Welcome to the thirty-third week of my PokÃ©mon feature here on Game Podunk! In case you missed the last one, check it out! Stay tuned for future entries coming every Friday.
Last week, the Japanese PokÃ©mon Global Link service issued an announcement regarding stricter hack checks coming to the sixth generation (and presumably future) PokÃ©mon games. If you“re caught with a modified save file or modified PokÃ©mon, you won“t be able to participate with the rest of the community via Rating Battles or the Battle Competition. While the nature of these â€œchecksâ€ are ambiguous, much less how loosely or tightly defined the term â€œmodified PokÃ©monâ€ is — why this is all happening is very clear.
Apparently the save data of innocent players is being at best affected, and at worst corrupted/deleted, just by encountering hackers with modified saves via random battling online. It“s unknown if (and probably not likely that) the hackers were doing this on purpose, knowing that encountering them would lead to a loss of data... but the point still stands. Junichi Masuda actually commented on this issue via Twitter. It“s really crazy that the hacking scene — at least at one point — has gotten so bad that it“s literally corrupting or destroying the experience of other innocent players.
Maybe I“ll get into the cheating/hacking scene in these games in a future article. For now, though, especially given the recent news, I wanted to spend some time talking about save data.
In case you didn“t know already, the Nintendo 3DS features a Save-Data Backup tool that you can find under the 3DS tab via System Settings & Data Management. You can effortlessly backup and restore data from almost all of your 3DS games here, in case something goes wrong... say during a System Transfer, for example. But...there are exceptions.
You can“t back up Animal Crossing data, and you can“t back up PokÃ©mon. I mean, I certainly get the point. If you backed up your PokÃ©mon save data, then traded away any PokÃ©mon to another person“s game, then restored it & traded them back... it would make PokÃ©mon cloning and cheating easier than ever before.
But at the same time... people have been able to transfer their PokÃ©mon from one game to the next since the third-to-fourth generation, which started all the way back in 2003. Whether it was through Pal Park, the PokÃ©Transporter, or recently PokÃ©mon Bank... a small group of people (like...me for example) could potentially own PokÃ©mon special to them, PokÃ©mon that are over a decade old. The Time Travel Award offered to players who bring over PokÃ©mon from the original Ruby & Sapphire to ORAS lends credence to the fact that Game Freak knows this.
I think the time has come to offer the ability to backup your PokÃ©mon data, even if it“s to a digital cloud and behind a paywall of some sort. Call me crazy, but I would happily pay the price of a full retail game or more to recover over 719 lost PokÃ©mon and ten years of hard work, if my 3DS were ever stolen or my data corrupted. I don“t know what I would do if my save data suddenly disappeared. I can guarantee I wouldn“t start all over again, though.
Mark my words — the day PokÃ©mon stops allowing transfers from one game to the next and forces players to start all over again... is the day I make my exit from the series. Thankfully, with a subscription service like PokÃ©mon Bank being commonplace, I don“t foresee that ever happening.
Bringing up PokÃ©mon Bank is how we solve this saving problem, though. What if you could create backups of PokÃ©mon through PokÃ©mon Bank that could be restored in the event of a crisis? It could reduce cheating if you put something like this behind a paywall, and if players were only allowed to restore a certain Bank Box from a backup once per PokÃ©mon Pass period. Reduce the temptation to cheat by making restoration cost $20-60, and only able to happen once a year.
Surely this idea has potential, right? Do you have any ideas as to how to solve the saving problem without an easy exploit for cheaters? Do you think I“m wrong to keep PokÃ©mon that are important to me in my games, where I can play with and use them, versus stored away in the cloud of PokÃ©mon Bank where no data corruption can touch them? I“d love to hear your thoughts.