Pokemon celebrated its 25th birthday in so many ways last year that you might have missed some. Odds are you didn't miss the games it launched to mark the occasion, including a New Pokemon Snap and Pokemon Unite. The latter is the series' first foray into the MMO world, and if you were wondering how this all-new form of battling Pokemon canonically came about, an official manga inspired by the game might well have you covered.
Unite tasks you with taking control of your chosen Pokemon and battling rivals, as well as wild Pokemon, in an attempt to collect Aeos energy. That energy then needs to be deposited into goals around the game's arena in order to score points. Very different from the way we have battled Pokemon for the past 25 years, and the manga sheds a little light on how the new method came about and who's responsible for making it happen.
The first chapter of the manga is free and available to read right now. It follows the journey of Professor Phorus and her team. From noticing the odd glow of Pokemon on Aeos island, to realizing the energy causing that glow could be used to create an entirely new way of battling. The first chapter begins with that discovery and then moves on to Phorus and her team outlining their plans for Unite battles to the residents of Aeos.
The first chapter even addresses the issue of keeping MMOs fair and avoiding pay-to-win elements. Zirco floats the idea of clothes for the Pokemon competing in Unite battles past a researcher named Erbie, citing that the idea needs more “pizzazz”. Fearful that the notion would result in competitors getting an unfair edge, Zirco shows that the clothing would be holowear. The same holographic outfits you can unlock and buy for your Pokemon in-game.
Other than the gradual addition of new Pokemon to the roster, it had been a little quiet on the Unite front for a while up until recently. The spotlight has well and truly been thrown back onto the MMO now though, and not just via this new manga. An all-new way of playing the game where players have to catch wild Pokemon leaked a short while ago, and the game's new subscription service, which will cost you $9.99 a month, launched this week.
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