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I'm grateful to the franchise, its kept Nintendo afloat during dark times, ensuring we get new Metroid, Mario and Zelda games, can't thank it enough for that, but its gotten to the stage where I can't see Pokemon surviving another three generations.
Pokemon today is an exhausting experience, it takes more out of me, the player, than it gives back.
Now I LOVE Generation 1. Yes its aged horribly, but for all its flaws, quirky and questionable design choices, and godawful cumbersome user interface, it still retains a certain undeniable 'charm' a 'spark' that is unmatched. My greatest source of anguish is that we never got a full-on proper 3D RPG Pokemon game on N64, and never will. The closest was 'Snap', 'Stadium' and 'Hey You Pikachu', which are draining, gimmicky and quickly become tiresome. I'm tempted to condemn Nintendo and Game Freak alike outright as lazy developers for not capitalizing upon this potential.
Pokemon is in danger of suffocating itself by expanding and expanding to the point where it becomes monotonous. Its already unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming. Haters are gonna hate for me saying this but - the true rot set in with Generation 2. It introduced crazily-rare Shiny Pokemon, genders, additional stats, breeding, eggs, evolution prerequisites, holding items and "legendary hunting". And it just kept going downhill from there.
As of X and Y, there are now 649 Pokemon. Are you kidding me? That's insane. The individual values, natures, etc are almost impossible to keep up with.
Pokemon is now in desperate need of a radical overhaul. It needs to be rebooted with the original 151 Pokemon, Game Freak ought to focus on its strengths, return to its RPG roots in making the world feel truly alive. The badly-written filler anime should not look interesting by comparison.
The arguments are as follows:
1. G1 had terrible glitches, balance issues, and interface, but it's still the best for some vague, impossible to explain reason.
2. Gamefreak should have put a main Pokemon game on a home console, making trading Pokemon impossible.
3. The later generations are worse for adding more features that somehow detract from the core gameplay.
4. It's impossible to keep up with natures and other factors that only matter in online battling.
5. The only way to continue forward is to erase what came after the "nostalgia" period because it's too confusing.
6. Kanto felt most alive despite having less dialogue, no seasons, no day-night shifts, etc.
Did I miss anything?
I can agree that I like earlier Pokemon games, with my three favorite games being Yellow, Crystal and emerald. I also hae a copy of Platinum with like 220 hours on it, but I did feel that it was lacking.
However, I've begun to have a nostalgia phase with Gen 4. The music was great, I liked the Pokemon and I can't deny its replayability with the leveling Elite 4.
Everything you've just described is ridiculous. I hate hearing constant drivel about a fully 3D Pokemon RPG, the most recent pleas being for a wide-open sandbox game like Skyrim. The thing is, there WAS a 3D Pokemon RPG on the Gamecube - Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness. And not many people liked it. Some of the main features of Pokemon are trading to complete your Pokedex, battling with other trainers and leveling up your Pokemon so they're borderline indestructible - on the Gamecube, that's impossible.
The only time the 3D home console games have ever worked is when they've been compatible with the handheld games - and then not even then. The handheld titles are the bulk of the franchise, the meat. And honestly, with the evolution of gaming technology, each one evolves graphically and gameplay-wise into what a 3D pokemon RPG is. Look at X and Y. It uses 3D models. It's more or less what people have been whinging about for years - a fully 3D pokemon RPG. The thing that keeps its most replayable elements is that it's on a handheld, meaning friends can connect in person (as well as online), and that you can pull it out wherever you have free time.
Unless you're a real nut for Pokemon, you don't have to memorize every pokemon and its nature. I'm willing to agree that sometimes, the series -does- shoot itself in the foot with its ambitions - Gen 4's storyline lasted for like 60 hours, and things kept happening after the Elite 4 which I found tiring. In comparison I can beat Emerald in 30 hours on a decent runthrough. However, not only has Gen 5 and 6 made more sidequests and things to keep you occupied for longer, not being necessary to the plot, Gen 6 actually simplified itself to appeal to new and old players.
So all in all, I agree with some of your points, but I find most of your review unnecessarily whiny and vague. I don't see how the dat/night system or shinies ruin the game for you, but that's your business and it's your opinion - it does not indicate anything wrong with the Pokemon franchise in my opinion. But then again, this is a Welshbie review - it's more of the same, like your recent Kung Fu Panda review.
In fairness on the idea of a home-console Pokemon RPG, it's possible now with the way the consoles have advanced. We have world-wide trading via wireless internet with the 3DS, why can we not do the same on the Wii or Wii U and tack it to a larger 3D Pokemon game?
When did I ever say gen 1 was the best? I personally like it, but that's not the same thing as saying "Its Teh Best", some of you need to bother actually reading a review rather than make fallcious appeals to knee-jerk reactions/emotions.
To each is his own, every gen has strengths and weaknesses, but the series is threatening to become mundune. I don't know if its the process of level grinding, lack of investment and passion from people to implement a fully-diverse 3D world, or the pokedex becoming ever more bloated.
I have geniune concerns for the franchise, and snarling back "teh worst review everz" is not addressing those concerns, its seeking to squash out discussion.
"When did I ever say gen 1 was the best?"
When you say the series went "downhill" directly after Gen 1, you're saying that by default.
"I don't know if its the process of level grinding, lack of investment and passion from people to implement a fully-diverse 3D world, or the pokedex becoming ever more bloated."
First of all, level grinding is not unique to Pokemon and you can catch HIGHER level Pokemon. Two, level grinding has gotten much simplier and faster; X and Y has EXP Share for EVERYONE. Three, have you even played any Pokemon game past Gen 1? Are you seriously looking at X and Y and go "Wow, this world is sooo empty!"? Four, of course the Poke Dex is "bloated", we get a hundred Pokemon each gen. What do you want them to do? Not make any more Pokemon? Yeah, and they should stop making new levels in platformers.
And you claim that every generation has strengths and weaknesses, but you never name any.
^I SAID rot had started to set in with Generation 2. Gen 2 introduced the concept of expansion. Now, Gen 2 is still a good game overall, yeah there was some BS with legendary hunting, fruits, evolving certain critters etc, but it still had some fresh meaty substance when you cut off all the rotten parts, as did Gen 3 and 4. But with X and Y the series' elements, the breeding, the shinies, introducing new regional Pokemon etc that Gen 2 first implemented, which at the time were revolutionary, have now cluttered the games right up.
I find it harder and harder to get into a new game.
649 Pokemon (and counting) is, I feel "extreme", its going to reach a point where getting an ultimate team is now bragging rights as opposed to a necessity. Training and raising Pokemon is regardless of the features you mentioned... tiring. My Dragonite was a bitch to level up, and even then the game had the cheek to give me one with weaker stats/lower health than my sister's female Dragonite (which annoyed the hell outta me). I feel the series needs an overhaul to prevent it from getting so bogged down with 'micro-management'.
You think it's a good thing for an Ultimate team" to be a necessity, rather than a nice bonus? Stats barely differ between Pokemon, though passive abilities might make a big difference. But you keep saying these features "clutter" the games, when they not only add enough variety to keep the series interesting, but are completely optional. In all the Pokemon games I've played, not once have I bred Pokemon from eggs, used fruit, encountered shinies, or worried about most of the stuff you mentioned. Essentially, they're just to extend gameplay or to provide some nice diversions.
If recent games are more "mundane", it is because they can't recapture the wow-factor that the first generation could. But they don't need to, as long as they're fun and can capture the attention of younger gamers. That's because people are much harder to amaze as adults than when they were kids.
The berries in Gen 2 were actually useful, the whole real-time aspect to the berries, as well as having berries exclusively for Poke Blocks, was ridiculous. And I say that as a Gen 3 fan, Emerald is my favorite Pokemon game.
Also, I hate to break it to you, but Pokemon isn't the first franchise which expanded upon the older games with their sequels. That's more or less the concept of a sequel, to expand on a previously founded game/franchise with new ideas, concepts and levels. Gen 2's surprise inclusion of Kanto was freaking great - it added a post-game to Pokemon that wasn't compulsory but added... well, a whole other region's worth of gameplay. There is not a single downside to this.
Gen 1 was cool, I like the twist about Gary at the end. Gen 2 expanded upon that, with better menus, the ability to register key items to the select button and honestly a richer storyline. Like G1 was no slouch, but there was nothing like your character storming a Team Rocket base with the Champion. Also, Pokegear, the first time-keeping gadget with multiple uses.
Expansion is not a bad thing. You can think that it is, but it is not an objective fact.
Is it a mess…Not really. The mechanics don't really clutter up each other, and they aren't cryptic and indecipherable. I Vs are just a few added points, Natures boost a stat at the expense of lowering another one…It's not hard to understand. They're just sort of there, and only important for fighting other people. As for things like Shinies are…Just kind of there, and you don't need to pay too much attention; they're just a couple of rare Pokemon, that have a small chance of appearing.
You can just as easily ignore these mechanics, if you still think they're too obtuse; these passive bonuses don't mean jack shit in a normal play through, and you can have just as much fun as someone aiming for the ultimate team.
And as for the plenty of Pokemon…There are some suckers, but for the most part, a lot of the designs have been consistently interesting, throughout all generations…OK, admittedly, this is more of a subjective thing.
Honestly, I actually kind of agree, at least for X/Y. There's a rather a lot of complicated mechanics that aren't really explained in-game, and most all of them take huge amounts of time to use. Sure, they're only necessary for competitive play, but competitive play is really all there is, what with how insultingly easy the single-player game is
If anything, X/Y improved upon these complex mechanics. The barrier to entry is, as it has always been, fucking steep, but everything's a whole lot more accessible. In a sense, previous games were more of a "mess" when it came to the deeper mechanics and numbers.
"As of X and Y, there are now 649 Pokemon."
Wrong. There are now 710+ Pokemon. That was BW.
how did i even post double comment at a time
Clunky mechanics? If anything, they've gotten more streamlined. Level grinding goes by faster thanks to the buff on the Exp Share, EV training is easier than ever thanks to Super Training, and all that natures/shiny hullabaloo are really just added bonuses that are hardly worth giving a second glance at.
Technically speaking, the proverbial udders of profitability still produce plenty of, err, green milk? Oh, there'll always be a market for budding cock-fighters with a penchant for cute, kwirky creatures with horribly punny names.
Translation: genwun da beass, /thread. please flag
Pokemon has been milked dry? YES, for any of the reasons exposed here? NO
The series actually improves as it goes along. I could not for the life of me play Red/Blue/Whatever because everything about it was atrocious, even considering the time it came out. Nostalgia don't mean shit if the game is awful.
My problem with Pokemon is this: as the number of Pokemon increase, the workload for each generation grows with it. Where once Pokemon were just a few sprites with a sound and stats attached, we now have over 700 with their own behaviors, models, textures, sounds, and animations - and it's natural to expect even more attention to detail in the future. It's bound to become unmanageable at some point unless they reuse assets by the truckload, cut down on the rest of the game, or change the formula entirely (my preferred option).
Not to mention, the idea of catching them all is ridiculous now compared to what it once was, and will only get worse - though internet trading has helped mitigate that for the time being.
Oh, hey, a fellow bitter old 20-something bemoaning how Pokemon was best when each character/pokemon had 12 pixels in their design! I am in good company with you Welshbie! I was young when it started out and I was swept up in the initial phenomenon of Pokemon. There was definitely a spark that helped it catch on; It was unique. My older friends had pogs, I had a few crazy bones, but there was no game on its level or scale that involved catching, trading and battling creatures. It was amateurish, but it was the first of its kind to really catch on; Magic the Gathering was similar to the card game, but it wasn't as kid friendly by a long shot.
Obviously this is gone. This isn't because there is too many Pokemon or that it "sold out"; it's because the genre has been out now for 20 years. The bugs, glitches, charming unknowns and mysteries have been lost; not due to anything inherent in the games but because they've existed for 20 years and the internet has really come into the fore making the easter eggs and rumours that spread around the first almost impossible to replicate.
So what has Pokemon done? It's evolved in some areas and stayed the same in others. The original review here seems to criticize it not for what it's kept the same: A relatively easy blow through of 8 theme towns followed by a powerful team of four, with an evil organization to beat over 3-4 missions in the game, 100% complete is to "Catch them all" for a generically well meaning 'pokemon professor' which invovles buying extra games and merch. Rather for the fact that it has balanced out (relatively, anyway), refined and expanded what began as a fairly simple battle system.
So, yeah, Welshbie; I'll join you in missing Pokemon Blue/Red/Yellow. Though there were hidden stats and weird evolutionary prerequisites even in Gen 1 (Looking at you Alakazam). We /did/ get a 3D remake of the 2nd Gens which I loved.
But X/Y is what brought me back into Pokemon: The hidden stats became manageable and visible! Shiny breeding and catching odds became significantly higher (I encountered two by chance and even managed to catch one of my favourite pokes in shiny form with a couple hours of grinding). There were like 700 pokemon but I memorized the first 150ish and otherwise I just know the ones that suit my team or I have to battle alot. You're not required to know it any more.
There are a bunch of new and weird minigames which I /enjoyed/ (as opposed to Pokemon contests and musicals). There are hidden secrets and easter eggs which I have stumbled on myself and completely by accident! Others that I looked up! Some that even the entire collective force of the internet hasn't figured out yet! Meanwhile everything is in 3D AND I can customize my avatar?!
So yeah; I think it's best to say, there's nostalgia around Gen I which it does deserve. It was incredibly flawed and glitchy but it was /unique/. It's 20 years later. If Pokemon tried releasing that shit now, it wouldn't make it to the bargain bin. What they've done is refine and expand. If it's not your cup of tea, there's countless other takes on the Mon-genre which has evolved from it and it's early contemporaries which /do/ aim to keep the number of Mons relatively low and aim to be more mature, or charming or weird. So yeah, celebrate what the first Gen was; I loved it and I love it even now but don't fool yourself into thinking that it did anything spectacularly better than the current games and gens except be there first.
I think somebody got their wish granted. Are you happy with the Galar Pokedex?.
Nah, the Galar Pokedex still has the sense to keep a majority of cool non OG 151 Pokemon. Gallade, Mimikyu and Hydreigon come to mind.
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