With this week’s announcement of Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, the sixth generation of Pokemon games, there is no way that I can ignore talking about this game franchise.
I am a life-long Pokemon fan and have been collecting these monsters since the days of Red and Blue. There have been a couple of steps along the way with this series that I have taken issue with, but overall, I have always enjoyed my experiences with the franchise (except Pokemon Stadium… lousy cheating computer AI.)
But there is no such thing as a perfect game and whenever a new game in a long-running series is announced, gamers are always looking to suggest aspects to be included into the mix, myself included.
So below is my wish list for the new set of games, Pokemon X/Y. Some of these things are doable. Others, not so much.
Note – You are going to see the word Pokemon a lot in this article. This is what happens when the name of the game is used as the name of the entire species of monsters, both plural and singular. – JJ
10. Transferring Made Easy
With every new game of the Pokémon franchise, the first concern long-running fans of the franchise run into is “Are we going to see a repeat of Generation 3?”
Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald were great games, don’t get me wrong. But they were also the only time in the series where you could not transfer your collection of Pokemon from one game to the next game in the series. This forced many gamers to start their collections all over again, making a lot of unhappy gamers.
Fast-forward to Generation V, where backward compatibility is a norm for the series, but not without its issues. In the days of Diamond, Pearl and Platinum, you were only allowed to transfer six Pokemon every 24 hours. If you have over 300 of these monsters, you are in for one hell of a long wait to get all of your collection over to the new game.
Then White and Black came out and we were introduced to the PokeTransfer method. Another slow way to transfer Pokemon. This time, you choose six monsters from your collection and they get put into a mini-game. The biggest issue with this method is if you fail to catch all six of the monsters in the mini games time limit, they get sent back to your other game.
There’s no limit on how many of your Pokemon you can send over to this mini-game in a day, but the whole process is ridiculously cumbersome and time consuming. Give me a method to transfer all of my Pokemon from the last game at the same time. That way, we can save time updating our collections and focus on what’s important, playing this awesome game.
9. Simplify Trading
Black and White introduced us to an easier way of trading. Now, instead of just choosing the Pokemon from your party that you want to include in a trade, you now get to trade from all of your PC Boxes, making more accessibility and less wrangling on the player’s part.
What was annoying about this change is they also included another mechanic. Players had to choose three Pokemon to narrow down the trade, before finalizing which monster would be traded over to the other player.
What is the point of doing this?
Let me select one Pokemon, and ONLY ONE, for my trades. Having me select three Pokemon so that I can select one for the trade is totally pointless and asinine.
8. Upgrade How Your Pokemon Sound… (From screeches to actually saying their name)
This one’s pretty simple… get rid of the 4-bit screeches and bloops your monsters make when they appear.
This isn’t the Game Boy anymore. We have seen what the Nintendo 3DS is capable of with Ocarina of Time 3D and Star Fox 64 3D. YOU CAN MAKE YOUR POKEMON SAY THEIR DAMN NAMES LIKE IN THE TV SHOW!
If you could get Pikachu to say his name in Pokemon Yellow, there’s no excuse why all of the monsters in this game can’t speak their own name!
7. Give me a Dark Gym
If you play the Pokemon games, then you know that the gyms are the stepping stones taking you through the game’s story. Each game has eight gyms, each based on a different type of monster, that you must conquer before you can take on the Elite Four.
So in five generations of these games, we have seen 42 different gyms (No, my math isn’t wrong, there were two additional gyms in Generation V) and almost every type has been represented along the way.
Except for the Dark Type. There has never been a dark-type gym in franchise history. Granted, there has been plenty of dark-type trainers in the Elite Four (three of the five regions have a dark-type Elite Four trainer), but never a gym.
Every other type of Pokemon has seen at least two, maybe three gyms in the history of the series. Even Dragon, Ice and Ghost-type have had a gym and all three of these types have less Pokemon.
Which brings me to my next point…
6.Type Equality, Please…
Take a look at the breakdown of the different types of Pokemon in these games.
The most populated type is the water-type, with 109 Pokemon in total, while the lowest is the dragon-type, with only 29.
That’s a pretty dramatic difference in numbers, but it paints a clear picture. We don’t need any more water type Pokemon!
Really, we already have over 100 water-type monsters to choose from at this point. Same goes for the flying-type, where you have 84 of them already.
While I get that the whole species breakdown is based on a real world ecosystem, so you are bound to see thousands of varieties of sea creatures and birds to choose from, but Pokemon is based in a fantasy universe where people collect species of monsters to battle people with other species of monsters. As a gamer, we like to see variety on our fantasy battles, not an argument of semantics on whether a pigeon can beat a dove.
Really, what seems like an easy type to design for, the Ghost-Type, is completely non-existent, with only 31 members to choose from.
Let’s have some more variety in Generation VI. If you are worried that there will not be enough new water-types for people to choose from in this new generation, then check out my next point…
5. Make All Generations Available from the Start
A new trio of starter Pokemon in each generation makes total sense. A new game needs a new image and new variety for gamers.
But every time I start a new Pokemon game, I’m not marveling at the variety of new animals or monsters I can collect. The only thing I’ve been seeing lately is the latest batch of clones for Pidgey (the bird), Rattata (the field mouse), Caterpie (the caterpillar), Geodude (the rock) and Zubat (the bat).
It seems like every generation in the franchise has given us a new monster that is almost identical to one of the same five monsters you could catch from the original games. Let’s look at Pidgey as the base example here…
Pictured above, from left to right, are Starly, Hoot-Hoot, Pidgey, Spearow, Taillow and Pidove. Notice anything similar about them? Let me break it down further.
Pidgey and Spearow (Gen.1) – Hoothoot (Gen.2) – Taillow (Gen.3) – Starly – (Gen.4) – Pidove (Gen.5)
Every single one of these guys seems to be a direct replacement for each other in each generation of the game. The only reason they are there is to guarantee you catch at least one flying type that can use the ability Fly for travelling around the map.
My point with this example is that by constantly creating cookie-cutter replacements of Pokemon from past generations, it eliminates the need for these monsters from the past. The strength of Red and Blue was that nearly every single family of Pokemon you could collect was unique, making it interesting and fun to collect every single one of them. With there now being over 600 Pokemon to choose from and many of them seeming very similar to each other, it takes away some of the fun factor of collecting all of these species.
And really, if you made it so that all of your Pokemon were available from the start, it may make it so new generations can actually capture Pikachu in a timely fashion.
Seriously, do any new gamers even remember Pikachu? The yellow mouse that shocks anything that moves and served as the series mascot for years? Aside from his role in the television series and his constant use as a character in the Super Smash Bros. series, how long has it been since you could easily catch your little friend Pikachu in one of the main games of the series? Hell, he plays a starring role at the beginning of the X and Y trailer!
In the first generation of games, Pikachu was always available before you hit the first gym. Since then, you almost have to jump through flaming hoops to find the little bugger.
If he’s the official mascot of everything Pokemon, bring him out to play while I collect more Pokemon.
Of course, you know what would make collecting all of these species more fun?
4. Let Me Catch Them All!
I pity players of this series who joined in during Black and White. I say this because it is absolutely impossible to catch every single Pokemon if you own just these two games.
With the latest games, Black 2 and White 2, it is impossible to capture all 649 Pokemon. You need the support of previous games in the series to capture all of the many different monsters available in the Pokemon.
With the jump to the Nintendo 3DS, it will be even harder for newcomers in the series to access what will be over 700 different species in existence.
Developers need to fix this problem for newcomers. Back at the first generation, it was simple to catch every Pokemon. You needed Red and Blue and that was it. Two games; 151 Pokemon; one game system.
In order to accomplish this monumental task now, you need Fire Red, Leaf Green, Diamond, Pearl, Heart Gold, Soul Silver, White and Black. EIGHT DIFFERENT GAMES.
For long term fans, this can be done with some difficulty. For newcomers, this task is nearly impossible unless you decide to cheat and use Game Shark or hacking. You would even need to make sure you had a Nintendo DS with a Game Boy Advance port to pull this off, which I believe developers don’t even make anymore.
If you put all species of Pokemon in the two versions of this game, it becomes entirely possible to capture them all, making it fair for everybody involved; new gamers and old gamers alike.
3. Cross-Generation Evolution
You know what I find the most interesting aspect of every new generation of Pokemon game? Seeing how the developers are going to build upon the families of Pokemon that are already established.
Honestly, what made Diamond, Pearl and Platinum so amazing was seeing new evolutions of some of your old favorites. Magmar was evolved into Magmortar, Electabuzz evolved into Electivire, Magneton evolved into Magnezone. The list of new evolutions went on and on as 29 new Pokemon were introduced based on past evolutionary steps.
The best part of this is seeing the many faces of Eevee. This guy is the most unique of all, as they have so far introduced 7 different ways to evolve Eevee in three different generations of the game. With 17 different types of Pokemon, this guy’s family covers 8 of them. I would love to see them cover all of the different types by the time Pokemon has run its course.
Of course, I am not asking for an additional 9 Pokemon to be created based on one little Eevee. Just give me three new forms in X and Y and I’ll be fine!
2. A Pokemon that’s truly Legen… Wait for it… Dary!
Each game in the series introduces a new group of legendary Pokemon. A legendary is basically a god-like monster that you get to command the powers of to trounce anything that stands in your path.
The fourth generation of Pokemon (Diamond, Pearl and Platinum if you are still with me) set the bar extremely high by giving you amazing creatures that had control of time and space, not to mention the God Pokemon Arceus.
Yes, God in this world can be captured with a Pokeball.
The challenge here is what will Pokemon X and Y do for its legendaries? Power creep has reared its ugly head in this universe, leaving Black and White’s legendary offering a little ordinary and lackluster. The announcement trailer for this game showed two potentially legendary monsters, but we will need more details before we can make a judgement on this one.
Aside from legendaries included in the game, there are also event Pokemon that up the ante as well, but with a game series that is going into six generations, this brings its own unique challenge…
1. Make All Event Pokemon Available for New Gamers!
One of the most infuriating parts of new Pokemon games for new gamers is that moment you realize that it is totally impossible to capture all legendaries and all event Pokemon in the game.
Certain even Pokemon only come up in the generation that they were released for. Barring special events, its unlikely that new players will ever be able to catch these legendary and illusive pieces of DLC.
And yes, that is exactly what Event Pokemon are. DLC for Nintendo’s greatest money making franchise.
This includes fan favorites like Mew, Celebi (remember when I talked about this guy almost a year ago?), Jirachi, Deoxys, Manaphy (and its spawn Phione), Darkrai, Shaymin and the god Pokemon Arceus.
Let’s not forget Generation V’s additions to the list… Victini, Keldeo, Meloetta and Genesect. With the sudden announcement of Generation VI, Pokemon X/Y, the Black and White era of the series is the only generation that has not seen all of the event Pokemon made available through DLC, Mystery Gift, in-store events or any other means.
In other words, if you started playing Pokemon with White and Black, you cannot catch em’ all. Hopefully, this is something that the developers will remedy with X and Y by making all event Pokemon available, along with Legendaries from the previous generation.
There you have it, these are my ten suggestions of what needs to be included in Pokemon X/Y in order to make it the best experience the series has seen to date. If you made it through to the end of this article, I congratulate you! Seriously though, are these requests THAT unreasonable? What do you think?