More information seems to be coming out about the upcoming Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet. Both look fantastic but bits and pieces of the trailer seem to allude to things that may be making some people worried.
When the trailer for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet dropped as a surprise end to an otherwise lackluster Pokemon Direct no one was ready for it. I for one definitely wasn’t. I decided to sleep in that morning not expecting a damn thing to come from the trailer so when I woke up and people were asking me my thoughts on the new Pokemon game that was announced, I thought I had gone back in time. So I looked through the trailer, some might say a bit too hard, and was mostly impressed.
I have some fears though. There’s this bizarre thing with Pokemon games where they start to introduce really fun mechanics and then yank them out from the next game. Here’s a quick rundown of one-and-done features I loved that disappeared by the next game:
- Pokemon FireRed and Leaf Green
- Tutorial Guide that allowed players to look up detailed information about game mechanics and any point
- When starting up a saved game you’re shown a list of the last four things you did before saving so you can remember what you were up to
- Pokemon Diamond and Pearl
- Did you know it had VOICE CHAT IN-GAME?!
- Pokemon Platinum
- Introducing Looker. I know he was in more than one but they put this dude in eleven different Pokemon games and then after Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon they just stopped? Come on, I loved his stories and would have loved to see him investigating Sordward and Shielbert. Or in Pokemon Legends Arceus having fallen through the portal like you and Ingo and investigating Volo
- Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver
- Pokeathlon was a series of mini-games where your Pokemon could compete in Olympic style events that felt almost like Mario Party mini-games
- Voltorb Flip, a minesweeper like game that replaced slot machines in the international release and was honestly really fun
- Pokemon X and Y
- Though, admittedly, they were a little game-breaking. Sorry Mega-Khangaskhan, you know I love you.
- Pokemon Sun and Moon
- Pokefinder, a thing that had you trying to take pictures of certain Pokemon in the wild. Imagine if Pokemon Arceus had you also responsible for taking the pictures that went into the Pokedex. Just saying.
- Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
- In addition to customizing the clothing and hair of your character, you could also find the gym leaders out and about and challenge them a second time. Doing so would allow you to change the way your character threw Pokeballs at the beginning of the match, giving your player more personality.
- Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu
- New catching mechanics
- Pokemon Go-style catching mechanic
- Co-op gameplay allowed me to play as a trainer sharing the same Pokemon as player one allowing me to do more than just watch my kid play, I could help them by turning his team into a doubles team.
- Dressing my buddy Pokemon. It was limited to just Pikachu and Eevee but I loved it.
- New catching mechanics
- Pokemon Sword and Shield
- Pokejobs, a feature that allowed me to take Pokemon I didn’t have in my party and send them out on various auto missions where they could gain experience and come back with items. Awesome for when you want to level up a large amount of Pokemon, especially ones you need for your Pokedex but aren’t interested in using.
So with that list over and done, a thing that really worries me with the Pokemon Scarlet and Violet trailer is that while it’s still open world and you can still see the Pokemon in the wild, it looks like it might go back to the standard, in battle, catching method of the old games and I’m not ready to go back.
Pokemon Legends Arceus had such a good idea with the catching from stealth mechanic. It’s going to feel so boring just clicking a button and watching an animation play out after that.
Like, I get that the mainline games are supposed to be different. I get that people are telling me that the Legends games are a different line from the mainline games. But the people telling me this are often the same people that, prior to Arceus’ release, were upset because it was confirmed Arceus was a mainline Pokemon game so I don’t know what to believe anymore.
Long story short, I’m hyped for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet but let’s keep some features instead of dumping them every damn time. Let the genre get bigger.