Five Changes Nintendo Needs to Make to Pokemon


[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.

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  • 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!

    • Trainer Red

      No way, Bulbasaur is

      • awesomeoshawott

        No, Chickorita

  • 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! :)

    • William Kidd

      he did have a good multiple regions idea but he shouldnt hate on turtwig TORTERRA is a beast

    • Trainer Red

      Go suck a dick fool. Pokemon are awesome. And you are the real retarded shit. You can’t disgrace Pokemon in front of the kid who run’s the place. I hearby challenge you, Mr.fuck you to a Pokemon battle!

      • jake

        I hope your internet breaks

  • 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)?

    • Joshua

      Yes, everyone knows about those games but they aren’t to the scale or even the same type of pokemon game that he is talking about

      • William Kidd

        and they are spin offs not a main series game

        • JohnIGottschalk

          XD had a plotline (and all of them had 3D, wow, amazing!) The connection between ‘main series’ pokemon games is tenuous anyways, except in the way they retell the exact same story every time (“Hey Team [noun], whatcha mad about?”)

          It’s not like there’s a core plotline that you have to follow or anything, so the only differences are:
          1. They didn’t add new pokemon
          2. They didn’t have 3 versions (because Nintendo has been crap at networking for forever).

          So saying it’s a spin-off is pretty much moot.
          (Except of course if you want the gameplay to never ever ever change, but I think that’s one of the things that makes me less interested in the Pokemon series at the moment.)

  • 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!

    • Astragali

      Not just Skyrim-sized, but Skyrim-style… Admittedly, it would probably be very difficult on a DS, but on a Wii U? Heck yeah!

  • Blazer

    I agree with a lot of the ideas here and that it’d make for a good “spin-off”–I say that word with hesitation because it’d need the effort of a main-series game, not some lesser developer making something like the latest Mystery Dungeon games (no offense to the fans of those but they are super boring to me and aren’t nearly as popular or critically acclaimed as the main Pokemon games).

    An “open-world” Pokemon MMORPG-esque game for Wii U (doesn’t need too many aspects of an MMORPG, just needs to feel less single-player than normal Pokemon games where you have to constantly make a conscious effort to play with others online) would probably sell tons and for good reason I’d hope (i.e. it’d be fun).

    Welp, we can dream

  • CouCoumabite

    Pokemon is bad

    • awesomeoshawott


      • Justin Willoughby

        Trolls and the fact that it’s techincally slavery of highly sentient beings and have you ever read the pokedex entries for some of the pokemon. Spoinks is just sad.

  • CouCoumabite



  • CouCoumabite

    C’est trop xD la tronche de Caleb/Serena dans XY

  • Aaron K Stone

    It’s clear to see that nostalgia for the first two generations permeates this article and is therefore not worth considering. Not to mention Nintendo doesn’t make Pokemon.

  • Daniel Banks

    Am I the only one that realizes that it would take a TON of memory space to travel through all of the regions in one game? Not to mention every region would need to have its own story. What you’re asking for, whether you realize it or not, is a multiplayer game.

    • Pwalb

      It would not take a ton of memory space, well at least in pokemon d/p it only loads a 32×32 “chunk”: the chunk you are in. but yeah you’re right and not forgetting to mention you would either have to increase the level cap or like in the anime you have to start over with new pokemon for some areas

    • jake

      If they do, it needs to be like an Elder Scrolls: Online format and would need to be done on the Wii U. That would be insane. I’d also love to see the Orange Islands included, or a re-remake of Blue/Red on the new format :)

  • Trainer Red

    I love pokemon

  • awesomeoshawott

    Go Oshawott!
    Use Razor Shell on Squirtle!
    Squirtle fainted!

    • awesomeoshawott


  • Justin Willoughby

    I’ve stopped playing because as a kid, i took Gotta Catch em all too seriously. The only game I’ve done this in is Pokemon Yellow. you do however run into a problem by 3rd gen as there isn’t enough storage space for all the Pokemon.