As word has it, you can never have too much of a good thing. However, when stepping out of the proverbial realm and straight into reality, that sentence ends up being a fallacy. As it turn out, having too much of something that is truly fantastic transforms the item into a mere commodity. Listen to your favorite song everyday, and it will wear out and lose its charm; eat that delicious lasagna on a weekly basis, and you will possibly develop some mental allergy to cheese and pasta; or play a Pokemon game whenever a new generation comes around, and the franchise will completely lose its edge. The fate of the lasagna and the song are sadly unavoidable: there are certain limits to the way the dish can be prepared, and recordings have an odd tendency to be static. The Pokemon series, on the other hand, could benefit from a gorgeous infusion of fresh gameplay - like other huge Nintendo franchises have gotten recently, such as Zelda and Mario - but the company simply refuses to do so.
When Pokemon started out, Nintendo displayed great timing for the release of a new installment in the franchise, nicely putting either three or four years between each generation with a few remakes sandwiched in between. It was an ideal situation: fans of the series did not get saturated from Pokemon releases, while the remakes served to conquer new audiences and please the most dedicated gamers who loved the series. By moving forward to the present, the state of the series has dramatically changed. In 2011, Nintendo thought it was fitting to use a new Pokemon generation as the swam song for the Nintendo DS, and so Black and White came to be, something that represented quite an oddity for the franchise, as for the first time ever it saw the release of two generations in the same console. Last year, the company went down a new path. Instead of remaking a game, it decided to produce a direct sequel to the two versions - another first in the franchise's history - and Pokemon Black and White 2 was born.
At the dawn of 2013, Nintendo unleashed some quite unexpected news: the 3DS will be getting its first Pokemon games this very year. That's right, one year after Black and White 2, and two years after its prequel, giving us a fantastic total of three new Pokemon games in the same amount of years. Visually, the game looks quite promising, as it could be argued that it is the first real step of the franchise into a truly 3-D environment - something that has been long anticipated by everybody - but the raw truth is that such a leap is nothing but a natural evolution of the visual path the series had been going through during the past few years. In other words, unless Pokemon X and Y manages to pull off some amazing unforeseen stunts on its gameplay department, the third straight yearly Pokemon release will be simply an organic growth of the very same game that was delivered to us in 2012 and 2011.
Obviously, it is much too early to pan the game for its unchanged gameplay when all we have a is a video showing the visual antics of the title. However, the fact of the matter is that, unlike most Nintendo franchises, the Pokemon series seems to be simply sitting on its glory and collecting the new fans it naturally acquires due to the strength of its brand. It might be fine for other companies to do that, but coming from a software developer that just recently handed us motion controls, Super Mario Galaxy and Skyward Sword, the Pokemon games are a blatant point disjointed from the quality and innovation curve. Needless to say, the franchise will keep on selling in the millions no matter what, as longtime fans still can't get enough of catching and battling, and - most importantly - young gamers cannot help but fall in love with the series' magic.
The Pokemon games have a formula so spectacularly well-crafted that for over a decade it has been manufacturing unforgettable moments for its newcomers with the use of the very same tricks that got to many of us long ago. If you were to ask me which Mario game I first beat, I would have a hard time replying with a correct answer; however, when asked what was the first Pokemon I caught, I would easily say that it was level three Weedle that was hanging out in Viridian Forest.
Those kinds of powerful memories fuel the Pokemon games into their high status, but differently from their other sagas, which are able to retain its fans, the Pokemon games are being unable to take the proper gameplay steps to keep its script and experience constantly refreshing. The announcement of Pokemon X and Y could give us some slight hope that the franchise will finally evolve, but the fact that it was done so quickly, and that its release is imminent are signs that already point in the wrong direction. And Nintendo, like a unimaginative cook or a one-hit artist, makes its product seems heartless and recycled.
I guess that if Nintendo can do as little work as possible and to churn out as many games as they can then they will do it. If these games sell then it makes sense for them. It's when interest wanes that they will have to start mixing up the formula a little.
@-INKling- I don't see interest going away any time soon. Like I said, the Pokemon games are great and have a timeless magical value to them that will keep bringing in a new addicted audience.
It is disheartening to see that there are pokemon hacks that are vastly better than pokemon itself. Hacks that make all pokemon catchable in one game, that makes the trainer battles actually challenging, that let you rebattle trainers and so on. Disheartening because it proves how easy it is to make the pokemon franchise amazing, but the creators of the games just aren't willing to do it.
One of the most entertaining let's plays I've seen is a guy playing pokemon Blaze Black with somewhat modified Nuzlocke rules. To me it just shows the unfulfilled potensial og the franchise.
I discovered Nuzlocke rules a while ago and to me it breathed new life into the pokemon games. The two main rules in nuzlocke is that you can only catch one pokemon per area and when a pokemon faints you have to release it. That way there is actually something on the line in each battle and I get way more attached to my pokemon. I recently bought White 2 with a gift card I got for christmas and I'm really enjoying it.
I wish they would incorporate Nuzlocke rules in a pokemon games and label it "hardcore mode". I think a lot of people would enjoy the games more, particularly those that like a challenge.
I have managed to successfully avoid Pokemon in all its forms ever since it hit stateside in the 90s.
It does look different in many ways and I'm excited for it but I actually wish rather than seeing new regions we could have a game that featured the first 4 regions and all their pokemon because that would be brilliant
The last Pokemon game I played was Diamond/Pearl, and I felt it was a retread, though good. I am disappointed that Nintendo/Gamefreak did not take advantage of the DS's unique features to change up at least the gameplay just a little. The touch screen could have been used to initiate attacks, for example. The formula in the adventure is way too predictable as well. Refreshing 3D graphics is a nice change, but if the formula is still exactly the same in X/Y, then I don't see how I can get excited.
@The_Deepblue I thought Diamond and Pearl were the last great Pokemon games. I thought they felt quite refreshing, but mostly due to the online features. The gameplay did not present a huge evolution.
One technical note: The DS wasn't the first platform to house multiple Pokemon generations, the Gameboy was. I know Gold and Silver were "Gameboy Color" but the GBC itself was more of a rendition of the Gameboy than a successor (like DS to DS Lite, as opposed to DS to 3DS).
Anyway, I agree with you (once again) that the Pokemon series seems stuck in time. Relying on the very same blueprints from the series inception while never rewriting them. And that feels so strange coming from Nintendo. Mario reinvents himself on a regular basis (at least as "regular" as the main entries in the series show up). Kirby also knows how to reinvent itself time and again. Zelda amd Metroid have also found meaningful changes through the years.
But Pokemon has been stagnant. Not since Gold and Silver (merely the second generation) have I felt the series made any meaningful strides.
With that said, however, I think X and Y look very promising, and look like they might bring the change the series needs (if even just some, I'm not asking for Pokemon to entirely reinvent itself, just bring some creativity back to the series). And X and Y are now near the top of my most wanted games of 2013 list.
@SloganYams Good point about the GB games, I thought of GBC as a separate entity since it even had some exclusive titles, but your take makes more sense.
Let's hope X and Y will present something new in terms of gameplay instead of just a perspective shift.
Not everything needs to be constantly changing and evolving. If so, it will become something else entirely. I think Nintendo and Game Freak want to keep Pokemon at its roots, while constantly improving upon its base. They've done so well and with X & Y, it looks like they are taking their very first big risk. Here's to hoping it works.
And let's not forget the many Pokemon 'spin-offs' like Snap, Stadium, Ranch, and the Rescue (or whatever) series. Nintendo has tried changing the formula up, but were for the most part unsuccessful in doing so.
I'm pretty excited for X & Y.
@dylan417 I am hoping it will be great.
I am not a big fan of the spin-offs, aside from Snap and the first two Stadium games, so I am still wishing Nintendo will do something big regarding the gameplay of the main series.
@xdude85 As I said, there will always be a new fanbase coming in if Nintendo markets it the right way.
I agree to an extent, however the gameplay mechanic of Pokemon is one thing that cant be matched, and in itself can improve, being a turn based RPG with 17 elements, aswell as the only one where you can go against your friends compared to every other RPG shoe in having co-op
If you want a major gameplay change, thats what the Spin offs are for, otherwise the best they can do would be to continue improving on the actual battle system, but maybe this time, not just more pokemon on the screen.
@hotdiddykong The formula does have some quite unique aspects, but I still feel it could be more drastically changed without having its core affected. Nintendo has been taking very small, nearly unnoticeable, steps.
To be Fair, Gen 3 brought abilities which made a huge impact on some aspects, same with the EV and natures, aswell as Double Battles, maybe, the best they can do is do the same magic since back then
Well you do have to consider that Pokemon's problem is that Japan gets the game much arlier than we do, besides the localization team, they mightve started on Gen 6 since June. We can only hope for the best, either way, whatever they do, itll have some effect, especially since there are 2 VERY different sides of Pokemon that have been affected.
@Foolz3h You are right, but there are still a few colors left to be used. They just chose not to do so. :P
I really can't say it any better myself. I think we are experiencing Pokemon over-saturation, plain and simple. When B/W came out I think most of us were willing to overlook the fact that it was the second game on the same handheld, and that it was coming out very late in the DS's lifespan. When B/W 2 came out, a bunch of people still got excited for it and gave it a shot. But now that this third game is announced so shortly after all of that, it's like for most of us older fans of the series, it's the third and final strike. Regardless of how much better it might be than B/W and B/W 2.
There's been little question since the burst of US Poke-mania in 1998 that the series is a gold-mine that Nintendo is milking to death. But it's become more and more clear in recent years just how much it is being milked. And, more surprisingly, how many people are going to help contribute to the milking even though they are very aware that in another year there could be yet another iteration of the game with more minor updates.
And for some reason, despite the blatant similarity, it almost seems like Nintendo releasing a Pokemon game every year is worse than COD releasing another new game every year. Possibly because Pokemon is a game that you invest a lot of time into the single-player aspect of, whereas with COD you just buy it and go online for the multiplayer.
I'm just glad that other people on here share my feelings about the game, and that not every gaming soul is just smitten with the idea of yet another business-as-usual Pokemon game, already, again.
@Ovirew Right now lots of fans are excited about the game, but once it comes out - if it does prove to be just another Pokemon title, which I hope it does not - I am sure there will be plenty of people complaining about it.