The last few weeks have been a wild ride for Game Freak as they've had to watch the rise of Palworld. The game has engaged the gaming community in an open world, that's of course, not filled with Pokemon. The free-ranging, creature capture, survival and adventure game has exceeded 19 million players in just two weeks, making it's debut on pc and console quite impressive.
Palworld has been under mass scrutiny due to the similarities it's very own "pals" have to the many creatures found in the Pokemon world, so much so that it looks like Nintendo will possibly be going after the game's developers, Pocketpair, for taking too much inspiration from their own intellectual property. This would be a prolonged battle for the gaming company as despite some very evident similarities, suits of this sort often come down to the most minute of details.
While most of the focus has been on the similarities between the two franchises (and the over-arching legal ramifications of Palworld's release), Palworld in itself has implemented mechanics and gameplay that Nintendo can certainly look to emulate and incorporate into their own games, as some of the features of Pocketpair's release could genuinely benefit and enhance the world Game Freak has strived to cultivate with Pokemon. Lets take a look at some of the features that could really take Pokemon's games to a new level.
Building and crafting structurers and tools:
The construction of buildings and settlements is a concept that has gone from being attributed to games like Minecraft where the world is one big sandbox to expanding to to other franchises and really helping to make one's playthrough unique. In Pokemon, we've yet to see this feature come to life but there's quite a bit of utility that could come from such a feature being added.
As mentioned, the creation of structures in any sort of game setting can be a special way to enhance one's playthrough and make it their own. Of course, with games like Minecraft, building is one of the core components of the game and therefore makes the world completely malleable. This is not something we should ask for nor wish for Game Freak to completely implement in Pokemon, but as the games become more open world and expansive, the space for some of these creative liberties is there for a limited version of this feature to be implemented.
Many games have utilized a building system to great effect, particularly the likes of Skyrim through the Hearthfire DLC, where designated areas were pre-determined for players to be able to build their own homestead. This is a feature Pokemon could certainly look to emulate, not only for the unqiue value it would bring to a play-through, but for the utilitariarian possibilities this sort of function would offer.
Taking a game such as Pokemon Legends Arceus for example, one of the main, missing elements is that of a day care. In future iterations of the "Legends" series, the expansive nature of the games could be put to good use by the player being able to gather resources and build themselves a day care/ hatchery which would in turn give players something additional to strive for throughout the game.
Crafting in itself could really be boosted by the ability for players to build their own structures in this fashion, as it could also offer a hub for players to make some of the rarer, less obtainable in-game items. Taking apri-balls as an example, we've seen apricorn trees as recently as Legends Arceus, but they haven't appaeared in the series in their classic format since since Heart Gold and Soul Silver, which is unfortunate as obtaining the rarer iterations of apri-balls has become quite difficult. In the Indigo Disk DLC for Scarlet and Violet, this becomes slightly easier when one uses and upgrades theitem printer, but even this is often quite random.
In the case of crafting, Palworld strikes the nail right on head with its crafting system and expansive list of resources that one can cultivate and collect at their own base. In a game like Pokemon, having one's own apricorn tree farm for example could really benefit players and allow greater access to more apri-balls throughout a given play through. This could also relate to berry farming as well and allow players to harvest more of a specific apricorn or berry of their choice.