The Pokémon franchise is a fun series. Collecting all the monsters and making your way to the top is the goal and throughout the years each game has been better than its predecessor. Every generation brings more than just new Pokémon, regions and characters. A huge bulk of the games are dedicated to the tools available to assist you in many ways as well as all the novelties and extras to keep you entertained. However, those features don’t always get passed down to the next set of games, instead staying within their own versions. This list will name just a few that should have become series staples.
Pokémon Diamond and Pearl
Before smart phones were everywhere, Pokémon had their own app devices. The Pokétch, or Pokémon Watch, is a device that wraps around the trainers’ wrist just like a watch. It’s manufactured by the Pokétch Company and holds a variety of useful tools. There’s a clock, calculator, pedometer, day-care checker, and even a list of your recently caught Pokémon. It also replaced the need for a Key Item, the dowsing machine. The Pokétch was handy for a number of reasons. You wouldn’t have to travel all the way back to the daycare center to find out if there are any eggs. You could also find out how much your Pokémon likes you before you try to evolve it since some only evolve through happiness. There are even fun applications to mess with such as a coin flipping app and pixel doodler. The Pokétch puts the ‘fun’ in functionality.
The reason why this should have been brought back in future generations is, they basically took some of its tools apart to create new ones and didn’t need to. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! The Pokétch is an upgrade from the Pokégear and PokéNav of the previous two generations. Nobody used that radio and cell phone anyway, we all hated when Youngster Joey called up bragging about his Rattata. While it did not offer the same exact tools such as the day-care checker and coin flipper, it can be considered the blueprint for the devices we’ve been given in the each generation since. I know each new Pokémon game is set in a new region which allows for different technologies trainers can use but the Pokétch really was the best device for players. It had the basic functions of the C-Gear which came in Black and White. One of the applications, the link searcher, would allow you to locate players on wireless connection. With just a few modifications the Pokétch could have reappeared in Black and White. There was room to include those old features of the device along with the C-Gear. And if that happened the Pokétch could have definitely appeared in X and Y. It has everything trainers need for any game.
Pokémon Black and White
The weather plays a crucial part in our daily lives and the same is true for Pokémon. In the fifth generation, the integration of seasonal changes affected many elements of the game. Pokémon Black and White brought many changes upon the franchise, using changes in weather to create a realistic environment. The game would switch between seasons after every calendar month. January is actually spring, February is summer, March is autumn, April is winter and so on. Access would be given to certain areas and items when the land is covered in snow and reveal hidden objects when it disappears. It will rain more in some areas during spring and mornings begin sooner in the summer. Of course, the part everybody cares about is that the Pokémon vary from season to season. Sawsbuck, whose whole gimmick involves the seasons, will have different forms depending which month it is. The encounter rate of some Pokémon change throughout and some are more abundant. Even some trainers you face off against will change and others will have different Pokémon with them.
In Pokémon X and Y, there are no seasons. With more Pokémon and new areas to explore the game could have been much more interesting. While rain and hail are present during battles, the inclusion of seasonal elements would have made for some intense battles as well as being aesthetically pleasing. There could have been snow on the ground during winter battles and more harsh sunlight in the summer. Some Pokémon in the Kalos region could have benefited from the changes in season. Encountering new hordes in the autumn, like different Grass-types. There’s already a couple of snowy locations in X and Y, Dendemille Town and Snowbelle City, so there could have been heavier amounts of snow in the winter or less in the summer; recreating the effects from Black and White. And when you catch a Sawsbuck they’re all the same! There’s no reason for the different forms to appear. There was just a missed opportunity to create a more interactive environment in X and Y, maybe the seasons will come back sometime.
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire
Remember building pillow forts in the living room and climbing tree houses in the backyard? Ruby and Sapphire brought back those memories by allowing you to have have your own secret base anywhere around Hoenn. Using the Secret Power move, a Pokémon can create an opening in either a tree, stone wall or shrub. You can decorate the inside with furniture, dolls and various other knick knacks. But the main appeal for secret bases is the connectivity with other trainers you’ve traded or battled with. The base of any friend you register on the game will appear in your file and you can visit them and whichever Pokémon they had. After mixing records, you can visit their base everyday and challenge them. The best part of this is that you gain experience from each fight. In Diamond and Pearl, secret bases made a comeback, but it was for a game rather than training. Players gain access to explore underground and while underneath the surface you can build a place to decorate. You can even play a capture the flag game where you take their flag back to your own base — but watch out for booby traps.
Secret bases have not appeared in Pokémon games for two generations. In that time, new areas have been created that are perfectly suited for more of them. There’s snow, ice, flowers and even buildings that could become your new headquarters. With the entire city of Lumiose to explore, there could have been abandoned buildings you could occupy, like a squatter, maybe even take over Looker’s place. The advanced graphics of Pokémon X and Y would have made decorations more cuter and more desirable. We were given a slight decorative environment in Pokémon Amie where you can place some object around and change the wallpaper while your Pokémon hops about, but there’s nothing to interact with. Secret bases would have been the best place to gain experience because restaurant battles cost money, the Elite Four takes too long and you don’t lose money nor do you blackout and return to the Pokémon Center. The secret bases would have made a wonderful fit in the new 3D world so it’s ashamed they’re not included.
Ever since being able to walk around with Pikachu in Pokémon Yellow, fans have wanted to experience that companionship with all their Pokémon. Pikachu would let you know if he’s happy, sad, excited, injured and many other expressions. Pikachu would also interact with certain characters and environments. In Diamond and Pearl, there’s an area called Amity Square where only “cute” Pokémon are allowed to roam around. The so-called cute ones are judged at the entrance to the park. No clue why they wouldn’t let Aggron in though, poor guy. In the park you can find berries, items and accessories for contests. Depending on which Pokémon you have you will pick up different things. The most memorable use of walking Pokémon came in HeartGold and SoulSilver. Every single monster was allowed to walk behind you, even the biggest ones. They can find items and react different to their surroundings; fire types don’t like walking in puddles. The reason for the walking Pokémon comeback was the PokéWalker device that came with the game. You can place any of your Pokémon inside and as you walk around it counts your steps (it’s just a pedometer). You can earn more items and even catch Pokémon, some with special attacks. It’s a fun time just taking a stroll with your Pokémon.
X and Y’s graphics gave every Pokémon a 3D model. You can watch them hop around, eat, snarl and fly. So then how could they not allow us to walk? The only time you see them this way is during battle or Pokémon Amie. Although, there are moments where you can ride atop of some and that’s great, they could have done all of them instead of just four. If you can ride a Mamoswine then one could easily walk with you. The Kalos region has many places with the possibility for interactions; for instance, there’s a spooky abandoned hotel that ghost types would love and you can run through piles of leaves rendering a water type horrified. There are many Pokémon standing around outside their Pokéballs, so why can’t yours? It’s totally unfair.
These features were just a few that had the capability of making a comeback. Of course there are many others that could have been included. Thankfully, their lack of inclusion didn’t hinder the game’s content. In fact it’s a really great and you can read our review to see what makes it stand out. Hopefully when it comes time for the next generation we won’t miss out on some of the fun new features X and Y brought.