Greavard’s Reveal Shows Pokemon Is At Its Best When It’s Creatively Experimental

Greavard’s Reveal Shows Pokemon Is At Its Best When It’s Creatively Experimental

The latest Pokemon has just been revealed, and it's another winner from Paldea. Pokemon designs often take a while to grow on you – seeing them in game or winning battles with them makes you feel more affectionate towards them, while something cynical inside us tends to make us dismissive of the Pokemon we see in adverts. Case in point, I think we would all have liked Wiglett more had we met it naturally on the beach rather than through confusing reveals. However, for the most part, Paldea's Pokemon have been well-received from the off, before we've even had a chance to meet them. Greavard, Scarlet & Violet’s new Ghost-type Pokemon, is the latest in this line. But what's more impressive is the inventive ways Gen 9 has revealed its Pokemon to the world.

The first Pokemon we saw from Paldea were the three starters and the box Legendaries, which were both unveiled through standard trailers. Likewise, new creatures such as Lechonk and Smolive were revealed in much larger trailers that showcased more of the game through battles and exploration. But in a few cases, we've been treated to some creative endeavours that seem to underline Pokemon's newfound willingness to experiment and surprise.

Wiglett, for example, was revealed through a fake ecological presentation video uploaded to the Pokemon website. Grafaiai was teased through a variety of snapshots posted to social media, leading many to believe we'd be getting a variant or evolution of Smeargle. Grafaiai's generally ugly design (and Smeargle's apparent popularity) meant the reveal wasn't a roaring success, but the attempts to drum up anticipation were a solid idea. With Bellibolt, we saw Pokemon experiment with this again. The chubby frog was announced by one of the game's gym leaders, who moonlights as a streamer, with fans encouraged to guess the Pokemon before her reveal. It's a little annoying that it was an entirely new Pokemon and therefore impossible to guess, but I love the idea of the characters interacting more sharply with the audience instead of being two-dimensional battle bots who only exist to give you badges.

This brings us to Greavard. An unnamed, slightly skittish trainer is on a Ghost hunt across Paldea, first getting spooked by Mimikyu and Gengar before finding Greavard. She seems to both be looking for Greavard specifically and also shocked by its appearance and abilities, but maybe we're not meant to think about it so hard. By using a found-footage framing, we're exploring horror tropes and immediately distinguishing these clips from the rest of the game's promo, as well as tying into Halloween and shaping the themes around Greavard. It's a very clever idea that no longer trades on just liking Pokemon, as previous generations have done, but instead moves into storytelling mode.

Scarlet & Violet isn't the first Pokemon game to attempt this – Legends: Arceus dabbled with it when revealing Husuian forms – but it's the first time it has felt like a deliberate strategy. Rather than just one-off reveals and letting the Pokemon branding do the work for you, we're finally seeing Pokemon spread its wings with its storytelling. Hopefully, that carries over to the full game too.

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