Pokemon Sun and Moon Needs to Innovate, Here’s Why

By   /   Mar 22, 2016
Pokemon Sun and Moon Starter Pokemon

New Pokemon games in the form of Pokemon Sun and Moon are arriving on the 3DS this holiday. For the largest set of Pokemon fans, it’s an opportunity to rejoice.

Pokemon game has sentimental values for many, and it’s incredibly fun even without. However, it’s not an absolutely perfect videogame series. It certainly has its flaws, and with offering similar experiences for nearly two decades certainly arise plenty of problems.

Here’s why Pokemon Sun and Moon needs to innovate:

It’s All a Bit Too Familiar
Pokemon has largely been a successful franchise in the videogame industry, arguably Nintendo’s biggest asset alongside The Legend of Zelda. However, it’s become a bit too familiar.

The only thing that has really been changing are the new Pokemon and locations. Otherwise it’s largely the same thing: grab yourself a Pokemon, defeat gym leaders, beat rival several times, beat the Elite Four, and that’s about it.

It’s certainly not a bad formula, and it’s fun for the most part, but it would definitely not hurt to change up a few things to make it seem fresher.

Would Pokemon Sun and Moon change anything in that regard? Unlikely!

Is This the Right Platform?
We know it’s the 20th Anniversary of Pokemon, but there’s a large concern about Pokemon Sun and Moon launching on the 3DS. Yes, traditionally Pokemon as an RPG has always worked best on handhelds, but it’s not the type of platform that is questionable, but its age.

Sales of the 3DS show the handheld is in the final stages of its lifecycle. People are less interested in the system.

It’s true that this release might be an attempt by Nintendo to reinvigorate the interest in the 3DS, but that also leaves the NX in a sticky spot as well, considering the future platform is theorized to be a hybrid handheld-home console.

More importantly, the hardware of the 3DS is now old, so it’s going to be tough to expect any out-of-the-world visual changes. The best bet the game has with its current release time is to feature improved mechanics.

Large Expectations
Nintendo just had to mention it’s the franchise’s 20th Anniversary, didn’t they? Many of us knew it anyway, but the fact that they did mention it means there’s increased expectations from Pokemon Sun and Moon.

Expectations and hype are overall a good thing, but the challenge of Nintendo is to determine whether fans want a future trend-setter on Pokemon’s 20th Anniversary or whether they want the same stuff as before.

My guess is that it’s the former, but Nintendo may not look to change the formula too drastically considering it’s worked for nearly two decades. Regardless, the expectations are and will remain sky-high, and it’s this generation more than ever that people want change.

Difficulty in Attracting New Audiences
Pokemon RPGs are classics for sure, but they have struggled to evolve with time. Yes, there’s a certain charm in their simplicity, but it’s kind of a difficult thing to admire for newer fans.

I mean, compare the one-slot save, the uninteresting NPCs, and the excessively easy battles to features of games like The Witcher 3, Fallout, and Dragon Age, and you’ll see a massive gap.

Yes, Pokemon never fell in that conventional category, but it’s going to be hard for Nintendo to expect new audiences without incorporating new RPG standards in Pokemon Sun and Moon. A few tweaks to the interface and new ideas like character creation/customization would certainly appeal to newer fans.

To Change or Not to Change?
Yes, we’ve mentioned it several times that things have been a bit too familiar in the Pokemon series, but the true fact is that it’s not just how things are getting old – it’s how for years the series fans have been begging for improvement in certain areas.

These calls for improvement of certain mechanics have landed on deaf ears, as Nintendo has played is safe and offered tried and tested (classic) gameplay mechanics and features.

Nintendo seems rather terrified of making bold changes, such as bringing the main RPG franchise to a home console, or adding a more diverse MMO-styled online world.

These elements have to be implemented eventually for the survival of the series. The NX seemed like the best place to start, but with a release on the 3DS, it seems Nintendo isn’t really planning much change.

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