It’s been a while since I wrote a Pokémon List. It feels like nice, comfortable old ground that I have to come back to every now and then. Although at this point I feel like I’m running out of topics to cover in these lists without repeating myself. Then it came to me; the Gen 4 remakes just came out and I don’t think I’m going to buy them.
So why not just lean into that classic, unrealistic level of expectation of the average toxic Pokémon fan and talk about why the new Pokémon games are garbage.
The following article is 75% satirical and I swear I’m not super toxic when it comes to Pokemon whatsoever. You gotta believe me.
So yeah. Just to say up front; Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are actually the first “major” Pokemon games not made by Game Freak. Instead, the game was outsourced to ILCA to afford the main studio the time to work on Legends: Arceus. A choice I genuinely do appreciate as one of my biggest problems with the more recent Pokemon games has been that I don’t think they’ve been given the time and attention they really do deserve given how massive the franchise is.
But you can read more about my feelings on that by following this link here. But I need to write a list don’t I.
#1: Mega Evolutions/Gigantamax/Regional Variants
This is the no brainer. Any of these being in the game would have been an automatic purchase for me, no question. I can kind of get that ILCA might not have been given the free reign to go out and design any new Pokémon for the remakes, but given the fact that we’re probably never going to get either new Mega Evolutions or Giganamax forms in future games, why not let them have their own way with them.
Alternatively, with there being a whole bunch of Sinnoh regional variants introduced in the Legends games, it would have been good co-marketing to put a few of them in this game. Right?
#2: New Area/Story
Fire Red/Leaf Green has the Sevii Islands, Heart Gold/Soul Silver had the new Safari Zone and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire had the Delta Episode and a while bunch of other stuff I could mention. There’s nothing like that in the Gen 4 remakes. Nothing substantial anyway. Considering the absurd amount of content added to the Gen 3 remakes, the lack of any of that in these games is stark.
I wonder how tight a leash ILCA were kept on when they were making these games, but any new bit of content would have been very welcome as opposed to these painfully faithful remakes.
#3: Where Gen 5/6/7/8?
There are no Pokémon in this game from beyond the 4th Pokémon Generation. Now, I’m not one of those people who was super salty about the lack of a National Dex in Sword and Shield. I’d fine with them cherry picking Pokémon for games now that we’re fast approaching 1000. However, I really wish they’d put a selection of newer Pokémon from later games into these remakes.
Even if you can only get them after the story and only in small amounts, it would be cool to play these older games I’ve played a bunch of times before and rock my Appletun throughout. Feels like a missed opportunity.
#4: Battle Frontier
This a drum that everyone bangs all the time in the Pokémon fan community. And I’ll be honest, it might be one of the older game aspects I’ve been desperately sad they never pursued. Emerald introduced such a cool concept in the Battle Frontier; a battle themed amusement park in which there were seven different facilities each with their own rule sets.
Pokémon games are always desperate for post game activities, and I thought that the Battle Frontier was a perfect long term project for players to dig their teeth into. It was the thing that god me into IV breeding, EV training and all that competitive stuff.
There was another (and slightly inferior) Battle Frontier featured in Pokémon Platinum when that came out. And at this point, I would happily take that over the lack of anything we’ve been given in the time since.
#5: Give Torterra a better hidden ability
My boy is a tank. Please make him more viable. It’s a personal tragedy to me that some Pokémon starters seem to get preferential treatment over others. Some of them get game changers like Blaziken’s Speed Boost or Greninja’s Protean.
Then you get Pokémon like Torterra that get Battle Armour of all things. Total garbage tier ability in my books. Even in this generation; Infernape got Iron Fist. I’d kill for Torterra to get something like Thick Fat, Guts, Rock Head or Sand Rush.
He’s my boy. Why won’t he get some love?
#6: Lower that Price
Is this a fair talking point? In my brain, Pokémon games have never been super expensive. Maybe it comes from their legacy as traditionally handheld console games, which usually were a bit cheaper than their home console brethren.
Now that Pokémon is on the Switch, maybe I should expect the price of them to go up.
But, as I’ve gone to severe pains to explain throughout this post; this is something of a lesser game compared to the franchise’s usual mainline entries. Given all the points I’ve listed above, £50 seems like a lot for me to pay for a game that I technically already own and could easily play right now on on my DS.
Nintendo games are super weird in how they seem to retain their price. Even when they’re absurdly common they still seem to stay expensive. I popped into a second hand shop today and saw a copy of White 2 for £95. So chances are the price of this one isn’t going to go down either.
#7: Difficulty Settings
Yo, Pokémon. You do realise a lot of your fans are sad-ass adults now. Are you going even try to cater to them at all? I mean, I know we’re the psychos dropping a ton of cash on buying all the Pokémon cards in existence and turning Pokémon Go into the massive cash cow that it is, but yo.
Make your games harder.
Make the enemy AI better, give more trainers full squads, add optional rules akin to Nuzlocke. I’ll take anything at this point. One of the must infuriating things about the most recent handful of games is that they’ve become easier over time since Sun and Moon.
Guys, I’m begging you. Give me a challenge.
#8: Some kind of Legend: Arceus tie-in
You’ve got a new game coming out soon right? Why not put something into this game that ties to that one. A bit of cross marketing? Like you did with Metroid Prime and Fusion, or like The Oracle of Ages/Seasons games. Hell, this is the Pokémon franchise, there’s precedence for this every time you put a new game out.
Nintendo, you’re the weirdest company for being both pro and anti consumer at the same time.
That’s all I got without making more joke entries. I really have thought about picking this game up a couple of times in reality. But being both financially poor and time poor, I’ve decided against it in favour of just playing a Pokémon game I already own.
Seriously though, I played through Pokémon Platinum earlier this year. I feel like I’d be equally served by just going back and playing that again. And real talk: I kind of prefer how the original games look compared to the chibi polygon art style we’re getting in these remakes.
Bashing the art style for this game in an actual numbered point on here seemed like a bit of a low blow though.
I love Pokémon, but I feel like I’ve said a few times before; I’m starting to think Nintendo and Game Freak are actively trying to push me and the age bracket I fall into away from the franchise, it makes me think of this old Simpsons Meme.