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Detective Pikachu co-writer explains how the film ties back to Pokemon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back

The one and only Mewtwo

Pokemon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back came out quite some time ago, but it's getting a remake in Pokemon the Movie: Mewtwo Strikes Back EVOLUTION. It was a hugely important moment in Pokemon history, so it only seems right to give that original a remake. Turns out that's not the only film keen on the first movie though, as Detective Pikachu ties into Mewtwo Strikes Back as well.

In an interview with Comicbook.com, Detective Pikachu co-writer Benji Samit explained how his film and Mewtwo Strikes Back sync up.

"Mewtwo has always been a part of this because he's in the game, and we knew he was gonna play a big role. In writing it, it became this thing of: we have to be clear that there's only one Mewtwo.

When we're doing this movie that's set in such a different world of Pokemon, we didn't want it to feel like a disconnected universe that is just an alternate history that uses the same creatures. We wanted to be very clear that this movie is part of the greater Pokemon universe, and so if Mewtwo's in it, he's probably gonna be the same Mewtwo."

Detective Pikachu's VFX supervisor details the challenge of making Pikachu more realistic

Staying away from the uncanny valley

Bringing Pikachu from his usual animated form into something more realistic for Detective Pikachu was no easy task. It took a team of very talented people, and a ton of hours of research, to figure out a way to get things done. In an interview with io9, MPC VFX Supervisor Pete Dionne explained just how challenging the process was.

“Being the most recognizable and iconic Pokémon, and character designs, in the last few decades, he was probably the most difficult character [to get right] from the point of, ‘How much do we bend his design before he no longer looks like Pikachu?’. Other characters, there’s a little more leeway poking through than with Pikachu—the slightest deviation from the original TV design and he stopped looking like Pikachu. Knowing that we’re throwing fur on him and putting Ryan Reynolds’ snarky personality in him, how were we going to find the balance?

It became really clear that we needed to embrace every single aspect of that design, the original 2D design, as possible. So, as we were designing him, we started with just the silhouette of Pikachu, and fundamentally, we chose no matter what we come up with, we’re not going to change the silhouette. From the very beginning of our process, building him out, we were always comparing him against that original design.”

This is just a small snippet from a massive interview about what went into bringing Pikachu to life for the film. Check out the full feature here.

Golbat and Gardevoir were almost in Detective Pikachu

Maybe they'll pop up in a sequel

There's simply no way Detective Pikachu could feature every single Pokemon and do them justice. Some of them had to be left on the cutting room floor. According to a Comicbook.com interview with co-writer Dan Hernandez, both Golbat and Gardevoir were slated for an appearance, but never made it to the final cut.

"For a while, we had a cool sequence with a Golbat that I really liked. That was a really cool sequence that just didn't quite make it to the end of the process. ...Gardevoir had a cool moment. There were so many different, all the different drafts along the way."

Unfortunately, we don't get any details on what was planned for either Pokemon. We'll just have to imagine scenarios of our own.

Game Informer Video - Marvel Games' Bill Rosemann On Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order

We are Groot

In this excerpt from The Game Informer Show podcast, Ben Hanson interviews Marvel Games' vice president and creative director Bill Rosemann on the possibility of a "Marvel Games Universe" and the development of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order on the Nintendo Switch.

Comments from the head of Sonic Team point to a likely return for Team Sonic Racing's Dodon Pa

They aren't Dodone with him yet

Dodon Pa is a brand-new character created for Team Sonic Racing. Was the character created to fill a one-and-done role in the Sonic universe? According to Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka, it seems that Dodon Pa will return in the future.

“Of course, Team Sonic Racing is a game that we want to bring to market, but we’re also interested in the future and maybe in future, bringing more racing games to market. And the question that would pop up then – it actually popped up for Team Sonic Racing and it will continue to pop up – is, who’s going to be putting on all these racing events?

We didn’t have an answer to that question in the beginning [of Team Sonic Racing’s development], so we needed to create a character that would facilitate all these races happening, and allow the races to be a part of the world and storytelling. That was the whole starting point for the development of Dodon Pa as a character.

That’s also why I asked Uekawa-san to design Dodon Pa – a character that could deliver that to the product and we could keep in the universe as [someone who would be there] any time we needed there to be a racing event. He’s going to be the character we can use as the Master of Ceremonies.”

Thanks to Lars for the heads up!

Realm Royale devs talk Switch being in-line with other versions, considering motion controls

A high-quality port

The dev team behind Realm Royale are quite excited about the Switch version, and want to make sure Switch owners know it's the real deal. In an interview with Nintendo Life, the devs point out that the Switch version is the same as all the others when it comes to content.

The Switch version of the game – we don’t even like using the word ‘port’ – is pretty much verbatim what it is on the other platforms. We haven’t really changed anything on the gameplay side. It’s really just about optimisation and making sure that it’s compliant with the high standards that Nintendo has.

One area Switch owners love to see addressed in ports is added motion controls. While Realm Royale doesn't have motion controls yet, the team is considering it.

We do have the capability to do gyro controls – we made them on Paladins. They’re not yet implemented into Realm but it’s something that the team is thinking about. It’s just figuring out where that stands with a lot of the other features that we want to bring to all our platforms, including the Switch, and making the game experience better as a whole. Ultimately our development time so far has been fairly short. We built this game pretty quick and we’re already on the Switch which is absolutely... it amazes me still!

Top Pokemon TCG player talks about his experiences with the game

He wants to be the very best

Tanner Hurley knows a thing or two about the Pokemon TCG. Not only has he participated in numerous tournaments, he's also taken home first place a number of times. Ever wonder what it's like playing competitively on such a high level? Check out the video interview with Hurley above to get some insight into the tense scene.

Detective Pikachu writers on the film being considered canon, and whether Ash could appear in a sequel

Anything is possible

As far as Detective Pikachu's co-writers are concerned, the film is canon. The team took great care to make sure everything in this film fit in with the existing universe. Does that mean Ash could show up in a potential sequel? According to co-writer Banji Sammit in a ComicBook interview, it's not out of the realm of possibility.

“Obviously we can't speak for Legendary and the Pokemon Company. In our minds, this entire universe is fair game. When we were writing this movie, it was not only our goal but Rob [Letterman’s] goal, the studio's goal, everyone's goal, to really just focus on one movie. Tell a story. It has a beginning, a middle, and an end.”

Devolver Digital explains how they pick what games to publish

Getting emotional

Devolver Digital has been in the business for 10 years now, and they've published some of the most unique and interesting titles in the game industry. They've found a lot of success doing so, especially on the Switch. Wonder how the company picks titles to publisher? Devolver Digital's Andrew Parsons explains in a GamesIndustry interview.

"A lot of the time, the games we sign and our persona is a culmination of all our personalities. All of the people involved in Devolver have a say, and when you look at our output, whether it's marketing or games, most of us have an opinion about that stuff. The unique thing about Devolver is its combination of personalities. We do approach quite a lot of what we do with an emotional bent. We try to feel strongly about things, be it the industry, other people's games, our games, because if you don't feel strongly you've got nothing to share. But it does point toward a more unique perspective."

Game Freak prioritizing original projects over Pokemon, talks about the importance of trying something new, details 2019 efforts

Game Freak wants to be more than just Pokemon

Game Freak programmer and director Masayuki Onoue has opened up about the inner-workings of the company. In an interview with VideoGamesChronicle, Mr. Onoue talked a bit about the two teams within Game Freak. One team focuses on Pokemon, while the other team, named Gear Project, works on new ideas.

“There are two different production teams here, simply named Production Team 1 and Production Team 2. Team 1 is fully dedicated to Gear Project, while Team 2 is for the Pokémon operation. What that means is that Game Freak as a company is prioritising Gear Project, which is production team number one, more than Pokémon in general. We are always trying to create something that is equally exciting, or more exciting than Pokémon.

There is a lot of back-and-forth between Team 1 and Team 2. One of the interesting things is that Team 2, which is dedicated to Pokémon, only knows about specific platforms. So with Team 2, engineers can learn about other platforms that they might not have touched before. By mixing up the teams we are able to create this interesting synergy."

One of the games that came from Gear Project was Giga Wrecker. Onoue was involved directly with Giga Wrecker, and found the project to be quite refreshing.

"Yes, it was a totally refreshing experience when I moved from Pokémon to Giga Wrecker. It’s like a paradigm shift. When you’re a programmer working on Pokémon, you’re one of many programmers. However, as a director on Giga Wrecker the experience opened my eyes to the other aspects of game creation, all the way up to users playing the game. It’s really difficult to expect a programmer to have that kind of perspective, but as director I learned how to make a game more appealing and accessible to players, plus aspects of marketing as well.

Gear Project has helped me become more creative. I’ve now seen the whole process of creation all the way to marketing and selling the game to players. I can now bring that knowhow back to the Pokémon team and try to create something different for Pokémon. It’s a good synergy between Gear Project and Pokémon creation. Gear Project has helped me become more creative… I can now bring that knowhow back to the Pokémon team and try to create something different for Pokémon."

As you can tell, Game Freak is looking to do some new and big things with 2019. Onoue opened up about Game Freak's plans for the rest of the year ahead.

"2019 will be very exciting, especially following the Pikachu Let’s Go titles which allowed us to start looking seriously at Nintendo Switch as a platform. That was a very important milestone for us before moving on to the next step. In terms of the number of titles we are releasing this year, it’s happened coincidentally. It’s not like we’re trying to put everything together in 2019 – it just happened.

R&D is a newly founded division which is creating the basic library, which used to be created every single time we made a project. That helps the efficiency of our production for sure. Also, we are looking at what’s going on in the future, from a technical perspective, and that’s something else that we’ve never had before. I think that R&D division will certainly contribute to the future of Game Freak.”