The announcement of a new generation of PokÃ©mon games is always welcome in my books. Some may have grown tired after so many years of slight improvements and adjustments, but for me, even the smallest of changes to the series can have a huge impact. Each new game is jam-packed full of subtle differences that only a diehard fan will appreciate and PokÃ©mon X and Y is sure to have more than ever. For now though, with next to no details announced, I can only speculate what these changes may be and hope that the series retains its magic.
1. Better Story
This has always been the most obvious weak point of the series. Each game is always the same thing; start in a small town, fight through eight gyms, your rival, an evil organisation and eventually the Elite Four to become a PokÃ©mon master. Itâ€™s gone far beyond predictable. Black and White tried to mix the formula up a little, adding some moral ambiguity about the use of PokÃ©balls and extending the ending, but I want X and Y to go even further. It may be wishful thinking, but Iâ€™d love to see a game without any gyms or Elite Four, instead having some other motivation for your journey. More of a focus on story could easily push the series from amazing to near perfection.
2. Better Online
Trading and battling with friends has always been a focal point for the developers, in fact itâ€™s the main reason the series is still mainly on handhelds. Nowadays, with most of these features moving online, Iâ€™m surprised that the variety and quality is still pretty poor. Trade rooms are full of people asking for unavailable PokÃ©mon (the level 1 legendary is the most obvious example) and the vast majority that you receive have clearly been obtained through hacking. I donâ€™t mind hacking of the game itself, I just wish it could be removed from global trading. Iâ€™d also love to see a live trading system, as well as the current depositing one, so that negotiations could be made over chat and you could fully preview the PokÃ©mon you were about to receive, rather than just one that meets some very vague specifications.
Wi-Fi battling has also been too limited in previous generations, particularly against random opponents. The only way to have a random Wi-Fi battle is in a 3vs3 and with so many different ways to battle in game, why wouldnâ€™t more be available online? The player base is easily large enough to accommodate all kinds of modes, from mono-type to legendary only. Leaderboards and matchmaking should also be improved so that competitive battling isnâ€™t only reserved to the select few who go to tournaments.
3. More Unique Typing
A slightly less vital request, but itâ€™s an issue that fans of the series tend to bring up frequently. As the roster of PokÃ©mon expands, itâ€™s inevitable that we are going to get plenty of type repetition, but do we really need quite so many of some and none of others? Normal/Flying is a common type but it makes sense since a relatively plain bird is an easy design choice, but things Fire/Fighting have gotten out of hand. The last three fire starters have all ended up as Fire/Fighting even though there are plenty of combinations that have never been used. Of course the types have to match the design of the PokÃ©mon (Iâ€™d imagine a Fire/Grass type might be quite hard to create) and thereâ€™s the problem that some typings would be incredibly impractical to battle with, but thereâ€™s still no excuse to ignore fans yet again on this one.
4. Less Legendaries
Playing through White 2, I noticed that legendary PokÃ©mon have completely lost their impact. Gone are the days of endless prepping for a legendary fight, now you just rock up with a few pokÃ©balls, catch it and move onto the next one. Each battle used to feel like an event, but the saturation of legendaries has ruined it. In X and Y, I only want to see a version exclusive and a trio, nothing more, nothing less, just like the good old days. Furthermore, please no more event exclusives. My attempts to complete the PokÃ©dex (640 out of 649 at the time of writing) have once again ground to a halt waiting for legendaries which will likely only be released at special events, if at all.
5. Less Mini-games
Pokemon has always been primarily aimed at children so I understand that there will always be some features that donâ€™t particularly appeal to me. Does there really need to be so many though? In Black and White 2 I was astounded by how many times I was directed to try out yet another mini-game. There was the movie making, the musicals, the Xtransciever games, not to mention all the ones online Dream World events. The main game is hardly lacking content to start with, all these extra bits are simply unneeded.
6. Donâ€™t go backwards
Donâ€™t believe the naysayers, the series has come a long way since Red and Blue. The ever so subtle changes have stacked up over the years to make a game thatâ€™s great for both casual and hardcore players. With so much progress made, it would be such a shame if Game Freak forgot what made the series so great in the first place and although itâ€™s difficult to pinpoint that special little something, moving backwards is a sure fire way to ruin popular opinion of the series.Â I’m not exactly referring to removing features though, that would be sensible in many cases, itâ€™s more the case that with so many huge changes, the little ones would be forgotten about along the way. However, adding too much could hold back X and Y just as easily as taking away. My biggest worry is that with only the smallest of additions, the new generation could upset the balance that so many iterations have worked to perfect.