Were someone to hand me the keys to Nintendo’s labs I know exactly what I would do first: nearly die of shock. But upon recovery I’d set to work crafting the perfect Pokemon game, a vision that’s been on my mind since the days of the N64 but is yet to appear through the regular development processes. Perhaps with a new, more powerful Nintendo console on the horizon my longstanding dream could finally become a reality! So just in case The Pokemon Company are reading this here’s what I’d love to see when the Pokemon franchise takes its next big leap.
An open world, first-person Pokemon adventure.
It was probably Pokemon Snap that planted this seed, but with a little creative ‘inspiration’ (blatant stealing of ideas) from some more recent titles, my Pokemon Renaissance will set the new standard in Nintendo RPGs.
The first ingredient would have to be an original, Generation One Pokemon release. Whether you chose Pokemon Red, Blue, Green (if you’re in Japan) or one of their GBA remakes as your foundation is largely irrelevant, as any of these games will provide the core characters, collectable creatures and combat that took the GameBoy world by storm. Of course there will be expansion packs to cater for those that grew up with Generation Two or later, but the base game will open with meeting Professor Oak in Pallet Town.
Despite working to the same basic formula for 20 years, time hasn’t stood completely still for the Pokemon franchise. As such it would be important to streamline my update with the quality of life improvements and gameplay refinements of a contemporary version such Pokemon Sun or Moon. These include some established developments such as multi-use TMs and more accessible EV training, as well as the latest round of tweaks like the removal of HM moves. My own additions to Pokemon Renaissance‘s mechanics would include:
- Adjustable difficulty settings to offer a greater challenge for experienced players.
- Greatly expanding the roster of starter Pokemon available to you at the commencement of your journey, which could also effect the game’s difficulty level if the player wished to take a linear, main-quest-first approach.
- The ability to invite friends into your game for cooperative quests and to enter MMO-style PvP zones (not as cutthroat as The Division‘s Dark Zone of course) when Wi-Fi is available. Traditionalists can still rest at ease however as the main game would NOT require a constant internet connection!
The next step in my masterplan would be to hand over game-world development to Bethesda‘s studios with a note that says: “Please rebuild the lands of The Elder Scrolls V with these 151 Pokemon inhabiting them. Love your work.” Those guys really know how to build big, beautiful video game worlds. As you can hopefully see from the images below, Skyrim exudes mystery and splendor in such doses that you can roam the wilds for hours without having quested at all and feel like it was time well spent. And unlike in Destiny there is always something to stumble across, be it blessing stones to activate, traders to deal with, bandits to dispatch, or rivers to ford. That’s the kind of place I would love to search for Pokemon in.
The comprehensive character customisation options found at the start of Bethesda’s RPGs would be another welcome addition to Pokemon Renaissance.
Lastly, I would engage the services of The Chinese Room who opened my eyes to just how pretty a console game can be with Everybody’s Gone To The Rapture on the PS4. Combine Skyrim‘s entrancing landscape with Rapture‘s sheen and you’ve got as good a stage as any on which to play out the first-person Pokemon adventures of your childhood.
So once this post is live I just have to stay close to my phone. Satoshi Tajiri is sure to call, saying that he’s onboard (and that Nintendo are finally building a console with serious processing power) with Pokemon Renaissance and that we will soon have the ultimate in Pokemon entertainment!