It’s Time for Pokemon to Evolve with the new Nintendo Switch
A completely immersive, open-world Pokemon game could be the game changer that Nintendo needs.
On Thursday the 20th of October, Nintendo revealed their plans for the future of gaming. The Nintendo Switch, a hybrid home and portable console. It seems like a flawless plan: to utilize the highly successful handheld gaming initiative and combine it with the home console. The Big N needs the Nintendo Switch to be a big hit; the company that prides itself in progressing how we play games really had a misstep with the Wii U. Surely in order to bring the success of the handhelds over to their home console they need to bring one of their most successful franchises back to the home console, in a way like never before?
There’s always been demand for an open-world Pokemon game on every Nintendo console. Game Freak have always stated that the Pokemon formula wouldn’t work on a home console (to read more about how Pokemon could change the formula click here). They believe that the game’s core appeal is in raising the Pokemon, growing them and being able to take this everywhere. Game Freak’s concerns seem very valid when you consider this; it certainly would be a very different type of game if it was on the Wi or Wii U. However Nintendo Switch provides the opportunity to…switch up the game’s formula.
The evolution of the Pokemon gaming franchise has been incredible. Pokemon Red and Blue (Read my Throwback Thursday article on Blue and Red here) set the template: a young trainer who grows with his starter Pokemon, while moving towards being a Pokemon champion with a whole range of powerful pocket-monsters. Perhaps the most compelling part of any Pokemon game is the exploration – the hope of finding new and powerful Pokemon in distant places. Pokemon X and Y introduced some of the largest locations in any Pokemon game to date. With each new addition to the franchise the focus on adventure and exploration has increased. The same should happen now with the Nintendo Switch.
The move from handheld to home console for Pokemon could be very similar to how Zelda moved from 2D into a full 3D open world with The Ocarina of Time. Obviously recent Pokemon titles have already been in 3D, but the Nintendo Switch can allow for a large setting like never before. Evidence of this is that the Switch’s trailer portrayed Skyrim on the console. Imagine the large, expansive area available in Skyrim combined with the sense of adventure created with any Pokemon game. It’s enough to get any gamer excited.
Nintendo have set the vision for the future: it’s portable gaming with the power of a home console. Perhaps no other Nintendo franchise says “take this adventure with you” like Pokemon: the ability to explore, train, and battle, all on the move. Nintendo needs all its big hitters firing from the beginning to make sure the Nintendo Switch is a success. We’ve seen Zelda, we’ve got a glimpse of Mario, surely Nintendo has something up its sleeve for Pokemon?
Personally I would remake Pokemon Red and Blue on the Nintendo Switch: it’s a game that many know and love, with pokemon that many grew up with, and now a whole new generation have fallen in love with the original 151 pokemon through Pokemon Go. But what do you think? Can a Pokemon RPG style game work on the Nintendo Switch? Comment to have your say!
Written by Stan Cohen (follow me at StanCohen37 for all my latest tweets about gaming)
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