I saw many other posts about this topic and thought I would throw out some of the ideas that have occurred to me whilst playing these games since yellow. The Switch definitely provides the best opportunity for the Pokemon franchise to innovate since the jump from Gameboy to Gameboy advance. Let me know what you think of the ideas and what you would like to see in the not-to-distant future.
-In a nod to the Gen I games, start the game off with a blank slate in terms of move information. Tailoring games to kids is essentially handicapping them. Here’s how to catch a pokemon, here’s a pokedex, here’s a rival, no idea what these moves do or what type they are or what type is effective against other pokemon, or what type those pokemon are… good, have fun.
-The combat system in pokemon is really well fleshed out and developed, turn-based combat should stay. Analyzing typing, remembering abilities, and then deciding on a move or withdrawing would be difficult under time pressure. Also, a pokemon waking up right after throwing a pokeball would be more annoying than SOS battles.
-5-6 moves in move-pool. There are too many good moves and only 4 slots!
-Pokemon that follow the trainer, and let me ride horse pokemon.
-Ditch the pokeriding uniforms and designated fishing spots. Let me fish wherever I want and don’t only give me a 1% chance of fishing something up.
-Make all Pokemon breedable and make “shiny” heritable. I want to raise a Lugia, Mewtwo, Mew, Archeas from level 1, and have a golden magikarp hatch from a red gyrados’ egg!
-Streamlining items and item uses. Why does Leafeon need to visit a stone in the forest when there is a leaf stone, and can there ever be another region without this forest stone? Different systems involving items have been added in whole and in part from each successive pokemon title and without a major overhaul, no amount of bag sorting is going cure this Byzantine redundancy. This could be accomplished by decreasing the massive list of one-time obtainable unique items, and introducing a crafting system that can be used to fashion a wide range of simple ingredients into specific multi or single use items.
-Puzzles, Dungeons, and the juxtaposition between old (ruins) and new (Casinos / Submarine facility) that pokemon has done so well in the past
-Play to pokemon’s strengths by using them to build and interact with the world. Possibly the largest pool of untapped potential for HM moves, is not scaling up intractable and destructible environments in the games. Digging out caves, laying foundations for buildings and clearing rubble, cutting grass and vines, pushing things around, diving underwater, freely flying around the map, melting ice or making ice paths, using vines to move vertically, etc… ie. using different types of pokemon to affect similar changes in the world around you. Although pokeride took away HM mules, it really was just used as a way to get around land, sea, or air.
-A new large region with all or nearly all the pokemon until now would be great. One of the most exciting features of X/Y was the huge diversity of pokemon from area to area. Although I love nearly all of the pokemon games, it is important that they move forward before synthesizing or revamping old regions. They should also avoid limiting the number of pokemon in a platform transition (like with Ruby and Sapphire), even if they carry over pokebank compatibility.
-Improve your hometown / build your own community and allow for the recruitment of various trainers through quests or battles: 1) Pokemon Researchers to study different aspects of Pokemon. One that studies moves, giving information on them (Damage, information, typing, effectiveness) and developing TM’s (and HM’s). Another professor to study pokemon and continually add information on pokemon you’ve captured (we can finally have more than a one sentence blurb). 2) Add breeders that can inform you about EV’s, IV’s, Natures, breeding for certain outcomes, can alter natures, train EV’s, and give information about evolution. 3) A pokeball maker like Kurt who can progressively make better pokeballs with more customizable parameters (balls that capture legendaries, mythicals, pokemon types, pokemon in specific environments, etc) using progressively rarer items. 4) A Pokemon trader that offers random pokemon trades everyday and gives you the option of trading back your newly evolved Alakazam, Gengar, Steelix, etc.
-As a corollary, expand the pokeworld beyond battling to include specialty trainers like:
1) Hikers, who gather stones, minerals, fossils 2) herbalists that gather plants, herbs, and make potions 3) Engineers to power the town, make inventions (new technologies to craft), design building types 4) Builders and Smiths to build structures, and craft certain materials 5) Farmers and Ranchers to deal with poke-berries / beans / apricorns, etc, and Ranchers to harvest goods from pokemon like wool, milk, electricity, etc. 6)Bug-catchers to harvest insect goods like silks and spores
giving a better idea how a world with pokemon actually functions --- and more importantly giving you better reason to catch pokemon, level them up and, catch or breed more than one of each pokemon species.
-Building a pokemon gym or other structure to host regular battles (in a similar fashion to the battle chateaux in X/Y), a pokemon daycare for breeding, research labs for pokemon study, and other areas suited to trainer features.
-New pokemon; always more to collect, new types, new uses, new favorites. Completely new forms that have a more simplistic design would be welcome (zubat is just sexier looking than noibat and woobat—more is not always better) as well as fleshing out some of the evolutionary lines to make defunct pokemon more relevant (ie. farfetch’d or a baby Kangaskahn). More prehistoric and extinct pokemon fossils (that don’t all have rock typing) along with temporal variants could be really cool. Regional variants are always welcome… with a national pokedex showing that variation.
-New pokemon type. Something like “radioactive” or “were-type” could be cool. Wasn’t a huge fan of Ultra-beasts… extraterrestrial generally beats out extradimensional.
-Ditch the over-reliance on limited-time distribution events, and allow mythical pokemon to be captured in-game. Shiny or aesthetic pokemon with unique items are fine to distribute, but don’t take away my chance at finally getting Mew or Archeas by missing an event and never putting them in a game.
-Re-challenge gym leaders and trainers with something like “Vs. Seeker” from FLG. So nice to earn money and get more experience. Having them scale in level based on number of badges, story progression, or average level of your pokemon team.
-Useful regional NPC’s that do useful things like give you items or tell you what pokemon can be caught in their area, and how rare or common they are. Instead of relying on technology like in OAS, you can actually get information from the people native to an area.
-Wonder trade, Pokebank, and online battles were great ways of integrating pokemon games with the internet… festival plaza… not so much. -Pokemon refresh was definitely a step up from pokemonAmie. Affection is a worthwhile addition, but entertainment and fullness are pretty useless. It would also be nice to increase friendship in a similar way. Increasing base stats through Training in X/Y was a good concept, especially for getting stones, but would be nice to actually increase the hard numbers like HPup, protein, etc. used to do.
-Mega Evolution and Z-moves, although interesting new mechanics, could really use streamlining to make them less clunky. Mega-evolution could really use a revamp to decrease clutter with held-items and item storage, and a greater focus on underpowered pokemon and Z-moves might be better replaced with a dedicated z-move for each pokemon as a 5th move-slot instead of super-imposing another item system. These have the potential to become really unwieldy without streamling.
- Antagonists haven’t been too inspiring so far… Instead of having large criminal organizations, it would be nice to have multiple decentralized smaller groups with morally grey objectives that could be fought against or joined (ala. Skyrim), giving more pokemon-human lore and less duality (ie. not status quo vs. new ideal – The conservative good guy vs. the progressive bad guy). Political, archaeological, cultural, anthropological, and scientific organizations would all be interesting to explore. If an archetypal bad-guy is required, then please, no pokemon theft or satire thereof.
-Many of the above concepts would work really well in the modern background of western de-industrialization and the drying up of communities big and small. For example, having two rival regions representing the post-industrial 1st world, and developing 2nd or 3rd world could be a really interesting and relevant angle.
-Pokemon has had many references to space and extraterrestrial pokemon, could be interesting to set the next game on colonizing a moon or new world… or at least a post-game quest.
-While an open-world pokemon game has a lot of potential, I think it would be better for the first Pokemon Switch game to focus on consolidating and streamlining old concepts, re-emphasizing an interactive and destructible world, and getting the balance between story and gameplay right.
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