This weekend, we have yet another Pokemon title, on the DS, marking the latest of many, many portable entries. I'm sure like every single one before it, it will sell incredibly well, but there's no doubting that as a whole the series has gotten pretty stagnant. I'm sure there's a world of difference between Pokemon Black/White 2 and say, Pokemon Gold/Silver, which came out 12 years ago that's obvious to the long time player, but for anyone else, it doesn't look or feel all the different. It needs a shake-up, and a full blown console release, especially on the Wii U would breather some much needed life into the series and here's 8 reasons why.
#8. It's never been done: Just for pure novelty's sake it would be worth it to have a proper console release. Sure there have been some Pokemon games released for home consoles, but never the full-blown gym-battling gotta catch-em all experience you get on the portable games. It's hardly unusual for Nintendo's main franchises to release both console and portable titles, and some franchises shift back and forth every few years, but we've never seen this mega-selling franchise on a Nintendo home console in proper form, and it's long over-due.
#7: Expansion: One of the many valid complaints against Pokemon as a series is that it's a cash grab, as nearly every edition comes with two versions where you can't really get access to all the pokemon in each release without owning both versions. Nintendo has an opportunity here to make that a more valid strategy with just releasing one big title and then expanding it through downloadable packs which I think would actually get much better sales then the current strategy of releasing two titles that are virtually the same except for a few select Pokemon.
#6. More Dynamic Battles: I don't think much has to be changed in the actual way Pokemon matches go, they are really solid strategic systems and the recent addition of multi-pokemon battles helps keep that fresh. But the presentation has been sorely lacking throughout the series. The actual battles are unimpressive and stagnant with just the minimal amount of animation. I'm not saying these need to be at some kind of FF level, but seeing the Pokemon actually move and re-act along with improved animation would go a long way towards keeping the battles exciting.
#5. Better Online: Yeah, Pokemon multi-player is kind of a mess. That's not really a surprise, as to date Nintendo's whole online system has been kind of a mess. This would be a chance to prove how serious Nintendo is about online and it wouldn't even be that difficult. Just throw in some competent multi-player battles, leaderboards and probably some monthly tournaments and you are pretty much set.
#4. Cross-Play: Sony is pushing it hard now, but Nintendo has repeatedly tried this whole cross-play thing over the years and this would be a good way to make it work well. Simply being able to train your Pokemon on your 3DS on the go and use them when you get home would be a huge step for both the concept of cross-play and the Poekmon series itself.
#3. It's a big world after all: There are a number of different regions featured in the Pokemon series. Which are big for portable entries, but obviously a little small for a console game. A massive game world encompassing most of those regions would be pretty awesome as it would allow some favorite Pokemon from past games to battle newer ones. This leads to my next point:
#2. Becoming a true Pokemon Master: There are well over 600 Pokemon throughout the entire series. No portable entry has all of them, but a console version arguably could. Sure there would probably be some balance issues and redundancies but I think any Pokemon fan would think all Pokemon in one game would just be incredibly awesome. As long as they could be managed properly, which leads to my main point:
#1. Easy Management: The gamepad is pretty-much tailor-made for this type of game. It would make managing your pokedex a breeze, leave all the usual command options on there saving the TV screen for action without any clutter, and just in general make the interface smoother, making Pokemon itself a smoother series.
So that's the list. And I can honestly say as someone who has very little interest in the series currently that I'd be very excited to hear about a version coming to the Wii U sporting most of these obvious improvements that would come pretty much automatically with a big home console release. It would also be another big gun in Nintendo's arsenal against the looming next-gen offerings from Sony & Microsoft.
That's it for today, I should have another post up this weekend. Until then, here's your TRAILER OF THE WEEK: The Croods