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Oct. 19 2009 - 12:41 pm | 13,124 views | 0 recommendations | 13 comments

Why Hasn’t There Been a Real Pokémon Console Game Yet?

pokemon5I remember when I first got into Pokémon, way back in 7th grade. I picked up the blue version, while my best friend got the Red. I picked Charmander, because he was a goddamn firebreathing dragon, and set out on my merry way, beating trainers, leveling up, and trying to catch them all.

Then a few years later came Gold and Silver, and out of nostalgias sake, I picked up Silver, and played it in secret, having a blast, because it was in no way socially acceptable for a high schooler to keep playing Pokémon (and the ones that did, I did not want to be associated with).

pokemon3

That's not even a color!

That was the last Pokémon game I played, and I know there have been another half dozen or so variations since, with each adding slightly more Pokémon and slightly tweaked maps, but it is more or less the same game, just with slightly different complications and slightly better graphics as it moves from Game Boy, to Game Boy Color to Game Boy Advance to Nintendo DS.

But way back in the days of Red and Blue, I had one simple question: Why was there no console Pokémon game? It seemed like a simple idea, just a different take on the current games, rotate the camera down, and make it 3D. So when Pokémon console games were finally announced, I was understandably over the moon.

However, once I realized what the games consisted of, I felt a tinge of disappointment that hasn’t left me to this day. Pokémon Snap had me taking PICTURES of Pokémon? Are you ****ing kidding me? An on-the-rails FPS with none of the weaponry, the game forced players to merely observe Pokémon in three dimensions, rather than you know, catch and fight them. And there were only like 50 Pokémon in the game! This was a travesty, but then I got really excited for the NEXT console Pokémon game, which would solve all my issues with Snap.

pokemon4

Yes, taking a picture of surfing Pikachu, exactly what I was hoping for with a 3D Pokemon game.

But yet again, Pokémon Stadium was a huge disappointment. Yes, you could battle Pokémon, but it was a shell of a game, and merely ported in your Pokémon from the Game Boy game to do battle with idiotic computers or your dumbass friends you’d been battling for years already. This was accompanied by 3D Pokémon, yes, but the fight animations were lame as hell, with a Hitmonchan “Super Punch” move, causing a fist ICON to appear over a Venusaur. Dear Lord…

Gamecube then tried two entries that were dangerously close to good ideas, Pokemon Colosseum and Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness (what a title), and though they had certain elements of what a good Pokemon console game would look like, they were extremely limited in scope, and rather poorly designed altogether, though a lot of that can be place on the limitations and overall shittiness of the Gamecube.

So now it’s the better part of a decade later, and we STILL have yet to see a REAL Pokémon console game, and really I have to wonder, why the hell not?

A Pokémon console RPG would not be reinventing the wheel. It could either be open world (preferred) or semi-linear like a Final Fantasy game. Players would walk around from town to town, meeting people, battling gym leaders, and of course, roaming the wild to capture Pokémon in forests and mountains and caves.

Combat could be turn based (although with less lame animations than Pokémon Stadium had), and players would have the ability to battle each other via the Wii’s wi-fi connection.

Now ideally, of course, we would have this on Xbox or PS3 where we could create a massive, Oblivion-type world filled with gorgeous landscapes and cities to be explored, and all the Pokémon would be fantastically rendered where you can count the scales on Charizard’s back. However, I understand that we would be forced to work with the Wii here, but I still believe an open world environment and decent graphics ARE possible, just obviously to a lesser extent.

I feel like the guy who’s just invented the wheel or something. How does this not exist yet? I get the appeal of slightly tweaking the handheld version of the game every few years and selling a billion copies of it, but a REAL Pokémon console game would be undoubtedly a MASSIVE hit, and would give people a reason to start playing their Wiis again, because Lord knows they need one right about now.

pokemon1

A brilliant concept needs an equally brilliant console game.

This is an idea I had ten years ago while playing N64, and to this day, I cannot figure out just why it hasn’t happened yet. If it ever did, I would throw the judgment of my friends to the wind, and I’d be the first one at the store, buying Pokémon Universe and taking it home to play for a hundred hours, committing the names and numbers of all 500 new monsters to memory.

Come on Nintendo, I know you have it in you to make a pretty awesome game out of this great universe you’ve created. Stop playing it safe with the Pokémon series and make it the next great console RPG. It’s a game you should have made a decade ago, but it’s never too late to bring a good idea to life.


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  1. collapse expand

    hey, nice article, but just to be clear, why in the hell is that charmander using ember on a squirtle. WE ALL KNOW IT’S NOT VERY EFFECTIVE!!!!!

  2. collapse expand

    I have wondered the same thing a number of times. Great read.

  3. collapse expand

    I’m with you on that. Pokemon Battle Revolution for the Wii is great in terms of rendering the moves within the battles but if only they could expand it and make a true 3D world to run around in. I’d totally skip class for that XD

  4. collapse expand

    You must be speaking to me in my dreams because I have been thinking the same thing for years. I was thinking of it in terms of WoW though. You know in Elwyn forest where wolves roam about and you’ve got little caves with more creatures in them? replace the wolves with pokemon and you’re set. They could also spice up the combat by changing it to real time. (never been a big fan of turn based combat).

  5. collapse expand

    You should make this into a signable petition and then submit it to Nintendo and/or WotC or go straight to the top with Satoshi Tajiri.

    Anyway, I know I’d sign this in petition form in hopes of some head monk monk reading it and actually doing something about it. Best case scenario, they could turn it into an MMO of sorts. This kind of game needs an expansive platform to really become as massive, fun, replayable, and easily controllable as a concept for such an ingenious game begs to be. That being said, the hands down best platform for a game like what was described in the above article would be the PC. The Wii, or any console, for that matter, couldn’t fulfill the many requisites and fundamental aspects that this game would require to potentially make it the best game ever made.

    Anyway, if you make a petition, let me know!

  6. collapse expand

    I’m admittedly a bit surprised at this post, but I can answer your question: Pokemon’s gaming mechanics are not based on a single player experience — the game is meant to be a versus strategy game, and does that reasonably well. (I have many complaints with the game and premise but all things considered, it’s a pretty well done series.) The reason is launched on the gameboy and stayed there is because of the ease of networking. Even the original gameboy could link up, and the subsequent generations made it easier (with the advance’s 4 way adapter and the DS’s wifi), whereas the NES, SNES and N64 could not network, and the Gamecube was unsuited for it.

    So then you may ask — why not on the Wii? That’s the whole premise here, right? For shame! It’s a matter of experience! The game would fundamentally fail to work for local multiplayer on a television screen, since it would ruin the ability to conceal your hand from your opponent. Why not online then? Because it’s not the same as having someone next to you — you would lose that trainer v trainer feeling that the game wants to emulate without being able to see and hear your opponent, and Nintendo (wisely) doesn’t want to open up their game to an unsupervised online community so that they won’t have the same response that X-Box Live and Playstation Network have; rampant obscenity and unsportsmanly conduct — such an online experience would devalue them in the eyes of parents and violate their core principals as a company.

    Now this doesn’t mean we’ll never see a major Pokemon game come to console, but I wouldn’t put your hopes up.

  7. collapse expand

    I could not agree more. I’m currently 25. I picked up Pokemon Red way back in the day, but not for myself. I was buying it for a young cousin of mine who was having a birthday. The kid loved the game and wanted to show me how great it was. I was hooked after playing for an hour or so. I went out and bought a gameboy and the same game the very next day.

    I was in high school at the time, and never mentioned the game to my friends. I was a closet pokemon player. I was accustomed to playing way more developed games on higher tech systems but the appeal of the game was just too simple and fun to ignore. Collect little creatures, level them up, then fight with them. It’s a paper rock scissors game at the most basic level. It was still incredibly fun though.

    I’m 25 years old now. I have a vehicle, a 401k, a full time job, hobbies that include liquor and firearms, and I would still stand in line to buy a decent pokemon game.

  8. collapse expand

    I too have always wondered why Nintendo only made good pokemon games for the hand-helds; but i have to disagree with you on several points. firstly, both pokemon stadium one and two were fantastic; but yes somewhat limited. Secondly, the gamecube is the sigle greatest system to ever reach the gaming world; never forget which system has both Super Smash Bros. Melee and Kirby Air Ride.
    I would enjoy it greatly if an Oblivion/Final Fantasy style Pokemon were to come out; hopefully on a system that allows for a game of the magnitude.

  9. collapse expand

    You know, I keep coming back to this article and re-reading it because I would really love to find some way to create this. I had the exact same idea when I was playing Red Dead Redemption (of all things lol). I’ve been a huge pokemon fan since I first started with my beloved red version oh so long ago. What nintendo needs to realize is that they have a chance to create the greatest game ever. They could make an open world, choice based game that would re-open the market for everyone to play. I know everyone who has ever played pokemon would go out and get it. If they made it more adult, with the ability to join Team Rocket *gasp!* or fight your way to defeating the top gym leaders, or maybe even just working for good old Prof. Oak, it would not only boost the franchise, but break open the way for Pokemon to be the hot trend with sequels galore. Just an idea, and I know it’s farfetch’d (see what I did there), but this absolutely needs to happen.

  10. collapse expand

    They should make a new pokemon console game. pokemon colosseum and XD gale of darkness were both great games and were a lot of fun to play.  Even though I’m in high school, if nintendo came out with a new pokemon console game I would be the first one in line to buy it.

  11. collapse expand

    I have been thinking the same thing forever! I liked the Gamecube games, but they weren’t quite what I had hoped for. I wish it would be a 3D game, and I wish that you could roam freely in an open world with wild pokemon everywhere to catch. This would be a fantastic game! I would love the idea most that it wouldn’t have a storyline. I would just like to go on my own journey doing what I want. The online idea is great too, however, it would work best on PC. I would also say to start a petition or something, because this sounds like a popular idea.

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