Pokemon and guns, two things you probably don’t hear or think about together too often, but an upcoming game called “Palworld” from Japanese developer Pocketpair Inc. draws heavily on the style of Nintendo’s games, but adds in guns and other firepower for a game we’ve never seen anything like before.
Pokemon is one of the most popular franchises in the world, so it’s no surprise plenty of other developers and companies have, shall we say, been influenced heavily by its universe and concept.
For examples see: Digimon, Beyblade, Bakugan, Medabots (bet you’d forgotten about that) and plenty others. But Palworld manages to stand out in a sea of copy-cats, since it introduces high-caliber weapons right alongside cute little pocket-monster-esque creatures.
Just check out the short trailer below, and notice the drastic change in tone around the 35-second mark.
It’s hard to miss as Palworld — a game that looks sort of like a mix between BOTW and Pokemon at first — soon devolves into running firefights involving your cute companions, or Pals as we’ll refer to them.
What makes it so jarring to watch is that assault rifles and RPGs don’t really fit into to the colorful world we’re first presented with, but that seems to be how combat is handled in Palworld. Trainer battles? No, no, this is trainer war.
Yes, you did see the Palworld equivalent of Wooloo being used as little more than a meat shield in the trailer and tossed aside as soon as the player character was done. It might take more than a Revive to bring that one back.
Using a cartoon sheep to violate the Geneva Conventions isn’t even the wildest thing Palworld has to offer though. Whoever the bad guy is in this game makes Team Rocket look about as threatening as a Girl Scout Troop.
That’s because later on in the trailer we see what looks like a sweatshop of Pikachus being forced to assemble M4 rifles, and a crew of enslaved Grooky-like Pals performing manual labor. Eat your heart out, Jesse and James.
Palworld is a trip, but apart from the ridiculousness of totally original monsters and guns together, it actually brings a popular Pokemon meme to life. Ever since Sword and Shield came out, the internet has theorized, ‘what if Nintendo released a version called Pokemon: Gun?’ Well, this is probably as close as we’re going to get.
If you’re interested in trying out Palworld (and how could you not? after that wild ride of a trailer) it will be available on Steam sometime in 2022, if Nintendo or the Pokemon Company doesn’t take some form of legal action against Pocketpair before then.
Funnily enough, guns and other weapons are pretty common in the early episodes of the Pokemon anime (see our header image of Ranger Jenny, which is canon), though they’re completely absent from any of the video games (obviously in order to keep the “E” rating).
While Pokemon has steadily moved away from most weapons over the years, Palworld embraces them, and could be bizarre enough to attract a community of its own. Tired of Pokemon Go? Maybe it’s time for Pokemon Go To War.