Elden Ring and Pokémon, the weight of innovation

Elden Ring and Pokémon, the weight of innovation

Elden Ring and Pokémon

I finished Elden Ring. It would seem like a sigh of relief rather than the opening words of an article, but don't let these words betray you. I would have liked to continue the experience with the New Game +, but the tyrant time has diverted me to other activities, unfortunately less pleasant. So I arrived at the moment of the conclusion of a game, that hiatus that separates the end of an experience with the following one. It is an involuntarily reflective moment, the sensations become logic, the more than 80 hours in the company of a game turn into experience.

An experience so costly in terms of time cannot but undergo the effects of everything that contains it and from this comes the second fundamental element for the premises of this article; two days after the release of Elden Ring, another Japanese RPG decided to knock on the door of the announcements guilty near its previous release with an unexpected trailer: Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

For a moment I superimposed the two and, apart from a small moment of daze due to the merging of two imaginaries so far away in a potentially horrifying new one, I have revealed two worlds that share more than we think. I didn't stop there. I committed the crime of associating the recent history of the Pokémon series with what could be the parable of the Souls and some analogies left me surprised. They both find themselves ferrying the very strong legacy of the past into a not simple evolution, victim of that complexity that now defines the essential structure of their success, but let's go in order.

What can unite Pokémon and Elden Ring ?

On the wings of the past

The Elden Tree While Elden Ring is officially a new IP, it is actually the open-world summary of FromSoftware's entire RPG experience. To call it just a souls-like is too little, despite the linearity with which it embraces that past that began in 2009 with Demon's Souls is self-evident.

Pokèmon, on the other hand, is the fruit of a journey that began in 1996 and still rests heavily on the foundations launched that year. From release to release both have built new mechanics on the previous ones and have worked on the fluidification of all the angularities of the gameplay that could not get in tune with the new generations of players. Beyond these changes, there have never been almost any revolutions, also because players who are fond of certain mechanics do not look for them, if not after time and having come to boredom. function ready (fn) {if (document.readyState! = 'loading') {fn ()} else {document.addEventListener ('DOMContentLoaded', fn)}} ready (function () {window.addEventListener ('message', function (event) {let target_origin = 'https://aff.netaddiction.it'; if (event.origin! == target_origin) return; if (typeof event.data == "object" && event.data.hasOwnProperty ( "type") && event.data.type == "embaff") {let embed_id = event.data.embed_id; if (embed_id == '532') {document.querySelector ('#_ aff_embed_532'). setAttribute ('height ', event.data.embed_size);}}}, false);}) How many times have we found ourselves enjoying a good pokèmon game, when titles were coming out at the same time that redefined a genre? In 2017 we had The Legend of Zelda BoTW, while Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon hit store shelves. Dark Souls III was released only a year earlier and certainly did not change the cards on the table in the Souls series, although it was appreciated by critics and audiences.

Why innovate

Fights with Torrente represent one of the novelties of Elden Ring Game Freak and FromSoftware have created expressions of the Japanese RPG according to the forms of their time. Pokèmon has always relied on shifts also due to the limitations of its genesis on a portable console. From Software, on the other hand, has always invested in titles for home consoles, including three-dimensional exploration in its games from the beginning and Playstation 3 with Demon's Souls was only the catalyst for the reaction that created the Action-RPG formula that the series boasts.

Mindful of an interview with the Final Fantasy VII Remake team, the desire to develop a makeover arises from the fact that new technologies broaden the game design horizons of developers, and many times what you want to achieve in the past as a function of one's own thought it is now closer to a new form of expression, although the original is now indelible in the history and experience of the players. function ready (fn) {if (document.readyState! = 'loading') {fn ()} else {document.addEventListener ('DOMContentLoaded', fn)}} ready (function () {window.addEventListener ('message', function (event) {let target_origin = 'https://aff.netaddiction.it'; if (event.origin! == target_origin) return; if (typeof event.data == "object" && event.data.hasOwnProperty ( "type") && event.data.type == "embaff") {let embed_id = event.data.embed_id; if (embed_id == '641') {document.querySelector ('#_ aff_embed_641'). setAttribute ('height ', event.data.embed_size);}}}, false);}) If this can be valid on the occasion of a remake, it should also be valid in the following chapters of a series and even more so on the occasion of new IPs, as in case of Elden Ring. In Pokèmon, after years of stasis, some more pronounced attempts at "revolution" have been reached, with fluctuating results and with very few new mechanics that have established themselves as essential in the future of the series. The amount of novelty of Elden Ring is conspicuous, but the reuse of animations, assets and gameplay elements anchored to other generations of videogame consoles fixed in the very structure of the game archetypes that are destined to age and that sooner or later will have to be replaced, despite have themselves become part of the winning combination of that series.

There is thus a risk of remaining out of time.

In the limbo between past and present

The Graphic detail of Pokémon in 2022 These series are likely to create a parallel videogame timeline that proceeds slower than expected and with Pokémon exactly this has happened. The technical aspect, the gameplay, the mechanics have so many internal rules that they end up limiting the creativity of the developers and backfire even when the average player will invoke a particular change. I would not like to end up imagining a future in which the past of a series becomes the spectrum of the same, especially for a house like From Software which in its playful dimension satisfies a very specific need of the modern player in a unique and original way. br>
Contextualizing the graphic area, the rendering of Elden Ring is much more than enjoyable, but you can perceive the different evolutionary step compared to what would be hoped for from this generation and if over the years the next chapters were to progress in the same way , the "Pokémon Perspective" on the technical front may not be remote. Perhaps we would feel it less, because the gap between the state of the art on home consoles and aged graphics on portable consoles is certainly more marked, but it would still be present. The trailer for Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, with those "retro" animations, is a clear demonstration of this.

Pokèmon: 26 years of experience

Demon's Souls the progenitor of the thriving Souls lineage The series Pokémon is a warning to all videogame universes closely linked with their tradition and From Software 13 years after the Souls manifesto shows some signs of this parable. However, there are appropriate distinctions to be made on a series of fundamental cornerstones: the audience, the layering of game design and the narrative experience.

Both series have a large audience, but the way they which they open to their own spectrum of players is completely different. Pokémon represents the typical game with a marked vertical layering. The path from the beginning to the end of the game is almost trivial, but every element of gameplay that is introduced contributes to the construction of an extremely complex superstructure. The first reading step, masked by very colorful simple art and a setting with sweeteners, is the prerogative of the children, the second of the adults who have known the series when they are young and who continue to be passionate about it.

Audience, game design and narrative

The optional quest of Villa Vulcano The From Software games, on the other hand, have a very specific target audience: the player no longer novice, struggling with a level of challenge on steroids, lover of an old-style level design, sometimes witty, who appreciates frustration until the moment in which the game and the accumulated experience reveal how to continue, leaving him the satisfaction of a successful enterprise beyond its apparent possibilities. The peaks of gratification that follow a particularly difficult boss fight, or getting all the pieces of a particular build are the engine of the game's entertainment and word of mouth advertising. The vertical layering of the different game phases in the Souls always comes to terms with a necessary moment of confrontation on the imaginary line that goes from the beginning to the end of the game, becoming itself part of the adventure for all the players who approach it. Experience and complexity thus develop horizontally as well as vertically.

All players of From Software titles want to have a unique experience, not all Pokèmon players approach with the same intentions. There is the collector, the fighter, the child who wants to free the pokèmon from the yoke of the bad guys, there are those who want to hatch burst eggs for the best possible pedigree or those who want to face a nice dungeon. Each of these would appreciate a different level of challenge for their adventure, others would not even want a narrative plot but only an open world to achieve their growth as a competitive coach. This makes it even more complex to innovate, because to do it without repercussions it is necessary to do it on all these fronts. function ready (fn) {if (document.readyState! = 'loading') {fn ()} else {document.addEventListener ('DOMContentLoaded', fn)}} ready (function () {window.addEventListener ('message', function (event) {let target_origin = 'https://aff.netaddiction.it'; if (event.origin! == target_origin) return; if (typeof event.data == "object" && event.data.hasOwnProperty ( "type") && event.data.type == "embaff") {let embed_id = event.data.embed_id; if (embed_id == '640') {document.querySelector ('#_ aff_embed_640'). setAttribute ('height ', event.data.embed_size);}}}, false);}) And on these points we must also call into question the narrative. Pokémon forces the player's attention to inevitably settle on the adventure because it is necessary for progression. He intervenes with many lines of dialogue and some cutscenes in the salient moments, but he tells a story that, apart from the small parenthesis of Black and White, makes the banality of feelings his raison d'etre. He is insistent, but does not provide relevant information to the solution of the game, which proceeds by inertia. Either it becomes a mainstay of the game's PvE experience, or it's limited to tutorials. If there was a clear target audience it would be easy to find the right place for it.

On the other hand Elden Ring tells its story only when the player wants to interact with it, in dialogue exchanges with NPCs, in the description of objects, in some lapidary cutscene. The appeal of unveiling Elden Ring's narrative lies in the quality of the narrative and its correlation with game-design. One of the founding elements of the Souls is that the backstory echoes in the objects that the player searches for and uses in his own adventure, whether he knows their lore or ignores it. There is no need to create a story for everyone and the narrative evolution can continue in one direction.


Elden Ring Assuming that Elden Ring it was a full and rewarding experience, without reservations, from its present arise some important considerations for the future of the "Souls", which anticipate great challenges to evolve a real sub-genre by combining innovation and tradition. I review certain phases that have marked and mark the somewhat uncertain trend of the IP Pokèmon, almost according to a Japanese renewal brand victim of seriality that still struggles to find its universally effective algorithm. Fortunately, there are also many different premises and in my opinion the potential to avoid or ward off an evolutionary stasis is all there, even if some alarm bells have started to ring.

At this point the word to you, readers. What do you see in the future of the Souls? What do you think should remain unchanged in future From Software titles and what are you willing to lose in order to renew?

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