Thoughts on the future of the series.(kinda long read)

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    Registered User fawfulmark2's Avatar
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    Default Thoughts on the future of the series.(kinda long read)

    Recently, I have been wondering about the future of the Pokemon games. Maybe it's because of all the episodes of Zero Punctuation and Extra Credits I've been watching recently, but I worry about this series. Now there is no denying these games are addictive and fun, but once you get that little bit out of the way, the Pokemon series has been suffering from a fear of progression in the core gameplay fundamentals, especially compared to other Major Nintendo series.

    Allow me to explain. With the Mario series, a common criticism is that the main story is always the same basic Mario(Popeye) must save Peach(olive oil) from Bowser(Bluto) ploy, however no one plays this series for the story-they come for the unique gameplay and innovative stages and features that it brings to itself and the medium, from scrolling screens to playing with gravity and motion controls. (Recent games have been having issues with advancing the medium, but that's a story for another topic.) Zelda has fairly good stories(not OH MY GOD, but still great), but again, one of the things that makes it great lies in the sense of exploration and adventure, and the deceptively easy puzzles that make you feel like you'll never beat it, then take a moment of pause and see the solution was in front of you the whole time.

    Metroid takes the best of both worlds-the platforming of Mario and the exploration of Zelda-but gets a step above by integrating the story and narrative with the game so the player sees it happening- you are there in Super Metroid seeing the theft of the infant, forcing your return to a fallen world that has you interacting with creatures that help you, you see yourself fighting an unstoppable bieng, only then to see that who you pursue save you and tragically die in the process. You are there in Metroid Prime, wandering through the remains of Tallon, learning the history of the Chozo and their downfall. You are experiencing the immense fear in Fusion, being pursued by a foe far beyond you that you must grow stronger to defeat. This is why many complained about the Other M game-it removed the sense of discovery by giving you everything, and reduced the story role to hours of cutscenes, a la Metal Gear. But that type of story just doesn't work for a series like Metroid, as we have seen in that game.

    Now with Pokemon, it seems like a reverse Mario-the story has gotten much better over the years, but the gameplay has been left the same to stagnate. I mean let us look at the story-it went from a child on an adventure to become the best trainer in the world while fighting a criminal group, to the story of a newer generation seeking the same goals in an older changed world, to a superhero-esque plot where you must stop 2 warring factions who seek to destroy the world with their actions, to the story of a struggle against a man who despises the flaws of humanity and seeks to make the world anew, to the story of a tortured child manipulated by a blind truth to believing the only way to bring balance and peace is to recreate everything with his ideal way. But outside of these baby steps, the main niche of “hunt down a bunch of creatures, explore a linear path that leads to battles against 8 dudes, then beat 4 more dudes and some super trainer and win” has never changed in the last 15 years.

    Now you may argue that there have been changes over the years-the day/night cycle, the introduction of items, abilities, genders, IVs, and EVs, the Physical/special split, the Dream world- but it still never advanced the core, like how Mario bros 3 added a mapway with houses and the like, or Link to the Past integrating 2 parallel worlds to solve the ultimate journey. These are added to advance the post game to appease the competitive scene, which is fine and all, but in the end most of them aren't even playing the main game proper-they just use new games for reference to add additions to simulators, where a majority of competitive play takes place. The reason why the original Pokemon games were so widely praised was because they redefined the handheld RPG-they introduced the concept of exploration and team structure while incorporating a system that made an interactive experience for multiple people and a sense of a journey. this is why the first 5 games have 10s from IGN(seriously, look it up), because it brought something new at the time.
    But then....they stopped. They resigned to the ”if it ain't broke, don't fix it” mentality, not advancing the formula that they made. Ironically, most of the spinoffs-Mystery Dungeon with the challenging roguelike mentality, Pokemon Snap with a new take on searching for the beasts for something other then combat, and Pokemon Conquest with a new take on how to strategically use your monsters outside of the whole “define EVs & IVs, see it's coverage, and exploit abilities/STAB moves” strategy we've had since gen 3. why not find ways to incorporate these these into the core rather then keep them aside from the core gameplay? I mean you even seperated the advancinly better story from the main meat of the gameplay, as all the major features in Gen 5 happen post game instead of during.

    Now you may argue that the point of pokemon is the sense of collection and completion. Well, I think that them has been abandoned for quite some time. Now Pokemon isn't about finding all themysterious beings anymore,but moreso collecting troops of various types for an immense army to assist you in the long run and variously switching between them. This is why some characters like Pikachu and Jigglypuff have decreased in popularity, because while having one is cool in the cuteness factor, they are useless in the long run because they bring nothing useful to the mian goal of having a complete team. Getting the Ultra rare stuff isn't as interesting as it used to be, since 4 out of 5 times they are illegal to use online and in some certain spots in-game, so they mostly sit in PC boxes as trophies never to be used. There isn't even much will to try and “Catch them all” anymore, because either they are pointless to obtain(seriously,would you even bother with Luvdisc if it didn't give Heart scales?), or we resigned to the inevitability that we will never own them all, as more are always added. I mean hell, they even use that slogan anymore.

    So what do I want? Well, I would like to see them try to incorporate a system similar to modern Open-world games like GTA or Skyrim. Make it feel like we really are in a huge expansive world of discovery and mystery, and give us freedom of what to do. This is supposed to be an expansive world, so why does it feel like there is less freedom to explore then Zelda or Metroid? Why not give us the option of being like someone from Snap, rather then collecting them we take pictures, possibly to be integrated in a way to effect the immense world? Why not give the strategist who likes team management but doesn't want to go badge hunting the option to craft a masterful team with out the Level limitations, possibly with a challenge tower to appease them(maybe with some roguelike elements)? Why not give people who like just collecting them for contests or films the options to just explore those options as well aside from the main quest? Many have requested that they make an MMORPG of Pokemon, but I feel they should establish an open area of travel and freedom first.

    It seems ironic in a way that a series about growth and evolution seems to never evolve itself(excluding spinoffs). Once again, I want it known that the series is by no means terrible(Pokemon White is probably one of my 5 favorite DS games I own, along with TWEWY, Canvas Curse, Elite Beat Agents, and Bowser's Inside Story) but it doesn't change that the formula has gotten stale and flawed over the years. So this is where I turn to you all-what do you believe the series needs to have happen to gain a healthier future?

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    Registered User Anser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the future of the series.(kinda long read)

    You said what I was going to post. "Don't fix it if it's not broken".

    I've seen many, many people complaining about how linear the series has become and about how we always have to do the same. Personally, I have no problem with that. I haven't gotten bored of fighting the 8 dudes and the 4 more dudes and the super trainer. I would like, however, that the story was changed a little bit; I just don't know how. It isn't a big issue to me, to be honest. If they never change the formula, I have no problem. I've been a fan for fourteen years and I'm not planning to stop any time soon.

    Excellent thread, by the way!
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    Magical Girl Shiny Celebi's Avatar Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the future of the series.(kinda long read)

    The story is how it is for a reason. They shouldnt change it too much though little changes are ok. The fact is the games are aimed at aimed at kids, so a complicated story isn't good for them. Im a believer in " if it aint broke, don't fix it" It isn't broken yet, new mechanics and stuff refresh the series, but it probably will never change much from the general formula.

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    Registered User Anser's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the future of the series.(kinda long read)

    I'd like to add that just by making the physical/special split I'm more than happy. I can't ask for more.

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    maglev maglev's Avatar Moderator
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the future of the series.(kinda long read)

    The problem boils down to that the simplistic storyline is no longer enough to satisfy the older audience. They are children's games, so we can't expect them to have storylines with huge depth and thousands of characters. I'm getting older and I would prefer a longer more mature storyline, but it's not gonna happen because the target market is 7 year olds, and if 7 year olds can't complete the game then they are less likely to buy sequels because they are too difficult.
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the future of the series.(kinda long read)

    Personally, I don't think Pokemon has stagnated yet - the series is getting better and better every generation, and hasn't dropped at all since Gen II. But I do want a couple of changes - first, I want the games to be longer. Platinum and HGSS were really long, and I want the next game to be longer than that. I also want things like the party going from 6 members to 8, to make the game a little more fun and varied. I don't want drastic changes, just little things that will please long-time fans like myself.

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    Magical Girl Shiny Celebi's Avatar Super Moderator
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the future of the series.(kinda long read)

    Also keep in mind that with every generation, new fans join the franchise, so it's not good for them to change it too much, much like other Nintendo franchises. They have to keep some things constant and not change it too much, so both old fans and new fans can have the classic Pokemon game experience. Though they could do little things like change the number of Gym leaders, introduce new battle mechanics and systems( like triple battling and rotation battles in Black and White) These things keep fans interested in the series while still keeping the basic story. Pokemon is never going to be an overly complicated game with intense plotlines, Im pretty sure the basic battling 8 gyms, then beat the Elite 4 will stay the same as long as the series continues. If you want Pokemon games with a different story, there are a ton of spin off games like Pokemon Ranger and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, but I think we shouldn't expect the main series to change that much.

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    Default Re: Thoughts on the future of the series.(kinda long read)

    You must realize that they can't change the core gameplay entirely because look what happened to Banjo Kazooie. Also, see if you can think of an idea for a different core mechanic to replace the one used for 15 years. Game Freak has already stated that a new core gameplay will only be used for Spin-Off titles, but even then, older fans criticize them for not being like the core games. Story is perhaps the most controversial because we've got fans who play for the gameplay and those who play only for the story, not to mention to controversy surrounding Gen V, which makes it a broken fanbase.
    Last edited by Ghetsis-Dennis; 9th September 2012 at 11:24 AM.

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    Registered User rubyy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the future of the series.(kinda long read)

    alhough pokemon is AMAZING just the way it is, i must agree that it could use a little more zest in its formula. just becasue your not getting bored with the basic plot, dosent mean you cant be more entertained by it. the reason there not changing it is probably because there games are targeting a certain age group so when the kids in that age group grow up and leave that age group, the next generation who havent played any of the previous games, will think the whole "8 dudes then 4 dudes then 1 super trainer" is fun since its new to them. but by doing this there loosing alot of the people that used to play it. and although there are still many teenagers that still play it (including me and i always will) they loose alot of fans that way. they can still change things up in a way thats not more complicaded. or make 1 game for the new generation and 1 game for the older generation. an example of a change they can do is like youre a gym leader. or you play the game specializing in one type trying to become the next gym leader for that type. or they can take completely different approch were the whole region is based around this awsome annual tournament were gym leaders from around the world come to fight other gym leaders. (this is were a game were your the gym leader come in handy). these are just some ideas i made up and i have no dought that game freak and the ENTIRE POKEMON FANWORLD can come up with some new amazing ideas
    Last edited by rubyy; 9th September 2012 at 07:31 PM.

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    Waiting for Hoenn remake We'reBlastinOffAgain's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the future of the series.(kinda long read)

    Pokemon is a great series the way it is, but one day I stumbled across this video and agreed with many of the points made in it, I suggest you all watch it too.

    Beware- The guy in this video is a little bit of a genwunner, but he does have some good ideas.


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    Default Re: Thoughts on the future of the series.(kinda long read)

    one of the things i was thinking about is how you could change fights up a little without really changing the core style of the game.

    Optional voice command system which could potentionally change up the gameplay in battles and you would actually call them out. challenger calls their pokemon out first and the defender calls theirs out after to start the battle. so when you are roaming around the world youll usually have the upper hand but when actually go to challenge someone like in a gym or the league you call out your pokemon first and then they get to go second ect. keep in mind it would be a completely a optional system like the current Shift or Set battle style.

    ive actually never really been a fan of always having to start with a certain pokemon and have to go in and manually swap them around and move another one to the front of the party. you can still position your pokemon on your belt so you can take advantage of abilities like synchronize ect but it would atleast spice up the beginning of a battle a bit.

    assuming you have an sd card you could save unique nickname voice commands for your pokemon too. so if oyu have a pikachu and you name him Ralph you could record Ralph and save it to the sd card so you can say Go Ralph and send him out instea dof having to say pikachu ect.

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    Allons-y! PKMN Trainer Faye's Avatar
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    Default Re: Thoughts on the future of the series.(kinda long read)

    Pokemon seems simple at the surface, but there's so much complex hidden stuff behind the scenes, as Smogon can attest to. And even then, I don't want Pokemon to change style, ever. I've been a fan since day one, and Pokemon only continues to get better. The simple battle system is the main appeal, better than most systems other RPGs have. I've grown out of RPGs over the years, but I still play Pokemon, because it's not overly complicated. Even Platinum and BW, with their excellent story lines, weren't super over-the-top in a bad way. Pokemon is aimed for children and beginner players, like Kirby, and I think that's the charm of Pokemon. Simple gameplay. Don't change the feed of a winning horse, as they say. Pokemon has lasted this long with it's system, and it will continue to go on.
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