In the new issue of The Official Nintendo Magazine, an interview with Junichi Masuda and Hironobu Yoshida has been published. In one part of the interview, Masuda went quite extensively into Mega Evolution.
Mega Evolution sees certain Pokémon undergo visual changes and significant stat gains, radically changing Pokémon battles. When asked where the idea for Mega Evolution came from, Masuda replied: “Both of us have lived in Japan, so seeing all those [Japanese] superheroes probably influenced us a little bit! Mega Evolution is a new type of Evolution, rather than a power-up. In terms of deciding which Pokémon would be able to Mega Evolve, such as the three starters, we focused on those Pokémon that were fan favourites,”.
This obviously alludes to Pokémon like the original starters from Pokémon Red and Blue Versions, who are still massively popular among players. But the actual design of Mega Evolution also played a part, says Masuda: “we had to focus on the Mega Evolution deisgns in order to find out which ones would work and which wouldn’t. We had to think about which Pokémon we should Mega Evolve to balance the battles better: doing certain ones might have ruined that balance.” (apparently, Pokémon like Mewtwo needed powering up?!).
Also, when asked more specifically about the risk of Mega Evolution disrupting that balance, Masuda explained: “That was something we were definitely concerned about when we first came up with Mega Evolution. We didn’t want battles to become unbalanced, or push people in a particular direction, which is what would happen with a simple power-up that just made the Pokémon stronger.
The downside to Mega Evolution is that in order to trigger it you must be holding a Mega Stone and this prevents you from holding other items that could play into your strategy.”
This is definitely a downside to Mega Evolution. Masuda himself states that it is a disadvantage to lose the ability to hold items such as “leftovers,” and “berries,”. After saying this he added: “If you use a Pokémon that can Mega Evolve and your opponent sees that, they’re going to have to decide whether they think you’re going to Mega Evolve that Pokémon, or whether you’re holding a different item. Having to read that strategy adds a whole new layer [to battling].”.
Finally, when questioned on whether or not Vanillish has a Mega Evolution, Masuda said: “I hope you find out for yourself whether Vanillish has one. Or if it’s even in the game!”. Surely they didn’t take out the ice cream cone(s)?
What is your opinion on Mega Evolution? Is it balanced well enough?