Over 20 years ago the world was introduced to 2 versions of game that involved catching and training different creatures so that they could compete in adorable electronic cock fights. Soon, this unexpecting game about Pocket Monsters took the world by storm. Millions of games sold, tons of toys and clothing were made, trading cards were printed, and even got an anime. Kids loved it and adults thought it was cute, but most of those said adults believed that this would ultimately be nothing more than a passing fad. I mean surely trends come and go right? Weeeelllllll…….
Truth is that while nothing can stay at its peak popularity forever, that doesn’t mean it necessarily goes away either. While I admittedly fell off the bandwagon after the first games (Gen wunners wassup!), Pokémon continued on rather strongly. There was very well done sequel made to the Red and Blue (Green in Japan) known as Gold and Silver, which has been subsequently followed by 4 other generations afterwards with its official 7th edition coming out later this year. There are still toys that are selling well (I bought a stuffed Mega Charizard X earlier this year….it guards my hallway don’t judge me). Somehow the original trading cards are still worth money. And even the anime is still going somehow, which stars the only kid on TV who has stayed 10 years old longer than Timmy Turner, Ash Ketchum, who still after 2 full freaking decades has yet to win even ONE STINKING CHAMPIONSHIP!!! Seriously! You have a freaking army at your disposal, have won at least 48 different badges through 6 different regions and you can’t pass even one final round?!?! And yes, I haven’t kept up with the anime, but the internet told me everything I needed to know when he lost the Kalos region championship in spite of having a type advantage AND a form of evolution stronger than Mega. It’s probably why next season instead of going to a new region just to fail again, he’s freaking going back to school because he’s just plain stupid!!!……Ok I’m done…..Sorry….this is why there are hardcore Digimon fans out there.
Anyway my point to all of this meandering is that recently I do feel like I have kind of been thrust back into the franchise pretty strongly. Thanks to a chance purchase of my friend and I getting copies of X and Y at the same time, I have come back to it in a way that would make my 10-year-old self so stinking proud. After recently decimating both X and Omega Ruby, I actually feel bad that I missed out on the previous 4 generations that came before them. But between those games, Pokémon GO, and even the TeamFourStar Nuzlockes, it’s like this franchise had a strange revival tour and the nostalgia train is chugging through my city with a vengeance. So being thrust back into this world as I have been, I can’t help but think about what type of game I would like to see in the future because like the rest of the internet, I have the mix of both my opinions and a keyboard, which always ends well.
So before we get into this, let me address the elephant in the room. Yes, I have used Pokémon and Game Freak as prime examples of why NOT listening to everyone’s opinion on the internet is a good idea. I have heard way too many times, all of these fans who spit out their ideas for Pokémon games followed by idiotic phrases such as “This would be so amazing” or “Why haven’t they done this yet?” or my personal favorite “But I guess they just hate making money…” That last one was in reference to a Pokémon Snap sequel on the Wii U, not that I wouldn’t play it but still it’s not as easy as the neckbeards think. If you want a prime example of why it’s bad to listen to fan suggestions, by all means go play Resident Evil 6. Game Freak has kept things their way while making improvements and updates where necessary. They haven’t all been perfect, but they have been more than enough to keep series fresh without tarnishing what has kept the fans coming back to the series over and over again. With that being said, I highly doubt my idea would ever see the light of day, let alone be a money printer, but nonetheless it is fun to think about the possibilities. But enough delay, let’s get to the point shall we?
So the initial concept isn’t necessarily a brand new one. This is a title that involves all of the previously established regions. That’s right Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos, and even Alola (no I didn’t Google any of those…nope not at all). I want them all presented in an interlaced way, and yes I know there are other regions in side games but I treat them like the Zelda CD-I games, they don’t count. This leads to the first question: Which one is the trainer from? Of course choosing name and gender are still in place, but why not be able to choose which region you are from as well? This could be like other RPG’s in the past a.k.a. Elder Scrolls where your starting region is kind of like a determinant for your perk has a trainer, such as how fast they level, or stronger base stats, even alternate evolution possibilities. This would also determine which set of starters you could pick from. It helps to keep a feeling of familiarity in spite of all the new that is happening here.
Next would come our actual story. I would prefer some kind of World Championship being announced where a massive tournament is being held involving either all previous regional champions or those who have gone the Ash Ketchum route and gotten a crap ton of badges, you know minus the aforementioned losing when it matters most issue. You could go from region to region getting badges and fighting the various Elite Four’s in order to earn the right to compete in this Championship. And as you travel the world, there are new issues to encounter/solve. What makes this even better is that this should all take place in canon after the events of each game. For example, you could arrive in Hoenn and deal with the aftermath of what happened after Episode Delta in Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire. That could lead to a lot of interesting encounters and scenarios. There’s just a lot of potential for tons of interlacing stories and follow-ups. Heck, we already know that the grown up versions of Red and Blue are appearing in Sun and Moon. Though admittedly the hardest challenge would be doing so in a way that it doesn’t come off like bad fan-fiction, which would be my biggest fear.
Of course this opens up all kinds of online multiplayer possibilities as well. Trading would be fantastic to do. And having the ability to do different battle types with your friends would be crazy fun too, if not a little chaotic. If we can get 8 Player mayhem in Smash Bros, we can have an 8 trainer free for all as well. Not saying it’s easy, just something really fun to witness.
There is one complaint I can already hear. “But if all of the regions are here, won’t this game both be massive and time-consuming?” And to that I say: “Really?”. Skyrim was huge, Grand Theft Auto V was huge, freaking Witcher 3 was stupid huge, and the next Zelda is also going to be overwhelmingly huge. And you know what? Not one person has complained about any of that. In fact, they welcome these worlds with open arms. In fact, games like Witcher and Skyrim already have tons of pre-established lore before you even truly start, and people seem to be able to jump right into it. Imagine a world that size, except you already truly have a grasp for how this world works. You don’t have to find random books in-game, or look up internet boards to figure out the back story. You already know these stories because you have lived them, grown up with them, which should make this game all the more powerful.
And of course you need an overarching villain team in this as well. You could call them I dunno, Team The World or something (It works in Zyuogher). And they could be on a mission to collect not so much previous legendaries themselves, but different genetic components of them to create a being higher than even Arceus itself. Or maybe they are a full military Coup and that have already grabbed certain legendaries in that region, and it is up to you to not only free these legendaries, but use them to clear out the villains that have overtaken the area. Think of this team as the man behind the curtain when it came to teams like Rocket, Magma/Aqua, and Flare. Not super original, but with enough fleshing out, it could be a lot of fun.
I understand I am simplifying what would be a far larger and even more complicated endeavor that what a few simple paragraphs could cover. However, like I said, it’s just a humble idea that if it could ever be truly fleshed out and made real, I know I’d play the crap out it. Again, I’m not saying it’s super original, the greatest game idea since Chrono Trigger, or a Nintendo exclusive ATM. What I am saying is that is franchise has been truly a joy to dive back into for me. I am actually upset with myself that I moved on from it so many years ago. I honestly plan to go back and play literally all of the games that I missed out on because I want to know what I decided to overlook. It makes me so happy that such a simple game idea could still be so strong after over twenty years of being with us, and I do hope it continues for a long time. My idea is imply that, an idea. Would I like to see it happen? Sure. Will it happen? In some iota of similarity, maybe. I’m just a fan with an opinion and a refound love for my childhood memories, and that’s good enough for me.