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All Pokemon Legends Z-A release date, platforms & gameplay info

pokemon legends z-a logo

In a shocking move, the next major Pokemon release in Pokemon Legends Z-A.

While the expectation for Pokemon Day was the reveal of a new Pokemon game of some kind, nobody was predicting what was actually revealed. While there were seemingly suggestions of a return to Unova or Johto with the sheer number of Black, White, Gold, and Silver references on Pokemon’s various apps and social media channels, things instead went in a wildly different direction.

Pokemon Legends is returning with a second game that will seemingly completely reimagine the first one. Here’s everything that’s known about Pokemon Legends Z-A.

What is Pokemon Legends Z-A?

Pokemon Legend’s Z-A is a new Pokemon game set in the Kalos region first seen in Pokemon X and Y.

Fans were expecting the reveal of a new mainline Pokemon game of some sort during Pokemon Day 2024, but there wasn’t any clear picture of what it would be. The franchise effectively has four separate lines of games now between the main entries of each generation, the remakes of previous games, and expected follow-ups to Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee and Pokemon Legends: Arceus.

There was widespread fan speculation regarding a Johto-based Let’s Go game stemming from an individual’s claims online. The actual official Pokemon channels seemingly teased something related to Pokemon Black and White on multiple occasions in the weeks leading up to the event, posting images of gen-five cover legendaries Reshiram, Kyurem, and Zekrom. Even then, it was uncertain what was to come as there were seemingly suggestions of a Black 3 and White 3 from quirky leaker Riddler Khu.

Instead, it turns out the next game is actually Pokemon Legends Z-A.

Complicating matters even further are the reports of the release of a next-gen Nintendo console in early 2025. The Pokemon Company has historically opted to release games on the most established Nintendo hardware rather than the newest, which was seen as far back as the Game Boy-compatible Pokemon Gold and Silver and as recently as the 3DS’s Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

But with reports of the Switch successor’s release being pushed from Q4 2024 to Q1 2025 to give more time for developers to create compelling launch titles, everything was seemingly on the table.

Ultimately, fans now know what’s in store and can get excited for this new entry in the series.

Mega Evolution Returns Pokemon Z A

Pokemon Legends Z-A will see the return of mega evolution

Mega evolution was confirmed to be returning in Pokemon Legends Z-A. Would have been the expectation for a new game set in the Kalos region, but it was made even more explicit as the reveal trailer closed with the mega evolution symbol.

Mega evolution was the original generational Pokemon game mechanic and remains popular to this day. This is despite being antithetical to the fundamental concepts of the series, as it forces players to use one and only one of a small list of Pokemon that actually have mega evolution. The mechanic was also poorly balanced, with Mega Kangaskhan effectively ruining competitive play for the Pokemon X and Y games and the Primal legendaries and Mega Rayquaza ruining Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.

The mechanic was removed in Pokemon Sword and Shield alongside Z-moves, with Gigantamax and Dynamax being the lone special battle mechanic. Gigantamax and Dynamax were subsequently axed from Pokemon Scarlet and Violet in favor of Terastalization. Fans have been clamoring for mega evolution’s return ever since, and they’ll finally get it with Pokemon Legends Z-A.

Given how most Pokemon players opt to simply sprint through the story and never actually learn to play the game, a single-player-focused experience is likely the best place for it. Pokemon Legends: Arceus did not feature any PvP element and it’s possible that may also be the case in this new game.

Pokemon Legends Z-A release date, platform details

Pokemon Legends Z-A is coming out in 2025, but no further release date info was given.

This likely means a more staggered release for the series than fans are used to. Either a new Pokemon game or a major DLC has come out in the fourth quarter of each year since 2012 with Pokemon Black 2 and White 2. Barring a shock decision, there won’t be any new Pokemon game coming out in 2024.

ursaluna pokemon legends arceus
Pokemon Legends: Arceus

As for platforms, it’s possible that Pokemon Legends Z-A could come out on the Nintendo Switch or the Switch 2. Pokemon Legends: Arceus featured widely praised gameplay but had brutally bad graphics with muddy textures and limited draw distances despite open-world elements. A more technically powerful platform would be a huge benefit to the game, but it’s unknown whether this will happen.

Pokemon traditionally launches on the most established Nintendo platform, with Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon launching on the Nintendo 3DS even after the Switch launched. The Nintendo Switch 2 is reportedly set to launch in Q1 2025 and is said to have backwards compatibility with the ability for upgrade patching. If so, this could see Pokemon Legends Z-A launch on one or both platforms.

The Nintendo Switch 2, or whatever it ends up being named, has not yet officially been revealed so it’s anyone’s guess at this time.

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Written by Steven Rondina

Steven Rondina has been playing video games since he was a toddler and appreciates every genre out there. He has earned the platinum trophy in every Soulsborne game, is regularly Master Ball-ranked on the competitive Pokemon ladder, and has spent thousands of hours missing shots on Dust 2. His work has previously been featured by Bleacher Report and The Washington Post, and he was an Assistant Editor at WIN.gg. You can follow him on Twitter / X at @srondina.

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