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Individual Values: A Pokemon Feature - Week 64: Reach for the Stars


Jonathan Higgins

Welcome to the sixty-fourth week of my Pokémon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday.

 

Now is your chance to grab Jirachi via the Nintendo Network. No trip to GameStop necessary this time; just get your Mystery Gift via any Internet connection. Every single Mythical Pokémon will be distributed during a specific month for the remainder of this year. Now may be your only chance for a really long time, to actually catch them all!

 

 

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Over the past year I“ve put together this feature, I“ve only vaguely addressed what I look for in Pokémon games. There“s a lot to be gleaned from my old Region Spotlight bits, I“m sure. But this week, like last time, I“m going to get down to the nitty-gritty. I“ve already discussed what my ideal Sun & Moon would be like. This time, I“d like to talk about what my ideal Pokémon game would be like, no holds barred. Without further ado:

 

 

 

Reach for the Stars

 

Before I make a handful of you shrink back with one of my more obtuse ideas: there are plenty of things The Pokémon Company have gotten right throughout the long history of the main games. My ideal Pokémon game would bring back the best bits of all of them before attempting to break any ground. You can expect walking animations for all known species of Pokémon, like HeartGold & SoulSilver. I“d want the DexNav“s return, as well as everything else from the previous Generation like Super Training. Give us the ability to soar through the air and swim underwater, like in modern Hoenn. They could even benefit from splitting off the story in special “Episodes” like in the Delta Episode, to properly emphasize certain characters. Give me Pokémon Platinum“s postgame--with plenty of legendaries to track down, a full Battle Frontier-styled area, and plenty of cameos.

 

Most importantly: don“t take anything integral away! So many of the Pokémon games of today feel like two steps forward, one step back. They introduce several new mechanics, but take away something players really like--in an effort to make a certain region feel “unique”.

 

My ideal Pokémon game is a blend, not an offshoot. I think I“d prefer a stunning combination of everyone“s favorite parts of the games versus something new and innovative. But just for the sake of argument: here“s something I haven“t brought up before today.

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In Pokémon X&Y, the player takes control of a single boy or girl. As their journey unfolds, they“re introduced to several “friend” characters that accompany them throughout their entire journey. I know it“s a bit of a stretch, but: what if a Pokémon game could allow you to control two people instead of just one, allowing for a total of twelve Pokémon to be carried at one time, with just one team of six [the standard] always remaining ready for battle? It would allow access to more total Pokémon while out in the field (eliminating the issues presented by HMs), but it wouldn“t significantly alter gameplay if the player only had access to one full team of six at a time--at least in my opinion. Eliminate needless grind by allowing the experience share to reach all Pokémon not in one“s PC. Let characters occasionally branch off.

 

I haven“t really thought about this idea too much, so there“s plenty of flaws. But I think my ideal Pokémon game would introduce something absolutely crazy like that--something that refreshes gameplay by allowing access to more than one team at a time, without reinventing it by only letting one person battle. The others can wait it out--or occasionally assist in double battles, like NPCs sometimes do.

 

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What do you all think? More than anything, I“d like to see the triumphant return of where the game shines brightest--its region-specific elements brought all together. But I thought I“d throw something new in the mix as well. What“s your ideal Pokémon game like? Be sure to let us know!

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