It’s becoming abundantly clear that Nintendo could have a gun to their heads and would still refuse to make a Pokemon console game, determined to keep the series relegated to handheld devices for all eternity.
Seeing as it’s been my dream to play a fully-fledge Pokemon console game for about 15 years now (no Snap, no Stadium, no playing as Mewtwo in Smash Bros.), I figure I’ll just say to hell with Nintendo and design it myself.
My ideal pair of Pokémon games would be “R” and “B,” which as you may guess, would be console-based remakes of the original Red and Blue. I understand now that the series has expanded to Turbofire Aqua and Crystal Superstar Emerald and what have you, and there are nearly a thousand Pokemon of all shapes, sizes, genders and moods. But I think for the transition to the “big screen,” it would be wise to start by going back to basics with the original Red and Blue. 150 Pokémon, plus a Mew hidden under that truck you can totally move.
But for as much as Nintendo loves doing HD remakes, I think that Pokemon Red and Blue would need more than just a simple 1:1 recreation, or else they’ll be almost comically limited in scope. Like, it would be rather ridiculous to directly translate the scale of the handheld game to a console, or else you end up with cities that are like four buildings in total, or “lengthy journeys” from town to town that equate to about thirty seconds of walking. I’m not saying Pokemon needs to be Skyrim, but it wouldn’t hurt to take at least a few cues from that game, one of the best open world RPGs in history.
I’m all for mixing up the standard formula a bit too. You should definitely not be stuck as “Red” and allowed to custom design the race/gender of your character in this day and age. And I don’t know if the game necessarily needs to progress as linearly as the series normally does, as I think it could be cool to try and get the different gym badges in any order, with enemies that scale with you to some extent, and not have you rely on certain skills (strength, surf) to progress directly from one area to another. Maybe there could be some restricted areas like that, but I don’t think the gyms need to play out in perfect linear order.
And as much as I hate to say it, I think turn-based combat needs to stay. I understand it’s blasphemy to even suggest getting rid of it in the first place, as it’s a series staple and how many RPGs work, but god, is it hard to play games like that on consoles now for me. And after spending years playing Smash Bros. as Pikachu, Mewtwo, Jigglypuff, Charizard, Squirtle and Ivysaur, I know how much fun it is to use skills in real time. But even I can’t justify a way that would work effectively in the open world, so turn-based combat can stay.
But what I DO want to avoid is the awfulness we saw in the ancient Pokemon Stadium, where if you did a move like say, Super Punch, a little fist icon would simply appear on your opponent’s face and they would wince. This is as opposed to say, your Hitmonchan racing across the arena and smacking that Kadabra right in his stupid fox face. Moves have to make CONTACT at the very least, or else combat will be stilted and listless.
Past that, fully voiced characters would be grand as opposed to simply reading an infinite amount of text boxes. Some traveling companions would be nice as well (Misty and Brock anyone?) even if you’re not Ash of Ketchum-all fame. In general, injecting a little more life into the story would be great,
So yes, this idea is a remake, but with enough significant tweaks to make it a new experience as well. And yeah, I do still support a Red and Blue version, as it’s just tradition, and it would encourage play with friends.
Oh and did I mention the most obvious thing of all. THE WII U GAMEPAD POKEDEX! Seriously, that thing was MADE to be a Pokedex, and it’s a crime we may never see it used as such.
You can do it Nintendo, I know you can. You don’t have to be allergic to money or making dreams come true.
[Photos via Imgur/Bethesda]