As I mentioned before I would probably forget about writing about Pokémon X and Y for a few days. I’ve completed 1 of the 3 pokedex for X and Y (nearly 2). I’m sincerely thinking I’ll make it to completing the entire game. I really like Pokémon X and Y, I’d go as far to say it is either the best Pokémon game ever or tied with Gold and Silver. That isn’t to say it is perfect, there are some things that I feel like the game is missing. Consider this my countdown for things that I think would greatly improve Pokémon.
This is obviously not all inclusive, I tend to forget things.
Also a quick note, I bumped “replace all” when spell checking and now there may be a “Pokémon’s” where “Pokémon” should be down there. Just act like you don’t see it if you do.
Smarter HM System
All around the Pokémon games there are hurdles that you need to physically overcome. Large boulders blocking the your way through a cave, trees or bushes that have overgrown in pathways, rivers and even oceans standing between you and the next leg of your journey. This itself is not an inherently bad idea and I actually really like it.
What I don’t like is how you overcome these hurdles. In the game you have two kinds of learnable moves. Technical Machines (TMs) and Hidden Machines (HMs). Strangely these are supposed to be devices that help teach a Pokémon a move but they’ve always looked like compact discs.
TMs can be learned anytime you want and can be overwritten at any time. They are elegant and in the most recent games are infinitely reusable which makes them a joy to work with. HMs on the other hand cannot be removed without a special npc and you can’t even trade a Pokémon that has one of them on it. This latter restriction makes absolutely no sense to me since you can’t even use an HM on the world map until the game wants you to.
What I propose is a system similar to the traits on Pokémon. You should be able to teach HMs to Pokémon just as you do now but instead of it taking up one of their 4 in battle move slots (necessitating what’s called an HM Slave) you add them to a secondary list of traits.
You could treat this like the new training minigame if you wished. A training center where you interact with your Pokémon to teach them how to safely fly with you on their back, or surf across the water, or cleave bushes and trees, etc. Now the user is more involved with the education and improvement of their Pokémon and they aren’t forced to lug around less efficient teams just to explore the world.
A game should always encourage exploration and experimentation.
Pokéball Swapping Machine
I love balls. Pokéballs to be exact. Get your mind out of the Garbador.
Hue Hue Hue!
But much like HMs there is a problem with the Pokéball system. Namely you can’t change the ball your Pokémon is in after you catch them. This sucks! There are so many awesome kinds of balls in this game! (Stop snickering) I personally love luxury balls and try to catch everything in them. But that isn’t to say the rest don’t look awesome. Lets take a moment to absorb just how many awesome balls we get to handle in this series!
Look at all of them! They are fantastic! But what happens when you accidentally catch your dream Pokémon in that last ball of a particular type you only had because you hated it and never used it? Suck it up buddy because you are stuck with that for eternity. This is sad and it doesn’t even make sense! We already know we can transfer Pokémon from one ball to another, we’ve seen it in the show! Heck even when you trade in game you watch the physical Pokémon fly through a digital ether and fall onto your screen.
Let us take our Pokémon to a special Pokéball center and move them from one ball to another. Customizing our team is great and everyone loves it. This brings me to my next suggestion.
Bring Back Pokéball seals/stickers!
What the hell is up with this series and adding great mechanics only to remove them right after? I understand why gambling was removed (adults suck) but I don’t see why Pokéball stickers were removed. Basically you took a bunch of stickers that you collected through gameplay and applied them to your Pokéball. Not all that cool sounding yet I imagine.
I suppose I forgot to mention that these altered the Pokéball open animations and made them awesome . Hell yes these were great and I used them gratuitously. Then they just vanished. What the hell happened? Did one of them get caught inappropriately touching someone?
These should come back. Especially with the games new graphical engine being gorgeous.
Better Access to Evolutionary Stones
For some reason evolutionary stones in Pokémon X and Y are about as common as something comically uncommon. Honestly I’ve had maybe one of any non-purchasable (read: most of them) stone since I started. I know you can get them at a 5% drop rate off of certain Pokémon but why?
This does nothing to improve the enjoyment of the game. It doesn’t make it more challenging it just makes it tedious. So how about we add them into the game for play coins to help support activity in children? I’ve got 300 play coins burning a hole in my pocket because I’m walking all the darn time, let me use them!
Let me name my Pokémon “Weedie” or “Hooties”
Imagine you are me for a moment. You’ve been naming Weedle “Weedie” or something similar for over a decade. Similarly you’ve been named “Hoot Hoot” Hooties for about as long. Then one day Pokémon adds in great multiplayer and in that same moment the developer’s (or publisher’s) spines turn to jelly.
Thank god I can still name my Woobat “Woobies” or I don’t know what I’d do. Keep in mind I’ve seen “D!ckButt” and a hundred other names like that but heaven help us if I name a Weedle “Weedie”. You know why? Almost any variation with the word “weed” in it is blocked.
He has the word in his name.
If you are really this concerned over something so pointless then just make it so I can’t trade them. If people want to overreact and try to “save the children” that is their choice but don’t impede on my harmless fun because of it. Bad parents will always be bad parents, it isn’t your job to alter your games to help lessen their terribleness.
Genetics Lab (IV Altering)
EVs are awesome and I love them. Good job on that one! But you know what I don’t love? IVs. Allow me to explain real quick (though I have before). Basically EVs or “Effort Values” are bonus stats you get based on what Pokémon you defeat as your Pokémon is leveling. This has changed a bit with X and Y but ultimately this is still the case. It’s great and they now have options for both dedicated tournament goers and casual players alike. It’s elegant and beautiful and I have nothing bad to say about it.
But what the hell is up with IVs? Who the hell thought that up?
IVs or “Individual Values” are set bonuses established for each of your Pokémon’s 6 stats from birth. These cannot be changed and at the professional level these make or break you. Basically the game reinforces the idea that if you aren’t born perfect you will never achieve anything of value.
Where EVs shine IVs leave poop streaks. The series has already dabbled in genetic testing. The most iconic of all legendary Pokémon is a result of this testing.
Build a new lab and allow us to alter our Pokémon’s IVs through some mechanism or another. It can be challenging or even time consuming (within reason). I wouldn’t even mind if it required a special crystal farmed from the underbelly of wailmer.
I’ll never let you go, jack.
But don’t force me to heartlessly breed dozens of Pokémon just to get that perfect child. Teaching kids that eugenics is the path to glory is hardly a lesson worth teaching. Especially for people who think “boob” is too dastardly a word for kids to be seeing.
Either keep consistent with the digital parenting or mix it up and let us have fun.
Let me get helpers for my berry farm.
The berry farm is a sweet slice of awesome. But unfortunately all of the menus and other artifacts of old game design make it tedious. If we can’t get rid of those prompts to speed up the process we should at least allow the player to hire someone (or something) to water and harvest the plants.
What about all these Pokémon I’ve got in my PC? How cool would it be to let them play on a farm and help me in the process. It would be pretty cool if there was some kind of Pokémon ranch…
Bring back the Pokémon Ranch.
The Pokémon ranch simultaneously was awesome and is awesome. It’s another one of those great ideas that never got fleshed out properly and was shoveled under the rug because somebody at Nintendo hates happiness.
Basically you could put all of your stored Pokémon on this ranch and they would have a gay old time frolicking with one another. They’d sometimes play pranks on each other, or start little games of tag, maybe even stand on one another’s shoulders to see what team could make the biggest tower.
It was so friggen cool! A thousand times cooler than the Pokémon PC.
Why isn’t this a thing in the handheld games? Why can’t I use the 5 million dollars I have burning a hole in my pocket in Pokémon Y and buy me a ranch near my favorite town or city? Heck even if I couldn’t choose where to buy it. Does anyone remember the bases from Pokémon Gold, Silver, Ruby, and Sapphire?
Bring back the secret bases.
I’m kidding. Don’t do that. Just bring back the Pokémon Ranch and replace the ranch house with a system similar to the secret bases.
So that’s it! More may come to me at a later date but for now these are the things bothering me about the game as it stands. I still think it is one of the best experiences I’ve had with a game in a very long time but it is not quite perfect. I’m hoping that they will take the success of this game and know when to add new content and when to remove old content. I have a personal worry that they’ll see “radical change == $$$” and the next new trilogy will be terrible, I hope I’m wrong, but the fear is certainly there.
They would not be the first company where management had no idea why things made money.