Unpopular opinions

I’ve got two unpopular opinions:

1. I think they are way too many types in Pokémon. We were talking on Discord how similar so many types were defensively: Psychic/Ghost, Rock/Ground, Bug/Grass to name a few. You could make Misdreavus a Psychic type and not much would change. Offensively, it Ghost/Dark are too similar, as well as Ice/Dragon, and even Normal/Flying overlap; as well as the aforementioned Bug/Grass. There’s reason why the TCG simplifies the type system: It’s creates an unesscary complications in the battle system. It’s also the reason why other games like Fire Emblem keep the weapon triangle simple. I think the best solution would be to simply the type chart like the TCG: Of course that would mean making all the water and ice Pokémon together, as well as Bug/Grass, but it would make the type chart much more simplified and less complicated with much less overlap.
2. I’ve recently been speaking to my brother and cousin lately who don’t play Pokémon as much, and they say a big reason they lot interest is because there are far too many Pokémon. And I agree. I think a huge problem in Pokémon today is that there are too many Pokémon, and that hurts the franchise a lot. There’s almost 900 Pokémon as of SwSh, and it’s hard to give each Pokémon attention. We’ve seen from Dexit is that every Pokémon as a cult following, so it’s not like they should not try to give every Pokémon spotlight, but the yearly releases and building new Pokémon ( which takes 6 months ) takes the time away. I want a new Pokémon game that features only old Pokémon, since you undoubtedly create an experience that’s just as good as a core RPG with new Pokémon. Instead GF chose to handle problem by introducing less Pokémon, which doesn’t solve the Problem at all, only slowly adding to it.
I have to say, I disagree with both of these fairly fundamentally, and I think that all of the downsides of both of these things have been circumvented in more modern games.

1. I really disagree that there are too many types in Pokémon, and I think that there should only be more. Yes there's a lot of discussion on content bloat recently and potentially over-complicating gameplay, but this is only really an issue for young or intensely casual players who only play through the main games -- and now, once you fight a Pokémon once you're told what moves will be effective against it in-battle. This means that you don't even need to memorise the type chart never mind what type each Pokémon is, because the game lets you cheat anyway. All in all, it means that having type bloat doesn't affect gameplay for casual players, which is the only group it could negatively affect.

I think having loads of types is the foundation of competitive play, honestly. We still have a lot of Pokémon whose niches derive primarily from their types themselves, because every metagame has one or two type combinations that manage to stonewall the top threats. Quagsire and Gastrodon, for example, have been viable in OU since their introduction because Water/Ground always ends up being an amazing anti-meta type combination (with reliable recovery), and the same isn't true for Water/Rock. This demonstrates that you can't just merge the types together and expect everything to be exactly the same competitively -- even similar types on single-typed Pokémon can be wildly different once they become combined with other types. Furthermore, types are the fundamental of a Pokémon's identity: even superficially, were we to merge Water/Ice it removes the distinction between a polar water dweller like Walrein and an equatorial one like Octillery. These two Pokémon could never exist in the same ecosystem, ecosystems being roughly what Pokémon types fulfil the purpose of organising, so it would be odd to see them treated exactly the same. The small changes in how types work may not be too important in-game, but they make or break Pokémon competitively, and they add a lot of worldbuilding. Fairy-Type is an example of a new type being introduced seamlessly and enriching the worldbuilding of the series, so I think we need more types, not less (gradually introduced).

2. I don't think not being able to give every Pokémon "enough" attention is a valid reason to stop introducing new Pokémon. Since the very first game, each generation comes with a few iconic Pokémon and the rest of them the player gets to choose whether they like, love or hate them. The player gives attention to their top 6 by including those Pokémon on their team and beating the Champion with them. If they really love the world of Pokémon, they can play through the game again with 6 more Pokémon and develop bonds with them, too! I find this line of argument faulty because the reason why people are annoyed at Pokémon not receiving enough attention is because the designs are so good to start with, meaning they deserve that attention. But if the Pokémon are already good enough to deserve attention without being put under a spotlight, then they don't actually need to be showcased especially to begin with. It's just part of being a fan of a series with as many characters and assets as Pokémon has: I'm sure when Harry Potter was being released there were people out there begging for Mafalda Hopkirk to receive a sub-plot, and people have been requesting Waluigi to appear in a platformer for decades too. The fact that they're not getting special treatment doesn't mean that they shouldn't have existed either, nor that the series should stop introducing new characters to pay off those characters' debts. They're popular enough already, so it doesn't make sense to do it.

That said, Gen VI and to an extent Gen VIII have both done what you're requesting, albeit to a fairly shallow degree. Megas and Gigantamax both clearly seem to be a way of giving old favourites and forgotten-abouts new life. Yes they give forms to Charizard, Mewtwo and Gengar because they're old classics that warm people up to the mechanic, but then they hit you out of left field with Banette, Mawile, Sableye, Garbodor, Audino, Butterfree, Lopunny, Glalie, and others -- Pokémon that had dropped off of many people's radars but caught a second wind through these mechanics that for the most part has actually persisted. There's a way to give old Pokémon spotlights while still introducing new Pokémon and it's one of the things that Gen VI especially did right with megas, and there's potential for more mechanics like this in the future (or just a new batch of megas, perhaps replacing the old ones).
 

DreamPrince

Formerly Leader Wallace
I have to say, I disagree with both of these fairly fundamentally, and I think that all of the downsides of both of these things have been circumvented in more modern games.

1. I really disagree that there are too many types in Pokémon, and I think that there should only be more. Yes there's a lot of discussion on content bloat recently and potentially over-complicating gameplay, but this is only really an issue for young or intensely casual players who only play through the main games -- and now, once you fight a Pokémon once you're told what moves will be effective against it in-battle. This means that you don't even need to memorise the type chart never mind what type each Pokémon is, because the game lets you cheat anyway. All in all, it means that having type bloat doesn't affect gameplay for casual players, which is the only group it could negatively affect.

I think having loads of types is the foundation of competitive play, honestly. We still have a lot of Pokémon whose niches derive primarily from their types themselves, because every metagame has one or two type combinations that manage to stonewall the top threats. Quagsire and Gastrodon, for example, have been viable in OU since their introduction because Water/Ground always ends up being an amazing anti-meta type combination (with reliable recovery), and the same isn't true for Water/Rock. This demonstrates that you can't just merge the types together and expect everything to be exactly the same competitively -- even similar types on single-typed Pokémon can be wildly different once they become combined with other types. Furthermore, types are the fundamental of a Pokémon's identity: even superficially, were we to merge Water/Ice it removes the distinction between a polar water dweller like Walrein and an equatorial one like Octillery. These two Pokémon could never exist in the same ecosystem, ecosystems being roughly what Pokémon types fulfil the purpose of organising, so it would be odd to see them treated exactly the same. The small changes in how types work may not be too important in-game, but they make or break Pokémon competitively, and they add a lot of worldbuilding. Fairy-Type is an example of a new type being introduced seamlessly and enriching the worldbuilding of the series, so I think we need more types, not less (gradually introduced).

2. I don't think not being able to give every Pokémon "enough" attention is a valid reason to stop introducing new Pokémon. Since the very first game, each generation comes with a few iconic Pokémon and the rest of them the player gets to choose whether they like, love or hate them. The player gives attention to their top 6 by including those Pokémon on their team and beating the Champion with them. If they really love the world of Pokémon, they can play through the game again with 6 more Pokémon and develop bonds with them, too! I find this line of argument faulty because the reason why people are annoyed at Pokémon not receiving enough attention is because the designs are so good to start with, meaning they deserve that attention. But if the Pokémon are already good enough to deserve attention without being put under a spotlight, then they don't actually need to be showcased especially to begin with. It's just part of being a fan of a series with as many characters and assets as Pokémon has: I'm sure when Harry Potter was being released there were people out there begging for Mafalda Hopkirk to receive a sub-plot, and people have been requesting Waluigi to appear in a platformer for decades too. The fact that they're not getting special treatment doesn't mean that they shouldn't have existed either, nor that the series should stop introducing new characters to pay off those characters' debts. They're popular enough already, so it doesn't make sense to do it.

That said, Gen VI and to an extent Gen VIII have both done what you're requesting, albeit to a fairly shallow degree. Megas and Gigantamax both clearly seem to be a way of giving old favourites and forgotten-abouts new life. Yes they give forms to Charizard, Mewtwo and Gengar because they're old classics that warm people up to the mechanic, but then they hit you out of left field with Banette, Mawile, Sableye, Garbodor, Audino, Butterfree, Lopunny, Glalie, and others -- Pokémon that had dropped off of many people's radars but caught a second wind through these mechanics that for the most part has actually persisted. There's a way to give old Pokémon spotlights while still introducing new Pokémon and it's one of the things that Gen VI especially did right with megas, and there's potential for more mechanics like this in the future (or just a new batch of megas, perhaps replacing the old ones).
1. Perhaps, some Pokémon would benefit from losing their secondary typing, but it can also help Pokémon with awful typing be useful, like Bastiodon for example. Also Gastrodon and Quagsire are used primarily for their abilities as well, so removing Ground typing alone doesn’t ruin them. I do think your right about types being useful for Identity though; Water/Ice really does separate Walrein from Corsola. If we had to remove Dual typings, maybe one way we could bring them is by creating Pokémon who can come in different types. Kommo-o, for example, could come in Dragon and Fighting variations. I guess the other solution is to eliminate STAB as a mechanic.

Dunno about adding more types. Maybe something to balance out Fairy, but I don’t think they add types blindly.

2. I understand that we can’t give all the Pokémon a chance to shine in every game- but Pokémon has enough creatures to the point that you could make several games without introducing new Pokémon. Simply showing which Pokémon are in the Regional Dex via trailers articles etc. would encourage fans to follow. And the buffs don’t have to be big. Simply giving Goodra Recover or Cursola Trick Room would be big enough buffs for higher usage. I mean look at Kommo-O and Mantine when they got Clangorous Soul and Roost.

While Regional Variants do indeed help bring back Pokémon who have been forgotten, they don’t actually help the original variation of the Pokémon- Galarian Farfetch’d and Corsola might be good in the end, but their original variations are still trash. Not to mention Regional varieties are so different to the point mechanically separate Pokémon in-game. Not saying that I don’t like Regional Variants, but I liked cross evolutions like Roserade and Froslass since they helped the original form be better by adding another stage.
 

6Roggenrolas

Formerly Le-Hydra
I liked gen 1 alot, ik for a fact that is an unpopular opinion.
This is one of those opinions that's definitely more unpopular among the "hardcore fanbase" (obviously a weird term that's hard to define, but let's say that a good rough example is the sort of fans that are posting in Orange Islands on Smogon) but also still seems to remain fairly strong among the more casual audience. Among that much larger portion of Pokemon fans, it still seems that gen 1 and its characters/Pokemon are preferred- probably in large part because they're promoted more and have been around for longer, but they're the most popular nonetheless.
 

Pikachu315111

JAPE Judge!
is a Community Contributoris a Smogon Media Contributor
I’ve got two unpopular opinions:

1. I think they are way too many types in Pokémon. We were talking on Discord how similar so many types were defensively: Psychic/Ghost, Rock/Ground, Bug/Grass to name a few. You could make Misdreavus a Psychic type and not much would change. Offensively, it Ghost/Dark are too similar, as well as Ice/Dragon, and even Normal/Flying overlap; as well as the aforementioned Bug/Grass. There’s reason why the TCG simplifies the type system: It’s creates an unesscary complications in the battle system. It’s also the reason why other games like Fire Emblem keep the weapon triangle simple. I think the best solution would be to simply the type chart like the TCG: Of course that would mean making all the water and ice Pokémon together, as well as Bug/Grass, but it would make the type chart much more simplified and less complicated with much less overlap.
Hmm, not sure if I agree 100% with this. I don't think the issue is with number of Types but rather, as you stated, many Types feeling same-ish. Though I'm not quite sure how to fix that either without making it so each Type is over specialized. I also don't think combining Types together is the answer either as there's a reason why each Type is the way it is (infact they could add more Types factoring in elements they haven't). Maybe each Type needs to have one or two special innate traits about them, like how Fire-types can't be burned or Ghost-types can't be trapped. Really think about what that Type in general wants to do and apply that idea to game mechanics. For example, a major gimmick for Grass-types is healing, yet aside for some moves that's not apparent from the Type itself. I always thought that in Sunny and Rainy weather that Grass-types should have the naturally trait of healing some HP each turn. Nothing major, maybe as much as a turn of Leftovers, but it would be a step forward in representing that Type both in what its goal/role is and showing the different from others Types.

Also, maybe having a Type Chart you can always call up would help smooth out needing to know all the Types. Sure, in battle it's nice the moves now tell you if it'll be super effective/resisted/immune by the target, but when preparing for battle if I'm told the Gym Leader I'm going up against is a Flying-type would like to be able to select the Pokedex, select the "Type Chart" button, and see what Flying-types are bad and good against. They could even add onto that idea by showing you what Pokemon in your Party and Box would have the advantage/disadvantage either via its Type or the Moves that it knows.

Finally, a more controversial idea: We have a lot of Pokemon which look like they could be another Type but for on reason or another aren't. Maybe allow a way for certain Pokemon to tap into a "passive" Type. If said Pokemon is a dual-type either have it change one of its Type or maybe try implementing Triple Types (obviously they would need to make some adjustments to the Type multiplication, like if a Pokemon is triple weak to one Type instead of receiving 8x (2 * 2 * 2) damage make it 6x (2 * 2 * 1.5); same with resistance).

2. I’ve recently been speaking to my brother and cousin lately who don’t play Pokémon as much, and they say a big reason they lot interest is because there are far too many Pokémon. And I agree. I think a huge problem in Pokémon today is that there are too many Pokémon, and that hurts the franchise a lot. There’s almost 900 Pokémon as of SwSh, and it’s hard to give each Pokémon attention. We’ve seen from Dexit is that every Pokémon as a cult following, so it’s not like they should not try to give every Pokémon spotlight, but the yearly releases and building new Pokémon ( which takes 6 months ) takes the time away. I want a new Pokémon game that features only old Pokémon, since you undoubtedly create an experience that’s just as good as a core RPG with new Pokémon. Instead GF chose to handle problem by introducing less Pokémon, which doesn’t solve the Problem at all, only slowly adding to it.
And that's why I wasn't against a Limited Dex. GF dropped the ball HARD. A Limited Dex is a perfect opportunity to go back to older Pokemon and adjust them so they have a place in the current generation and modern Pokemon designs. Maybe they'll get a major overhaul, maybe not, but point is why make a new Pokemon when you can adjust an old Pokemon to fill a missing role. That then opens up the newer Pokemon to doing whatever they want, not be held back by what's needed but giving that Pokemon the best opportunity to shine.

Heck, here's a crazy idea, how about we slow down the Pokemon releases so we aren't getting a new gen every 3-4 years. Maybe even not release a new generation until the next Nintendo Console. Or, do as you suggested, if a new gen is released on a Nintendo Console which already had a new gen released on it don't include that many or any new Pokemon. If Gen IX is also on the Switch don't add any "new" Pokemon, instead focus on making the old Pokemon being brought over feel more fitting. And instead of "New" Pokemon how about doing more regional variants & forms. As I suggested above add a new gimmick that lets a Pokemon be more flexible in what it can do.

I can't help but feel like Game Freak has been moving away from traditional Elite Fours since Gen 7 for a reason: As it stands, these characters are really tough to expand upon meaningfully due to appearing so late in the game and not having the in-world notoriety of their respective regions' champions. Perhaps some day there will be another classic-style Elite Four that has way more relevance and breathes new life into the whole concept at a similar level to what Galar did to Fossil Pokemon, but until then I don't think we're missing a whole lot by axing these guys.
I agree that the Elite 4 is way too under utilized.

But I disagree that it's tough to expand upon them. I mean, is it that hard to just have them suddenly appear and interact with the player in some way before the Pokemon League? As you noted, many have occupations outside of their Gym and for those who don't surely has some interest they can be given or job from the Pokemon League (you know, like maybe investigating that criminal organization that's running around causing trouble). Infact let's try that out:

Gen I/Kanto:
Agatha:
In the Pokemon Tower, instead of some random Channeler having setup a healing spot have it be Agatha who was sent to investigate reports of troubles in the tower and Mr. Fuji being kidnapped. You first see her talking with Blue, a bit of a tense conversation as Agatha bluntly tells Blue that she thinks Oak wasted his life studying Pokemon instead of training them which gets under Blue's skin. Blue, knowing he's not ready to take on Agatha yet, instead focuses his frustration on the player. After losing and storming off, Agatha will introduce herself and congratulate on your win so will explain what's going on. Team Rocket have been causing trouble in the tower but Agatha chased most of them off, however she can't access the top floor as an angry ghost is preventing progress. She tells the player that a fellow Elite Four member, Bruno, was sent to Silph Co in Saffron to retrieve an item that can help identify the ghosts. She send the player to find out what's taking him so long as she stays to protect the tower. Coming back with the Silph Scope, you identify the ghost as the Mother Marowak. Upon beating her, Agatha says she'll stay and help send off the spirit while the player goes ahead to the top floor to rescue Mr. Fuji. Once saved, Agatha will come up and escort both player and Fuji back to the Volunteer House where Professor Oak is found waiting. He heard both about Mr. Fuji's kidnapping and Agatha's presence from Blue so decided to wait for both in the Volunteer House. Agatha and Oak have some tense back and forth before she leaves, Oak then thanking the player for helping and tells Mr. Fuji that they'll talk later as he also leaves back to his Lab.
Bruno: You go to Sliph Co. to get the Silph Scope but are stopped at the entrance by a Rocket Grunt who won't let you pass. Exploring the city a bit more, you then find Bruno standing outside of the Fighting Dojo trying to figure out how he can help their leader, Koichi. As expected, Bruno asks for the help of the player via challenging the Fighting Dogo. After you defeat Koichi he at first refuses to admit defeat which is when Bruno walks in. It's then explained that Bruno was the original leader of the Fighting Dojo, back when it was Saffron's Gym. However he was then invited to become a member of the Elite Four and when he left that's when the Psychic Gym finally was able to defeat the Fighting Gym. Koichi feels ashamed for not being as strong as Bruno and losing their Gym status but Bruno reassures him that Sabrina was eventually going to beat them as she foresaw it in a vision she told Bruno. That is why Bruno, who also was feeling he wasn't getting any stronger, decided to accept the Elite Four offer so he can keep on battling stronger trainers. Koichi, finding a new resolve, decides to leave on his own journey soon, and as thanks gives the Hitmonlee or Hitmonchan. Seeing how helpful the player has been, Bruno then asks the player to help him with another thing: freeing Silph Co. from Team Rocket (originally Bruno wanted Koichi's help but he had refused feeling undeserving to help Bruno). Bruno runs ahead and you'll discover he knocked the Rocket Grunt guard aside. Inside you'll find Bruno taking on several Rocket Grunts at once so it's up to the player to go ahead. Once Giovanni is defeated and leaves, Bruno comes up to see the Silph Co. president has given you the Silph Scope and tells you to go to the Pokemon Tower where Agatha is waiting, then finding out that the player is here because Agatha sent them so feeling a bit embarrassed as he leaves back to the Pokemon League.
Lorelei: Could have showed up on the Seafoam Islands both looking out for Team Rocket activity but also on a quest of her own: looking for the Legendary Ice-type Articuno. She'll give the player tips on how to get through, maybe also add in a side thing where Team Rocket are in the Seafoam Islands trying to locate Articuno and you help Lorelei chase them out, Lorelei then leaving also.
Lance: Actually, I feel having Lance be first encountered at the Pokemon League would be appropriate to keep with the game's original twist. Maybe have Lance greet the player as they enter the Pokemon League, building himself up to be the final boss, but then when you beat him he does the reveal that Blue had just became Champion so you gotta battle him. Besides, he gets his moment in Gen II.

Gen II/Johto:
Will:
In addition to meeting Morty and Eusine in the Burned Tower, Will is there also. As how Morty is fascinated by Ho-Oh and Eusine with Suicune, Will is fascinated by Lugia and is looking for it. He joined Morty and Eusine as the Legendary Beasts were spotted in the Burned Tower, and where they are Ho-Oh might be and where Ho-Oh is might also be Lugia. Of course that's not the case so after the event of the beasts running away Will also leaves trying to find the whereabouts of Lugia. In the post game he'd be the one that gives the player the Silver Wing.
Koga: I say keep it a surprise he's an Elite Four member now but have him do stuff in the post game. Notably have him have some interactions with Janine, maybe even asking the player to challenge Janine who's been spending more time goofing off by having the Gym Trainers taking her place than actually training.
Bruno: Continuing his connection with Koichi, have him be training with him in Mt. Mortar.
Karen: Ugh, I don't know, Karen is pretty ambiguous. Maybe have her appear in Goldenrod and Blackthorn having visited their Gym Leaders, Whitney and Clair. Says she was just having some girl talk and moves on. Make it a subtle hint that it's maybe Karen's doing that both Whitney and Clair are reluctant to hand over the Badge, like she's a bad influence (cause she's a Dark-type trainer, get it?). Could also then have her appear in Goldenrod during Team Rocket's invasion of the Radio Tower, having a tag battle with the player against Ariana (maybe even have Karen and Ariana know each other personally; not suggesting Karen should be an ex-member of Team Rocket though then again that wouldn't be a bad backstory for her either).

Gen III/Hoenn:
Sidney:
Another tough one, and unlike Karen I don't really think I can link him to other characters. Considering his high class appearance maybe have him be involved with the Mauville Game Corner.
Phoebe: Easy enough, have her be a part of the Team Aqua/Magma plan of stealing the Orb. She hears that her grandparents are in danger and rush over. She then helps the player battle through grunts, then has a tag battle with the player against the Admins which buys Archie/Maxie enough time to grab the Orb and escape.
Glacia: While an obvious location for have her appear in is Shoal Cave, concerning her backstory is she's from a colder region but moved to a hotter one to train her Ice-types in tougher condition would be interesting to have her appear in Fiery Path. Maybe she can appear in both location, first training in Fiery Path but then again in Shoal Cave as a reward for her Pokemon training so hard.
Drake: How about having Drake appear real early as a friend of Mr. Briney. Team Magma/Aqua stole Peeko and Drake chased after them but he loses track of them. After you save Peeko you both go back to Mr. Briney and Drake thanks you by saying any trips you take with Briney is on him before leaving.

Gen IV/Sinnoh:
Aaron:
Probably could have shown up in Floaroma Town and got involved with the Valley Windworks plot.
Bertha: I say Solacean Town or the route before it, Route 209 and have her involved with the Solacean Ruins and/or the Lost Tower. It all depends on whether they want to address her similarities with Agatha, if they do then I say 209/Lost Tower but if not then Solacean Town & Ruins.
Flint: Flint has a role outside the League via trying to get Volkner to get back to the Gym.
Lucian: Surprised they didn't ever have Lucian appear at some point in the Canalave Library.

Gen V/Unova: (Don't know why any weren't involved with the plot when they gave a role to all the Gym Leaders)
Shauntel: Being she's a writer they could have her pop-up anywhere. Maybe in BW have her appear at Relic Castle and in B2W2 have her show-up at the Celestial Tower. She's always on a lookout for a good story to write though in BW she's also keeping an eye on Team Plasma who have been sniffing around the Relic Castle.
Marshal: Now in BW he was assigned to guard Chargestone Cave though didn't do much else so think they could have maybe had him end up chasing Team Plasma grunts he snuck their way past him. In B2W2 they could have him appear in Mistalton Cave both training but also trying to learn the whereabouts of Cobalion and the other Swords of Justice.
Grimsley: Man, what's with Dark-type specialists having a hard time being placed? No Game Corner, so probably the next place Grimsley could be is Nimbasa City taking in the sights.
Caitlin: Well obvious spots would be the Dreamyard and Strange House, feeling something in those locations were calling to her.

Gen VI/Kalos:
Malva:
Feeling they could have done a bit more with Malva, specifically with her covering up for Team Flare's schemes. Maybe even have her appearing talking with Lysansdre once, also meeting the player for the first time earlier to set up the encounter in the Pokemon League.
Siebold: Having him own a restaurant in say Ambrette Twon would be appropriate.
Wikstrom: I could see Wikstrom being at the Battle Chateau or hanging around Route 7, maybe getting a bit involved with the Parfum Palace plot.
Drasna: Maybe something involving Terminus Cave, something to make Zygarde not such a random Pokemon (because they never made Pokemon Z).

Gen VII/Alola:
Kahili:
While all the other character who eventually became Elite Four members got screentime, poor Kahili got nothing. I still don't know why we never got anything involving the golf course which is visual on the map.


Okay, after doing that I did start coming into trouble finding a place for a few of them, then again if I was writing the story that wouldn't be a problem (plus I was struggling to remember the important events of the games and how they could fit into them).

My big gripe problem with BW’s story is the concept of truth vs Ideals, which is essentially the same conceptually. Anything can be interepreted as Truth or Ideals, its all up to preference. The two brothers caused a war for NOTHING.

How would I fix it? Since BW is has old vs new, I would incoporate that into the theme: In White, Reshiram and the older brother supported traditionalism and won the war, hence Unova respects traditions. In Black, Zekrom and the younger brother won the war, hence Unova favors progression.
I kind of think that was sort of what they were going for. If you look at the two dragons to can tell Zekrom looks more mechanical looking than Reshiram which is more a natural animal (nevermind the turbine tail). Also fire is one of man's oldest tools while electricity is a rather new tool.

Opelucid City in White Version looks like an ancient city because it's implied that the older brother/Reshiram won their conflict. Meanwhile in Black Version it looks like a futuristic city as it was the younger brother/Zekrom that was implied to have won. Same coul be said with White Forest & Black City, what happened to that location was based on which brother won.

For all the talk of "Truths & Ideals" the words used doesn't really mean much because, you're right, they are interchangeable; that was the point. In White, N seeks out the truth that Pokemon were never meant to be subjected by people; meanwhile the player represents the ideal of Pokemon and people working together. In Black, N follows an ideal where Pokemon aren't subjected by people; meanwhile the player represents the truth that Pokemon and people do work together. Honestly it more sounds like a message of inevitability, no matter what path N takes he's doomed to fail by the player who'll represent the other path showing that both truths & ideals are indeed one, just like how original dragon Kyurem was once one whole dragon.

I liked gen 1 alot, ik for a fact that is an unpopular opinion.
Gen I is perfectly fine, not only as a starting point for the franchise but goes to show how sometimes a simple story and a big world to explore can get the imagination of people going. The reason people like to bash on "genwunners" is because that term refers to people who pretty much only played Gen I and think all other gens after aren't good enough or their Pokemon designs suck compared to the original 151. "Genwunners" are naive people who hate on anything after Gen I because it's not Gen I regardless of detail, but people who like Gen I because it gives them something that playing the other games didn't then there's nothing wrong with liking Gen I.
 
My unpopular opinion:

I hate the fact the "timetravel" exploit exists and became well known on Sword&Shield.

I actually enjoyed raids, even with randoms, even just for the sake of killing time. But at this point, it's become almost impossible to ever join one, or host a raid that isn't for a gigamax. Nearly every raid that shows up in the Y-comm is actually fake as it gets deleted right away since it's someone using timetravel to softreset.

It feels even *worse* than genning in gen 7 at this point to me :\

And due to the nonexistance of GTS, by now the only way to finish Pokedex is either ask on forums or abuse the exploit myself, and I hate using exploits or tampering with my console data.
 
Unpopular opinion? Never cared much for Ash's goal of winning the league. Team Rocket's antics, the Ash and cos shenanigans, and the banter were more entertaining for me
Something else I noticed: Not many fans are aware Ash legitimately developed as a person Gen 1- 3, and the Karma involved. 1 he's notoriously brash and daft, which leads to having a mismanaged team, especially from Charizard, and is dependent on others. 2 he tries "cheating" with his now regained trust from the flying lizard, but he loses hard on the over reliance, then realizing Charizard was better off with another trainer until Ash matures. And the last parts of Gen 2 till the end of 3 we see that, having a more rounded team, being a sort of mentor for May, no longer being as brash. And still despite this, he had individuality, still had character chemistry to a degree,
Then 4 came and he was a lot more passive to criticism.
Then 5 came, and he notoriously drops in IQ, starting the "Pikachu reset" meme, and despite being constantly chastised by Iris, he just....takes it?
6 suddenly he's a good trainer, but then he has no personality other than :D or slight annoyance. Basically a generic Shounen main protag
7 and I'm assuming 8 are the same
I feel like the shift in both attracting newcomers to the series and attracting the pro players caused the writers to no longer care about the character. Just the battling ability, and how to poke fun at it or not

Basically I want the anime to no longer have Ash, unless he's written properly again. Which isn't likely
 

Codraroll

Cod Mod
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After thinking it through for a while, I can conclude that Sword and Shield are the first main series Pokémon games I actively dislike. I don't have high opinions on Diamond and Pearl, and I think Sun and Moon were pretty disappointing too, and I refuse to count LGPE in the main series, but Sword and Shield are outright bad. It's like wherever you look, you come across some highly questionable design choices that should never have made it to the finished product. And overall, it's obvious the games were rushed to heck and back to meet a deadline.

I think the scene after the seventh Gym was what finally broke my impression of Sword and Shield. Wild roaming Dynamaxed Pokémon, how cool was that? It would have been epic if they had bothered to show it instead of just telling us that it happened. "Show, don't tell" is an age-old adage of story telling in all media, and here they went for the exact opposite. And just to rub some salt in the wound, if you go back into the tunnel after talking to Hop, the NPCs there are still talking about the event as if it was still happening.

The games are poorly made. No way around it. The graphics are a joke, the routes and cities are smaller in scope than ever, the story is virtually non-existent, the story telling is beyond pathetic (you are interrupted by a Hop cutscene every 50 steps or so), the Kanto pandering is almost absurd by now, the amount of cut features is insulting, and there are more moronic design choices than we could ever hope to list. Whose idea was it for weather in the Wild Area to change only once a day? What was the point in limiting which Pokémon you could catch? Unskippable ten-second animations every time something Dynamaxes, that won't grow old fast! Locking sound settings behind an item, what was up with that? Battle backgrounds aren't even there half the time. This is the main series console game we've been waiting for since the release of the Wii? It's a disappointment of epic proportions.

The core gameplay loop of the games is as strong as ever, and by now it's the only thing holding the franchise up. The designers at Game Freak had a brilliant idea back in the 1990s that they could keep selling us over and over again, but the new ideas they've had lately have been outright horrible. I've played every Pokémon main series game, and I can safely say that Sword and Shield are the worst of the bunch. What's more, they even killed my expectations for the next games. The transition to console was always the shining beacon of hopes and high expectations. Now we're there, and it sucked big time. There's no other beacon on the horizon as far as I can tell.
 
After thinking it through for a while, I can conclude that Sword and Shield are the first main series Pokémon games I actively dislike. I don't have high opinions on Diamond and Pearl, and I think Sun and Moon were pretty disappointing too, and I refuse to count LGPE in the main series, but Sword and Shield are outright bad. It's like wherever you look, you come across some highly questionable design choices that should never have made it to the finished product. And overall, it's obvious the games were rushed to heck and back to meet a deadline.

I think the scene after the seventh Gym was what finally broke my impression of Sword and Shield. Wild roaming Dynamaxed Pokémon, how cool was that? It would have been epic if they had bothered to show it instead of just telling us that it happened. "Show, don't tell" is an age-old adage of story telling in all media, and here they went for the exact opposite. And just to rub some salt in the wound, if you go back into the tunnel after talking to Hop, the NPCs there are still talking about the event as if it was still happening.

The games are poorly made. No way around it. The graphics are a joke, the routes and cities are smaller in scope than ever, the story is virtually non-existent, the story telling is beyond pathetic (you are interrupted by a Hop cutscene every 50 steps or so), the Kanto pandering is almost absurd by now, the amount of cut features is insulting, and there are more moronic design choices than we could ever hope to list. Whose idea was it for weather in the Wild Area to change only once a day? What was the point in limiting which Pokémon you could catch? Unskippable ten-second animations every time something Dynamaxes, that won't grow old fast! Locking sound settings behind an item, what was up with that? Battle backgrounds aren't even there half the time. This is the main series console game we've been waiting for since the release of the Wii? It's a disappointment of epic proportions.

The core gameplay loop of the games is as strong as ever, and by now it's the only thing holding the franchise up. The designers at Game Freak had a brilliant idea back in the 1990s that they could keep selling us over and over again, but the new ideas they've had lately have been outright horrible. I've played every Pokémon main series game, and I can safely say that Sword and Shield are the worst of the bunch. What's more, they even killed my expectations for the next games. The transition to console was always the shining beacon of hopes and high expectations. Now we're there, and it sucked big time. There's no other beacon on the horizon as far as I can tell.
It's possible that either the next generation's games will demonstrate that they just needed to get Sword and Shield out of the way and they're well done, or will somehow be even worse.

I'm not holding my breath for the former, personally. Nothing's going to change while Pokemon adheres to an annual release schedule. Not for the better, anyway.
 
It's possible that either the next generation's games will demonstrate that they just needed to get Sword and Shield out of the way and they're well done, or will somehow be even worse.

I'm not holding my breath for the former, personally. Nothing's going to change while Pokemon adheres to an annual release schedule. Not for the better, anyway.
We've been expressing similar sentiments since XY came out ("it's the jump to 3D, after that they'll get better!"), yet we made SS the fastest selling Switch game. I would expect nothing with the bare minimum for the next games, because it's been proven they'll sell regardless.
 
I refuse to count LGPE in the main series
Little-known bit of info: Let's Go being classified as main series is nearly a fluke of translation, not just marketing. In the original Japanese there's no term that translates to "main series" at all. The equivalent term is "Pocket Monsters series" or literally, "the games that don't abbreviate Pocket Monsters to Pokemon in their titles". All side series and spin-offs abbreviate.

So let's say you're building the official Japanese Pokemon website and there's a page that lists all of the games. Officially they're grouped into "Pocket Monsters series games" and "other Pokemon games". Let's Go inarguably belongs to the first group because it has "Pocket Monsters" in its title and not "Pokemon".

Then it's someone else's job to translate the page into, say, English. The name of the first group can't be translated exactly, so since at least ~2013 it's been officially known as "core series" instead. Then Let's Go naturally ends up under the "core series" group, and no one bothers to move it.

Edit: Or some TPC rep in an interview says "Let's Go is the latest entry in the Pocket Monsters series of games", which is unambiguous. The English translator has almost no choice but to say "Let's Go is the latest core series game" - what else could they possibly say?
 
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6Roggenrolas

Formerly Le-Hydra
On the topic of what Pokemon games sell most, it’s interesting to note that while the initial generation relations always perform best (and perform even better if they’re the first of a console generation like SS) remakes are never too far behind in terms of sales.

However, it seems that third versions (Emerald Platinum etc.) set in the same region always sell significantly less. This was presumably why they tried to shake things up with Black 2 and White 2, but those games also didn’t do so well despite extra effort and are the worst-selling split versions aside from USUM.

This doesn’t quite have to do with an unpopular opinion, but more of an uncommon prediction- I don’t think we will be getting improved versions of or sequels to Sword and Shield. Between the repeated lackluster sales performance of enhanced versions and giving eternatus way more attention than the third legendary usually gets in the initial games of a generation, the signs to me seem to point to a remake of some sort and then simply moving to the next generation.
 
I think the scene after the seventh Gym was what finally broke my impression of Sword and Shield. Wild roaming Dynamaxed Pokémon, how cool was that? It would have been epic if they had bothered to show it instead of just telling us that it happened. "Show, don't tell" is an age-old adage of story telling in all media, and here they went for the exact opposite. And just to rub some salt in the wound, if you go back into the tunnel after talking to Hop, the NPCs there are still talking about the event as if it was still happening.

The games are poorly made. No way around it. The graphics are a joke, the routes and cities are smaller in scope than ever, the story is virtually non-existent, the story telling is beyond pathetic (you are interrupted by a Hop cutscene every 50 steps or so)
On the contrary, I think the games would have benefited from less plot. The endgame was hurt by creating a problem with Rose out of nowhere.
 

Yung Dramps

awesome gaming
is a Pre-Contributor
On the topic of what Pokemon games sell most, it’s interesting to note that while the initial generation relations always perform best (and perform even better if they’re the first of a console generation like SS) remakes are never too far behind in terms of sales.

However, it seems that third versions (Emerald Platinum etc.) set in the same region always sell significantly less. This was presumably why they tried to shake things up with Black 2 and White 2, but those games also didn’t do so well despite extra effort and are the worst-selling split versions aside from USUM.

This doesn’t quite have to do with an unpopular opinion, but more of an uncommon prediction- I don’t think we will be getting improved versions of or sequels to Sword and Shield. Between the repeated lackluster sales performance of enhanced versions and giving eternatus way more attention than the third legendary usually gets in the initial games of a generation, the signs to me seem to point to a remake of some sort and then simply moving to the next generation.
I agree with the assessment about SWSH. It's also worth noting that we haven't gotten a "full" generation - base game, enhanced version, old gen remake - since Gen 4 (Gen 7 is debatable since Let's Go is classified as a Gen 7 title, but those games are in a weird gray area in terms of stuff like whether they classify as main series titles and other features that distinguish them from the likes of HGSS or ORAS). That said, I don't think it's wise to just look at the raw sales numbers and use that to deem enhanced versions less successful. There's also expenses and actual revenue to consider, and while there isn't any concrete data I'd be willing to bet enhanced editions probably have way less money and resources invested into them then the beginning of a generation since a lot of stuff like map, character and Pokemon design is already done and they just have to add stuff to what's already there.
 
This is an absolute unpopular opinion, but I think the best games of the entire Pokemon franchise is Pokemon B&W and B&W2. The reason why I don't know if it's unpopular or not is because there is one side where people think B&W is the worst of the franchise and of course the other side where people think it's the best, and of course I am in the latter category.

I think what makes me so attached to them even when they are not my first mainline Pokemon games (that being Pokemon Platinum pog) is the music and story, which to be fair, I do not think Pokemon has gotten an actual great story since B&W, XY's story is complete horseshit (no offence to anyone who likes XY btw), Sun & Moon had somewhat of a story but not too much until it hit me with a nice one in USUM, SWSH is probably my least favourite mainline game with its nonexistent story and somewhat forgettable music and characters. But honestly I still like all of these games, except for SWSH lol. B&W, especially B&W2 basically gave me a beautiful story and probably the most memorable music in the entire franchise. B&W2 is my favourite out of them because it feels like an actual sequel to B&W compared to USUM to SM.
 

Codraroll

Cod Mod
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On the topic of what Pokemon games sell most, it’s interesting to note that while the initial generation relations always perform best (and perform even better if they’re the first of a console generation like SS) remakes are never too far behind in terms of sales.

However, it seems that third versions (Emerald Platinum etc.) set in the same region always sell significantly less. This was presumably why they tried to shake things up with Black 2 and White 2, but those games also didn’t do so well despite extra effort and are the worst-selling split versions aside from USUM.

This doesn’t quite have to do with an unpopular opinion, but more of an uncommon prediction- I don’t think we will be getting improved versions of or sequels to Sword and Shield. Between the repeated lackluster sales performance of enhanced versions and giving eternatus way more attention than the third legendary usually gets in the initial games of a generation, the signs to me seem to point to a remake of some sort and then simply moving to the next generation.
Lower sales numbers don't mean much when the games cost next to nothing to make. Most of the content of a follow-up game is a direct copy of that of its predecessor. The whole region is copied wholesale, so is the graphics package, models, animations, scripting, battle engine, game mechanics, and all the tools used to create the games. All they have to do is to create a few new locations, some new characters, some new Pokémon forms, and tweak a bunch of minor stuff, and the game is ready to ship. The cost is probably around a tenth of that of making a new game from the ground up. They can sell half as many copies as the previous games, and still make boatloads of profit.
 
I agree that Sword and Shield were rather clearly rushed (I'm fairly certain this is a common perception?), and because of the rush Game Freak chose to focus on one specific aspect, namely the VGC side and preparing teams for it.

I'm probably giving them too much credit here, as stuff like Nature Mints, vitamins working past 100 EVs, and Egg Moves transferring between Pokémon are small QoL changes that could easily have been in the works before. But the most praise I've seen given to the game is to its small QoL changes to the ease if prepping competitive teams.

Plenty of casual fans highly enjoy the games too, and that's fine. Camp has plenty of issues but it's cute to see your own team interacting with each other. Shiny hunting has been streamlined(? Not super versed in it but it seems to be easier). The Gym Leaders and most other important NPCs have memorable designs and personalities.

All that being said, the points presented that paint the games as not having the polish and features that one would expect from a AAA game are probably fair and largely accurate. Graphics/animations being subpar/bad and the story being weak/nonexistent are unfortunate but I can't say I expected much better. Game Freak has always been behind the curve when it comes to graphics, and storylines have almost always been weak (though this one takes the cake; there's really nothing to give you a hint about Eternatus and Rose's plans until he goes full Maxie/Archie in his delusions). I would still have hoped Game Freak would have made the world and its environs more expansive, or at least have a little more to explore, than what we got. The actual means of exploring and traversing are still in traditional Pokémon form, too, which is really jarring. I'm not expecting full BotW-like mobility and freedom, but when a half-foot dropoff stops the player from going over it and forces them to walk to the end to go around, I'm definitely taken out of the immersion of an expansive, free-roaming world.

I guess I do have one opinion about Sword and Shield that's kind of controversial, and that's Dexit. I think the concept is actually a good thing, and I don't have any major issues with the Pokémon they cut and those they kept (even though many of my favorites are gone). Pokémon has needed some kind of a "reset" regarding movepools and transferring for a while; many old Pokémon had bloated learnsets from older TMs and the use of old event moves in competitive play is a personal nitpick I'm glad to see gone/reduced. The real issue with Dexit was its marketing/PR; it was mentioned almost as an afterthought, and the reasoning/explanations behind it have proven to be weak. It definitely should have been addressed more formally and with more empathy to those who would lose access to old standbys.
 
Pokemon Sword and Shield have a good single player mode-if you're doing a solo challenge with no Battle Items. You're only overleveled if you choose to be because of how the experience curve works. Boss fights are some of the hardest in the series because they can use Dynamax, or 2 monsters against 1 in the case of Raihan.
 

Merritt

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I guess I do have one opinion about Sword and Shield that's kind of controversial, and that's Dexit. I think the concept is actually a good thing, and I don't have any major issues with the Pokémon they cut and those they kept (even though many of my favorites are gone). Pokémon has needed some kind of a "reset" regarding movepools and transferring for a while; many old Pokémon had bloated learnsets from older TMs and the use of old event moves in competitive play is a personal nitpick I'm glad to see gone/reduced. The real issue with Dexit was its marketing/PR; it was mentioned almost as an afterthought, and the reasoning/explanations behind it have proven to be weak. It definitely should have been addressed more formally and with more empathy to those who would lose access to old standbys.
Unless you mean in the sense of literally seeing fewer Pokemon and therefore fewer bloated learnsets, this is one thing Dexit (probably) does not resolve, pending knowledge of exactly how Home will function with transfers.

What we know is that Home will allow you to transfer Pokemon from old games into SwSh, what we don't know (but most do assume since it's logical judging by the changed descriptions for most non-functional moves) is that these Pokemon will not have their movesets altered when being transferred in. As such, the current state of "unbloated" learnsets is only until Home releases, and that's exactly the same situation we had prior to Bank's release in Gen 6 and the update for Gen 7 compatibility, not something to credit Dexit with.
 
I guess I do have one opinion about Sword and Shield that's kind of controversial, and that's Dexit. I think the concept is actually a good thing, and I don't have any major issues with the Pokémon they cut and those they kept (even though many of my favorites are gone). Pokémon has needed some kind of a "reset" regarding movepools and transferring for a while; many old Pokémon had bloated learnsets from older TMs and the use of old event moves in competitive play is a personal nitpick I'm glad to see gone/reduced. The real issue with Dexit was its marketing/PR; it was mentioned almost as an afterthought, and the reasoning/explanations behind it have proven to be weak. It definitely should have been addressed more formally and with more empathy to those who would lose access to old standbys.
But then why the heck are a few select non-Galar native Pokemon in the game's data? Stuff like the Alolan starters, the other Kanto starters, and a few select legendary and mythical Pokemon. (ignoring Mew because it sells a $50 peripheral... and Jirachi because Tanabata) Old moves don't matter because official competitions usually restrict participants to stuff caught/bred in the current generation, (and often has to also be in the regional dex) while Showdown will still let you use all the moves and Pokemon as a separate meta from Galar only IIRC. And if they really wanted to "reset" transferring, they could have forgone developing HOME in the first place. Sever Sword and Shield from the past seven generations completely.

No, this seems more like a byproduct of rushing the games out the door and haphazardly trying to cover their asses when they realized they weren't going to be able to finish getting all the Pokemon and moves programmed in.

Let's not forget that Sketch is in the game even though Smeargle isn't and no other Pokemon learns it.
 
Unless you mean in the sense of literally seeing fewer Pokemon and therefore fewer bloated learnsets, this is one thing Dexit (probably) does not resolve, pending knowledge of exactly how Home will function with transfers.

What we know is that Home will allow you to transfer Pokemon from old games into SwSh, what we don't know (but most do assume since it's logical judging by the changed descriptions for most non-functional moves) is that these Pokemon will not have their movesets altered when being transferred in. As such, the current state of "unbloated" learnsets is only until Home releases, and that's exactly the same situation we had prior to Bank's release in Gen 6 and the update for Gen 7 compatibility, not something to credit Dexit with.
Dexit is far from perfect but I think the concept is good. I know Pokémon Home will add back a lot of the old moves and options but for the moment it's nice to see all (available) Pokémon running off the same set of learnable moves.

Truth be told it's mostly old event moves that upset me from their persistence in competitive play, but that's more of a nitpick with the Smogon system than the moves themselves. :mehowth:

This also goes with my reply below but I don't think they know what they're doing with Home quite yet.

But then why the heck are a few select non-Galar native Pokemon in the game's data? Stuff like the Alolan starters, the other Kanto starters, and a few select legendary and mythical Pokemon. (ignoring Mew because it sells a $50 peripheral... and Jirachi because Tanabata) Old moves don't matter because official competitions usually restrict participants to stuff caught/bred in the current generation, (and often has to also be in the regional dex) while Showdown will still let you use all the moves and Pokemon as a separate meta from Galar only IIRC. And if they really wanted to "reset" transferring, they could have forgone developing HOME in the first place. Sever Sword and Shield from the past seven generations completely.

No, this seems more like a byproduct of rushing the games out the door and haphazardly trying to cover their asses when they realized they weren't going to be able to finish getting all the Pokemon and moves programmed in.

Let's not forget that Sketch is in the game even though Smeargle isn't and no other Pokemon learns it.
It's absolutely incomplete and inconsistent. The rest of the Kanto starters are probably in because Charizard is, and the Alolan starters and Melmetal are in from recent game bias. I have less of an explanation for the other legendaries, though the swords of justice are at least thematic and I've heard zekrom/reshiram/kyurem and necrozma (with solagaleo/lunala as corollaries) are in the game with eternatus as "energy dragons" or some similar theory, but your guess is as good as mine.
 
It's absolutely incomplete and inconsistent. The rest of the Kanto starters are probably in because Charizard is, and the Alolan starters and Melmetal are in from recent game bias. I have less of an explanation for the other legendaries, though the swords of justice are at least thematic and I've heard zekrom/reshiram/kyurem and necrozma (with solagaleo/lunala as corollaries) are in the game with eternatus as "energy dragons" or some similar theory, but your guess is as good as mine.
The big questionmark are really the gen 5 legendaries.
Gen 1 starters and gen 7 starters+legendary are there for completion, that's easy to guess. Chari is there (so makes sense to have squirtle and bulba families), and alolan games are the most recent with a very recent event releasing Shiny Solgaleo+Lunala, it actually makes sense to allow them in the games.

The gen 5 ones though... your guess is as good as mine. I like to think they're coming with the mastermind gen 5 remakes/sequels skipping gen 4 ones :P
 

Karxrida

Corruption of Shadows
is a Community Contributor
The core gameplay loop of the games is as strong as ever, and by now it's the only thing holding the franchise up.
I actually think the core gameplay loop has completely stagnated.

It's difficulty for me to engage with the games anymore since no real changes have been made to the combat since the Physical/Special split in Gen IV. Constant 1v1 fights with limited movesets do not make for riveting experiences outside the context of PVP, where you are against an actual person instead of simplistic and predictable AI that cannot strategize and is so easy to exploit it's not even funny.

Sword and Shield needed to be the franchise's Breath of the Wild moment and completely overhaul the conceit of the core gameplay, to inject it with some fresh ideas it sorely needs. It did not need another half-baked gimmick that will just be thrown out in a couple years anyway.
 
I actually think the core gameplay loop has completely stagnated.

It's difficulty for me to engage with the games anymore since no real changes have been made to the combat since the Physical/Special split in Gen IV. Constant 1v1 fights with limited movesets do not make for riveting experiences outside the context of PVP, where you are against an actual person instead of simplistic and predictable AI that cannot strategize and is so easy to exploit it's not even funny.
This is actually something I want to talk about, because my fight with Raihan on my second playthrough made me realise it: I really, REALLY want another game where the majority of battles are Doubles.

Maybe not something as 'hardcore' as the Gamecube titles; and we don't necessarily need the Shadow Pokémon system (though it was really, really cool and I'd love to see them come up with something as good), but before going into battle against Raihan I found myself strategising WAY more than I usually would. For bosses I tend to just figure out which of my team I'm gonna be using the most and then just go straight into it. With Raihan I was having to consider a lot more variables: which of my team could take a hit or two from the opposing side even if offensively they were up to task; will my set-up even be worth it if it's harder to pull off and harder to keep up; should I really be using 'mon like Frosmoth who are frail in at least one defensive stat; etc.

Everything goes way beyond just "what's my type advantage and am I faster". Granted, Raihan adds a second layer of difficulty over most other gym leaders by having his team have actual variety in type; only half of his team actually features his Dragons and which dragons he has cover each other defensively very well. But I still might have been able to use my aforementioned Frosmoth to Quiver Dance sweep his team if I didn't have Doubles to take into account, and a fair few of my team ended up falling. Heck, fun fact? When it came to his league rematch, for some reason I thought that was going to be Doubles too and I was prepping and strategising SUPER hard for his team... and then it was singles and it was more or less a breeze.

Doubles just makes so much sense for a Pokémon game and I really think Gen 3 was onto something when they made both it and abilities (I say this as someone who's a gen 4 baby, and whose favourite gen is 5; the one that introduced the battle style of Doubles but worse in every way). They clearly capitalised on it for the Gamecube titles and Gen 3 featured them in larger quantities too, but afterwards they... just never featured in a significant capacity again. Which is a shame, because it fits in with a lot of things about Pokémon very, very well -- it encourages you to pick up a new team member early on; it forces you to think of your team much more as an actual team that supports each other; and of course, it prepares people for VGC, which is entirely doubles and is what Pokémon's balancing and strategies are focused around for the most part.

It wouldn't necessarily be making things way too hard for kids, either. They can still pump their Pokémon full of exp candy and press A to win at anything that stands in their way. You could also build up to it; make the majority of the game's battles doubles, but maybe have the earlier ones be mostly singles and have some justification of like "our small-town trainers might like doing things this way, but remember; official league battles use two Pokémon at once!". It would ease players in a bit more and would mean you wouldn't HAVE to be stuck with whatever early-route stuff there is if none of it interests you. With a bit of clever designing and planning, another game focused around Doubles could work out very well without needing to give you two eeveelutions as your starters.

Though since I have been talking about Doubles generally involving more strategy, one more possibility I'd like to throw out there: instead of a more traditional system, asking you if you like Singles or Doubles more could be a good idea to implement different difficulty levels into Pokémon. Since Doubles are currently mostly presented as a big competitive strategic thing, you could easily make it so that Single battles could be given to "those who are new to Pokémon", and Double battles could be given to "experienced trainers looking for a challenge", rather than just making route trainers' Pokémon a couple levels higher or lower.


Point is: I feel the answer to a lot of issues with Pokémon's battles as a single player experience (stagnation, little to no strategy or difficulty) can be addressed by capitalising more on Doubles.
 

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