Pokemon 3DS; Three Easy Things to Make It Better
As a series, Pokemon doesn’t really seem to move on that much. Ever since the days of Red and Blue back in the 90s, the formula’s been the same old ‘eight gyms then elite four then bonus content’ thing, the number of moves or Pokemon you can have has always been four and six respectively and the series hasn’t seem to have evolved that much over time. But with Black and White slowly sprucing up the aging series formula and making the gameplay more entertaining, here are some things they should do when the sixth generation comes around:
1. Seperate HMs and their in battle and out of battle uses
Because while the current system makes sense to some degree because of gameplay reasons, it really makes the games much more annoying than they should be. Not being able to delete HM moves? Good idea in stopping players getting stuck, but it simultaneously stops them getting rid of a useless move once the next puzzle’s out the way. Forcing players to have them as part of a Pokemon’s moveset? Means players either have to rely on ‘HM Slaves’ and have only half a team or fill their best Pokemon’s limited movesets with useless moves.
Wouldn’t it be better if you could use HMs outside battle without wasting a move slot?
The answer to this would be to have the option to teach a Pokemon a move like Strength or Surf for out of battle use, but not require it to be part of their moveset in battle. Hence you’d never forget the move or get stuck because it becomes merely a menu option when traversing the ‘field’. Of course, there’d still be a way to teach these moves so they could be used in battle if the player wanted, but they’d act like normal moves do and could be replaced as easily as any other.
Other ‘field’ usable moves like Teleport, Dig and Rock Smash could be used the same way.
2. Make the region a lot larger and with more choice in how you progress
So instead of just having eight gyms and the elite four, you have more of a choice. The region would be about three or four times larger than any of the others in the series, and you’d have about 20 or so different towns to go to instead of about 10.
What all regions put together looks like. Imagine a game where you could explore a single area as large as this and choose where to go in any order..
But this doesn’t mean the game would necessarily be ridiculously long or that it’d take forever to reach the Pokemon league. No, it’d be more like the anime series where there were multiple sets of gyms you could challenge and where eight was merely the number of badges you needed to challenge the elite four, not the total number attainable in the region. You wouldn’t be railroaded into a linear path that takes you past every possible point of interest in the area, you’d have the choice of where to go, what missions to complete and what badges to earn.
From the anime, but imagine if we got to choose what set of badges to go after!
To make this fairer, the levels of opponent Pokemon wouldn’t be preset. So there’d be no area that necessarily has tougher Pokemon or more challenging trainer battles, it’d change depending on what order you visit the different towns and landmarks. Hence before you’ve got any badges, all the Pokemon you face would be between level 2 and level 10, and after each badge all the Pokemon and trainers in parts of the world not yet visited would get stronger. But for the ones you already encountered? They don’t change, the game sets the levels of wild Pokemon in stone after you visit a route for the first time.
Presumably the levels and evolution status of Pokemon used by gym leaders would set in a similar way. So the first gym you visit would have the weakest Pokemon, the final gym the strongest.
Also just like the anime series there’d be various optional towns and areas with no gyms or badges, maybe with their own problems to solve. Like the Sevi Islands in Fire Red and Leaf Green I suppose.
There would also be less of a fixed storyline. Sure the evil team would cause trouble, maybe attack the league near the end of the game and have a hideout to attack, but they wouldn’t just mess around with the same areas every time. Instead, whenever you went a city they could potentially take over at the right point in the game, they’d have set up shop there and have to be driven out.
With this major change, every game of Pokemon could be played completely differently and the replay value would be increased at least tenfold. And the world the games are set in would feel much more real with more places to go and more choices in general, right?
3. Allow for movement in more than four directions
Really now, even SNES games gave you more choice in what directions to walk in than any Pokemon games do, and it seems almost pathetic you’re still limited to four basic directions on the D Pad.
Similarly, it’d be pretty neat if enemy trainers could also approach you diagonally, or see your character approaching from any direction like in more realistic stealth like games.
Just give us a control scheme that works better than those in games made ten or twenty years ago and it’s all good.
Well, those are the things I’d change in the Pokemon series for the inevitable 3DS versions/sixth generation. There were going to be more things listed, but Pokemon Black and White seemingly fixed most of the main gameplay problems with the series (like the TMs being one use only and battles taking too long), so it’s really only the stuff mentioned that needs to be improved anyway.
Do you agree the ideas above would improve the Pokemon series? If not, what things would you change instead?