Pokemon - Where do they go from here

Pokémon – Where will they go from here?

I’m sure you have all heard about this new thing with Pokémon X/Y? If not then I’ll help you out, so don’t say I never did nothin’ for ya. With the Pokémon trade system hitting 90 million trades, the Pokémon Company has decided that they’ll be releasing a special Vivillion. If you’re worried that you didn’t get yours, don’t be, the Vivillion won’t be going out until the 100 million trade marker is hit.

For those who don’t know, Vivillion is one of the newer 6th gen Pokémon and has a fairly interesting thing going on with its look. Vivillion’s appearance will differ depending on your real-world region. Before this special Vivilion was announced there were 19 versions of Vivillion, the new “Fancy Pattern” bringing it up to 20. All of the patterns are simply for aesthetics, they don’t change stats or attacks, but it’s still cool.

I actually don’t even like Vivillion, but I really think Pokémon’s growing trend of variations on Pokémon is a really interesting thing to do with their tried and true series. Right now the Pokémon who vary (aesthetically or actual different evolutions) due to certain variables (such as gender, location, stats, and so on) are; the Nidoran line, the Slowpoke line, the Tyrogue line, the Eevee line, Unown, the Ralts line, the Nincada line, Spinda, Castform, the Clamperl line, Deoxys, the Burmy line, Combee, the Shellos line, Rotom, Giratina, Shaymin, Arceus, Darmanitan, the Deerling line, the Frillish line, the Poliwag line, Thundurus, Tornadus, Meloetta, Kyurem, Pyroar, the Flabebe line, Furfrou, Meowstic, the Cherubi line, Basculin, Pikachu, Chespin, and the Pumpkaboo line.

Whew, try and say all those names ten times fast. I may have missed a few but I did most of that from memory, so you’ll have to cut me some slack. Anyway, throwing the net a bit broader we’ve got the Mega forms of Pokémon, and even broader still we get to the point where, as we know, every Pokémon has a shiny color palette.

The different forms of Sawsbuck (Deerling line) according to the season

Anyway, all of those Pokémon, and the unlisted Mega Pokémon, have variations in their evolution chains, their appearances, or forms. I thought that was an awesome idea the first time I saw it with Eevee, and thinking about it just made me wonder: What else could the Pokémon Company do to make their little monsters even more awesome?

1. More form variations and things that matter:

Not all form variations matter when it comes to stats, abilities, and attacks. Why is that? If we’re really dealing with evolution shouldn’t things go more than just skin deep? Let’s take Sawsbuck for example. Yeah, they’ve got the different looks depending on the season, but what if it was more than that? What if catching a Sawsbuck in a certain season, or leveling it in a certain season, meant it had a completely different moveset, abilities, and stats?

I could see it if winter Sawsbuck had a stronger defense where as Summer might have a stronger special defense. Autumn Sawsbuck could be pushing heavy attack while Spring might be hitting for hard special attack. Maybe Winter has Thick Fat, which would be fitting for the cold and could even be a bit larger than its counterparts and learn Ice moves. Summer could definitely be fitted out with Sunny Day and learn fire moves. You could even include dual typing depending on the seasons.

On top of that what if genders mattered more? However annoying it is to get a male Combee in Wonder Trade, their evolution line makes a lot of sense. It’s just like real bees where males can’t be the queen of a beehive, so the male Combee can’t evolve, only the females can become Vespiqueens. Why isn’t there more of that for other gender variations?

It would be pretty awesome to see the male birds be a bit flashier than the females for mating reasons, like Peacocks. When it comes to insects, like Scyther, or the more reptilian lines, like Tyrunt’s and Tyranitars, shouldn’t the females be bigger, likely bringing more attack and special defense with that? With the Pyroars, it’d be interesting if the male was an attacker and the female was a special attacker, or vice versa going on the looks of their manes.

Pyroars, male (left) and female (right)

On top of that, it wouldn’t hurt for the Pokémon Company to make the shinies better. If not giving them differing stats and abilities, they could at least make the colors more varied. Or, even better they could go in and make the patterns on the Pokémon different. What if the shiny form of female Pyroar’s mane swapped red for black and yellow for red and had two or three lines down the middle instead of the one? Too many of the shinies are just lackluster. So many of them just look like limes or are just cop outs, barely having any color variations at all. I’m looking at you shiny Blaziken, you hurt me.

2. Legendaries:

So, breaking away from variations, let’s talk about legendaries. At this point the Pokémon series is pushing, 52 give or take a couple. That is a whole mess of legendary Pokémon, and it makes me wonder: what’s next? They’ve done so many themes that they’ve had to relapse on themselves a few times. They’ve done god, so what theme is left? I would say they could make a Pokémon literally described as “The devil Pokémon,” but I’m sure that might not go over all too well over here in the states, given their target demographic. Considering that Regigigas is the “Normal” legendary, I’d make a new one; then again I’m just not a fan of his kind of randomly cobbled together look.

One of the possible flow charts of who begat who

In all honesty, I like the alien and more science-y Pokémon (Deoxys, Genesect, and Mewtwo), and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of that. If Deoxys are out there in space then what else is there? I would love to see one of the games involve some kind of space travel. Everyone is always trying to meet and find new Pokémon, why wouldn’t they turn their eyes to space?

3. Storyline and aging it a bit:

With Pokémon X/Y we saw the series take a fairly interesting turn in terms of story, (which was true for Pokémon Black and White as I remember) with the game taking on a bit of a more mature theme. In Black and White, the player confronted the issue of animal slavery and the questions and issues arising from that. Though it was done in a somewhat unintelligent manner, as I heard, it was still a stepping-up point in terms of Pokémon taking on more adult themes. This is likely a question that kids have never asked themselves which made me think the Pokémon Company might of been aiming their sights a little higher; are Pokémon slaves?

Of course most Pokémon seem to be happy with their lot in life, but it’s true that in some situations Pokémon are more slaves than anything else. Normally such a title can be applied to them when it comes to the “teams” (Rocket, Magma, Aqua, etc.) in the series.

That said, I was particularly impressed with the story of X/Y. That story kind of struck me as a leap forward because of Lysandre’s (the antagonist) plan to do something that I don’t think I’d ever seen mentioned in Pokémon: murder. Lysandre was going to straight up murder every Pokémon in the world. That was pretty extreme compared to the hare brained “get money” and “I want more water” schemes of teams Rocket and Aqua. I know the theme is hackneyed in other video game worlds, but it was a new step for Pokemon.

For such a fabulous looking individual, Lysandre is pretty damn evil

I hope this is a continuing trend. Pokémon has been kind of slipping in mature themes for a while, what with Pokémon like Drifloom (who drags children to the underworld) or Yamask (who carries around its face from when it was alive). I can’t help but love how creepy those two are. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but there’s also the allusions to a Pokémon war in the original game or the one that was flat out told about in X/Y. The Pokémon Company definitely needs to go into more detail about the negative parts of the Pokémon world.

With an ever-increasing amount of super powerful monsters, and not all of them benevolent, there has to be some stuff a lot worse going on than just what we see with the teams. I’m honestly hoping to see a game with the first flat out evil Pokémon. No teams, just that one bad guy Pokémon running around and wrecking havoc in the Pokémon world. With all the lore and aforementioned subtle mature themes, the potential to do a more serious and challenging story is sitting in the Pokémon Company lore master’s and writer’s laps. Also, I still want an explanation as to the Elevator Hex Maniac in X/Y.

I’ve been a fan of Pokémon since I was young and I will be until I’m old. It’s one of the few titles that I’ve ever been able to validate buying a system for even though I know it’ll likely be the only game I play on said system. It’s the only series that could convince me to pick up a Wii U as well.

What do you all think would be the best moves for the Pokémon Company to take next concerning the main series title of their namesake series? Do you agree with me, or do you think everything’s good to go as is? Let’s talk it out in the comments below. You all know how it goes, be well, and have a great week.

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Myles K Farrington is a new writer on the MONG team and a rather dapper fellow. Keep up with him over at IGN, Twitch, and Twitter as well!

 

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