Update 2012-2-27: Well, now that Pokémon Black and White Version 2 have been announced, I’ll have to keep a closer watch on this article for ways on updating and maintaining this (note really) database on improvements left or new-found to make to the series.
As an adult gamer, you tend to hear the word Pokémon in two vastly different contexts among other adult gamers. The first being something to the tune of, “POKÉMON? RAGE!” Followed by various forms of shunning, and the other being “Pokémon? Awesome! Let’s play/duel/trade!”
Many gaming websites tend to fall back on the trusty, “Why Pokémon needs to die” article when they’ve run out of top 10 lists to generate hits with. Note very constructive, in my opinion.
Instead of writing about why Pokémon is old, or how the “fad” that has passed, or how much you hate that little yellow mascot and want to put him through all sorts of torture implements, why not write about what it would take to get you interested, more interested, or interested again, in playing the games?
That’s the main purpose of my “How To Better” Articles. To take my favourite games and point out all the little ways that the developers could tweak and further develop the sequels in ways that would make them more enjoyable.
In today’s case, we take the Pokémon franchise. Addictive and ever-more balanced for multi-player as each iteration is, there are always little tweaks that the developers may overlook in efforts to improve their big strengths and weaknesses.
MAIN SERIES GAMES
*Battle Speed-Up Option: Take a page out of the books of the Shin Megami Tensei bible and add a “RUSH” feature that lets you skip all the details and pass turns of battle in quick succession, having your monster use attacks either of its own choice, or by having it repeat the last command you gave it until either the battle is over, or your monster faints, or you interrupt the rush with a press of the ‘b’ button to resume command.
A lot of YouTube gamers have to speed up their Pokémon battles so that they don’t put their viewers to sleep. Gamers, especially R.P.G. gamers, can process information more quickly than game developers give them credit for.
*Incentive not to 1-Monster the game: This seems to be THE way to get through a Pokémon game, initially. Take one monster and use nothing but that one for all story-based battles. Going up against the water gym with your fire-starter? No problem, you monster will have out-levelled the type difference by the time you get to them. It’d be nice if there were more of an incentive to training a full-team of six, in keeping with the mindset that each monster has an important role to play in your adventure.
Resolved! In Black and White, there is an X.P. penalty applied to monsters that are too high a level compared to their opponents, giving the player more of an incentive to use their low-level troops in the main story!
This is by no means a complete list, and I’ll probably end up going back to it multiple times to update and change it later on, but I’ll make a quick post and link if something’s changed or updated in this article. I would encourage you to comment if you have any ideas, as well.
Points that won’t be covered in this article:
*Making a Wii main-series game: The developers have already stated that the main series will stay on portable systems. Look to my previous article about bringing Shin Megami Tensei series to the Wii, since Atlus has no problem with developing their franchise on non-portables.
*Making an MMO: I’d count that as a new Pokémon game outside the main series, or a spinoff rather than how to improve the main series.