Five Changes Nintendo Needs to Make to Pokemon

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[Make It So takes a look at our favorite games and suggests additions, subtractions, and areas to improve upon for the sequel or next entry in the series. This one is more community focused, but you get the idea.]

The Pokemon franchise has been going strong for almost 20 years. Throughout that entire time, the core gameplay and story has remained pretty consistent. You travel around the region battling other trainers, catching (increasingly weird and disturbing) Pokemon, earning badges, and eventually working your way through the Elite Four to become Pokemon champ. While I can see how Nintendo has stuck to the mantra “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” it may be time to think about switching it up a bit and adjusting the gameplay.

My main gripe with the Pokemon franchise is the constantly increasing number of critters to capture, train, and leave in your inbox. Let’s be honest, how many people actually use any more than 10-15 Pokemon throughout the entirety of the game? The motto of the game is “Gotta catch ‘em all!” but why? My last two or three playthroughs I used a roster of seven each time. What makes this worse is Nintendo’s insistence of adding a new 100 to catch every generation. The last two generations in particular have contained so many copies and headscratchers that you have to think that all or most of the really good ideas have been used up by now. The most glaring examples of copies have been Turtwig and his evolutions being a crappy amalgamation of Bulbasaur and Squirtle. I won’t say that all new Pokemon are sigh-inducing, but with each generation the number that are interesting diminishes. Maybe it’s time to stop churning them out and just stick with the 718 they already have.

Let me go through all of this!

What Nintendo has done right throughout the different generations of Pokemon has been having each generation take place in a different region of the world. This has added a sense of exploration that has to have contributed to the longevity of the franchise. Each region has had its own quirks and popular areas. It’s time to take advantage of that by allowing players to start in any of the regions that have been in the games so far. The world is expansive and as interesting as a new region would be, it’s time to take a step back and look at the world as a whole. I’d like to see the next game canonically take place after all the previous games and allow the player to travel to all the different regions. Taking the train between Kanto and Johto was one of my favorite features of Gold and Silver, and taking that idea and expanding on it will add a huge amount of play time to the game. The player should have the freedom to tackle each region and collect their respective badges in any order they see fit. Each region obviously has obstacles in place to keep trainers below a certain level out so players can go through and play an entire region all at once, or jump around between the different regions.

Left to right: best to worst

The ability to start in any region and travel throughout the Pokéworld has to be tied together with the chance to pick from any of the 18 starter Pokemon. This freedom can go a long way towards giving players more of a say in how they build their teams from the ground up. Personally, I think Squirtle is, and probably always will be, the best starter, and I’d love the chance to take him with me around the world without having to trade him through the different games, on different handhelds to get one.

BAD. ASS. MO. FO

Speaking of building your team from the ground up, I’ve never been a fan of how your Pokemon are limited to only knowing four moves. I understand that it’s an element of the RPG aspects of the games, but there’s a much better way of handling it. I would much rather see the ability to keep all the moves your Pokemon learn, but have to equip them outside of battle like boosts. You could adjust each Pokemon’s move list and customize your party to take down a certain gym leader or Elite Four member. To aid in this regard, I’d also like to see HMs either removed completely or retooled so the out of battle aspects don’t take up a valuable move slot. Everybody who has played a game in the series has that one Pokemon they use as the HM servant, which pretty much limits your usable party to five. If they were turned into passive abilities, they could be removed from the move list and free up a spot both in your move list and your party makeup.

Ughhhhh. I don’t get why Alissa loves Bidoofs so much…

The most important change I’d like to see is shifting the series over to the Wii U. Pokemon has proven that it is a console mover and it will easily sell millions. With the success of Pokemon X and Y’s 3D-esque visuals, Nintendo should take advantage of the franchise and use it to help out the struggling console. Even if the Wii U was a massive success, people have been asking for a console Pokemon game since the series’ inception. Time to give the people what they want, Nintendo; you might get the help you need at the same time.

How freaking cool would this be?!?!

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About Author

(Managing Editor)

Hi! I'm the Managing Editor here at Twinfinite. I'm more than a little bit crazy but I'm great at hiding it. When I'm not gaming on XBL (Muazimus Prime) or PSN (MuazimusPrime), you can find me reading mountains of comic books or watching an obscene amount of movies. I LOVE the Mass Effect series and can't be your friend if you don't love it too.

  • Orejillz

    Amazing. I’ve felt the same for a long time. Got burnt out around the time Crystal came out

  • 321

    really? for me turtwig is the best grass type starter so far. in fact the first time i picked a grass starter was with turtwig. in terms of design every gen has been fine except for gen 5. this is the only gen where i felt that the pokemon were weird looking. other than that the designs haven’t been getting worse. only idiots who fall for that nostalgia bullshit think this. EVERY gen has had it’s uglies and weirdos. gen 5 just had a bit more than usual. i also don’t think they need to add a 100 new pokemon every gen but there should be SOME new pokemon. that’s the whole point of a new gen. gamefreak clearly went this route for x/y although the amount of new legendaries was pathetically low for me.

    on the rest i completely agree. they DEFINITELY need to add other regions. the post game ends really quickly otherwise and after it ends it’s just training and trading like a zombie. it was the best feature of gold and silver. perhaps they should add sidequest patches throughout the gen? idk just SOMETHING to make it longer. the move pool mechanics also need to be redone. i HATE having to carry a hm slave around especially on victory road.
    the wii u idea is something everyone wants but it’s nintendo’s trump card in the most desperate of times. nintendo thinks an rpg will reduce handheld sales and gamefreak doesn’t want to take on the extra work required for an rpg. but hey you never know!

  • http://twinfinite.net Ed McGlone

    I’d kill for a Pokemon game that didn’t add ANY new Pokemon and instead gave us a bigger world with ALOT more new features and things to do.

  • Kevin O’Grady

    I agree with a lot of this, but as much as I’d love a good pokemon console game, I don’t think it will happen. Pokemon has become a handheld experience for people and switching that over to a set top console would anger a lot of people. A major of pokemon fans already have a DS/3DS but the number that have a Wii U is much lower. And while it may help Nintendo with their WiiU sales, it would probably hurt the sales of the game compared to past 3DS versions and since the Pokemon Company is making the game, Nintendo actually has very little say in the matter. Plus Game Freak has gone on record saying they aren’t interested in making a console pokemon game so that means a new developer would be needed. I love being able to pull out my 3DS while I’m waiting at the doctors office or on a car ride and people able to catch and train up my pokemon. I wouldn’t want to lose that just to play with updated graphics. Those who want pokemon on the big screen are probably stuck waiting for the next generation of the nintendo handheld which will hopefully have HDMI ports to hook up to a TV.

  • fuck you

    all of your ideas are retarded please never even look at a pokemon game again, you are a disgrace

    also these are not “musts” as fucking pokemon will be a great game if they dont do your retarded shit

    • muazimusprime

      Well thanks for reading anyways. Have a great day! :)

  • Mike-Davis

    I understand where you’re coming from but you’re on of those old-gen gamers who hate almost everything about the newer Pokemon(designs, etc.), will play the newer games, then complain about it. I also don’t understand the hate on Turtwig because they made another four-legged turtle or the fact that they made “copies and head-scratchers”. In Real Life, is there only one type of dog? Only one type of cat? Only one type of turtle? No. Where’s the hate on the bird Pokemon, huh? Besides, Pokemon is short for Pocket Monsters, emphasis on the MONSTER. A monster doesn’t have to be an ANIMAL. There’s a difference.

    And I believe it’s only natural for more and more Pokemon to be released with every region. I also believe that the fact there’s so many means that your rosters could be virtually different from everyone you encounter. And while I respect your “Pokemon on Home Console” idea, I think it’s important for Pokemon to stick to their roots. If you change for the public, you lose sight of what you’re really trying to accomplish with your games and a half-assed game is extremely disappointing. All in all, while you ideals are…well, ideas, you shouldn’t criticise the entire franchise because they don’t bend over for you at your every command.

    • Jake Tecchio

      haha I love how the author only replied to the hateful comments and not the well put and thought out comments.

  • Tyler Machado

    You’re talking about a console Pokemon game, huh? Been asked for since the start of the series, hasn’t happened? Then may I introduce you to Stadium? How about XD? Battle Revolution (inferior IMHO, but still)?

  • Masoud House

    With everything you said this would really be good for a console version. Hell, you could make a Skyrim-sized game out of all the regions put together in 3D and with 718 Pokemon to choose from. Damn good article and damn good ideas.

    • muazimusprime

      Thanks Masoud!

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