So when Pokemon X and Y was announced this past week, the initial shock boosted the spirits of some and annoyed others. The squabbles of genwunners and Pokémon noobs are likely to continue as always, but will a 3D Pokémon capture all of the expectations Pokemon fans have had since the initial release of Red and Blue?
Pitfall- Just because it’s in 3D, doesn’t mean it’s going to be good.
The jump to 3D can be a little daunting and many video games, especially in a series like Pokemon, which has found a steady footing in the 2D realm. One would expect that a jump from 2D to 3D would be amazing no matter what, but it wasn’t that long ago when games like Castlevania and Mortal Kombat decided to add an extra dimension to their gameplay and the results were less than exciting. The novelty of making a game into 3D could be riddled with camera problems and sketchy controls, especially if production is rushed to make a certain deadline.
Payoff- Pokémon’s game mechanics have been almost perfected already
Even if you’re not a fan of the new types of Pokemon (I’m looking at you Garbodor and Watchog), you have to admit that the fighting system with counters, stats and status affects have been pretty much perfected. While Pokemon Red and Blue are overly simplistic and more of a “paper, rock, scissors” match: Pokemon White and Black 2 have evolved with complexity. So, at the very least, the gameplay for the new Pokemon will be good enough to appease fans since the combat system has already been tested.
Pitfall- The starter Pokemon all look kind of stupid
Let’s be honest: the new starter Pokemon look sort of dumb. That’s not to say that earlier generation starters have been amazing (I’m still confused as to what the hell Bulbasaur is…he’s like a flower bulb with a dinosaur or something?), but this new starters look boring. A frog? A fox? An ambiguous grass type once again? Sorry, but I’d take Snivy, Totodile, and Squirtle over these newcomers.
Payoff- The two Legendary Pokemon look awesome
While the starter Pokemon might leave a bad taste in one’s mouth; the Legendary Pokemon of X and Y are way more impressive than the past few games. The vibrancy of colors and the fact that they aren’t dragons or half-hearted Mews is a welcome approach to the series. Plus, the use of 3D could really make these legendary Pokemon look massive in scale and therefore; epic.
Pitfall- Lame “it’s your destiny”/”you are the chosen one” story
What happened to the days when you would fight Pokemon because you wanted to be the best that no one ever was? Why is it that so many video games latch onto the cheesy storyline where your unassuming character is in fact: the savior of the world! Sure, some games pull it off well (Earthbound, The Legend of Zelda etc) but the Pokemon games have become too convoluted in my opinion. Sometimes the simple storylines are the best and I believe that Red/Blue and Gold and Silver (and their updates) had the best concept: you want to catch all the Pokemon in the world and defeat the Elite 4.
Payoff- This could innovate the series.
Think about it, this big leap for Pokemon could mean a complete change for the entire franchise. The series has nearly exhausted the longevity of 2D, so the move to 3D could mean advanced game mechanics as well as a more in-depth and detailed world. Instead of limitations of small character sprites, detailed animation can be used to create character emotions for both humans and Pokemon. Plus, it would absolutely be amazing to be able to look up and see a flock of Pidgey fill the sky or hear a Mareep rustling in the tall grass.