Pokémon that’ll have us hurling Poké Balls like there’s no tomorrow.

Regional variants of Vulpix, Pikachu, Exeggutor, Sandshrew and more were not only adorable, but an imaginative spin on classic tropes we’d already grown familiar with. Game Freak has every opportunity to subvert our expectations once again with Pokémon Switch, and we can’t wait.

5) Multiplayer minigames

Remember the Mario Party-esque minigames in Pokémon Stadium on Nintendo 64? We thought not. Well, we reckon they should make a glorious comeback on Nintendo Switch. The console is designed with local multiplayer in mind, and what better way to emphasise that than throwing Pokémon into the mix.

New iterations of Clefairy Says, Dig Dig Dig and Rock Harden could be a tonne of fun, and a nice distraction from the usual RPG shenanigans. It’d also be a great opportunity to incorporate the aforementioned Amiibo support with specific games tied to certain figurines.

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What’s on your wish list for Pokémon Switch? Let us know in the comments below

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