Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pokemon X/Y and Insanity

Citing various sources, including a fantastic video game, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over and over again and expecting things to turn out different.  This is basically me with Pokemon.  We all know of the Sonic Cycle which is a true thing that happened in times of yore, and essentially, I have my own Pokemon cycle.  Basically I hear of a new Pokemon game and I hope against all hope that this one, this is going to be the different one.  The one that really innovates the series rather than giving us a new area, new pokemon, a few mechanics tweaks and maybe a new type or two which are, by and large, generally more trouble than they're worth.  The one that breaks the conventions of old and ushers in a -new- style of Pokemon game, one that is approachable to both new and old players while also catering to them both, retaining familiarity to draw in and keep new fans, while changing things up to excite veteran ones.  I keep this hope alive while I await new bits of news to come out.

And then they announce what the new "Team" is.

And I sigh and resign myself to buying what is essentially Pokemon Ruby for the nth time.  A band of adults running around in some megalomaniacal scheme that inevitably involves some form of Pokemon God that still hasn't been discovered on the grand scale despite it literally being a God and thus something other regions would know of, only to be thwarted by you, a precocious tweenager that's always given their first Pokemon by some Professor that is inevitably Grass, Fire or Water type.  Cut it, print it, gold.

I have made many, many posts about Pokemon and the bulk of them are not celebrating what it is, but rather lamenting that it could be better.  This seems like it is something that is never going to stop happening unless I stop caring about Pokemon entirely, which I don't think is something I'm capable of doing while there is not a proper replacement abound.  I just can't -not- envision a game that is like Pokemon but is also so much -more- than what Nintendo and/or Game Freak restrain the titles to be.  I've said it before that I understand that every Pokemon game is designed with the idea in mind that it's going to be -somebody's- first Pokemon game, but that doesn't excuse anything.  Pokemon Gold/Silver was somebody's first Pokemon game as well, and that has, in many ways, still managed to blow even the newer games away with its scope if nothing else.

Pokemon games can have natural conflict, natural progression without a cartoonishly inept and evil group of malefactors running around and shouting about how bad they're being or being so deluded that it boggles the mind as to how they've avoided the sanitorium.  Indeed, the "Teams" are truly my biggest pet peeve with the entire series since they don't even make sense anymore - they simply exist to exist because they've always existed.  They are basically causality loops of the Pokemon Meta-verse, except nowhere near as complex, yet exactly as illogical.  I imagine it's crazy to think they will ever -not- be there because they have, in fact, -always- been there, apparently.  Perhaps it's some sort of meta-commentary on society when every single area of a given world has the exact same scenario occurring in it at what could or could not be the exact same time., probably not.

All I want, which is appropriate enough for the series, is some form of proper evolution.  I've come up with all sorts of ideas for this which have been the subject of many, many posts before today, which I won't even look for since you have the Pokemon tag link above, but I understand that some of them may just beyond the scope for a short-term change.  Not everything can be out of that scope and an idea comes to mind that takes advantage of mechanics that have already existed and been used in the games that can also mirror....well, every single piece of media surrounding the Pokemon series as a whole.  I understand it's not the easiest thing to implement in the fashion that I imagine it in, but it would be easier than other ideas that would also enrich the game.

Double and even Triple team battles have been a thing in the games so far, and there are even portions of some of the games where you have a partner that follows you around specifically for Double-Battles.  So...why not extend that to the whole game?  In addition to your team of Pokemon, just make it so that some of the characters in the game are 'recruitable' in that you can buddy up with them and travel the region alongside them, with the option of bringing them in on Double-Battles if you so choose.  Have it be so that you can influence their own team, whether or not they evolve their mons, stuff like that.  Just add another layer of depth to the game that can also be completely neglected if you wish, since you wouldn't -have- to recruit any of these characters.  I just think it would be interesting to have a 'friend' mechanic in the game so that your character would have, by extension, a bit more of a personality, or even just a bit of more 'ownership' from you, the player.  "My character is always friends with (Character) and is a dick because he keeps telling them not to evolve their (Mon)." or "My character goes around and makes friends with everyone, making sure they're on the road to having the best mons they can before parting ways."  Just something.

Just like every other time, I can only say that this is -not- the Pokemon game that I want.  I want something that expands beyond the boundaries that have been in place for damn near two decades.  Or, more appropriately, the ones that have been in place since Ruby and Sapphire, some 11 years ago.  The game can be so much more, but Game Freak has to try it.  Much like every other time, I will hold out hope that the next game, the next Pokemon iteration, will be the one that I want.  And, to complete the cycle, it just won't be, yet I'll buy it anyway, because it's the only Pokemon fix that I -have-.  Which I can only imagine is the only reason for why Game Freak and Nintendo aren't pushing anything - if you want your Pokemon fix, you have only one place to go.  Maybe when someone finally makes a capable clone, we'll see a shift, but I don't foresee that happening anytime soon.  I can damn well hope for something like that on the Vita, however.  I can hope very hard.

Of course if a Pokemon-like series showed up on the Vita, it wouldn't be 'competition' it would just be called a 'rip-off' and I will just get so angry about that

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