GameSpot has had the opportunity to chat with Pokemon director Junichi Masuda. The publication undoubtedly had many questions for Mr. Masuda but the one they put to him was why your rivals in the Pokemon franchise are no longer quite as mean as they were in the company’s older titles. He explained that technology has proved to be the main reason as your rivals can now change their facial expressions, whereas before they could only rely on dialogue.
“I think the biggest reason that rivals were more of a jerk in the early days is that we were just limited in what we could express with the pixel graphics,” Masuda told GameSpot through an interpreter. “There’s not much that you can do with that kind of little sprite on the screen, so we worked harder to characterize them through dialogue and give them certain personalities.
“Also, because it’s just dialogue and there’s not a whole lot going on on the screen, it doesn’t give as harsh of an impression even if they’re jerks, I think. Now we have HD graphics and the visuals are much more impressive. If you also made him a jerk, the impression would be a lot stronger on players. Another thing, just my own personal take, is that it feels that people with those kinds of personalities these days are just not as accepted by players as they were back then.”