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My Issue with the Pokemon Series

Discussion in 'Pokémon General' started by Wizard, Jan 15, 2019.

  1. Wizard

    Wizard Do you feel it? The moon's power!

    Level 1
    Jan 18, 2016
    This is something that has been on my mind the last several months as I've taken yet another break from playing Pokémon. I'll be honest, this thread has some bias in it, but I just want to analyze where Pokémon is right now and what kind of games they are.

    I'll just state it flatly: other than the actual Pokémon, the Pokémon franchise is largely lacking in creativity, good story, and many things that a good game needs. This isn't to say that the whole franchise is dumpster fire and deserves to be thrown in the Indian Ocean, of course not. However, I have some major bones to pick with a lot of choices the series has gone through lately. I know a lot of people won't share my sentiments, but as a Pokémon fan, I feel like I need to let this out so I can actually put my feelings into words. My words are entirely subjective.

    First, there are many great things about the series. Gamefreak has designed HUNDREDS of beautiful Pokémon, with very few bad designs (I'm looking at you, Seel). These are gaming icons in their own right, are creative, and have a ton of variety. Other than the occasional lame design, they are overall great and amazing. This is a major part of the success of the series.

    Second, the music. THE MUSIC. I have zero complaints about the music. It's perfect, fun, and seems to always fit the mood. 11/10.

    With that out of the way, I'll now talk about my least favorite thing with Pokémon. I'll acknowledge that the series is directed towards people of all ages. There are many franchises that get it right, I'm okay with a kid friendly game. HOWEVER, this game just lacks majorly in the good story department. Out of all the major, mainstream Pokémon games, which one has a story/plot that match up to other major video games? None that I can think of. Generation VII had a nice attempt at making a story, but it dragged on and wasn't that appealing. Generation V has a reputation among some to have a good plot. To that I say that they both have intriguing characters, but still a lackluster plot. There were good moments in both, but compared to the rest of gaming? It just doesn't stand out.

    This series is living far below its potential. I'm not saying that this series is terrible, because it isn't, there is so much good in it. However, when people say they are recycling the same game, that is hardly an exaggeration. Generation VII tried to mix it up, but it still felt like the same generic plot. Continuity is great and all, but this series needs new life. Think about other franchises and how they are adapting to modern gaming. Breath of the Wild and Mario Odyssey are both easily among the best games in the franchise. They stuck to major parts of why their series are good, and improved and expanded on it. The result? Two classic games that will likely go down as masterpieces.

    Due to the popularity of Pokémon, I don't think it's in danger of shutting down. BUT, there are many people who are hungry for significant change. This series has shown promises of better stories and mechanics (I'm looking at you Mystery Dungeon, Colosseum, and Gale of Darkness).

    Tl;dr This is what I want:

    I want the series to do something daring and bold, and to explore! We have seen the same formula for too long, and I want something new. Please, consider adding something to your next games to make them worthwhile. Whether it be a great plot, an open world, or virtual reality, I want something that will make me want to play Pokémon again.

    If you read that, props to you. My opinions are my opinions, and you aren't wrong if you disagree. I want to see your thoughts in the comment section. What are your issues with the Pokémon series? Do you think its perfect? What changes do you want to see? What are the pros and cons of continuing the current pattern?
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    Neb, Dawn, FireSpartan5 and 2 others like this.
  2. Hraesvelgr

    Hraesvelgr Snek in Your Boot

    Zapdos Egg
    (Zapdos Egg)
    Level 21
    Aug 2, 2014
    Trainer Card - Cave ThemeDragon Fang ★★★★Philosopher's CowlWater Stone ★★★Great Ball ★★
    My issue, simple. They've become even more linear and I didn't think that was possible for something that's already considered linear. Give us a little more freedom, Gen 7 was way too much with the hand holding and constant guiding and coddling.
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  3. RadEmpoleon

    RadEmpoleon certified EPIC Gamer™ (they/them)

    Level 15
    Jun 4, 2018
    Comet Shard ★★★★Poké Doll ★★
    Assuming they decide to continue the “evil team” theme, can we have some kind of twist? For example- you get recruited to join the team and it’s not a tease like in UsUm. Or your rival is part of the evil team. Speaking of rival, can they not be your “friendly rival”? Hau and Trace are jokes. Can we have a rival who’s tough and not a blow-over? If I think of anything else to add, I’ll edit later.
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    Laserdragon14 likes this.
  4. Moonstruck-Mist

    (Shaymin (Sky))
    Level 35
    Feb 2, 2017
    Times are rough, games are new. With a new generation of players coming in, you want people to know what to do and all that, and that's fine. But the audience is growing hungry for something new and fresh. Not new Pokémon, but a new story that actually has some purpose. Mystery Dungeon and the Ranger titles were great examples in my opinion, but the thing is that the story has been starting to lack in purpose and hook - when was the last time they made a Ranger game?

    But you do make great points. With how popular the game is, they can risk a bad game for once. Zelda had some bad games, Smash was... questionable, and most great games that run today had awful starts. It's not all about quantity. Sometimes, you need to take a break, make a good story, and execute it.
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  5. Nova Ozuka

    Nova Ozuka Hex Maniac

    Level 25
    Jan 11, 2017
    I'll admit. I actually do prefer the PMD spin offs to the main series. Though, that is because I enjoy playing as the Pokémon more than the trainer. That is also what I found fun about the Pokepark games: playing as a Pokémon in the overworld. As a trainer, the most you do is give orders, run/walk around or ride a Pokémon, and catch and raise Pokémon. But in the PMD and Pokepark spin offs, you ARE the Pokémon, which puts you in the center of the action.

    I kind of want to see something similar to the Let's Go approach on catching the Pokémon, but I want the battles to feel more like that you are the Pokémon rather than the trainer.

    Furthermore, Let's Go was much more open than the original RBGY were. As soon as you reach Fuschia City, the rest of the game cracks almost completely wide open, because you get a chance to surf to Cinnabar Island, the Seafoam Islands, and the Power Plant, meaning you can take on the 5th, 6th, and 7th gyms in whatever order you please and even catch Articuno and Zapdos early, as I have done in both versions of the game.

    Now that I think about, why not let us visit the gyms or whatever in whatever order we want and just have the difficulty scale with the number of badges? We could maybe have the wild Pokémon scale too. Gen 7 has already shown us that it doesn't have to be gyms. Not sure about making them optional like the Divine Beast in BotW were.

    Heck, even the Remote Bombs in BotW seem to be optional. Picked up any bomb arrows? Use them to clear the obstacles instead. Should work in theory, but I'm getting off track.

    Story? I admit, they could do better. I'm not going to try and belt out ideas here, because I may as well make my own fan game at that point. Maybe something with multiple teams like RSE? Or maybe a team that isn't inherently evil. I don't know, and really I don't care as long as it looks promising.
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  6. WavePearl

    WavePearl Believer in Possibilities

    (Shaymin (Sky))
    Level 31
    Nov 22, 2012
    For me, I feel that there's so much potential in the games that could easily work in the show, or adapted better than they were (example: Contests--I felt that the game rules could feasibly work in the show, and so I don't understand why there's battling in Contests when the whole point of a Contest was to give you a break from battling.)

    Secondly, dramatically reduce the appearance of or delete Team Rocket. In writing my own "remixes" of the show, I've found that you can take Team Rocket out and still have a perfectly decent plot.
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  7. FireSpartan5

    FireSpartan5 Pokémon Professor

    (Genesect Egg)
    Level 5
    Jan 16, 2017
    Cooler Gary Oak ★★★★★Tapunium Z ★★★★★Choice Specs ★★★★★Flame Orb ★★★★★
    I agree with you. Gen 5 and 7 had good characters, such as Lillie, N, and Guzma, but characters alone can’t make a plot good. The plot of Pokémon games is one of the things that I find lacking, and while I love the battle system, and the Pokémon are great, I wish there was more to the story. Mystery Dungeon Games aren’t amazing in terms of plot, but they are pretty good, and easily beat even Gens 5 and 7. Lillie’s arc was the only real story in Sun and Moon, and they practically cut it out completely in USUM for more gameplay mechanics. I loved Odyssey and BotW, and agree that they innovate well, but I disagree about them having good plot, if that’s what you are referring to. Odyssey was the usual Mario game in plot, it’s the mechanics that changed for the better. And in BotW, it was the backstory and lore that were impressive, not the plot. The open world was a great touch, but some of the things that came with it, like weapon durability, are simultaneously interesting and infuriating. Overall, I say that Pokémon should have a more open world approach in the mid-game, starting around the second gym. Maybe let the game guide you like usual until shortly after the first gym, then introduce you to the evil team before letting you roam as you wish.
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  8. SyWry

    Legendary Egg
    (Rayquaza Egg)
    Level 1
    Jan 16, 2017
    What I would like to see the series do is stop trying to make the perfect pasta sauce, and start making the perfect pasta sauces. I think Pokémon will succeed dramatically if there is no longer one main series game, but instead five or seven main series game each with their own mechanics that appeal to different audiences. One could be the usual that were used to, another could be an open world, another could be a JRPG style with deep plots and long stories, another could be a MMORPG (WHY HAVEN'T YOU MADE THIS!), a RTS, etc. This is what I think will bring Pokémon into a new line of success, but will be hard to pull off, and I have in illusions that it will happen. They would have to hire tons of people to work on these projects all at once, but I think that nintendo can do it. Think of the revenue that would come from just seven different Pokémon games being produced in a year, yeah the upkeep will be horrendous, but I think the revenue will support it. Not to mention experts on each topic are all over the video game market, and you can easily hire a massive development team to undertake these huge tasks.
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  9. Wolf Expert

    Wolf Expert Canine Scholar

    Level 24
    Jun 27, 2017
    Moon Ball ★★★★Love Ball ★★★★★Premier Ball ★Friend Ball ★★★★Luxury Ball ★★★
    They could do so much more with the switch games, and so I'm really looking forward to gen 8. Just look at Breath of the Wild and Odyssey. Those were great games that showed off the switch's potential for large, open world content. People complain about HMs a lot, but I liked the feeling of my Pokémon getting stronger so that I could explore more areas. If there was a better replacement for HMs that allowed them to stagger the amount of areas you can access right away, they could do a pretty great open world game with more of an emphasis on exploration for the sake of actually searching for and finding Pokémon, rather than just running back and fourth through grass for 20 minutes and the occasional static encounter.

    The problem is that with Pokémon games, level grinding is kind of an inevitability, so the story progresses in very obvious "segments" and feels a little flat. I think if there were more open world areas to explore, that would give more of an opportunity to level grind while actually DOING something. (again, other than just running back and forth in a single patch of grass for 2 hours before progressing the story.) It might encourage more resource management too in terms of buying healing items. I pretty much never do, except right before the elite four. Having an open world Pokémon game would solve a lot of
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  10. Neb

    Neb Cosmog Enthusiast

    (Flabébé (O))
    Level 19
    Nov 4, 2018
    GS Ball ★★★★★Love Ball ★★★★★Poké Ball ★Potion ★Oran Berry ★★
    I think Gamefreak has put too much emphasis on battling and not enough on the core journey. Every generation since 5 added some major new battle mechanic and made competitive battling more accessible. While this isn’t a bad thing, it has led the games to having less postgame content. Games like HGSS DPP, andB2W2 had so much to do after the credits rolled. New areas, more than one battling area, distinct minigames you could put large amounts of time into. It seemed like they wanted each game to have as much longevity as possible. Now they’re more focused on streamlining competitive battling and shiny hunting. If you aren’t into those side activities, you’re kind of out of luck after the end credits.

    While this expectation is unlikely, I’d love for the next games to be open world with Pokémon levels scaling to your own. This would allow for a more flexible experience and encourage both replayability as well as exploration. Imagine filling your own region map as you find new exciting Pokémon. The postgame could be as long as you like. You could focus on building the perfect team or just explore everything the world has to offer.
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  11. Rezna

    Rezna Every Day's Great at Your Junes!

    Why do eggs break ffree
    (Groudon Egg)
    Level 1
    Dec 11, 2017
    Thunder Stone ★★★Water Stone ★★★Dawn Stone ★★★★Cooler Gary Oak ★★★★★Legendary Triforce ★★
    I'm just gonna make this long story short, because I'm too lazy to explain.

    Gameplay = good, plot = bad
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  12. Talarc

    Talarc Swimmer

    Level 11
    Sep 9, 2014
    I definitely feel as though Pokémon games have become much more linear these days. I enjoyed BW, but the fact that Unova was effectively just a straight line just made it feel very boring. Things improved a little in BW2, and in XY as well, but the problem remained. It only got worse in Alola. I think that the story and the gyms need to be kept more separate, so you have more freedom with choosing which gyms to challenge and sometimes have to backtrack to do things for the story. If there are multiple routes forward and different orders the gyms can be challenged, then it helps make the region feel more organic and open.

    And cutscenes. I don't mind cinematics, but there have been way too many cutscenes in recent Pokémon games.

    I'm not hugely keen on the direction gameplay has taken recently either. In Gen VII, I often felt like battles boiled down to just 'hit the enemy and defeat them before they hit and defeat you.' in a way that I didn't in previous generations. In Gen IV, for instance, it felt like there was a place for status moves and deeper strategy in battles. In SM, using a status move feels like a waste when the other pokémon will knock off a vital 1/3 of your health with its next move.

    I feel like there's room for a character who's the protagonist's friend, but it's time we returned to having a proper rival as well. It would also be nice to have a female rival for a change.
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  13. Absolute Zero

    Absolute Zero The second seal

    Level 19
    Mar 17, 2015
    Pokémon is the postgame... everything before the E4 is just a long tutorial. At first I meant that as a neutral thing like "you're complaining about something that isn't even the actual game", but now that I think about it, that shouldn't be just a long tutorial, it should be an actual game.

    I think Pokémon is afraid to make itself too different for a good capitalist reason. For a single game in Red and Blue, it was an interesting concept: you're going on a pilgrimage of mastering a combat sport while also fighting the mafia. That was a winning formula, and people loved it, and they kept it the same (except replacing the mafia with terrorists) because it worked. If Pokémon becomes an open world game, it might not work any more, and they might lose customers, and they might be out of the job. A selfish but valid reason to be safe.

    I don't think open world is the answer, at least not fully open world. Maybe take a note from LoZ A Link Between Worlds and have the first 3/8 MacGuffins be in any order and then the remaining 5/8 be in any order once the first three are done, or perhaps from Assassin's Creed Origins in which the main story takes you on a guided tour of the world but you can leave it behind to go ahead or stay behind and have lots to do away from it either way. And to be sure, linear games can be good games. Compare LoZ Ocarina's "go to a temple, get an item, use that item to defeat a boss, gain a gem/medallion, Navi tells you where to go next" to Pokémon's "go to a town, catch a Pokémon, use that Pokémon to defeat a gym leader, gain a badge, rival goads you where to go next". The exact same five steps linearly repeated can work.

    As for the story aspect, I don't know a good way to replace it. The idea of a pilgrimage while fighting an escalating battle against an association of baddies seems satisfactory to me. I'm an eleven-year-old-kid, I don't need to unravel a conspiracy to usurp the throne or navigate a civil war by taking sides or stop the genocide of the elves or be designated The Chosen One by the gods and fulfill a prophecy of stopping the demon invasion. I just want to get good at my combat sport, defend myself against the bully who taunts me, and find out that I'm good enough at my combat sport to overcome the grownups who want to do bad stuff. I'm satisfied with that story, and as tl;dr with the mainseries as a whole.
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