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