Unpopular opinions

I absolutely agree with the idea of more boss double battles.

I know I said this once but... it's disappointingly ironic how double battles barely get any presence nowadays even though Doubles is the official tournament format. Between both Sun/Moon and Ultra Sun/Moon, there's literally only one repeatable double battle (the Game Freak battle in USUM).

You'd think they'd want to show players what a fun, varied format Doubles is, but recently... it's like it doesn't exist. Even though Totem Pokemon were "Single vs Doubles" and showed many cool gimmicks... doubles were still very out of focus.
Funny you mention that because the anime doesn't showcase a lot of double battles, either, and the anime is essentially supposed to be an advertisement for the games.
 
I think all Gym Leaders should use Z-Moves, Elite Four should use Mega Pokemon, and the Champion use both (and rematches has everyone using both Z-Moves and Mega Evolutions). Of course who knows what new mechanics I have but whatever it is they should find a way to not only include it by also old mechanics. And not just league trainers, have the rivals take advantage of these tools too to show they're growing development and parallel the player. As you gain access to new mechanics, they would obviously too and can be used to show the potential of the new mechanics (as well as other route trainers but at a lesser extent). Same with the villain team, Admins should use either Z-Moves or Mega Evolution while the leader should use a Mega and Z-Move.
I disagree with this. Honestly, I think Z moves should have never happened, and mega-evolution had potential but it was almost entirely wasted on pokemon that were strong anyway. Both these features feel underdeveloped, and I hope they will be absent or at least improved upon in the new games.

I want the new gimmick to be that there's no gimmick. Or at least a well developed one like hidden abilities.

Give me passive out of combat abilities for every pokemon as substitute for HM's. Like, scyther with innate cut, bronzong with innate flash, aipom with innate pickup, and so on. Give me evolutions for pokemon that really need it, like gen four did. Give me an actual reason to 'catch them all' by making pokemon hunting more interesting and rewarding. But don't give me some half-assed unbalanced gimmick that's little more than a flashy animation and some stat boosts.

I'd rather have no gimmick if that means that GF can focus more on balance, new pokemon and moves, and things like actual sidequests and difficulty levels.
 

Pikachu315111

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I disagree with this. Honestly, I think Z moves should have never happened, and mega-evolution had potential but it was almost entirely wasted on pokemon that were strong anyway. Both these features feel underdeveloped, and I hope they will be absent or at least improved upon in the new games.

I want the new gimmick to be that there's no gimmick. Or at least a well developed one like hidden abilities.

Give me passive out of combat abilities for every pokemon as substitute for HM's. Like, scyther with innate cut, bronzong with innate flash, aipom with innate pickup, and so on. Give me evolutions for pokemon that really need it, like gen four did. Give me an actual reason to 'catch them all' by making pokemon hunting more interesting and rewarding. But don't give me some half-assed unbalanced gimmick that's little more than a flashy animation and some stat boosts.

I'd rather have no gimmick if that means that GF can focus more on balance, new pokemon and moves, and things like actual sidequests and difficulty levels.
My point was never whether Z-Moves was a good idea or not or how Mega Evos were ignored, it was mainly that more characters in the games, specifically the Pokemon League trainers, Admins of the villain team, and rivals should be using them more.

Like them or not, Z-Moves are here to stay, thus we might as well use them to give players a challenge by making otherwise normal battles have a slight danger whenever a notable trainer whips out a Z-Move or Mega Evolution.

As for them being underdeveloped, I agree with that. Z-Moves I'll give a pass FOR RIGHT NOW, as this was the generation it was introduced. However there's plenty of potential for Z-Move expansions, and I'm not just talking about making for species specific Z-Moves (and personally I'd rather there be only a few of those and for Pokemon they can think a creative Z-Move for, otherwise I'd rather the Pokemon get a Mega Evolution). Some ideas for where Z-Moves could expand would be basing Z-Moves off the Body Shape trait, certain Abilities that work with a category of Moves, some notable Moves in general, maybe even ones that depends on a Move having a certain effect like afflicting a status ailment.

Same with Mega Evolutions. ORAS I felt really showed the potential for Mega Evolutions by giving it to Pokemon like Beedrill and Pidgeot. Pokemon normally put in the PU tier suddenly jumping to OU territory! Now, Mega Evolution wasn't perfect, the flat +100 BST I felt either wasn't enough or sometimes too much, plus for Pokemon who got a Mega Evolution giving them any other item mostly felt like a downgrade (why give the offensive Pokemon who got a Mega Evo a Life Orb when Mega Evolving usually gives them a 30%+ offense boost plus increase to other stats and no recoil). If they focus on Mega Evos again I think they need a slight redo, instead of applying a flat +100 BST I think the increase should be percentage increase that doesn't go above 25% (that way other items still hold their value with these Pokemon).

And yes, for a change I'd rather the gimmick be them focusing on previous mechanics and expanding upon them. Not just Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves, but also Items and Move mechanics (such as entry hazards). Instead of throwing new toys into the pool, dig a deeper and larger pool so that what we have feels more fleshed out.
 
My point was never whether Z-Moves was a good idea or not or how Mega Evos were ignored, it was mainly that more characters in the games, specifically the Pokemon League trainers, Admins of the villain team, and rivals should be using them more.

Like them or not, Z-Moves are here to stay, thus we might as well use them to give players a challenge by making otherwise normal battles have a slight danger whenever a notable trainer whips out a Z-Move or Mega Evolution.

As for them being underdeveloped, I agree with that. Z-Moves I'll give a pass FOR RIGHT NOW, as this was the generation it was introduced. However there's plenty of potential for Z-Move expansions, and I'm not just talking about making for species specific Z-Moves (and personally I'd rather there be only a few of those and for Pokemon they can think a creative Z-Move for, otherwise I'd rather the Pokemon get a Mega Evolution). Some ideas for where Z-Moves could expand would be basing Z-Moves off the Body Shape trait, certain Abilities that work with a category of Moves, some notable Moves in general, maybe even ones that depends on a Move having a certain effect like afflicting a status ailment.

Same with Mega Evolutions. ORAS I felt really showed the potential for Mega Evolutions by giving it to Pokemon like Beedrill and Pidgeot. Pokemon normally put in the PU tier suddenly jumping to OU territory! Now, Mega Evolution wasn't perfect, the flat +100 BST I felt either wasn't enough or sometimes too much, plus for Pokemon who got a Mega Evolution giving them any other item mostly felt like a downgrade (why give the offensive Pokemon who got a Mega Evo a Life Orb when Mega Evolving usually gives them a 30%+ offense boost plus increase to other stats and no recoil). If they focus on Mega Evos again I think they need a slight redo, instead of applying a flat +100 BST I think the increase should be percentage increase that doesn't go above 25% (that way other items still hold their value with these Pokemon).

And yes, for a change I'd rather the gimmick be them focusing on previous mechanics and expanding upon them. Not just Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves, but also Items and Move mechanics (such as entry hazards). Instead of throwing new toys into the pool, dig a deeper and larger pool so that what we have feels more fleshed out.
So, you agree that the features are underdeveloped, but you still want boss characters to use them? That sounds counter intuitive.

There are so many other ways to make boss fights harder that are more interesting than boring stat boosts to a pokemon or a move. Gym challenges could utilize specific 'strategies' like weather teams, trick room, stall, you name it. If you think about it, the gym leaders don't even use regular items other than berries. Why not start with that?
 

Pikachu315111

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So, you agree that the features are underdeveloped, but you still want boss characters to use them? That sounds counter intuitive.

There are so many other ways to make boss fights harder that are more interesting than boring stat boosts to a pokemon or a move. Gym challenges could utilize specific 'strategies' like weather teams, trick room, stall, you name it. If you think about it, the gym leaders don't even use regular items other than berries. Why not start with that?
What? Yes, they're underdeveloped, and by having major characters use them it'll give them a reason to put resources into improving and expanding upon them. I don't get how that's counter intuitive.

Yeah, I think Gym Leaders could improve that way too and they should have all their Pokemon be holding an item to help them (even if it is a Berry). But that's honestly something they could easily do, this is GameFreak we're talking about, a major game developer, they have the people and resources to do both.
 
What? Yes, they're underdeveloped, and by having major characters use them it'll give them a reason to put resources into improving and expanding upon them. I don't get how that's counter intuitive.

Yeah, I think Gym Leaders could improve that way too and they should have all their Pokemon be holding an item to help them (even if it is a Berry). But that's honestly something they could easily do, this is GameFreak we're talking about, a major game developer, they have the people and resources to do both.
But not the will to do either, unfortunately.
 
The core of this issue is related to my frequent statements about the gameplay difference between in-game and post-game/meta-game, that there's still a giant gap between the two. Gym Leaders lacking challenge just plays into that issue.

Giving them megas or z-moves might solve parts of that, at least evening out the toolkits between the player and the CPU. But there could be other solutions. I think it might be interesting to see Gym Leaders built not around types but basic strategies, like a hazard gym or a subsitute-using gym. The stuff that are core parts of the meta-game but barely see the light of regular gameplay, to teach the player in bite size chunks.

Not that solution would be so simple though, as for us on Smogon the game might seem too easy but to a blind player these games can be overwhelming. It's unintuitive to try out pokemon to see which ones work (at least without taking severe time and resource costs), so Gamefreak compensates by dumbing down the difficulty. Remember their key design concept in Pokemon is exploration and discovery first, everything else second.

But to give credit where it's due, Totem Pokemon did give the challenge we needed, just not in a way I expected. While there's something lamentably lost when the challenge comes from the CPU cheating (the auras, 2 vs 1, etc) the battles themselves can be thrilling.

However, Ultrasun/Ultramoon also showed us the dark side of Totem Pokemon, and why they shouldn't be the new solution to "bosses" in pokemon games. The offender being Ultra Necrozma, which despite the hype the battle really only goes two ways: either you abuse some cheap strategies like toxic + protect or Zoroark + foul play, or you somehow overlevel it and overwhelm it by force. It's simply too strong to fight any other way, more a beef gate than a boss that requires critical thinking and strategy.

So maybe gyms do deserve a second chance.
 

Pikachu315111

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The core of this issue is related to my frequent statements about the gameplay difference between in-game and post-game/meta-game, that there's still a giant gap between the two. Gym Leaders lacking challenge just plays into that issue.

Giving them megas or z-moves might solve parts of that, at least evening out the toolkits between the player and the CPU. But there could be other solutions. I think it might be interesting to see Gym Leaders built not around types but basic strategies, like a hazard gym or a subsitute-using gym. The stuff that are core parts of the meta-game but barely see the light of regular gameplay, to teach the player in bite size chunks.

Not that solution would be so simple though, as for us on Smogon the game might seem too easy but to a blind player these games can be overwhelming. It's unintuitive to try out pokemon to see which ones work (at least without taking severe time and resource costs), so Gamefreak compensates by dumbing down the difficulty. Remember their key design concept in Pokemon is exploration and discovery first, everything else second.

But to give credit where it's due, Totem Pokemon did give the challenge we needed, just not in a way I expected. While there's something lamentably lost when the challenge comes from the CPU cheating (the auras, 2 vs 1, etc) the battles themselves can be thrilling.

However, Ultrasun/Ultramoon also showed us the dark side of Totem Pokemon, and why they shouldn't be the new solution to "bosses" in pokemon games. The offender being Ultra Necrozma, which despite the hype the battle really only goes two ways: either you abuse some cheap strategies like toxic + protect or Zoroark + foul play, or you somehow overlevel it and overwhelm it by force. It's simply too strong to fight any other way, more a beef gate than a boss that requires critical thinking and strategy.

So maybe gyms do deserve a second chance.
As you said, the Gyms are Type-based because the target demographic are kids and its easy to wrap your head around the Type chart. But that doesn't mean the Gym can't use a strategy that Type can use:

Fire-, Water-, Ice-, and Rock-types have their weather conditions; Sunny, Rain, Hail, & Sandstorm.
Grass-, Electric-, Fairy-, and Psychic-types have their Terrains.
Flying-types have Tailwind.
Rock-types have Stealth Rock.
Grass-types could focus on spore and powder moves.
Poison-, Fire-, and Electric- can easily inflict their status ailments.
You can make plenty of Type focused slow teams then use Trick Room, though Rock-, Ground-, and Steel-types are probably the best candidates.
And that's not even going into the slew of specific Status moves each Type has and also Abilities and Moves that work off those Abilities.

Also there's always side characters (including the villain team admins and additional rivals) they can give more complicated battling strategies to. If anything, I'd say it's those characters who need these strategies to make them rememberable.
 
I wanna give a special shoutout to the 'route kahunas', because I feel they get overlooked when talking about this. It's a pretty cool way to make 'normal' route trainers be interesting; by being a challenge you go back for after beating everything else on the route -- they often have better, more varied teams than everyone else and have Z-moves. I feel like you could totally up the ante on them, especially since they're optional.
 
Honestly, I don't really care about Shiny Pokemon (most of the time, anyway). Most of them just come across as either looking unnatural or nearly identical to their regular counterpart. There are some Shiny Pokemon that I actually like (such as Shiny Gyarados and Shiny Metagross), but it's far and few between.
 
I wanna give a special shoutout to the 'route kahunas', because I feel they get overlooked when talking about this. It's a pretty cool way to make 'normal' route trainers be interesting; by being a challenge you go back for after beating everything else on the route -- they often have better, more varied teams than everyone else and have Z-moves. I feel like you could totally up the ante on them, especially since they're optional.
Minibosses is something they should keep for future games. They could use them to teach players some special moves. Say, Trick Room, which is not used by any major NPC in Gen VII.
 
What? Yes, they're underdeveloped, and by having major characters use them it'll give them a reason to put resources into improving and expanding upon them. I don't get how that's counter intuitive.
Z-moves aren't underdeveloped, they're just underutilized in-game. In fact, Z-moves may be the most developed new feature GF has implemented. They filled the entire generic design space (since that design space was so narrow) such that every move has at least one matching Z-move and thus every mon can use Z-moves, and the only further development they can do is move-specific Z-moves.

Aside: Looking at the move-specific Z-moves, they are exactly what you don't want to do if you're planning on expanding. The current move specific Z-moves are, with a couple exceptions, limited to a combination of a specific move and a specific mon, even when the move isn't a mon's signature move. The exceptions are that all the Tapus can use the Tapu family signature move's Z-move, and the Necrozma fusions can use their respective cover legendary's specific Z-move.

When you look closely at Z-moves, they appear to be perfectly designed to be ignored in the future with minimal negative effects. New damaging moves require no mechanics design work as they just get the type matching generic Z-move, and new status moves require merely choosing from the very short list of simple additional effects for each move to create the Z-move. The animations for the generic Z-moves are already completely generic, and while they'll need to be reimplemented for Gen 8 (since that will be on the Switch, a single screen and vastly more powerful system), they'll remain generic with each mon's model just inserted into the animation in the proper place.

Now for an unpopular, or at least possibly different, opinion: Z-moves aren't about mechanics at all, they're about art. I don't mean fine art, but rather that the Z-moves are very visually flashy, distinct (from previous stuff in the series), and work well as assets for marketing. Consider that the animations, including the little dance/pose routines, aren't skippable. Further, look at what got move-specific Z-moves. Of the 17 total move-specific Z-moves, Pikachu got two, the cover legendaries got three, two went to event exclusive mons, the three starters each got one, the generation's pseudo-legendary got one, two mons from the generation chosen for increased marketing presence (Lycanroc and Mimikyu) each got one, the region's non-cover legendary family (the Tapus) got one, and the last two went to Alolan Raichu and Snorlax. If Z-moves were more about mechanics, you'd expect the non-generic Z-moves to be done more as family-specific instead of mon-specific, and things like the generation-specific early birds or the Alolan form families to get them.
 

Pikachu315111

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Aside: Looking at the move-specific Z-moves, they are exactly what you don't want to do if you're planning on expanding. The current move specific Z-moves are, with a couple exceptions, limited to a combination of a specific move and a specific mon, even when the move isn't a mon's signature move. The exceptions are that all the Tapus can use the Tapu family signature move's Z-move, and the Necrozma fusions can use their respective cover legendary's specific Z-move.
When I say move/Ability-specific I'm meaning a generic group that multiple Pokemon fall under:

Iron Fist + Punching move
Super Luck + Increase Critial Hit Ratio move
Strong Jaw + Biting move
Draining moves
Sounds moves
Weather Summoning moves
Explode/Self-Destruct
Hidden Power
 
If you say that a feature is underdeveloped, doesn't that imply that it should be developed further? i.e. used more often in order to refine it?

Z-moves seem fine to me with the exception of their animations but that's a minor problem

the only problem I have with Mega-Evolution is that the designs are ugly, it's as if Gamefreak just takes a pokemon and gives it lots of unneeded foreign elements and/or then just exaggerates its concept until the pokemon looks garish
basically is as if Gamefreak just went "x but as a legendary" and called it a day

also thematic concerns but I leave that aside before a certain Cod Mod goes all meta meta meta
 
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I think megas didn’t really work. It seemed like GF wanted the mons to be “better” but never decided what that should mean or how to achieve it. They needed to either pick a target power level and shoot for that, or else decide how much they’re improving the mons and go from there. They gave every mon from Beedrill to Salamence the same stat bonus, but some were well-distributed and some were terrible. Then some got a really good ability and others got Sand Force. They also picked really random mons to boost, ranging from starters to classic Gen 1 icons to VGC staples to random forgotten stuff no one’s used in years. I think the concept had potential, but GF needed a lot more direction and focus when they executed it.
And yeah, a lot of the designs are bad. Gen4 had the same problem, a fully-evolved mon is DONE. The design has been taken to it’s logical conclusion. A further stage beyond the fully-evolved form is very hard to get right, because hopefully it was already right. I don’t even blame the designers for the megas often looking odd, they really didn’t have many options.
 
Generation 2 was the most unbalanced and boring generation. Movepools were even more of an egregious pile of shit then Generation 1 in comparison (a newer game should improve issues like that, not keep it at the same shit state and even make it worse). The trainers are weak, uselss distractions, and same with the gyms. And for a new generation, you do seem to constantly have Genration 1 Pokemon constantly rather then, you know, the Pokemon in the fucking generation you are playing
 
And for a new generation, you do seem to constantly have Genration 1 Pokemon constantly rather then, you know, the Pokemon in the fucking generation you are playing
The same problem that happens in Gen 4, 6 and 7.

That Gen 3 and 5 are the most memorable is not necessarily because they have the best designs (they do have some of the best, but that's a whole different story) but because they gave the new characters a huge spotlight so we can appreciate them. In all other generations (not counting the first one, of course), the new mons are pushed to a sideline.
 
I quite liked Gen 2. It felt like a sequel to Gen 1, the regions were close together so it makes sense they share species, you get recognisable old favourites from the first games, with the new mons hidden amongst them so they felt special when you found them out. I haven't played them since the GBC though, so this might all be nostalgia goggles.

Paying such attention to Gen 1 throughout the whole series gets a bit tiring, though. Gen 7 gets a pass because of the 20 year anniversary thing, but new mons for new regions was one of the reasons I liked Gen 5 so much.

(And given that Alola forms are now a thing, they don't even have to create new mons from scratch for their new regions any more)
 

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I quite liked Gen 2. It felt like a sequel to Gen 1.
It was a sequel to Gen I, just took place in another region though you visited Kanto in the second half of the game (and the finale had you facing the protagonist of Gen I).

Gen I & Gen II and BW & B2W2 are the only pair of Pokemon main games which were direct sequels to one another. Gen II's and B2W2's plot needed Gen I and BW to happen before they could. Now, would be interesting to see how Johto was like during Gen I, when Team Rocket was mostly operating in Kanto. We would have a who different Gym Leader line-up too:

Falkner: Would be a kid, around the same age as Janine. Most likely it would be his father who we would face.
Bugsy: He'd be Youngster age, at most, so probably have a different Gym Leader.
Whitney: Same deal as Falkner, so she'd be replaced by another Gym Leader.
Morty: Hm, a toss up. He would still be old enough to be a Gym Leader, just maybe be around Falkner/Whitney/Janine's Gen II's age. I could see him having just become the Gym Leader.
Chuck: No problem there.
Jasmine: Hm, another toss up. I think Gen I Jasmine would be as old as Gen II Bugsy, and considering her shy personality she may very well not be Gym Leader until she had to take up the position.
Pryce: Another no problem.
Clair: And the last is a final toss up. Gen I Clair would be old enough... though she'd probably still be training in the Dragon's Den. I don't think the Dragon Den's Elder would let her be a Gym Leader as it would take focus away from her training. Or maybe it could be a transitioning point, would be neat if before the events of Gen I that Lance was the Gym Leader but when he was made a member of the Elite Four it left Blackthorn Gym Leader-less and Clair wants to take up the mantel.

But either way we'd need at least four new Gym Leaders.
 
And yeah, a lot of the designs are bad. Gen4 had the same problem, a fully-evolved mon is DONE. The design has been taken to it’s logical conclusion. A further stage beyond the fully-evolved form is very hard to get right, because hopefully it was already right. I don’t even blame the designers for the megas often looking odd, they really didn’t have many options.
Most of the time it was the opposite problem: Pokemon with room to evolve further getting a mega evolution instead of a much-needed real one.
 
The same problem that happens in Gen 4, 6 and 7.

That Gen 3 and 5 are the most memorable is not necessarily because they have the best designs (they do have some of the best, but that's a whole different story) but because they gave the new characters a huge spotlight so we can appreciate them. In all other generations (not counting the first one, of course), the new mons are pushed to a sideline.
I agree if you're talking about DP, but Platinum done a far better job of pushing its new Pokémon and evolutions to the spotlight -- at least as much as RSE. So it's half and half with Gen 4.
 

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Paying such attention to Gen 1 throughout the whole series gets a bit tiring, though. Gen 7 gets a pass because of the 20 year anniversary thing, but new mons for new regions was one of the reasons I liked Gen 5 so much.
This so much.

I, like many others, have fond memories of Gen I. I like to see its Pokémon get special attention several generations later, with growing movepools and various alternate forms and consistent availability and all that jazz.

However, my fond memories of Pokémon also stretch beyond Gen I, and for those generations it's heartbreaking to see their Pokémon miss out on all the attention given to Gen I 'mons. New regional forms, signature Z-moves, Mega Evolutions, availability in the early-game, movepool additions, playstyle-altering abilities... It's as if Game Freak creates this marvellous tool box, but only opens it for Gen I Pokémon. All generations could use a bit of that special attention, not just the Kanto Pokémon. The designers go to the trouble of creating those new concepts and tools, but for some reason hesitate to apply them to most of their catalog of content.

Or what about marketing presence in later generations? Whenever Pokémon is promoted as a franchise, or looks back on its own history, Pikachu will be there for certain, the current gen starters might make an apperance, but you're also likely to see the Gen I starters or other Kanto mons while the previous generations seems all but forgotten. The only post-gen-I Pokémon with any sort of staying power appears to be Lucario, the rest are shuffled out of the limelight as soon as a new generation hits the shelves - save for Kanto 'mons, of course. I mean, who remembers Shinx when you have Voltorb? Despite the former being a prominent early-game Pokémon in the best-selling games in the series, and also having a badass final evolution, and the latter being a one-trick-pony of a gimmick Pokémon found only in an optional side area in RBY.

This Kanto pandering strikes me as very odd seeing as Pokémon is ostensibly aimed towards kids - but those kids who were ten years old when the last Kanto game came out are almost 20 now - and that's if you count HGSS as a Kanto game; those who grew up with FRLG would be in their mid-twenties at least by now. The current target demographic of the Pokémon games weren't even born yet when BW hit the shelves in 2011. Why should Game Freak keep their fixation at Kanto, given that the franchise as a whole is so focused on children? If they're so hell-bent on prioritizing the younger crowd, there would be no need to include the same staple Gen I mons in every game anymore. And in case of adults, the Gen I pandering doesn't change the perception of games that clearly aren't made for them anyway. And what about those lifelong fans whose first games were RSE or DP? Avid customers who have bought and played every game in the series but for the very first, why shouldn't their childhood memories be acknowledged in the same way?

Sure, the Gen I crowd is capable of giving online backlash to a greater degree than the Gen V crowd, but it won't be like that for all eternity. It's not like the age difference between Gen I players and Gen IV players is that significant any more. Whether you were eight years old in 2000 when Yellow came out, or in 2007 when DP came out, you're an adult around college age now, give or take a couple of years in either direction. Sure it was different in 2011, but people do grow up, and some of them have grown up with the term "genwunner". At some point, Game Freak/Nintendo will really have to consider whether the opinions of the Gen I lovers still weighs heavier than the opinions of those who consider the Kanto pandering to have been overdone for many years by now.
 

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