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What is your idea of the perfect Pokemon Game?

myuma

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  • A few gyms can be challenged out of order (which also means you can choose which town to go to next at some point in the game). To me, Pokemon wouldn't really feel like Pokemon if it became completely open-world, but I'd still like some sort of choice.
  • Choices which affect the story, especially dialogue choices when talking to important NPCs
  • Character customisation! Lots and lots of character customisation!
  • The game teaches you strategies used in competitive Pokemon (most likely the VGC rules) from the very first gym. This sounds difficult to implement, but I feel the mainline Pokemon does a disservice to itself by not showing how complex battle strategies can really become.
  • Difficulty settings - easy, normal, and hard. This would affect the number of Pokemon in enemy teams, the quality of their movesets, enemy Pokemon EVs/IVs, and the battle AI's intelligence.
  • Legendary Pokemon you need to go on a quest to find, such as Mew in RSE, where it was part of the Faraway Island event. This would preferably be part of the game itself, but it could also be an event or DLC.
 

Butterfree

Still loves Joltik, though!
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Wow, it's weird reading the response to this thread I made in 2008.

What I'd like in my perfect (main series) Pokémon game today:

- Yes difficulty settings. They obviously don't want to make the game inaccessible to kids, but by including a hard mode that adjusts the level curve to be steeper and more challenging, the game would be a lot more interesting out of the box for adult/veteran players. I can manage currently and all, by training boxes of Pokémon, but it'd be great if I didn't have to.
- A bit of the kind of nonlinearity you had in the earlier generations, like myuma suggested above - some gyms you can challenge or towns you can visit in any order.
- A bigger focus on deeper story and characterization. I think Sun and Moon were the high point of the series in this department so far; I hope they take things further in that direction. I don't want it to become a purely plot-based RPG, but I want characters that I care about and memorable events that I can get invested in. Ideally, moments that make me cry.
- Including every Pokémon.
- One way or another, involving your Pokémon as actual characters - at least something like your starter Pokémon.
- I don't want to bring back HMs exactly, but I would really love to go back to your Pokémon helping you traverse the world. Having to teach them a move was annoying, sure; ditch that part. Having to have the Pokémon in your active battling party, yeah, sure, skip that as well. But if you can bring the box with you as in Sword and Shield, it'd be so easy to just require that you have at least one Pokémon in your box that's able to help you past whatever obstacle.
- Alternatively, something like the Ride Pokémon system in S/M but the Pokémon that you can ride are Pokémon that you actually befriend during the story! Imagine doing a proper sidequest helping out a wild Charizard with some sort of problem, and after you've done so the Charizard promises to come fly you places when you call. (Pokémon being characters!)
- Legendary Pokémon with lore and backstory and mystery! Memorable sidequests to find and capture them!
 

Negrek

busy dizzy lazy
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It's too bad that I didn't reply to this thread earlier, so I can't appreciate my extremely wrong opinions from ten years ago.

I actually don't think there could be one perfect Pokémon game! The franchise contains multitudes, and I think that's great. A narrative-heavy game could be perfect in its own way, as could some sort of MMO, but I don't think any one could give me everything I would want out of the franchise! I think a game where you're a member of the evil team, or can join the evil team, would be loads of fun, but it would have quite different needs than the mainline games do. But, in terms of main-series-alike games:

- Greater emphasis on exploration/discovery. More recent mainline games have become more linear and greatly decreased the complexity of environments. I don't know that we need to go back to the days of grueling Twist Mountain marathons (although, honestly, as an optional postgame area? Bring it), but it's really disappointing to me that caves in gens 6+ mostly seem to be linear paths with the occasional branch to get an item or whatever. I'd like more reasons to return to previous locations in order to discover new things--like, getting surf in older gens was always a big deal to me because I could revisit random routes, caves, cities and access new areas. In SwSh I was briefly excited because I could see from the map that the region's river system extended throughout pretty much the entire northern part of the region and I was like, "Oh, sweet, I can basically surf everywhere and probably find a bunch of cool stuff on the way?" and haha, no, there are a bunch of grates and bridges that prevent you from traveling any significant distance.

Really what I'm looking for are a bunch of hidden/obscure and purely optional areas that you can legitimately kind of stumble across if you go a little off the beaten path. These sorts of areas are also excellent excuses to go ham with puzzles, weird mechanics (e.g. Turnback Cave), fun stuff like that that feels fun and memorable and gives character to a place. One of the big draws of playing a new pokémon game is the feeling of discovery and excitement--"Ooh, what's this pokémon? What can it do? What's it going to evolve into?"--and I'd love to see that reflected more in the external environment.

- And while we're at it, make it possible to fish wherever there's water again. Seriously.

- I think it would probably be better to not try and cram every pokémon ever into the game at this point, but they should all at least be compatible with/transferrable into the game.

- More/better postgame content. How about a mini-story like the Delta Episode AND a battle frontier of some sort? Gens IV/V are the sweet spot for me here. I used to play Pokémon games for AGES, and now it seems like there isn't much to do after finishing the main storyline unless you're into shiny hunting or online competitive... a Battle Tower equivalent by itself isn't enough to really interest me, but the battle frontiers had a lot of fun stuff going on besides the fighting, and even the fighting was much more diverse/interesting to me than fighting a long string of trainers in a straight 3v3/4v4 doubles style.

- Freely-selectable difficulty settings or at least a greater attempt at supporting player regulation of difficulty (i.e. incentivizing play patterns that make things more difficult, like some wild pokémon can only be found if your team is below a certain level). I'm okay with no difficulty settings if the games don't actively make it difficult to stop from getting overlevelled and provide ways to upgrade trainer battles from the majority of opponents having just one/two mons.

- Big yes to sidequests to find/capture legendaries. I imprinted pretty hard on the Southern Island event way back in gen III, and that wasn't even a huge quest or complex area or anything! But even small sidequests feel a lot more special than going to pick your legend up from the deliveryman at the Pokémon Center, and anything that further adds to the lore or makes the world feel richer is good in my book.

- Pokémon following you, being rideable, etc. a la LGPE

- Bring back the fucking Dexnav

- Also the Vs Seeker

- Secret bases!!!

I guess in summary: way more content and less linearity. I feel like gens IV and V, in particular, were just crammed with stuff to do, places to see, totally unnecessary but fun mini-games and side areas and so on, and that's been substantially reduced in gens VI+. Like, there's nothing in Galar that approaches the complexity of the Pokéathlon, and that appeared in games that also introduced the Pokéwalker and added a battle frontier to the games that already had the most extensive postgame ever in the entirety of the Kanto region being crammed in there. I like Pokémon games that I can enjoy playing for years, not ones that feel kind of done after the end of the storyline and maybe a bit of time for dex completion/shiny hunting and which are going to be supplanted in twelve months or less anyway. Give me loads to enjoy and the time to enjoy them!
 

kyeugh

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very tiny post: i miss the hgss overworld walking mechanic. :^(
i honestly don't understand why they haven't brought this back. apparently they've had walking animations for most (all?) mons for a few games now, mostly unused. like surely they could've worked it into at least the wild area or something!? it's such a small thing that adds so much imo
 

Butterfree

Still loves Joltik, though!
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i honestly don't understand why they haven't brought this back. apparently they've had walking animations for most (all?) mons for a few games now, mostly unused. like surely they could've worked it into at least the wild area or something!? it's such a small thing that adds so much imo
Hmm, now that I think about it maybe they weren't sure how to make it work with, like, Pokémon that are way bigger than you? In HG/SS everything got abstracted to be one tile tall, but they couldn't easily get away with that in 3D, and they could really block your view of the player character and just get in the way.
 

storm

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I've really enjoyed the camping aspect of the galar games, but it seems perfectly suited for the ability to groom and pet your pokemon from alola. why put in affection lines where your pokemon want to be petted when you can't pet them??? don't put me through this torment, game freak!

when I am feeling better perhaps I'll go into actual structured thoughts on my ideal spread of pokemon games, but it would include a pokemon snap sequel for sure
 

Negrek

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Hmm, now that I think about it maybe they weren't sure how to make it work with, like, Pokémon that are way bigger than you? In HG/SS everything got abstracted to be one tile tall, but they couldn't easily get away with that in 3D, and they could really block your view of the player character and just get in the way.
I mean, they made it work for LGPE, no? They obviously didn't have anything truly absurd in there, like wailord or Primal Groudon or similar, but they managed onix, gyarados, snorlax and such without much issue, right?
 

Butterfree

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I mean, they made it work for LGPE, no? They obviously didn't have anything truly absurd in there, like wailord or Primal Groudon or similar, but they managed onix, gyarados, snorlax and such without much issue, right?
Yeah, but as ride Pokémon, where you're on top of them! Things would get significantly more awkward if they have to follow you around. (While implementing every single Pokémon of significant size out of several hundred as a ride Pokémon, with custom animations, would probably be a stretch...)
 

Negrek

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Yeah, but as ride Pokémon, where you're on top of them! Things would get significantly more awkward if they have to follow you around. (While implementing every single Pokémon of significant size out of several hundred as a ride Pokémon, with custom animations, would probably be a stretch...)
Whaaat, I thought all pokémon could follow you in LGPE? Is it just that some of them you ride rather than have them following you, or are "ride pokémon" only able to be out of their pokéballs in certain areas and the others can be out anywhere? I'm fine with always riding my snorlax instead of having it stomp around after me, but if I'm only allowed to bring Snorlax out under certain circumstances, that is indeed disappointing. :(
 

Kratos Aurion

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Whaaat, I thought all pokémon could follow you in LGPE? Is it just that some of them you ride rather than have them following you, or are "ride pokémon" only able to be out of their pokéballs in certain areas and the others can be out anywhere? I'm fine with always riding my snorlax instead of having it stomp around after me, but if I'm only allowed to bring Snorlax out under certain circumstances, that is indeed disappointing. :(
Ride pokémon are always ridden and never follow you. Generally they can be out wherever a following pokémon could be, although all pokémon disappear (or readjust where they are) if you move to a space too small for them to reasonably fit into, and the larger ride pokémon obviously hit that situation more often. So, for example, if I ride my arcanine into a narrow area to go get an item, it will disappear and I just walk for as long as I'm in that narrow area, but then as soon as I walk back out of that spot Arcanine poofs back into being underneath me. So you end up seeing a lot more "flicker" (for lack of a better term) with large pokémon than with a bellsprout bopping along behind you or whatever. I appreciate that they tried to have them out as often as possible but it's honestly a little annoying, lol.

Also, don't forget that LGPE had a fixed camera angle; even wailord would probably have been easier to deal with when you don't have to account for it suddenly filling the entire screen because you tried to see what was behind you.

As for what I would want, hm... not really sure! I'd enjoy a lot of the things Butterfree and Negrek mentioned (more exploration with your/befriended pokémon and more postgame/give me back my Battle Factory in particular). Seeing the Wild Area concept really get fleshed out would be interesting. Like, I've never been one of the people crying out for open-world or MMO-like Pokémon games, but between being spoiled by games like BotW and seeing that we have this decent proof of concept... I dunno, it really would be nice just to go wander off to some obscure corner of the map, completely ignoring whatever you're actually supposed to be doing right now what Thunder Helm, you and your pokémon find some cool tiny thing together and just watch the sunrise or something... I'm a lot more open to the possibility now that I have a better handle on what it could be like and we know it won't completely trample the way main-series Pokémon games work!
 

myuma

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I really enjoyed making Poffins, so I'd like to see a baking minigame return. I always thought it was a shame they didn't make us bake the Pokepuffs in XY, because we could have had so much fun icing and decorating them... I'd also like to see a Battle Frontier with non-standard formats return. For example, only using rental Pokemon, or having to complete the battle in a set amount of turns. Challenges like that really freshen up the game.

Finally, I'd like a better way to train EVs. Super Training was a step in the right direction, but I'd prefer if we could manually set which stats we want to train for our Pokemon, and EVs in those stats are gained each time the Pokemon gains experience from battle. For example, I could tell the game I want my Mincinno to train its Attack and Speed. Each time it wins a battle, it automatically gains EVs in those stats. Currently, the EVs you gain depends on the Pokemon you battle, which is annoying to say the least - the game doesn't even tell you this is happening.
 
Last edited:

kokorico

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Really what I'm looking for are a bunch of hidden/obscure and purely optional areas that you can legitimately kind of stumble across if you go a little off the beaten path. These sorts of areas are also excellent excuses to go ham with puzzles, weird mechanics (e.g. Turnback Cave), fun stuff like that that feels fun and memorable and gives character to a place. One of the big draws of playing a new pokémon game is the feeling of discovery and excitement--"Ooh, what's this pokémon? What can it do? What's it going to evolve into?"--and I'd love to see that reflected more in the external environment.
Ah, thank you for articulating this! I already had the impression that the Gen 7 (and, to a slightly lesser extent, Gen 6) games were a bit lackluster, but was having trouble figuring out exactly why. But this is exactly it. If there are completely optional segments that you can randomly find, or not, without influencing the main storyline, I feel like that makes the world seem more like a real place, because it lets you imagine other things outside the main storyline as well. It's the exact same reason that people find The Lord of the Rings engaging: because there are so many other stories happening in the same world that are only ever hinted at on the page.

In a similar vein, I'd like to see more worldbuilding fleshing out the Pokémon world beyond the usual league structure. Most of the NPCs you see in the main series game are other trainers, who never leave the location you first encounter them in. That is, admittedly, kinda reasonable, since it's an RPG and you need an excuse to have battles, but it would be nice to show something more of how ordinary people live. Where are the Skarmory working in manufacturing, the Rapidash equestrian events, the Torkoal helping heat pizza ovens? Or is everyone in the Pokémon world semi-nomadic (which would be a cool worldbuilding choice too)? I think the Detective Pikachu game and movie did a great job of illustrating that.

And yeah, most of the things everyone on the internet reels off on these sorts of threads. Backwards compatibility, walking Pokémon, DexNav/Habitat List, Battle Frontier etc. I still don't really get why Game Freak hasn't taken any of these fan requests into account for about three generations, when there are such a small number of things that are repeatedly asked for that would please a huge number of people. Surely they want to make awesome games just as much as we want to play them - I refuse to believe that they are being arbitrarily capricious. It's all very baffling.
 

Jirachu

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Its from the pokemon anime!
I really like the games the way they are. They all have really fun features for me and pokemon battles in general are an interest of mine :3
 

Negrek

busy dizzy lazy
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Ride pokémon are always ridden and never follow you. Generally they can be out wherever a following pokémon could be, although all pokémon disappear (or readjust where they are) if you move to a space too small for them to reasonably fit into, and the larger ride pokémon obviously hit that situation more often. So, for example, if I ride my arcanine into a narrow area to go get an item, it will disappear and I just walk for as long as I'm in that narrow area, but then as soon as I walk back out of that spot Arcanine poofs back into being underneath me. So you end up seeing a lot more "flicker" (for lack of a better term) with large pokémon than with a bellsprout bopping along behind you or whatever. I appreciate that they tried to have them out as often as possible but it's honestly a little annoying, lol.

Also, don't forget that LGPE had a fixed camera angle; even wailord would probably have been easier to deal with when you don't have to account for it suddenly filling the entire screen because you tried to see what was behind you.
Oh, gotcha. I wouldn't mind that at all--riding is as good as having them following you around to me--although it sounds like maybe the environment would need to be designed more with big mons in mind for it to really work well. I don't mind having to leave my huge monster outside if I need to pop into the store for a few minutes, but having them disappear and reappear all the time when I'm walking around does sound annoying, yeah.

tbh turning around and OH GOD WHAT IS THAT oh right it's just Bubbles the wailord filling my entire screen, hi Bubbles, sounds hilarious, but in practice it would only be funny maybe three times, yeah.
 

M&F

breeeeeeeeee
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any pronoun
aha, my time has come, half of my fakedex is an exercise in aggressively putting in everything I'm frustrated not to be finding in current games-

  • echoing the multiple-times expressed desires for difficulty adjustments (either in the form of adjustable difficulty or in simply not designing the game to be obligatorily unchallenging), less linear world design (god I've been banging on that drum since gen freaking V), and b a t t l e f r o n t i e r (masuda I did not beat the entire emerald battle frontier so you could turn around and tell me my generation wouldn't bother doing that)
  • as usual though, I'm in the minority in that I could really take or leave follower Pokémon
  • HMs were usually a hassle, but man, I'd take twelve thousand of those if it meant I never have to experience another hyper stupid broken bridge. today we're dancing for no reason, anyone? (incidentally, one idea I have for field moves as overworld puzzle solvers is to tie each given field-effect to a lot of different possible moves; it's infuriating to require an undeletable 50-power normal-type move in your party, but if Slash could do the same thing as Cut, it wouldn't be remotely as much of an annoyance)
  • another criticism I have with recent regional maps is that, sometimes, they seem to rely heavily on environmental diversity as a cheap way to make the landscape interesting (which it then doesn't become). Kanto was plenty interesting with almost nothing but grasslands, hills and caves; I'd prefer that to going from the desert to the swamp to the snowfield
  • I'm all for storytelling and characterization in Pokémon games, but frankly, there needs to be a smoother approach to this than stuffing you to the gills with unskippable chatty cutscenes. there are some games where huge fuckoff cutscenes are fine because that's what the audience is here for to begin with; Pokémon isn't one of those by half. the most appealing part of the game is still hitting the road, on my own two feet -- being made to stand still in order to watch Lusamine argue with her kids runs directly counter of that. RSE through B2W2 were particularly fantastic at this sort of thing (although most of them also had annoying unskippable cutscenes -- although it was also quite a bit less annoying when those were 2D at least); the match call tidbits, the Fame Checker, the locations where you traveled alongside an NPC, even some of the things you could get from calling gym leaders in HGSS... effervescent stuff
  • and oh yeah, speaking of, when did rebattling major NPCs stop being hot? must my relationship with Ramos from XY always be a one-night stand?? (from what I hear, Sword/Shield does in fact feature at least one major rebattle of the gym leaders, but at the expense of the elite four. fuck. go back)
  • one thing I also really wish Pokémon would do is actually utilize the majority of the depth of its mechanics within a given game. there are so many moves and abilities that just would never come up during a journey, because you don't use them and neither does the CPU, because they're mostly relevant to a format that's gone underutilized in the game in question, or because they come at such fuckoff late levels that there's no chance you haven't beaten everything in the entire game before you'll ever get a chance to use it (or, well, because they come at fuckoff late levels and aren't good enough to supplant an actual endgame strategy, however fascinating they'd have been to have around earlier). not to mention all the held items that repeatedly get relegated to "we'll sell you that for a hot 72 barebones-battle-tower streaks' worth of BP, after you've beaten the everything else". Alola took a major step in the right direction here with the routes' boss trainers, who often provided an adequately midgame point for a fun little gimmick to have its time in the limelight; I'd love to see those again and them some more stuff like them. (but it'd also go a long way to just ditch the horrible EXP gain values we've had since gen V and actually design regions to go up to the high levels, like Sinnoh did)
  • relatedly to the above, it seems like Sword/Shield may be passing up the move tutor for good on account of how preposterously many TMs it has (or, well, TMs and TRs) -- move tutors are really cool, but I really just wish one game would actually get it right when implementing them. or, well, more than one, because USUM of all things did a pretty good job it. like, there we have it, that's pretty much USUM's single claim to fame forever
  • I probably have more whining in me but let's wrap up with this: I miss the Exp. Share -- like, the one that you could use to passively catch up a new and undereleved Pokémon to the rest of your team, without also passively destroying the game. it's basically QoL since the alternative is to sit there grinding the fucker (not that Game Freak doesn't just loooooooove to make you grind).
 
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