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So it’s been three weeks since Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon were announced, and other than the nine playable languages, we’ve learned basically nothing about them. Hell, given the experimentation Pokémon has been doing lately, they could be First-Person Shooters for all we know. Time to start writing fluff pieces premised on the lack of any actual valuable information! Here are the top however-many-this-ends-up-being things I want to see in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon, games that I know virtually nothing about at this point!
1) More Mega Evolutions:
Yes, this is one’s so obviously going to happen that it’s almost stupid to put it on this list, and I promise that the whole thing won’t be like this. But what else am I going to say? That I don’t want more megas?
I want new mega evolutions almost more than I want new evolutions, almost more than I want new Pokémon. They just make for such interesting gameplay options. Want an Absol special sweeper, or a physical dragon-type Charizard? Done. Want Mawile, that Pokémon you hadn’t thought about since realizing it didn’t evolve in Gen III, to become suddenly relevant? They gave it effectively the highest attack stat in the game. Want Ampharos to be even more ridiculously slow for an electric type? They did it, and even threw in a dragon subtype. Dragon subtyping is surprisingly common for megas, especially since they were introduced in the generation dragon got nurfed…
Want a Scyther that can compete with Mega Scizor? Yes. Yes I do want that. In fact, I want all the pokémon that have traditionally been “rivals” with pokémon that already have mega evolutions to get their own. That’s Mega Golem and Mega Machamp from the original four trade evolutions. Mega Milotic. Mega Dragonite, Flygon, Hydreigon, and Goodra. A second mega each for Blastoise and Venusaur. And Mega Butterfree, Fearow, and Slowking. And make them all dragons!
2) Multiple Save Files:
Again, nothing all too original here, fans have been asking for this since Gen II. But it’s still fair to ask, why wasn’t this in Gen II? At least by Gen III it should have been possible. To say there’s no excuse now is to pretend there was an excuse ten years ago. We all know why it’s done that way; it’s to make players buy the other version so they can restart without losing their pokémon.
But now we have pokémon bank, so, at least for players who really sink money into the games and care about preserving their pokémon, that’s not even a reason anymore.
Though… at the same time, doesn’t it kinda cheapen a file to know that it can be so easily forgotten? I have so many meaningless, incomplete save files on other games, and I don’t think twice about starting a new one on them. But with Pokémon, just having an entire collection of my creatures sitting there collecting digital dust as I start file after file… it’s a sad image. So I think 2 save files per game is enough, with the ability to transfer pokémon between them.
3) No More 3D Lag:
This is that last of the standard gripes, but really? If the game can’t handle it, don’t do it. We don’t see it as the option to trade performance for graphics, we see it as, “Aw, crap. I accidently switched that on again, and now everything looks like a blurry Steam Greenlight trailer.”
4) Trainer Encounter Overhaul:
I get that NPCs standing, staring into the endless void, day and night, waiting for the player to step in front of them was a technology limitation back in the day. Now, it’s weird and confusing. Why do they stand there? Why are they still there, staring at nothing days and weeks after I already beat them? Did they go back to a PokéCenter? Or did I crush their soul along with their puny pokémon? Am I a monster?
Oh, wait, no! If I talk to them they’re just fine and still repeat those same rehearsed lines, over and over and over and ove
Give NPC trainers field AI. Have them walk non-scripted, or at least more complexly scripted paths. Have some go back to the nearest town, or set up camp at night. Sure, that would make sight based battle initiation more difficult, but maybe it would be replaced with proximity detection. Just do something other than having a world populated my manikins and mechanically walking robots. Something like this would go a LONG way to bring the Pokémon world to life.
5) Idle Battle Animations:
It’s been talked about for a while, but it’s time to do it. At this point it can be done using the 3D models, and pretty efficiently too. Ultimately the games would just need a couple types of animations. Walking and/or running, sizing each other up. Clashing, just heads butting. Doing some generic attack/blocking said generic attack.
Yeah, it’s take effort and money to add enough of even those animations to accommodate every pokémon, but that’s actually really convenient because money is just what these games cost!
5) Trainer Customization, and Pokéball Cases:
Bring them both back! Mostly the trainer customization, but also the pokéball cases if possible. I feel they’re an often forgotten piece of the charm of Gen IV, mostly because… well, they were in Gen IV. Not saying that it’s the worst generation, I’m just saying that all the other generations are better.
6) A Less Epic Story:
Yeah, this is a request you don’t see that often, but that’s part of the problem. We like escalation. If one thing is good. The sequel has to be better, and bigger, and longer, and harder, and epic-er. Except, those often aren’t the things loved about the original.
At some point you jump the Sharpedo, and I’d say Pokémon did that around the time they had ancient world-forming myths being reborn and then solved by a 10-year-old. They jumped the Mega Sharpedo once god was brought in and stuffed in a little ball trainers keep in their pockets.
Let’s tone it down. Gen V did, and that’s one of the best stories in the franchise. Would have been even better without all the tacked on “epic” dragon mythology stuff. A villainous organization with a clear, non-universe rebuilding goal. Nuanced meaning and characters. And you, a new pokémon trainer that happens to form a kind of bond with N, the sympathetic centre to it all.
Then Gen VI was all like, “Let’s have a magic weapon that’ll wipe out humanity, and a bunch of grunts who only go along with the plan because they like the outfits, oh and time travel stuff too maybe.”
Gen I and II sold on similar charm, but those were more about the personal story of a small-town kid and their rival (Pokémon Origins nailed that final fight between Red and Blue). The larger stories were based a lot more on coincidences and plot convenience. Like, Prof. Elm, do you seriously not have anyone else to send to the Radio Tower? Why is this even your issue?! I know for a fact that there are at least two police officers around Goldenrod City!
More Gen V and N. Less gods that get conveniently ignored for generations after.
And please stop the godawful writing.
7) Extensive Post-Game Events:
Some games have these. Some don’t. Gen V did it pretty well I think, having new special events and legendries available around the world in the post-game. Gen VI tried, but failed I think.
X and Y’s post-game had content, but it wasn’t spread out. It was all the Looker missions, all in one city. Good stuff, but you kinda have a whole region around this. Maybe give me a reason to visit the Parfum Palace again.
ORAS was just dull. Complete some random criteria to have random portals open up that just take you straight to the legendary. It was good to finally have so SO many legendries in one set of games, but could there have been just a bit more to some of them?
Mix it up; some random portal legendries, and some special ones out in the world. And some non-legendary post-game events with short story arcs. Maybe some could lead to unique pokémon that are usually only sent through wi-fi events, like Surfing Pikachu. Oh, make the Crystal Onix real!
8) Recurring NPCs:
The Pokémon world has lore. Some pretty damn good lore, and I’m not just talking about the myths and legends. Between Gen I and II, we saw Koga rise up from being a Gym Leader to being a member of the Elite Four, and Lance from Elite Four to champion. That little detail made Koga more interesting, and makes you wonder what happened between those games.
Giovani was kicked out of the Pokémon League, so Blue, losing his champion status to Red, took over the Viridian City Gym. Seeing Crasher Wake all over the place in Gen IV was great!
My point is, pokémon has good characters, but we so rarely see most of them. Brock can’t always been the Pewter City Gym Leader, right? Maybe in Sun and Moon he’s taking a break to train in wherever the games are set, and you happen to run into him and learn a bit more about him. We saw an aquarium in the tiny amount of content we have seen of Sun and Moon. Maybe that’s run by Misty’s new long-distance boyfriend? The champions are a big deal; bring Lance or Cynthia in to help fight the new villain. It’s well within Lance the Dragon Batman’s character to fight crime.
We see some of this with Looker, which is great, but give us more. In fact, when we inevitably see Looker in Sun and Moon, have Emma with him as a new partner! There’s so much to work with. Pokémon writers, make this your fanfiction.
9) More Alternate Forms:
This is a simple one, and Pokémon has already been doing it a bit. Vivillon has a bunch of forms at least. Now do the other 720.
Generally, take East Coast Shellos and West Coast Shellos as an example. Now crank that up and mix in pokémon breeding.
I’m not the first person to think of this, and explaining it is hard, so here’s some fan art that pretty much sums up the idea.
Make it happen.
10) And finally, the last thing I’m hoping to see in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon: All those languages!!!
Don’t Lose Your Way
Late added Bonus: Playing as the rival in one of the versions. Credit to Nick Landis on that one. Good show, mate. Now I ‘ll resist the urge to leave an angry comment about all the ways you’re playing your Nuzlocke wrong.