Pokemon remains as one of Nintendo’s most popular franchises, 20 years after the release of Pokemon Blue/Red. Many improvements have been made for the series over the past 20 years, including day and night cycles, double battles and 3D graphics, yet the series still has many flaws that need addressing. With the Pokemon Sun/Moon trailer being revealed recently, we look at what changes we want to be made to the series to celebrate its 20th Birthday in style!
8) Following Pokemon
Pokemon has the strange habit of introducing a popular feature, only to abandon it for the next generation. Sprites of your Pokemon following you is a great example of this. Pokemon Yellow was the first game to add the feature, although it was limited to Pikachu. It was pretty fun checking on Pikachu’s mood at any point of your journey and see the bond between you and your starter Pokemon slowly growing. So popular was this feature that Nintendo decided to bring it back for HeartGold and SoulSilver, but with any Pokemon being able to follow you. Only Game Freak know why this was abandoned for later generations, but hopefully they’ll see sense and bring it back.
7) Post-Game Content
Pokemon has actually been pretty good in this regard for some games, especially in Gold/Silver where you could explore a whole new region. It would be great if we could do something like this again, as the series can often become boring once you’ve conquered the Elite Four. Fighting Red was one of the highlights of the whole series, and he remains the toughest challenge yet. His comeback would send Pokefans crazy and only after defeating him can you truly call yourself a Pokemon Master.
6) A Great Story
Pokemon has never been known for its storytelling, even in the anime, and while we’re not expecting any masterpieces, it would be nice to have an original story which isn’t jam packed with cliches and cheese. Ruby/Sapphire arguably had the best story of the series. It wasn’t convoluted, yet it told an engaging story of two teams competing against each other to change the world’s climate. Having the extreme conditions of the sun and rain after the Legendaries were awakened really hit home the severity of the world’s danger, which just hasn’t been rivalled in a Pokemon game since. Perhaps they could do something similar in the new generation and make it permanently day/night depending on the version you purchase. Exploring the consequences of each dilemma would be interesting and give the Legendary Pokemon a greater purpose in the game rather than being a mere collectible.
5) A Better Rival
Ah, Gary Oak (aka Blue), despite your annoying bragging and whining, you were actually pretty great. Facing your rival in the original games was always a big challenge and if you were to lose, you’d be more distraught than losing against a gym leader. Unfortunately, your rivals have been getting more boring over the years. In X/Y you had 4 different rivals, but it felt more like a group of friends than a rivalry. Of course there was Serena/Calum who acted as your main opposition, but even she acted too friendly. We want someone to jeer and mock us rather than offer encouragement. We’re too busy becoming a Pokemon master to start making friends, so stop making our rivals nice Game Freak!
4) 100+ New Pokemon
One of the biggest thrills of a new Pokemon game is encountering a critter you’ve never seen before. You have no idea whether that puny looking monster could put Magikarp’s evolution into Gyarados to shame, or instead remain as useless as a Shuckle. The mystery is all part of the fun, as while we may love the original 151 Pokemon we’ve caught them countless of times. It was a little disappointing seeing how few new Pokemon there were in X/Y, but hopefully Sun/Moon will make up for that.
3) Trainers with Mega-Pokemon
I was a big fan of the introduction of Mega-Pokemon, as they added a fresh element to a series that we have been accustomed to for two decades. However, I soon found out that very few trainers owned Mega-Pokemon, with only the very elite having the privilege. This made an already easy game even easier. I actually refrained from mega-evolving my Pokemon on many occasions to keep the battles fair and competitive, and so wasted the brand new feature that had been such a heavy focus for X/Y. This is simply solved by giving more trainers the capability of mega evolution. With so many mega-evolutions already out there, and with more likely to follow, it makes sense to use them. Gym Leaders at the very least should be able to use Mega Pokemon!
2) Pokemon Cards
Pokemon games have had some decent mini-games in the past, particularly in the casinos and the beauty contests, but to be honest, they’ve rarely maintained my interest for long. After playing The Witcher 3, I was surprised to find out how much I loved playing the card game Gwent, and with Pokemon already having a popular card game, wouldn’t it make sense to introduce it to the main game? It would be pretty cool if you could go around the world searching for Pokemon cards, whether they be winnable from other trainers or attached to wild Pokemon. You could even give players the capability of trading cards online, similar to how they already do with the pocket monsters. It would be a win-win for Nintendo, as it could resurrect interest in the physical card game, which means more money for them. The more I think of this, the more I think that it’s a brilliant idea!
Special Mention) We Don’t Want HMs Anymore!
HMs have always been a big of Pokemon, but why? You can’t delete them and they take up precious space in your Pokemon’s move-list. If you don’t take up loads of your available move space with HMs then you will make certain Pokemon in your Box “HM slaves”. HM slaves will be taken out of your box every now and then to surf, cut down trees or fly somewhere – it’s a chore. Pokémon X/Y reduced the number of HMs, but I think it’s time they were completely removed from the game. HMs are mostly used to block off certain areas of the game, making sure you play through the game in the correct order, but the same thing could be achieved with items. You could get something to chop down trees, a surfboard to swim and a small plane to fly. HMs clog up the Pokemon experience, so I think it’s about time they were removed for good – Toby Saunders
1) Hard Difficulty
One of the biggest criticisms of the Pokemon series is the lack of difficulty, yet Game Freak don’t seem to be listening with each game getting easier and easier. Their argument for this is that Pokemon is aimed at children, which is understandable, but one thing they don’t seem to grasp is that a large portion of their audience is actually made up of adults. There’s no reasons why they can’t made two different difficulty setting like most games out there. Game Freak did make a “Challenge Mode” in Black & White 2, but it was only available once you’d beaten the Elite Four. What’s stopping them from having a challenge mode available at the beginning of Sun/Moon?
So there’s our for Pokemon Sun/Moon. What features do you want added to the series? Let us know below!
Ryan Jones is a writer for The Game Bolt. Being a Welshman doesn’t mean he only has sheep in his heart, as he loves film, tv and video games. Follow him on Twitter.