A few weeks ago, I dove headfirst into the (then) latest rumors swirling around the core Pokémon series’ untitled debut on the Nintendo Switch. From a newly evolved generation of Pokémon to an unlikely team-up with Ubisoft and HD remake stories circling the internet, it seemed like anything and everything was and could happen with the landmark home console game.
It’s common that as we head closer to E3 in June, rumors, leaks and supposed industry insider information begin to circle blogs, social media and gaming websites. For the most part, these rumors can be taken with a grain of salt and, given the debunked and silly rumors surrounding the Pokémon franchise, it’s not hard to write many off as click-bait. That all changed last week when a rumor that was making the rounds back at the beginning of the spring began to pick up steam with a trail that make the possibility of a legitimate claim more and more likely.
The unconfirmed rumor takes the Pokémon series back to Kanto, in the form of an HD remake of Pokémon Yellow on the Nintendo Switch. The next two — yes, two — entries into the series will be titled Pokémon Lets Go! Pikachu Edition and Pokémon Lets Go! Eevee Edition. These games will integrate with the runaway hit, Pokémon Go in some unknown way. In an effort to continue the momentum of the Nintendo Switch’s bonkers sales, the game will release in September. In the same fashion as mainline Pokémon games that came before it, the two versions will differ in minor ways, including their respective mascots.
Though longtime fans of the series have seen Pikachu take center stage before, it is surprising to see Eevee as the other edition’s mascot. Don’t get me wrong, Eevee is one of the best Pokémon out there (just look at the increasing evolutionary options at its disposal), but one that has never had a key focus or, frankly, the star power that Ash’s best friend has.
The Pieces of ‘Eevee’dence
Like most rumors, there’s always *some* evidence that helps *prove* the authenticity of a rumor, whether it’s a blurry screenshot of a trainer riding Lapras (more on that in a bit) or some beautifully illustrated starter Pokémon. This time around, the facts are looking more and more legitimate than before.
1. The April Fool’s Reddit Post
Each April, the internet becomes a feeding ground for phony reveals, concept art for games that will never be and the like. This April, a Reddit user shared that the upcoming Pokémon game for the Switch would be a remake of Pokémon yellow, be released in 2018, feature Pokémon Go integration and star Eevee and Pikachu.
2. Pokémon Let’s Go! Logo
Released around the same time as the Reddit post in question, a logo of Pokémon Let’s Go! Pikachu gained traction.
3. Industry Insight & Some Heavy Teases
Industry insider Emily Rogers posted an interesting blog on May 15, 2018. In the blog, titled “Random Thoughts — 5.15.2018,” Rogers, having previously stated that the Pokémon game for Nintendo Switch would release this year, answers a fan’s question about what to expect from the upcoming game. She connects the upcoming title with Pokémon Go and states we will know more before the end of May. Rogers also gives credence to the Pokémon Let’s Go! rumor by saying, “[She] suspects the naming/branding for this year’s Pokémon Switch title (there’s two version) might raise a few eyebrows.”
4. Trademarked Website Domains
Les noms de domaine des sites https://t.co/wbqMXQp73Q et https://t.co/9xGY011p3R ont été enregistrés et sont protégés par la CSC Corporate Domains, Inc. (organisme qui protège les noms de domaine ou peut saisir les domaines enregistrés par des tiers) pic.twitter.com/LP2azJ0Rvj
— Pokekalos (@Pokekalos) May 16, 2018
Whether a clever ploy to gain attention and keep speculation at an all time high, or a mad dash to ensure they weren’t compromised and misused, CSC Corporate Domains, the company that has registered previous domains for Pokémon games registered www.pokemonletsgopikachu.com and www.pokemonletsgoeevee.com on May 15, 2018. Currently the sites leads to blank pages, though they may be updated as the speculated announcement nears.
5. The Infamous Lapras Screenshot
Months ago, what appeared to be a photo someone snapped of the Nintendo Switch running the latest Pokémon in handheld mode caused a stir, mainly because it depicted a water route from Kanto which signaled a reboot. This photo was dismissed as fake, due to the low-res graphics and similarities with Sun and Moon. With the latest rumors of an Eevee edition of the game, eagle-eyed fans are revisiting the image, as it appears the trainer riding on the Lapras has an Eevee riding on its shoulder.
6. An Anniversary to Remember
With all rumors pointing to a 2018 release date, it would make sense for the HD remake of Pokémon Yellow to release in September, 20 years after the original game was released on the Gameboy Color. Was this Nintendo’s plan all along, or just a convoluted way to connect the dots and make this rumor seem like a reality in our minds?
Personally, I wouldn’t mind a reboot of Pokémon Yellow on the Nintendo Switch. It’s a low-pressure release from The Pokémon Company, which allows them to test the waters and really hone in on what makes a console version of the game great. Hopefully we get some sort of official confirmation or denial in the coming days if Emily Rogers’ is right!