5 Reasons Why Pokemon Should Be Rebooted
Hypnotized by that beard, you probably missed that whole announcement about the Medal of Honor reboot. Me? I fucking hate those beards. They’re gross.
Now I don’t know nothin bout those honors of..medal…things. I’m just excited because DICE is handling the multiplayer component. Gears was my first shooter, but if Battlefield Bad Company 2 taught me anything, it was that DICE knows it some multiplayer.
But the whole reboot hoopla got my wheels turning. Reboots suck. Most source material is fine enough on its own.
Some things, some things get to that point of no return. They’re downright unredeemable. And yet developers keep chugging along with new iterations with the notion that they’re going to fix what’s broken. Sometimes it just gets worse, and just when you thought that shit hill couldn’t get any bigger, suddenly it turned into shit mountain and then shit Everest.
Jesus I am rambling.
In this roundabout way I started thinking about Pokemon. Now, I will concede that Pokemon found the success it has because of its perfect ‘catch pokemon, battle pokemon, journey around the world to learn the importance of using your heart’ formula.
Right now Gamefreak is hard at work on Black and White, the next generation of Pokemon. Some screenshots have been floating around, and they don’t really tell me much about the game. If the past is any indicator, I will assume that though there will be exciting changes for the metagame, it will still follow the standard Pokemon adventure paradigm.
You know what, though? I want something else. I want a reboot. Here’s 5 reasons why Pokemon should be rebooted.
1. THE CURRENT ADVENTURE PARADIGM IS OLD
Change it. Please, please do. I love Pokemon but I might just kill myself if I’m a 10 year old boy who battles 8 gyms and becomes the very best AGAIN.
2.THE AUDIENCE IS OLDER
You’ve got the core mechanics and gameplay down, there’s no reason you can’t plop them in a context which appeals to that older audience. You could even try making that context interesting. Mature. What if we’re in world where society hasn’t even started domesticating Pokemon yet? What if we’re in a world where Pokemon battling is not considered elegant anymore, ala guns vs energy weapons in Star Trek? I know not everything has to be serious and mature, but the average gamer is over 35 years old. That fact is a bit important, isn’t it? A little?
3. THERE’S TOO MANY DAMN POKEMON
No, I am not an antiquated coot. I don’t want fewer Pokemon because there’s too many to keep track of or something. I know people like having choices, but you don’t have to give us 500+ choices to make us feel satisfied. Frankly, there are a lot of useless Pokemon out there which nobody uses. That’s wasted development time right there. This brings me to my next item, which is an extension of number 3, and that’s that
4.MOST POKEMON ARE USELESS.
Why not just throw the whole thing out the window and make up brand new Pokemon? No, not as an addendum to the already existing ones. That’s cheating. You can make it a more meaningful undertaking if you just created a hundred Pokemon, if not less. Tighten up the gameplay such that any Pokemon is viable in the metagame. If fewer Pokemon are useless, then the mechanics of the game have lots of room to shine. You’d be surprised at how many people don’t realize that this complexity exists. The easiest way to show it is to make a game which is challenging. That means that an enemy trainer can’t have a team of SIX Magikarps. C’mon, guys.
5.THE SERIES NEEDS TO GO SOMEWHERE
Look I know you guys are printing money off this franchise. Everyone buys it. But think about this for a second: I know you’ve got a good chunk of former customers who have given up on the series. Disillusioned, they “grew out of” Pokemon. Its felt that the series lost either its heart or its way, if not both. Rebooting and making the series go somewhere meaningful is your best chance to try to market to these people again.
Lets face it, the controversy surrounding the reboot and the mature approach will spur enough interest that it will probably sell in droves.
And then I woke up from my pipe dream.