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Power Member - Level 10
With the recent announcement of Pokémon X & Y for the 3DS, the internet has been swarming with speculation, announcements and a ton of theories about the new Pokémon. Black and White 2 were kind of a letdown for some, so many (including myself) are hoping for an evolution of the franchise with the new installments. I know my mind is literally drowning with ideas I would love to see make its way into the series, even if some of them aren’t very likely. I’m just saying, I should have the opportunity, at least once, to attack another particularly annoying trainer directly. Once would be fine.
Since I’m probably not going to get that opportunity, however, here are a few things besides the obvious graphical additions that I legitimately hope make it into X & Y.
More Distinct Differences Between Versions
Black and White took some good steps forward in this regard with a few game-specific zones, Pokémon and trainers, but it’s a far cry from the level of diversity I would like to see. Souryuu City is an old-timey town in one version, and a futuristic zone in the other. That’s an awesome idea. Imagine how cool it would be if the whole game was like that, or if they featured entirely different worlds and layouts. Black City and White Forrest were a good start, and I liked the interactivity between the two. Nintendo could really create an interesting large scale model there. Version specific legendaries are cool as well, but what about the possibility of different starter Pokémon or, gasp, entirely separate Pokedex’s.
This just leaked: The starter Pokemon will be Grass, Water and Fire types. This is big, you guys.
A More Advanced Leveling System For Pokémon
Because it is about as bare-bones as you can get. Something as simple as interactive stat point implementation or a more evinced version of ability selection would be fine, or we could go into full-on character development for each and every Pokémon. It’s whatever at this point, because anything would be better than nothing. Maybe, just maybe, let us have more than four abilities, or open up some of the restrictions on TMs a bit. It’s nice that basic elemental weaknesses are part of the game, but more could be done there. They don’t have to be so all or nothing. There should be more reasons to fall in love with a Pokémon, not less.
While We’re At It, Let Us Level Our Trainer Too
I can’t believe that this hasn’t happened yet. It’s nice having an army of experience-gaining monsters at your command, but why not give us a better reason to become attached to our avatar? Perhaps you could become more and more proficient with different types of Pokémon, or earn passive bonuses that can help you in and out of battle. Or even better, imagine that if you had a full skill tree to explore full of boosts and abilities. There has been a disconnect between me and my monster slave trainer for far too long.
A Story That Isn’t The Same As Every Other Pokémon
This is probably asking too much, but maybe it’s time for Game Freak to stretch their narrative wings just a little bit. Does this sound familiar: Kid, just reaching that “certain age” meets a professor and gets tips on monster hunting, and gets his/her first monster. The kids friends also receive his/her leftovers, and all three asynchronously travel the same path towards defeating the world’s greatest monster trainers. Along the way, they inevitably thwart some splinter group with nefarious plans, and learn a few life lessons along the way. Just saying, maybe it’s time for something new. Pokemon permadeath? Heavy themes of loss and regret? A plot twist or two? One or all of these should happen.
I didn’t choose the thug life, thug life chose me.
There Is No Reason Not To Have New Game+
I mean, really. What the heck else is there to do after beating the Elite Four…again. A few scattered “respawning” trainers isn’t going to cut it, and unless they drastically shake up the competitive multiplayer, there needs to be more endgame content. I know Pokémon was founded on trading, but this could be a practical (but still difficult) way to get all three starter Pokémon.
Evolve The Battle System
Like I said, elemental types are a good start, but there have to be more ways to enhance the combat. Double and triple battles are cool I guess, but the overreliance on opposite types make even basic strategies impossible. Right now, the strategy is pretty much “hope you have the right type and pray you don’t”. I’d like to see that reduced a bit, and more emphasis put on mid-battle swapping and perhaps even positioning. Maybe it’s time for more than one Pokémon to be the norm, not the exception. Thousands of other RPGs can’t be all wrong.