Pokémon news time! New week, new Pokémon news. And this week is a big one: "Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity" hit stores. So did the gorgeous Pikachu 3DS XL. And in Japan, "Pokémon Rumble U" and its Skylanders-like NFC figures are also available. All those new releases have muted the Pokémon X & Y rumor (and actual news) mill, but several X & Y rumors have been officially debunked. Plus, some great Pokémon fan art, some cute, some... weird.
UPDATE: The Pokémon Company has just released two original animated shorts based on "Pokémon Mystery Dungeon." Check them out on Pokémon TV.
First in the Pokémon news department: the release of "Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity." The game is a Nintendo 3DS exclusive, and it came out on March 24 in the US (Europeans and Australians have to wait until mid-May). Players can choose between Snivy, Oshawott, Tepig, Axew, and Pikachu and adventure through randomly generated dungeons filled with hostile Pokémon (mostly Unova / Generation V Pokémon). Each of the playable Pokémon can learn four moves, just like in the main series. And, in between solving puzzles, using team skills, and looking for legendary Pokémon, players can convince new Pokémon to join their team or play through dungeons online with other players. The game is available now in retailers and from the Nintendo eShop (as is the free day one DLC).
Pokémon news, and releases, tends to come in pairs. This time around, the new "Mystery Dungeon" is accompanied by the gorgeously cute Pikachu 3DS XL, also out on March 24 in the U.S. It's available exclusively in Walmart, Target, Toys R Us, and GameStop stores for $199.99 (standard 3DS XL MSRP), although some Targets are selling them for $159.99. Like all 3DS XL systems, the Pikachu 3DS XL has a substantially larger screen and better resolution, and can run all Nintendo 3DS and DS software.
In not-entirely-Pokémon news, Nintendo is also running a special offer: anyone who buys and registers a new 3DS XL (or has bought one since February 14, 2013) and buys either "Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity" or "Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon" by the end of April can download a free game. The "Pokédex 3D Pro" for Nintendo 3DS is also on sale for $9.99 until April 19, 2013 in the U.S. Nintendo eShop.
The other Pokémon release of the week, "Pokémon Rumble U," is out today, but only in Japan (no release date for North America or other territories has been confirmed). That game, a Wii U downloadable title, is the first to use Wii U's built-in capacity for NFC figures. The previous game in the series did see a North American WiiWare release, so we can hold out hope that the super cute Skylanders figures will make their way out of Japan sooner or later.
All these actual releases made it a light week for Pokémon news about the upcoming Pokémon X & Y. A few rumors came out, including ones about an evolution for Chespin and a photo of the X & Y rival, but they were all fake, as was the 99 Pokémon leak from a few weeks ago.
So instead of Pokémon news, let's close out with some new Pokémon art.
First, some adorable Eevees by Itsbirdy (visit the site for the rest of the Eeveelutions and lots more)
Next, from the widely reported Nic Cage x Pokémon Tumblr:
And from Benedict Cumberbatch... as Pokémon...
We'll be back later this week with more Pokémon news... and, with any luck, some actual Pokémon X & Y news.