The Pokémon Company is hiring! What does that mean? Well, what it seems to mean is that they are hiring on new talent for something that isn’t the Switch port of the 3DS Sun/Moon versions. So, let’s do the rational thing here and immediately jump to the conclusion that it’s a new Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch! Commence the wild, baseless speculation!!!
Pokémon Switch Needs to be Open-World
Duh. This is a given. Since the dawn of open-world games, trainers across the world have longed to travel a vast and diverse region within the Pokémon universe to catch ‘em all. It makes sense for this to happen now. The Nintendo Switch has sold extremely well globally, and a Pokémon game will only boost those numbers, but to bring older fans back into the fold Nintendo will need to veer from the usual format. That’s where the open-world comes into play.
Imagine it. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but with Pokémon! We know the Switch can handle it, and I’d honestly settle for a world half the size of BOTW if that meant we get a large Pokedex, solid framerate, and an online battle/trade system. Hell, a Pokémon MMO could be cool too, but I won’t get greedy – and besides, I’d rather not push this company to try something too out of their comfort zone and risk a bad game. Open-world presents enough potential problems as it is.
Pokémon Needs a Trainer Class System
I want to be a member of Team Rocket. I want to be a Gym Leader. I want to be a god damn bug catcher. I want to do it all, and why shouldn’t we be allowed to? The Elder Scrolls franchise has been doing this for well over a decade with all their different factions and guilds. And if Skyrim is supposedly going to be able to run on the Switch, what’s to prevent a Pokémon game from giving us at least a taste of this.
How great would that be (it’s a rhetorical question it’d be awesome shut up). One of the things I love most about Skyrim and other Elder Scrolls games is the fact that you can experience a whole slew of side stories within different factions. Each of these factions present the player with a new way to play the game. You join the Fighters Guild? Time to Brawl. The Mage’s College? Let’s learn some spells. Thieves Guild? Hell yeah I’ll steal some shit I’m a god damn ninja.
This concept translated into a Pokémon game could force us to use the Pokémon we might otherwise have kept locked away. Maybe you can become a Lad or Lass and have a set of missions where you can only use cute Pokémon? Perhaps you join a Gym and must use that gym’s specific type to rise in rank within. What if you could join Team Rocket and have the chance to make them good guys? The possibilities are endless.
Pokémon Needs to put Less Emphasis on…. Pokémon
I mean this in the sense that we as the player are beat over the head in every Pokémon game with generic text about “how great Pidgey are at this” and “how strong Machoke is at that” and “Pokémon can do blah blah blahblahblah…’’ - It’s boring, lazy, somewhat exhausting, and completely unbelievable. If Pokémon have been around forever in this world, there’s no way it’d come up in conversation as frequently. You’d be the Pokémon equivalent of a cat lady.
Create some characters! Develop some personalities! Help me believe that this world is an actual living bustling place instead of a Pokefacts generator. Make me care about the world, and not just the conquest. Sure, I want to be the very best like no one ever was, but I also want to feel something other than a dopamine rush - unlike the mute sociopath of a trainer you play as.
Yes, Something Else is Missing Here
I’m sure of it. There is a brilliant idea out there for a Pokémon game that a Poke-casual like myself has over-looked. I admit it; I haven’t truly gotten into a Pokémon game in a major way for quite some time. But I want to so badly again. Please Pokémon Company, let me love you again.