Unpopular opinions

I frankly didn't like the Battle Frontier much either. Outside of the Battle Tower and Battle Factory (which I both really like; it's a shame the latter was also cut outside of USUM), the other facilities are too gimmicky to be enjoyable.

(Not to mention the Battle Factory was also a nice way to get BP when you didn't have a competitive team yet)
I must admit that while I could see the merit in them, even when I was younger and had more time on my hands I didn't really bother with Platinum/HGSS's frontier much. It was always far too intimidating and felt like a level I could never reach and furthermore even in the Battle Tower I often lost for luck reasons outside of my control; and I can only imagine this is a big part of what contributed to GF realising not a lot of people played these. They're very interesting in concept, but in execution they need a bit more of a draw and something to ease people in. Maybe there are lower versions with less penalties, but then more 'competitive' levels the further in you go that much more resemble the Frontiers we're used to. A little bit like Battle Tree's current 'singles' and 'super singles', but a little bit more thought out.
 
Admittedly I didn't use the Emerald Battle Frontier much either. While some of them seemed fun (Factory, Tower, Dome, Pike, and Pyramid) others were pretty frustrating (Arena, but especially the Palace).

That and to be frank it was a big time sink to get competitive pokemon back in those days, without most of the breeding and IV cheats we enjoy now. I think a lot of the desire to have it back was to see how Gamefreak would improve it with Gen 6 hardware.

Ironically, the Battle Maison is the one I've used the most, because I found the Triple Battle format really fun (and less prone to luck hax failures).
 
I must admit that while I could see the merit in them, even when I was younger and had more time on my hands I didn't really bother with Platinum/HGSS's frontier much. It was always far too intimidating and felt like a level I could never reach and furthermore even in the Battle Tower I often lost for luck reasons outside of my control; and I can only imagine this is a big part of what contributed to GF realising not a lot of people played these. They're very interesting in concept, but in execution they need a bit more of a draw and something to ease people in. Maybe there are lower versions with less penalties, but then more 'competitive' levels the further in you go that much more resemble the Frontiers we're used to. A little bit like Battle Tree's current 'singles' and 'super singles', but a little bit more thought out.
This. The Tower/Frontier always expected you to jump in with expert knowledge of the game's mechanics while nothing before them even vaguely hinted at their existence. You go in and just immediately get your ass kicked, and unless you've spent ages researching things on the internet, you're never going to understand why or improve.

I've never liked the winning streak concept of those facilities either. In practice it just means you have to spend hours recovering after a single instance of unfortunate luck, and the probability of losing to such luck is very high because the computer gets 50+ attempts. A lot of it boils down to gaming the AI, which is never an indication of a well-designed challenge.

The only postgame "facility" I have ever enjoyed was Black Tower/White Treehollow. I'd like to see those brought back and expanded upon. Besides that, I prefer story expansions like Delta Episode and Episode RR.
 
As someone who loved the Battle Factory but wasn't that big a fan of the other formats, an easy fix would be to fold the rental system into the standard Battle Building. After telling the person at the start what format you want to play in, you would then be asked if you want to use your own Pokemon, or use rental Pokemon.
 

Vinc2612

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I loved Emerald's battle frontier, my favourite offline part of any Pokémon game. The rework in gen 4 was disappointing, the removal in gen 5 was heartbreaking, the announce of ORAS followed by the absence of the frontier was in my opinion worse than any more recent removal they could have done.

I loved to build depending on the different ruleset, changing team for each facility. I loved how Linoone would suddently become a good pick in the Pyramid for example, or Shedinja in Dome.

I've never liked the winning streak concept of those facilities either. In practice it just means you have to spend hours recovering after a single instance of unfortunate luck, and the probability of losing to such luck is very high because the computer gets 50+ attempts. A lot of it boils down to gaming the AI, which is never an indication of a well-designed challenge.
Another reason to love the frontier over any maison or tree. You get rewarded for a few streaks (max 10 to face the frontier brain in gold).
 
I loved Emerald's battle frontier, my favourite offline part of any Pokémon game. The rework in gen 4 was disappointing, the removal in gen 5 was heartbreaking, the announce of ORAS followed by the absence of the frontier was in my opinion worse than any more recent removal they could have done.

I loved to build depending on the different ruleset, changing team for each facility. I loved how Linoone would suddently become a good pick in the Pyramid for example, or Shedinja in Dome.



Another reason to love the frontier over any maison or tree. You get rewarded for a few streaks (max 10 to face the frontier brain in gold).
Agree exept for HGSS/Plat, that frontier is just as fun for me!

Other then the IV / obtaining good pokemon issue [that the AI always will has after a certian point] I think a large part of the reason, so many are turned off by the tower is the level of hax present which is 100% unforgiving. I am not talking about getting hit by a 6.25% crit after trying to stall 50 turns, but stuff like quick claw rhydon w/ horn drill. Or some random pokemon holding bright powder, or perhaps like in DPP there is a cress IIRC with double team and rest. Stuff like this can cause super low probability events to occur, but more then that, if you were to use say, use an SD gliscor with EQ, Ice fang all it takes is a single ice fang to miss and you could have your streak lost. The problem with the frontiers, as much as I love them is the lack of control you have and so teams become hyper centrilized. The best teams in Gen IV are all trick leads with 2 set up mons, the best teams in gen 5 use durants w/ entrainment ect. I think that two things would have made the towers appeal to most people here.

1) Limit the RNG based sets to a small handful of pokemon. In GEN III every single rhydon has quick claw. 3 of 4 of those rhydons carry horndrill. More interesting sets should be used for sure, but RNG based ones not so much. Better AI alongside this could compensate and make a more natural feelung challenge. [They switch when for example, they are a jolteon VS blissey etc]

2) The ability to earn an "Extra life" after so many wins or perhaps if you win a rare event that can occur in a facility. I am thinking for example in the tower maybe a text appears before a battle saying "win in 8 turns or less and be given a prize!" OFC these lives shouldn't stack / should have a limit. They should be SUPER rare though, or as I said earlier just give us an extra life after a set amount of wins, maybe every 100 or 150 ect.

Just my 2 cents coming from someone who will only play the new games FOR the maison, which I had a 300+ streak in before a flareon of all things got really lucky lol
 
This is another opinion whose hot take status I am uncertain of, but I know there are definitely people who will disagree with me.

New pre-evolutions for old Pokemon are pointless and stupid and I don't understand why anyone would ever want them unless they are a diehard Little Cup player. There's a good reason why we haven't seen one of these in 4 generations.
 
This is another opinion whose hot take status I am uncertain of, but I know there are definitely people who will disagree with me.

New pre-evolutions for old Pokemon are pointless and stupid and I don't understand why anyone would ever want them unless they are a diehard Little Cup player. There's a good reason why we haven't seen one of these in 4 generations.
From a non-gameplay perspective? They're really cute, and depending on the Pokémon can really help flesh out and visualise its growth cycle. Lapras and Absol, for instance, could benefit from that. And then there's other cases like Kangaskhan where that baby in the pouch is just begging to be its own thing.

And then from a gameplay perspective, it can be handled very well to completely change the in-game balance and location of a Pokémon. Budew is a fantastic example, as while Roselia's stats would likely make it broken if handed to you on the first route (not to mention a pain to capture), having a pre-evolution with lower stats balances it out and means you can have this Pokémon earlier. Other good examples include Elekid and Magby in BW2, and Riolu in a handful of games. And while this is a case that has only been presented to us once, it can tie together previously unconnected Pokémon and change our perspective on their family and relation -- ie, Tyrogue. I could see similar new family-makers, for lack of a better term, work well for Tauros/Miltank, Heracross/Pinsir, and Minun/Plusle, for example. Feel free to disagree with those examples of course, but I think Tyrogue still makes a strong case for the concept on its own.


Though, obviously, it's not handled terribly well in far too many cases. Pichu, Cleffa and Igglybuff as your first impression and introduction to the concept when these are pre-evolutions of Pokémon that are already very weak and you could catch on the first few routes makes them feel incredibly redundant, and if that was the course being taken; then Pikachu, Jigglypuff and Clefairy should have had their battle capabilities buffed to be on par with something like Croconaw, Flaaffy or Pidgeotto. But even then, it escapes the lore reasons I outlined above; as you can already quite easily visualise something like Jigglypuff as a baby due to its size and body proportions. Electabuzz, Snorlax and Mantine on the other hand do not, so from a design perspective their having pre-evolutions introduced makes a lot more sense. The likes of Pichu are fine, but not needed as much and don't flow quite as well.


I'd simply argue that it's just a case of most of the examples we've been handed so far not working well, and hence giving the impression that the whole concept is bad. But in reality, Budew and others present a very strong case for the concept to continue.
 
This is another opinion whose hot take status I am uncertain of, but I know there are definitely people who will disagree with me.

New pre-evolutions for old Pokemon are pointless and stupid and I don't understand why anyone would ever want them unless they are a diehard Little Cup player. There's a good reason why we haven't seen one of these in 4 generations.
For competitive, they're usually useless. But then again, so is almost every other NFE Pokemon. The reason why pre-evolutions are so cool is because they allow for a better single player experience. Which is more interesting, at least in theory? Catching a Pokemon in the early game and having it grow and become more powerful as you progress, or catching an already strong Pokemon late into the game?

Of course, the timing for the evolution is a balancing act. Make it evolve too early, and you risk breaking the early game, like with RBY Nidoking. Though it's not like that can't happen with single-stage Pokemon, like Hawlucha in XY. The bigger problem is making something evolve too late, which leads to having dead weight on your team for most of the mid to late game, like with Charjabug in SM.
 

Pikachu315111

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I frankly didn't like the Battle Frontier much either. Outside of the Battle Tower and Battle Factory (which I both really like; it's a shame the latter was also cut outside of USUM), the other facilities are too gimmicky to be enjoyable.

(Not to mention the Battle Factory was also a nice way to get BP when you didn't have a competitive team yet)
I actually sort of agree but with an asterisk. Probably be easier to do each Facility with my thoughts:

Tower: Nothing wrong here, is just plain ol' single and double battles.
Factory: Nothing wrong here either, infact it's probably the newbie friendliest as it's rental battles. Probably why it has appeared sporadically in some form while others were one and done (aside from Tower of course which has an expy every generation).
Arena: Not too bad but the luck factor here is strong if you don't get lucky with an opponent. Also its very offense focused (punishing you for even using Protect variants) and even has you playing safe (you don't want moves with imperfect accuracy as they deduct points for every move missed). Also the move coverage a Pokemon has the better if not recommended (super effective gets you points, resisted loses).
Dome: Just a straight-up knock-out tournament. I guess there's the additional mechanic of learning what your opponent's Pokemon and strategy which I guess suggests the AI will also try hard countering your choices... as if it didn't already in the Battle Tower, they're just admitting it here. So, yeah, I guess in that case it's no different from Single Battles in the Tower.
Pike: This one is interesting as I think it's entirely possible to go through a streak without ever battling (obviously on a streak where you face the Frontier Brain that's not true... just means you won't do any battles before facing Lucy). However it can just as easily screw you over by you choosing a hall that gives you a status ailment. And if you really get unlucky you won't get a healing trainer as your Pokemon don't heal after every battle. As the Symbol it represents, its a really luck based facility so I don't think it's unfair to not liking it.
Palace: Bleh, what your Pokemon decides to do is entirely based on what their Nature is and on RNG on top of that. Now all facilities requires breeding to a certain extent for good Pokemon to use in them, but this one especially limits you as you gotta find what Nature fits your battling style and then what Pokemon goes good with that Nature. This one can stay in Emerald, give Spenser a new gimmick if here ever comes back or at the very least simplify the mechanics so it makes (why does a Lonely, Jolly & Rash Pokemon want to support more? Why are Adamant & Modest average all-around? Why aren't the natures Defense & Special Defense focused have a heavier lean on using defensive moves?).
Pyramid: A really interesting idea, though maybe not as a battle facility. This is actually a maze to the top of the pyramid where you battle both trainers and wild Pokemon and can even find items like potions, ethers, restores, and held items (a Pokemon that knows Pickup is especially helpful as they can find more items for you). But this exploration and survival aspect is what makes it not that great of a battle facility as battle facilities should be more battle after battle where the gimmick changes how battles are proceed. Pyramid will make for a great side activity like the Vlack Tower or White Treehollow in B2W2.

The Gen IV Battle Frontier I think did a lot better with their Facilities.

I must admit that while I could see the merit in them, even when I was younger and had more time on my hands I didn't really bother with Platinum/HGSS's frontier much. It was always far too intimidating and felt like a level I could never reach and furthermore even in the Battle Tower I often lost for luck reasons outside of my control; and I can only imagine this is a big part of what contributed to GF realising not a lot of people played these. They're very interesting in concept, but in execution they need a bit more of a draw and something to ease people in. Maybe there are lower versions with less penalties, but then more 'competitive' levels the further in you go that much more resemble the Frontiers we're used to. A little bit like Battle Tree's current 'singles' and 'super singles', but a little bit more thought out.
Yeah, while I love the idea of the Battle Frontier it also does throw you into the deep end of the pool. It's why I think instead of having rentals only at one Facility they should all have rentals (just make it so you can't earn a Symbol/Print/whatever. Also the Battle Factory or its expy can still be included as it has the rental swapping mechanic it could even add onto). Or maybe even do what they revealed they're planning for SwSh and let us rent a team another player had used to beat a facility. It'll allow us to participate and see what goes into it first before we make our own team and strategy. Infact, maybe even help out there by having a Daycare and person that'll Hyper Train our Pokemon (even sell Silver Bottle Caps in the BP Shop).

As someone who loved the Battle Factory but wasn't that big a fan of the other formats, an easy fix would be to fold the rental system into the standard Battle Building.
And that's another thought, a lot of these gimmicks can be rolled into the Battle Tower expy with little difficulty. They don't need their entire own location, just a different mode. Don't get me wrong, I like each Facility was given its own flavor, but if they're that tight on time it might just be bet to keep what's tried and true and add on new ideas to that to see if anything sticks (for example I do think rentals, Inverse Battles, and maybe even Little Cup could be added to the Battle Tower expies as standard features for now on; and if this results in the initial trainer pool to be smaller they could always add in more via version updates).

Like, here's an idea: next Battle Frontier could be a TV Network. You go in, sign-up for what program you want to be on, and from there you battle according to the gimmick that program uses with the host of the program being the Frontier Brain. This would just mean the only designing they would need to do would be the TV Network main building (including where is the BP Shop, Daycare, Hyper Trainer, etc.; all which could also be their own programs) and then all the rooms where the programs are televised from (and the programs could be a news show, food show, weather report, shopping show, nature show, etc.). Maybe also have some additional programs or rooms connected to the main hall where you can talk to NPCs and get tips and helpful advice.

New pre-evolutions for old Pokemon are pointless and stupid and I don't understand why anyone would ever want them unless they are a diehard Little Cup player. There's a good reason why we haven't seen one of these in 4 generations.
From a non-gameplay perspective? They're really cute, and depending on the Pokémon can really help flesh out and visualise its growth cycle. Lapras and Absol, for instance, could benefit from that. And then there's other cases like Kangaskhan where that baby in the pouch is just begging to be its own thing.

(...)

I'd simply argue that it's just a case of most of the examples we've been handed so far not working well, and hence giving the impression that the whole concept is bad. But in reality, Budew and others present a very strong case for the concept to continue.
Adding onto what was already said, they could also be used to maybe teach a Pokemon a move it wouldn't learn normally. Sadly they've only really made baby Pokemon just a smaller, limited version of the Pokemon they evolved from instead of using the opportunity (mostly via Move Tutor) to have them learn something surprising.
 
Arena: Not too bad but the luck factor here is strong if you don't get lucky with an opponent. Also its very offense focused (punishing you for even using Protect variants) and even has you playing safe (you don't want moves with imperfect accuracy as they deduct points for every move missed). Also the move coverage a Pokemon has the better if not recommended (super effective gets you points, resisted loses).
If the Battle Arena was brought back, this time with team preview, I genuinely think it could be really cool.

The folks running the OM subforum disagreed however, so it's not likely that we'll ever actually see the full potential of the format.
 
When it comes to new evolutions and pre-evolutions, Game Freak should stop being so scared of continuity that it needs to invent new incenses, stones and other items to justify why this evolutionary stage couldn't happen before; and just retcon it.

The offspring of a female Snorlax breeding no matter what should be a Munchlax. No full incense needed, the full incense doesn't even exist; its offspring is a Munchlax. It frankly doesn't make a lot of sense for the baby first stage of the family to need a specific requirement; if Azurill is just what a Marill looks like when it's young, why is getting it and not the full-grown form from an egg such a hurdle? I can understand why I don't see too many Wynaut in the wild because I can imagine the youngest offspring are being protected and shielded in a nest and only the youngest venture out, but why do I get a Wobbuffet from breeding unless I do something super specific? This gets even worse when it comes to new baby stages you do find in the wild like Chingling or Mantyke; it just becomes very unintuitive and weird when you do breed their evolved form and you don't get the first stage you caught back.

Likewise, while for a select few Pokémon the introduction of a new evolution method is valid for their new form - Sylveon's works for me as it ties into a new gimmick and it makes sense for the evolution Pokémon to have many different methods, for instance; and I do like the area evolutions of Magneton, Nosepass and Eevee - we really, really didn't need Gens 2 and 4 to throw a lot of useless or redundant items at us. Did we really, for instance, need a Razor Claw for Gligar? A Reaper Cloth for Dusknoir? Instead of needing to hold these while levelling up or being traded to evolve, could we simply not have had Dusknoir as a normal trade evolution like Gengar or Gliscor as a level 32 or so evolution? Is Gligar's ability to reach level 32 in Gold and Silver truly so important that you needed to further add to Pokémon's already-existing issue of item bloat? And if you really did need to introduce more items, is there a reason Onix cannot simply just use the Metal Coat instead of being traded?

I've expressed this problem before about the resistance to retconning evolution levels - Pawniard really, really doesn't need to evolve as late as the early 50s - but a similar problem in regards to a fear of changing what is precedented exists in this form as well. I'm just a little bit sick of seeing a huge list of 9,800 Poké Dollar Incenses I need to buy from a vendor; and being prevented from evolving my Sneasel because their evolution method is locked away to the Battle Tree -- because, of course, where else would they put a bunch of useless redundant items? Just make these evolutions and breeding methods a lot more natural already, there's no need for this excess of evo/pre-evo items.
 

Codraroll

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When it comes to new evolutions and pre-evolutions, Game Freak should stop being so scared of continuity that it needs to invent new incenses, stones and other items to justify why this evolutionary stage couldn't happen before; and just retcon it.
I think you're overlooking another aspect here. While this is all well and valid from a player perspective, Nintendo wants to sell strategy guides. By making information extra difficult to figure out, such as how to obtain specific Pokémon, they're enticing players to buy those books for about the same cost as the game itself. As evident by their marketing strategy until Gen VI or so, TPC seemed strangely unaware of the Internet for the longest time.

I think the prime example of strategy guide bait in Pokémon is Jasmine's Steelix in Gen II. Onix was one of the most well-known Gen I Pokémon, and in Olivine Gym its evolution was proudly displayed. It's a mandatory encounter, even. You're required to see this awesome, new steel snake, it has that coveted new Steel typing, and from its name it's obvious it evolves from Onix. Onix itself is not hard to come by either, you'll have found it already if you've poked around in Union Cave or Victory Road for a while. Or there's a trade for it in Violet City, even. But the game is completely quiet about how to evolve it. That bit of information was left to strategy guides or Nintendo's magazines. Thankfully, the Internet had begun to emerge as a third option, which turned it from greedy game design into simply bad game design.
 
This is an opinion I haven't heard much before but I'd genuinely like to see what a mainline Pokemon game would be like led by Genius Sonority rather than Game Freak. I'm really curious to see what they'd come up with and how they'd break the mold a bit but what they'd do similarly. Based on the work they've done for Colosseum/XD, a unique plot could be something that comes from it or at the very least a deviation from "come from small town, get badges, beat evil team, win the league." I think they'd be able to do a lot of cool things on the switch, and if they stuck with their favorite format- double battles- there'd be a new approach to teambuilding and strategy which would be especially fun to try out especially considering they are not ones to shy away from difficulty either.

Edit: Also, I know they downsized which was sad but still, somehow getting the OG team together that worked on the gamecube and wii pokemon games would be so cool, or at least having that leadership there.
 
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This is an opinion I haven't heard much before but I'd genuinely like to see what a mainline Pokemon game would be like led by Genius Sonority rather than Game Freak. I'm really curious to see what they'd come up with and how they'd break the mold a bit but what they'd do similarly. Based on the work they've done for Colosseum/XD, a unique plot could be something that comes from it or at the very least a deviation from "come from small town, get badges, beat evil team, win the league." I think they'd be able to do a lot of cool things on the switch, and if they stuck with their favorite format- double battles- there'd be a new approach to teambuilding and strategy which would be especially fun to try out especially considering they are not ones to shy away from difficulty either.

Edit: Also, I know they downsized which was sad but still, somehow getting the OG team together that worked on the gamecube and wii pokemon games would be so cool, or at least having that leadership there.
In fairness I don't think this is an unpopular opinion so much as a niche one. In my experience, most people who've played the GCN games are still waiting patiently for Genius Sonority to create another RPG, even if it's in bleak hope.

However, I think that something like Colosseum / XD is unfortunately impossible for one main reason now. Something that's often forgotten about with the GameCube games is that they served somewhat of a Pokémon Box function, being an assistant to Pokémon collectors. Pokémon who were unavailable or difficult to obtain in the Gen III GBA games were relatively easy to catch in the GameCube games. 1% encounters like Surskit were now available freely, and otherwise unobtainable Pokémon in Hoenn like Dunsparce, Sneasel and Seel could now be transferred to the games, sometimes even with unique moves as a reward for purifying them. With a copy of Emerald and both GameCube games, the vast majority of Pokémon could now be owned -- depending on your region you even received a Celebi or Jirachi!

With Pokémon Home being announced, it seems this function of Genius Sonority's previous games will never be needed again, and it may be a bold assumption but I believe it was likely this function that was the reason why the GameCube games were commissioned in the first place. That and the selling point of battling your Pokémon in 3D, which of course is now obsolete too.

---------------------

In fact, here's a related potentially unpopular opinion in itself: the decline of console spinoffs is terrible for the Pokémon franchise. Spinoffs will never reach the sales figures or popularity of the main series games, but series like Pokémon Ranger, Mystery Dungeon, and Rumble used Pokémon's main selling point to great use: the Pokémon themselves. There's 809 of them as of the end of Gen VII, and during a main series Pokémon game the average player uses 6 of them, or 6 evolutionary lines at least. Not only that, but for the vast majority of players one of those slots will be one of 3 options: a starter evolutionary line. It's one of the biggest consistent flaws with the main series that there's no motivation to rotate your team around because with a franchise as expansive in content as Pokémon, having the focus on 6 per playthrough is a massive waste. And it's not as though there are loads of bad Pokémon the player should want to avoid -- every single one has a cult following somewhere in the community -- so I consider it fundamentally poor game design given the assets GameFreak has.

That's why spinoffs are so important. They're not restricted to the concept of a team of 6 or even traditional RPG elements like experience which encourage the player to keep the same team. Pokémon Rumble is perhaps the best example of this, where each individual Pokémon comes at a set, immovable power level that makes it relevant for a period of time and then obsoletes it later in favour of stronger Pokémon, so the player is constantly experiencing lots of different species. Colosseum and XD also did a good job with a smaller roster, where because catching 'em all was more digestible due to the lower ask of the player in doing so in terms of quantity, but the added dynamics of completing that task from having to deal with said Pokémon constantly dealing recoil damage to itself in a double battle, every single Shadow Pokémon species was involved in a memorable experience of some description for the player, even if they didn't use said Pokémon on their team.

Instead of console spinoffs TPCi now commissions mobile games, or Free-to-Play (F2P) games that feel intrinsically like mobile games even if they're on 3DS or Switch like Rumble World or Quest. This worked brilliantly with Pokémon GO because it was a game that could actually only work on mobile, using features like GPS tracking and the phone's ability to connect to a server, and the unique gameplay feature of walking in real life. GO also has excellent game design where each species gets plenty of exposition and most of them become valued by the player for some sort of menial reason. But phone or F2P games come with an inherent cost to the player in either waiting for X arbitrary resource to fill back up over time or a genuine financial cost, which makes the random chance, gatcha aspects of many of these contemporary spinoffs directly detrimental to the assets in the game. If you're spending weeks or hundreds of dollars trying to get your waifu in Pokémon Masters, you're going to begin disliking the characters who you keep getting duplicates of. If you have to keep waiting half an hour or buying more lives before re-attempting to beat a certain difficult boss Pokémon and progress with your game, animosity may form toward that Pokémon too.

Console spinoffs celebrated the wide diversity of designs in the Pokémon franchise and generally showcased all of them pretty effectively in a positive way. Mobile and F2P spinoffs do the opposite, with the exception of Pokémon GO, which is a one-time, irreplicable phenomena. The exposition that the console spinoffs gave to the wide range of designs and assets in the Pokémon franchise patched up an important hole the main-series poorly addresses, which is that players interact meaningfully with only a small number of designs per playthrough. Therefore, I fear that the death of these console spinoffs may begin to have negative repercussions on the fanbase in general, and a steady flow of new Pokémon being introduced only goes so far in addressing concern.
 
I think you're overlooking another aspect here. While this is all well and valid from a player perspective, Nintendo wants to sell strategy guides. By making information extra difficult to figure out, such as how to obtain specific Pokémon, they're enticing players to buy those books for about the same cost as the game itself.
Actually making basic game mechanics incredible obscure (such as how to get certain evolutions, missable moves unless you delay evolutions/evolve early, etc.) is not Gamefreak trying to sell anyone strategy guides, no it's about them using a particular type of game design, a type of game design that came about thanks to a popular and influential game
well, a popular and influential game in Japan, because everyone else hated the game

let me introduce you to The Tower of Druaga (and how its design influenced Pokemon)

The Tower of Druaga is the first action RPG created in Japan (and arguably the world) in which you must climb the 60 floors of the tower and save the princess from the evil Druaga, in each floor you must grab a randomly placed key and unlock the door to the next floor, avoiding hazards and killing monsters in the way
sounds fun right? what if I told you that each level has a hidden chest, each requiring a specific action to be performed ranging from "kill 3 enemies", "kill 3 specific enemies but do not harm the others"; to "avoid touching any walls for 10 seconds" or "do not move for 1 minute", each chest contains an item which might be essential to progress the game (get to level 59 without the right items and you won't be able to harm the boss! fun!) oh and did I mention there are cursed items that shouldn't be collected which will make the game impossible to play? again, fun!
and what hints does this game give you about any of this?
none!
and before you think about how people used manuals in those days The Tower of Druaga is an arcade game so none of those, and no strategy guides either (although this game did inspire other companies to create strategy guides to solve their own Tower of Druaga clones)
and if you think that this is an obscure game noone has heard about The Tower of Druaga is one of the main inspirations of The Legend of Zelda so it's pretty well known in Japan and everyone at Gamefreak has definitely heard about it and most likely played it as a teen
Tower of Druaga is a game that can only be finished by having thousands of people figuratively banging their heads against a wall until one finds an answer by sheer happenstance

so what does this have to do with Pokemon you ask?

read that last sentence again: "a game that can only be finished by having thousands of people figuratively banging their heads against a wall until one finds an answer by sheer happenstance" The Tower of Druaga is a game that can only be completed through teamwork
Pokemon has always had as a core concept the idea of people interacting with each other, is why there's been features that can only be accessed locally even when the games had online capabilities, why we have trade evolutions, heck it's why the new games have a trade-your-card-with-others feature! Gamefreak wants its players to interact with each other
and that's what Tower of Druaga designs accomplishes, it forces people to make communities just to accomplish basic goals
it's outdated and wrongheaded but it makes people do want Gamefreak wants them to do

interact
 
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On the topic of things that are extremely niche and minor items that only exist for one purpose, I think a good way to address it was to put all that information in the Pokedex, like Pokedex 3D Pro. That app gave information on not only just standard info ( Height, Weight, Dex Entry, etc ) but on egg moves, level up moves, evolution methods, stats, egg groups AKA actually useful information. I think the reason why the national Pokedex has lost its lust is because the Pokedex doesn't really help gameplay wise. The bios provides some nice character information, but this information is useless in practice. If the Pokedex provided proper info that was useful for gameplay, a lot more people would have more reason to complete the Pokedex.

Speaking of hidden mechanics that are stupidly hidden, I want to talk about how egg groups are practically the worst offender. No where in-game is it told, so if you were a new player trying to get into breeding, it would probably be trying to match Pokemon who look alike. Just one problem: "Beauty is only skin-deep ". What does that mean? Well if you tried breeding Infernape with Gardevoir to get Chimchar, since they look like people, but Gardevoir is apparently Amphorous, which is the same category as Chandelure. It practically requires a Wiki like Bulbapedia to learn this information on what Pokemon belong to each egg groups. I should not have to look up a guide to fully understand a mechanic.

One the final things that GF refuses to retcon, is Mystery Gift, actually known as making it DLC. No, I'm not suggesting we put Pokemon behind a paywall. Rather than locking mythical and event items behind limited time distributions ( that if you miss, you never can experience the event without cheating.) , why not just release it in waves of DLC? Pokemon's excuse for not releasing DLC is that it would "ruin" the world of Pokemon according to Sugmori. But this excuse is very weak for two reasons: 1. Pokemon don't have to be behind a paywall, it could be something like bonus clothing or even new facilities to battle. 2. It doesn't have to behind a pay wall. Kirby: Star Allies and Fire Emblem: 3 Houses have introduced new game modes via free DLC. Pokemon can do same thing, such as releasing Mythical Pokemon and new forms via free waves DLC. And besides, lot of Pokemon mobile games perform micro-transactions, so paying for content isn't entirely new. It could even relieve pressure on the base game since they could release the rest in waves, and not waste their time on a 3rd game with barely improved content, like USM. Its outdated and a poor method, and the reasons mentioned above show how poor a decision is.
 
On the topic of things that are extremely niche and minor items that only exist for one purpose, I think a good way to address it was to put all that information in the Pokedex, like Pokedex 3D Pro. That app gave information on not only just standard info ( Height, Weight, Dex Entry, etc ) but on egg moves, level up moves, evolution methods, stats, egg groups AKA actually useful information. I think the reason why the national Pokedex has lost its lust is because the Pokedex doesn't really help gameplay wise. The bios provides some nice character information, but this information is useless in practice. If the Pokedex provided proper info that was useful for gameplay, a lot more people would have more reason to complete the Pokedex.

Speaking of hidden mechanics that are stupidly hidden, I want to talk about how egg groups are practically the worst offender. No where in-game is it told, so if you were a new player trying to get into breeding, it would probably be trying to match Pokemon who look alike. Just one problem: "Beauty is only skin-deep ". What does that mean? Well if you tried breeding Infernape with Gardevoir to get Chimchar, since they look like people, but Gardevoir is apparently Amphorous, which is the same category as Chandelure. It practically requires a Wiki like Bulbapedia to learn this information on what Pokemon belong to each egg groups. I should not have to look up a guide to fully understand a mechanic.

One the final things that GF refuses to retcon, is Mystery Gift, actually known as making it DLC. No, I'm not suggesting we put Pokemon behind a paywall. Rather than locking mythical and event items behind limited time distributions ( that if you miss, you never can experience the event without cheating.) , why not just release it in waves of DLC? Pokemon's excuse for not releasing DLC is that it would "ruin" the world of Pokemon according to Sugmori. But this excuse is very weak for two reasons: 1. Pokemon don't have to be behind a paywall, it could be something like bonus clothing or even new facilities to battle. 2. It doesn't have to behind a pay wall. Kirby: Star Allies and Fire Emblem: 3 Houses have introduced new game modes via free DLC. Pokemon can do same thing, such as releasing Mythical Pokemon and new forms via free waves DLC. And besides, lot of Pokemon mobile games perform micro-transactions, so paying for content isn't entirely new. It could even relieve pressure on the base game since they could release the rest in waves, and not waste their time on a 3rd game with barely improved content, like USM. Its outdated and a poor method, and the reasons mentioned above show how poor a decision is.
Uhhh Its pretty obvious skitty and wailord were meant to be together
 
I actually really like it when type specialist gym leaders, elite four members, and champions use Pokemon outside their designated type, as long as it makes thematic sense and/or has a move of the specialized type. My favorite instance is probably Candice's Medicham, as not only is Ice Punch a legitimately good coverage move in its own right, but Platinum suggests that Candice is good friends with Maylene (though Platinum ALSO took away Candice's Medicham).
 
I actually really like it when type specialist gym leaders, elite four members, and champions use Pokemon outside their designated type, as long as it makes thematic sense and/or has a move of the specialized type. My favorite instance is probably Candice's Medicham, as not only is Ice Punch a legitimately good coverage move in its own right, but Platinum suggests that Candice is good friends with Maylene (though Platinum ALSO took away Candice's Medicham).
tbf, candice's medicham was more a case of OG DP's dex being absolute fucking garbage. Still I get what you're saying, wish they did it more often
 

Pikachu315111

JAPE Judge!
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I actually really like it when type specialist gym leaders, elite four members, and champions use Pokemon outside their designated type, as long as it makes thematic sense and/or has a move of the specialized type. My favorite instance is probably Candice's Medicham, as not only is Ice Punch a legitimately good coverage move in its own right, but Platinum suggests that Candice is good friends with Maylene (though Platinum ALSO took away Candice's Medicham).
I'm kind of torn between whether I like that or it cheapens the experience.

On one hand it makes sense for a Type specialist to carry around another Pokemon of a Type that's SE against what their specialty is weak to. Shows they know the shortcomings of their Type and has planned ahead for "clever" challengers thinking they'd sweep the entire Gym with just one or two Pokemon.

But on the other hand they're a Type specialist for a reason. They shouldn't have to use another Type but rather have found a way to mitigate their Type's weakness (be it having their Pokemon be a duel-type or has coverage moves).

I think the best way they covered this was with the Totem Battles, while the main Pokemon was of a predictable Type they did find ways to make it more challenging, most notably by them able to summon a SOS partner which either covers a weakness or provides some other support (the stat boost also helps). I wouldn't complain if in future games where they had Gyms (or Gym Leader-like bosses) if during the Gym Leader battle a Gym Trainer would be allowed to "join in" to provide the Leader with coverage/support.
 
I'm kind of torn between whether I like that or it cheapens the experience.

On one hand it makes sense for a Type specialist to carry around another Pokemon of a Type that's SE against what their specialty is weak to. Shows they know the shortcomings of their Type and has planned ahead for "clever" challengers thinking they'd sweep the entire Gym with just one or two Pokemon.

But on the other hand they're a Type specialist for a reason. They shouldn't have to use another Type but rather have found a way to mitigate their Type's weakness (be it having their Pokemon be a duel-type or has coverage moves).

I think the best way they covered this was with the Totem Battles, while the main Pokemon was of a predictable Type they did find ways to make it more challenging, most notably by them able to summon a SOS partner which either covers a weakness or provides some other support (the stat boost also helps). I wouldn't complain if in future games where they had Gyms (or Gym Leader-like bosses) if during the Gym Leader battle a Gym Trainer would be allowed to "join in" to provide the Leader with coverage/support.
To add onto this, type specializing has no mechanical justification for ever being something worth pursuing. “Learning how to cover the type’s weakness” is cool and all but just having a diverse and competitive team with gold type distribution will almost always win at the end of the day. There’s no bonus for going mono
 

Pikachu315111

JAPE Judge!
is a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
To add onto this, type specializing has no mechanical justification for ever being something worth pursuing. “Learning how to cover the type’s weakness” is cool and all but just having a diverse and competitive team with gold type distribution will almost always win at the end of the day. There’s no bonus for going mono
That I would count as gameplay-story segregation. Because you're right, there's no reason to be a Type specialist because as soon as you encounter the Type your team is weak to it's likely you're going to have a bit of a hard time, even if you do knock out the opposing Pokemon. Not to mention this neuters your team in another way: YOU'LL be limited to what Types your team will be super effective against. A team with good Type distribution gets the best of both with little to no drawback... thus why the player, rivals, and a few Champions are the best trainers in a region (even Champions with a Typer preference usually has a few Pokemon of other Types to help them out).

So, what's the appeal then to be a Type Specialist... well honestly there isn't any in the core Pokemon games. The only appeal I can think of being a Type Specialist would be for something Pokemon doesn't really delve into: Pen & Paper RPGs. An RPG where you can create your own character from scratch, notably their backstory. If Pokemon had a D&D-style RPG (and there's plenty of homebrew ones) I can totally see someone having a "theme" based team (or rather a character justifying a theme based team). The system would probably give them room to be more creative in battles thus using their Types unique traits to overcome their weaknesses that the core series isn't quite able to replicate (not that I would want them to).
 
The only possibility behind type specialists is that they are simply testing you. After all, with an extremely glaring weakness to a type, you shouldn't be able to go anywhere. Otherwise I cannot find an explanation on how Totem Pokemon fights have more varied type compositions than expert trainers.

That being said, the Elite Four should not have specialists IMO.
 

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