There have been a lot of technically proficient – and highly entertaining – Pokemon games over the past few years. But here’s the question – which ones were the hardest to make?
Well, while speaking with Game Informer, the answer was revealed, as Game Freak co-founder and Pokemon director, producer and composer Junichi Masuda noted that a couple of games were a particular handful – Pokemon Ruby and Pokemon Sapphire on the Game Boy Advance.
This is even with certain setbacks with particular titles, like Pokemon X & Y supporting 3D. Masuda said the difficulty didn’t come from the internal side, but rather with outside pressure to indicate that the Pokemon series could continue on after the success of Gold and Silver. “After Gold and Silver came out, it was a huge hit around the world, but shortly after everyone was saying, ‘That’s it. The Pokemon fad is over! It’s dead!” he noted.
So the team needed to assure that the series wasn’t over. Masuda actually worried when he visited the U.S. and found a number of Pokemon pieces missing from store shelves, replaced by Star Wars. The stress began to pile up, to the point that he actually paid a trip to the hospital.
“I got really stressed out and had to go to the hospital and had some stomach issues and had to get a camera inserted and they didn’t know what it was – very stressful,” he noted.
There were some technical challenges, to be sure. The Game Boy Advance, for instance, had better processing power than the Game Boy Color, with “a different aspect ratio, a lot more colors, and sound channels.” And even with the improvement, development turned out to be “more resource-intensive.”
But in the end, the team came through, and Ruby and Sapphire continued the series with flying colors, leading to even more big releases in the years ahead. And Pokemon continues to go strong this year, with Pokken Tournament DX coming our way, and Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon coming later this year for the 3DS. So, yeah, the Pokemon aren’t going anywhere. Rest easy, Masuda.