Unpopular opinions

I ask this as a legitimate question, not a rhetorical one - how do you explain the stretch from 2008-2012? There were four main series games produced during this four year period - Pt, HGSS, BW, B2W2. Those might be the four best games in the series (though I think Emerald deserves consideration).

Was the move to 3D that much of a chore for GF that quality was compromised so badly? The pressure that comes from a yearly release seems like more of an excuse than an explanation for a company of GF's size, given their resources. Once upon a time, yearly releases did nothing to stop the quality of games GF was churning out during the Golden Age of 2008-2012. I just have a hard time believing that that's the root cause of the problem now.
I actually have an opinion of my own about this, and that's the fact that what we fans view as "the glory days of Pokémon" is always changing. We saw this during the heart of the 3DS era, when the DS games were rising in popularity, sure, but the third generation games were also at their most popular point to date. I think Game Freak knows about this trend, which is why ORAS coming out in Generation 6 is such a good fit. Just to get the discussion rolling, here's what I'd say "the best Pokémon games were according to the fanbase during every time period as of Gen 3.

Early 2000s: The resetting brought with Ruby & Sapphire (and Colloseum, I suppose) quickly gave people a yearning for the days of Kanto
Mid 2000s: With Kanto, Hoenn, and Orre all being covered by current entries, interest in the Johto region increased again
Late 2000s: Similar to the last period, with Johto interest at an all-time high as well the start of consistent increase of GameCube interest
Early 2010s: Hardcore Gen 5 fans may remember this as the "Hoenn Confirmed" era
Mid 2010s: General interest in the Gen 4 games increased this time (people also started wondering what happened to the Ranger series)
Late 2010s: 20th anniversary hype helped out Kanto quite a bit for newer fans, and Sinnoh only got more popular too
Early 2020s: Where we are now, the general consensus is that Johto, Hoenn (lack of ORAS on Switch), and Unova need the most attention

See the pattern here? We're going to see this until the end of time, and that's why Pokémon fans will always buy remakes even if they turn out like ILCA-inspired garbage along the lines of BDSP.
 
I actually have an opinion of my own about this, and that's the fact that what we fans view as "the glory days of Pokémon" is always changing. We saw this during the heart of the 3DS era, when the DS games were rising in popularity, sure, but the third generation games were also at their most popular point to date. I think Game Freak knows about this trend, which is why ORAS coming out in Generation 6 is such a good fit. Just to get the discussion rolling, here's what I'd say "the best Pokémon games were according to the fanbase during every time period as of Gen 3.

Early 2000s: The resetting brought with Ruby & Sapphire (and Colloseum, I suppose) quickly gave people a yearning for the days of Kanto
Mid 2000s: With Kanto, Hoenn, and Orre all being covered by current entries, interest in the Johto region increased again
Late 2000s: Similar to the last period, with Johto interest at an all-time high as well the start of consistent increase of GameCube interest
Early 2010s: Hardcore Gen 5 fans may remember this as the "Hoenn Confirmed" era
Mid 2010s: General interest in the Gen 4 games increased this time (people also started wondering what happened to the Ranger series)
Late 2010s: 20th anniversary hype helped out Kanto quite a bit for newer fans, and Sinnoh only got more popular too
Early 2020s: Where we are now, the general consensus is that Johto, Hoenn (lack of ORAS on Switch), and Unova need the most attention

See the pattern here? We're going to see this until the end of time, and that's why Pokémon fans will always buy remakes even if they turn out like ILCA-inspired garbage along the lines of BDSP.
This is also true. Every Pokemon game sucks up until the point where the people who grew up with it become old enough to enter the discourse, when suddenly it's always been amazing.
 

Yung Dramps

awesome gaming
Ok so in contrast to what Wukong said, honest to god I think it's a crying shame that villains in Pokemon don't flat-out cheat more often. You are not convincing me for a nanosecond that Ghetsis or Lysandre would play fair, and in a series that already struggles to make cool villains as is it would really do miles to help them stand out.

What caused Generation 8 fatigue is a combination of these factors:
  • PR disasters in general, especially how they addresssed Dexit.
  • How mishandled SwSh and BDSP are, former having disastrous development issues and the other a result of possible misunderstandings.
  • How quickly Dynamax and Gigantamax overstayed their welcome despite the interesting concept and the potentials, but mostly because of poor intergenerational distribution between older Pokémon, poor balance overall, how GF dropped the ball when the DLC arrived, and a combination with some of the worst overspecializations to date regarding new Pokémon.
  • A more positive one that nonetheless contributed, how many Pokémon spin-off titles we got within a single generation.
  • And lastly, how much of a tough-act-to-follow Legends: Arceus proved to be despite that game’s flaws.
I can only hope that SV doesn’t repeat too many of SwSh’s mistakes to at least be able to stand on it’s own legs.
Ye pretty much. Also to elaborate on some of the external factors I mentioned, covid neutered VGC pretty mightily from what I've seen and heard as well as getting everyone down for obvious reasons, and just the general state of fandom discourse saw some pretty pathetically low lows. PLA def ain't a contributor tho, quite the opposite: Can you imagine if our most recent game was BDSP? The doomium going into SV would be off the charts. Really in general the problem for me isn't overexposure, at least I don't think, just that the exposure I got was far less ideal far too often.
 
This is also true. Every Pokemon game sucks up until the point where the people who grew up with it become old enough to enter the discourse, when suddenly it's always been amazing.
Give people about a decade, I guarantee they'll start acting like SwSh and BDSP are the greatest things since sliced bread. Starting with 1996, here's what I'd say "the fanbase's favorite region" was by the end of every year. I'll be listing up to three regions per year, core series only for the sake of this list. One quick mention before I start; "Kanto" is referring to Kanto-only games, not the Johto postgame.

1996: They had no choice
1997: They had no choice
1998: They had no choice
1999: Kanto
2000: Kanto
2001: Kanto
2002: Kanto, Johto
2003: Kanto, Johto
2004: Johto
2005: Johto
2006: Johto, Hoenn
2007: Johto, Hoenn
2008: Johto, Hoenn
2009: Kanto, Hoenn
2010: Kanto, Hoenn
2011: Kanto, Hoenn
2012: Kanto, Hoenn
2013: Kanto, Hoenn, Sinnoh
2014: Kanto, Johto, Sinnoh
2015: Kanto, Johto, Sinnoh
2016: Johto, Sinnoh, Unova
2017: Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos
2018: Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos
2019: Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos
2020: Sinnoh, Unova, Kalos
2021: Hoenn, Unova, Kalos
2022 (ongoing): Hoenn, Unova, Kalos

The pattern to take away from this is that regions that haven't been visited in a while in any way, shape, or form (including Virtual Console/NSO ports) will grow more and more popular, due to the natural consumer reaction of comparing newer products to older ones of the same kind. Given the patterns and how well Nintendo and Game Freak have kept an eye on this pattern over time, I believe this to serve as surefire evidence that Unova is the most popular "old region" at the current moment and should be the next region in line to receive a remake as a response to this consumer demand.
 
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Ok so in contrast to what Wukong said, honest to god I think it's a crying shame that villains in Pokemon don't flat-out cheat more often. You are not convincing me for a nanosecond that Ghetsis or Lysandre would play fair, and in a series that already struggles to make cool villains as is it would really do miles to help them stand out.
B2W2 Ghetsis kinda cheated by using a full team of six and a fused Kyurem, though presumably for technical reasons his fight is broken up into two parts.

I guess one of the few advantages of continuously building on top of Gen 3's battle engine is that unlike what happened with the overworld design, Game Freak never had to start from scratch, so they were free to continue pushing the system in weird directions. Triple battles, rotation battles, hoard battles, totems, Mother Beast, battle royales, raid battles, cutscene battles, Klara and Avery. For all people wanna say Game Freak has regressed, every single generation they get better at adapting the battle system to the story, with gens 7 and 8 being by far the best on this front.
 
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Ok so in contrast to what Wukong said, honest to god I think it's a crying shame that villains in Pokemon don't flat-out cheat more often. You are not convincing me for a nanosecond that Ghetsis or Lysandre would play fair, and in a series that already struggles to make cool villains as is it would really do miles to help them stand out.
It's been a long time since I've seen BW's climax, but Ghetsis tries to cheat by coming after you right after you defeat N, but either N or Cheren (like I said, it's been a while) heals your team, right?

As for Lysandre, I also don't remember a lot of XY's character exposition for him, but he doesn't strike me as someone who would cheat against the player, unless he's just that far gone into misanthropy that he doesn't care anymore. He feels like he has standards (or maybe that's just Pokémon Masters talking, lol).

Otherwise agree with the "villains should cheat more" angle.
 
Ok so in contrast to what Wukong said, honest to god I think it's a crying shame that villains in Pokemon don't flat-out cheat more often. You are not convincing me for a nanosecond that Ghetsis or Lysandre would play fair, and in a series that already struggles to make cool villains as is it would really do miles to help them stand out.
That's a good point. Which is maybe why I would prefer if Pokémon games didn't end with a villain fight and embedded it somewhere towards the end. I was never a fan of the Ghetsis fight thematically, but you're absolutely right, he's not a character where it makes sense for him to be fighting fair. On the other hand, I could see someone like Cyrus fighting fair. Maybe to prove to himself that he's worthy of being the ruler of this new world that he longs for.

Even still, I prefer an even, symmetric fight against a champion like Blue, Steven, or Cynthia to an over the top fight against a villain. To me, Pokémon's core strength has always been its battle-centric gameplay. It's never been know for amazing stories. If it really wants to compete in that space there are plenty of JRPGs that do that way better.
 
Legends Arceus is far from flawless, but I'd still take it over any other Pokemon game on the Switch, and especially over any other Sinnoh game any day of the week.
I'd personally take Platinum and Sword over L:A, but to each their own.
I will say that one thing I wasn't a huge fan of were noble battles. I like the idea of shaking up the typical battle formula or having a new type of battle, but I don't think this was the way to do it. Most of them basically amount to just dodging attacks or throwing balms. But the time it takes for you to dodge an attack and aim your next throw means you'll probably only get to throw about 3 balms at most in between attacks. And considering it takes somewhere around 50 or so to calm them (by rough estimate, at least), these battles ultimately just end up becoming a test of patience more than anything else.
I agree, I was not very fond of the noble battles either. More about that later in this post, there are other things to talk about first.
Welcome to the World of Capitalism! Seriously speaking, I'm definitely disappointed that SV were announced so soon after Legends. I really enjoyed Legends, to me its the game that got me interested in Pokémon games again after the disappointment that was SwSh and skipping over BDSP. This isn’t the first time they have done this, XY were announced three months after BW2 in the west, but that was only in the west. I guess the TPC's avarice ( Yes, I think it is safe to call TPC greedy after the abomination of siding with Tencent and creating Pokémon UNITE ) has led them to realize that not only do the games themselves are incredibly lucrative, but the merchandise itself is even more lucrative; and since People will buy Pokémon games regardless of quality, the games need to come out yearly to maximize profits, even if it comes at the cost of the employee's mental and physical health ( In case you did not notice, I'm anti-Capitalism and will stop myself before I go write an essay ) and the quality and innovation of the games.
From an economic point of view, I can understand that they release a new game every year. TPC is a company, and the goal for any company is to make money. Since the Pokémon games always sell very well, it is no mystery that they release a new game every year. But that does not change the fact that it can be annoying and stressful for us players to get a new game every year. I was not a big fan of when they did the same thing with X/Y being announced soon after B2/W2, it made me very disappointed back when it happened. Though it feels worse now with the short gap between L:A and S/V. There's more that can be said about this, but I'll stop here since I don't want this discussion to get too political.
I ask this as a legitimate question, not a rhetorical one - how do you explain the stretch from 2008-2012? There were four main series games produced during this four year period - Pt, HGSS, BW, B2W2. Those might be the four best games in the series (though I think Emerald deserves consideration).

Was the move to 3D that much of a chore for GF that quality was compromised so badly? The pressure that comes from a yearly release seems like more of an excuse than an explanation for a company of GF's size, given their resources. Once upon a time, yearly releases did nothing to stop the quality of games GF was churning out during the Golden Age of 2008-2012. I just have a hard time believing that that's the root cause of the problem now.

And I would imagine the pressure of 3D rendition would just be proportionate to the time in which such games are being produced. I don't see other game franchises like Dragon Quest struggling with the shift to 3D.
Not sure, but I have some ideas. First of all, the Golden Age for me personally is 2011-2014, back when B/W, B2/W2 and X/Y were the newest games (my three favorite entries in the series). There's also OR/AS, but I consider them to be the beginning of the Silver Age.

Now, to (try to) answer your question. I am not a game developer, but my impression is that it is a lot harder and more time-consuming to develop a game in 3D compared to a sprite-based game in 2D. On a similar note, graphics has never been Game Freak's strongest suit. Especially not 3D graphics. There has been a lot of complaints about the graphics in L:A, and while they don't bother me all that much personally (more about that later), there's no denying that the game could have been a lot better graphically. I believe that it takes a lot more time to develop games in 3D than in 2D, so developing a 3D game in the same time as it takes for a 2D game means that corners have to be cut somewhere, either in gameplay, content, graphics or something else. I think all of the 3D games so far have been lacking in some aspects, but which one(s) vary from game to game. Now, this might not necessarily be because of the games being in 3D, but it feels like that at least.

Another thing is that the DS games were built on already existing games more than the 3D games. Platinum was clearly made with D/P as a base, meaning that they already had 80-90% of the game done. HG/SS required them to make a different region on the DS, but they already had the map ready from G/S/C. B/W required a new map, but B2/W2 re-used a lot of it. So they only really had to make one completely "new" game from these four.

In comparison, it was different for the 3D era. X/Y, S/M, S/S and L:A all required new maps. OR/AS and BD/SP were recreations of old maps, while US/UM was just built upon S/M. Which means that the 3D era so far has required four completely new maps, compared to just two for the DS era (D/P and B/W).

And I think the quality of the games wasn't always super great during the DS era either (you already know what I think about HG/SS, the others were fine though). In comparison, I don't think the 3DS era had any game that was quite as bad as HG/SS. Can't really speak for the Switch era as I haven't played either LGP/E or BD/SP, but I think both S/S and L:A were fine if not the very best.

I'm not so sure about the size of GF either. A quick search gives me that they have 167 employees. Let's compare this to some other second-party developers for Nintendo:
Monolith Soft: 275
Intelligent Systems: 187
HAL Laboratory: 205

Compared to these three, Game Freak has fewer employees and are forced to create a new game every year, which the others don't need to as far as I'm aware.

Not sure if that was the answer you were looking for, but those are my thoughts. I should mention that I do not claim that all of this correct, it is mostly just my own theories and thoughts about this subject.
Agree with this generally. One of the things I love about Pokémon (which I believe Ironmage made a comment about once upon a time) was the symmetry of boss battles compared to other JRPG series. I like the idea that it's Blue's six versus your six, or Cynthia's six versus your six which give the games a more immersive feel, rather than the typical "slay the dragon" OP boss versus a tiny little earthling like yourself in some bloated David vs. Goliath affair. As such, I wasn't a fan of the Volo fight for obvious reasons which broke the symmetry of a normal Pokémon boss fight.
Same here. In the past, I liked how the Pokémon games were always fair* to the player, something most other RPGs I have played aren't. More about this further down.

*not sure if this is the correct term, it might be more correct to say "balanced" or "approachable", but this is what I'm going with.
As for the gameplay itself, not the biggest fan of the heavy shift towards crafting and catching over battling, which I always thought highlighted the core, borderline addictive strength of Pokémon's signature gameplay. Removing that clear, battle-centric sense of progression removes to me what makes Pokémon's gameplay stand out amongst other JRPGs and allows it to maintain its niche.
Mostly agree. I had no issue with the focus on crafting or catching, but I really dislike the changes to the battle system. It was never broken, there was no need to "fix" it. I think most of the changes made it more based on luck than strategy, which I do not approve of. I always liked the traditional battle system since it offered a lot of room for strategy, which has always been one of the things I like the most about Pokémon. I don't understand why they had to change that in L:A, they could just have kept the traditional battle system while also focusing on the other things they introduced in the game.
Early 2010s: Hardcore Gen 5 fans may remember this as the "Hoenn Confirmed" era
Yes. I was very active in the fandom during the Gen 5 and early Gen 6 days, I remember seeing people demanding Hoenn remakes everywhere. Crazy to think that it has been 10 years already.
Ok so in contrast to what Wukong said, honest to god I think it's a crying shame that villains in Pokemon don't flat-out cheat more often. You are not convincing me for a nanosecond that Ghetsis or Lysandre would play fair, and in a series that already struggles to make cool villains as is it would really do miles to help them stand out.
Ghetsis uses an underleveled Hydreigon. That is on the border of cheating if you ask me.

On the topic of opponents cheating, I think Klara/Avery did this the very best. They cheat using game mechanics, which is excellent. If they keep the concept of cheating characters, I hope we can see more of this in the future.
Even still, I prefer an even, symmetric fight against a champion like Blue, Steven, or Cynthia to an over the top fight against a villain. To me, Pokémon's core strength has always been its battle-centric gameplay. It's never been know for amazing stories. If it really wants to compete in that space there are plenty of JRPGs that do that way better.
I agree. While I think some Pokémon games have good stories, and while B/W are some of my favorite Pokémon games, story has never been the main thing I care about. The story has never been the main reason as for why I love B/W. And as you say, there are many other games out there with considerably better stories. When it comes to Pokémon, I will always take gameplay before story. That is why I like X/Y and US/UM better than S/M, for instance. S/M has a great story but some quite big issues when it comes to gameplay.

...

Now, to some more unpopular opinions. I mentioned some of them earlier in this post, now it is time for a longer explanation.

I wasn't very fond of the Noble battles in L:A. I think this is unpopular because it is an opinion I don't see very often, if ever (I don't think I have seen it anywhere before PokePoindexter posted it earlier in this thread). To me, it feels like Game Freak were trying to emulate the boss battles in other action games like Zelda and Metroid, but the overall execution for the Noble battles is much worse. The Nobles get more and better moves with every new one, but the player is stuck with dodge, throw and run throughout the entire game. Basically, the Nobles improve while you don't, making the battles against them feel very unfair. Even worse, you don't even have access to basic moves like jumping or shielding, nor can you throw many different items, only balms and Poké Balls.

I thought the three basic moves you have were okay for Kleavor and Lilligant, but it became frustrating for Arcanine and every Noble battle after it. In comparison, the Zelda and Metroid games give you access to more items and moves the further you get. I played through Metroid Dread and the Switch remake of Link's Awakening a few months ago, and I think they handled their boss battles so much better than the Noble battles in L:A, it is almost ridiculous how much worse L:A did in this aspect.

On a similar note, I think the health indicator for the player character is terrible. It reminded me of the one in Mirror's Edge, and that's cool, but L:A is an action RPG focused on exploration, not a fast-paced first person platformer with shooting elements. I don't understand why they just couldn't have a health bar for the player like for the Pokémon, or something like the hearts in Zelda or energy tanks in Metroid. I really can't forgive L:A for failing at this and many other things that it got wrong. It is one thing to do a mistake the first time, but when you screw up on something as simple as a good health bar (which other games got right back in the 80s), then it is just plain unacceptable.

I would kind of have liked to see some way to heal the player as well. You can't heal your Pokémon, why not yourself? Not sure about it though. Some way to increase your own health similar to how you get more hearts in Zelda or more energy in Metroid would have been cool as well, but I'm not sure here either. It felt to me like the health for the Nobles did not increase with each battle, so maybe it was a good thing that it wasn't possible to increase it for the player since that would make it unfair in the player's favor. Not sure though.

Overall, I wasn't a fan of the Noble battles. They were difficult and challenging but for all the wrong reasons. There is no way I am ever doing any post-game rematches against them (which I don't have to either, thankfully). If there are more Legends games in the future, they need to either improve upon the Noble fights and do them right, or not include them at all.

I might as well post my other unpopular opinions about L:A while I'm at it, just to get it all out of the way.

First, something positive. I have seen many complaints about the graphics of the game, but I disagree. I think the game actually looks pretty good, even beautiful in some instances. Many areas look great, and I love the Pokémon models. Granted, the game could have been a lot better graphically, I know from experience through playing other games that the Switch is capable of much better graphics. But still, I think the graphics were fine. For all the issues I have with the game, the graphics is not one of them. And as said earlier, graphics (and especially 3D graphics) is something Game Freak has never been particularly good at.

Another unpopular opinion I have about L:A is that I didn't find the world to be empty. It felt like there were always something to be found behind every new corner, be it a Pokémon, an item or something else. If anything, I often wished that the game was emptier when I played it. Getting targeted by aggressive wild Pokémon almost everywhere was very annoying. Though that's more because there is no way to turn of their aggro (which is a very bad thing IMO), but that's for a different discussion.

Finally, on to something that isn't only about L:A. I dislike how Pokémon games have gotten unfair in recent generations. It started in Gen 7, then it continued in Gen 8. In Gen 1-6, you did for the most part always have the same opportunities as your opponent, no matter the situation. For the most part, you always had access to the same Pokémon, items, moves and abilities as the opponent. There are some exceptions to this, but most of them are minor IMO.

But starting with Gen 7, this changed. Suddenly, opponents could have unfair advantages over you. Some examples are the Totem fights and Ultra Necrozma in Gen 7, where the opponent gets a stat boost at the start of the battle and/or are able to call an ally for help, while you can only have one Pokémon out on the battlefield. The same goes for the SOS mechanics in Gen 7 which I strongly dislike, and how opponents can gang up on you in L:A while you can only ever have one Pokémon out to fight them. There's also the Max Raid battles in S/S and the Noble battles in L:A as I talked about above. The changed battle mechanics in L:A also allow opponents to get unfair advantages over you (or the other way around, though that felt like it happened considerably less often when I played the game). Overall, I am not a fan of how the Pokémon games have gotten unfair from Gen 7 and on, it is something I strongly disapprove of. I always liked the more fair battles in Gen 1-6 and I wish that had been kept, there was no need to change it. Thankfully most regular battles are still fair (except for in L:A), but I don't really like how many of the boss battles are unfair nowadays.
 

Samtendo09

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Ok so in contrast to what Wukong said, honest to god I think it's a crying shame that villains in Pokemon don't flat-out cheat more often. You are not convincing me for a nanosecond that Ghetsis or Lysandre would play fair, and in a series that already struggles to make cool villains as is it would really do miles to help them stand out.
No amount of cheating would help a pathetic Pokémon team composition by a long shot - you see what happened to RSE Archie / Maxie and the Gen 2 Team Rocket in general - but it would definitely help giving more identity to individual villains.

Ye pretty much. Also to elaborate on some of the external factors I mentioned, covid neutered VGC pretty mightily from what I've seen and heard as well as getting everyone down for obvious reasons, and just the general state of fandom discourse saw some pretty pathetically low lows. PLA def ain't a contributor tho, quite the opposite: Can you imagine if our most recent game was BDSP? The doomium going into SV would be off the charts. Really in general the problem for me isn't overexposure, at least I don't think, just that the exposure I got was far less ideal far too often.
Oh, I don’t paint PLA as a bad thing; the reason I called it a tough-act-to-follow is that it have a very, very positive reception from fans at release, something only SM managed to get among the 2010s mainline Pokémon games. What we got before PLA within the same generation, though, certainly soured expectations to a fault.

As I said, I hope SV doesn’t repeat too many of the same mistakes of what SWSH and PLA commited, otherwise it might end up being compared as less good than PLA.
 

ScraftyIsTheBest

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Seeing a lot of discussion going on lately, but I might as well chime in my two cents. Not gonna comment on everyone's individual opinions on the topics ongoing right now, but I do have something general I think is worth saying. I think a lot of this really points to what Pokémon kinda is right now. The thing with Pokémon is that this franchise is absolutely massive, has existed for over 25 years now, and has attracted a large number of people from all kinds of circles of life, and thus the series over the course of its time has appealed to a variety of different people over the years. This means that with so many different crowds of people, with a variety of different demographics having played and enjoyed this series, there are going to be a variety of different opinions on this franchise, which games were the "best", and whatnot. Even moreso when different people came into the series at different times in the series' existence, and also, it's a matter of taste as the games have taken a variety of different directions over the years. What one person may consider the "best" games in the series may be very different from what another person considers to be the "best games in the series, and a lot of this is because everyone has different reasons they play Pokémon. If I were to ask you what your reasons for playing Pokémon are, there's a pretty good chance those reasons aren't the same as mine. I see some people here saying they don't like the direction PLA and supposedly SV seem to be heading down in terms of gameplay, and that's okay, but it's also important to remember that odds are, there are plenty of people who love the direction PLA and SV are heading down for Pokémon because they see that as something they want out of Pokémon. That's not to say that you are obligated to like it, but do keep in mind that others may not feel the same way you do on the series or on specific entries in the Pokémon series as a whole.

In a sense, Pokémon becoming as big as it is now and being a worldwide media hit is in some ways a double-edged sword. With so many people from all walks of life having played this series at some point, there are bound to be different people who value different things from the franchise. For instance, I for one consider Gen 7 to be one of my favorite generations (even though my personal *favorite* generation is Gen 5) thus far because I loved the adventure it offered and the characters that made it an incredibly memorable experience for me, and I loved the story of SM while USUM delivered in terms of challenge and the Island Challenge being great. I know there are some people who probably consider Gen 6-7 to be their favorite generations of Pokémon, because what the 3DS games did and delivered and what they did best (such as the characters, or the story driven adventure and whatnot, or how great Gen 6's online play was) were the things they value most out of a Pokémon game. Or vice versa. Some people may consider Gen 2 to be their favorite generation of Pokémon. It's a matter of what you value most from a Pokémon game that really decides which games you consider to have delivered the best experiences for you.

One thing I will say, though: it is true that Pokémon is a pretty damn slow and inefficient franchise when it comes to generational improvement. Part of it is how incompetent Game Freak is at optimization. Part of it how they bend over development time to merchandise schedules and how they have to churn out games every year, which means they don't really get a chance to be properly innovative with the series with each entry. Part of it how small Game Freak's team is relative to other developers who develop larger scale games. So generational improvements tend to be incremental changes more often than not, and the series' progress is slow as hell as a result. That is definitely a factor as to why we have the "attitude in cycles" where every Pokémon game is considered by the community to "suck" until those kids who grew up with said game become old enough to join the Pokémon internet and the discourse. Like how at one point Gen 3 was considered horrible until later on it was heralded as a pinnacle of the series. Then the same happened with Gen 4. And recently it's been happening with Gen 5. Soon Gen 6 will reach that point and we'll be seeing more and more people talking about how much they loved XY and ORAS and what those games delivered. And so on.

I've been seeing posts here talking about how exhausted they are with Gen 8 discourse, and whatnot, but the truth is this kind of stuff has gone on for nearly 20 years and Gen 8 is really no different. As I mentioned, the whole attitude in cycles situation has happened for a long, long time. Especially back in the Gen 3 days. It is simply far more visible because we now have social media like Twitter, as well as YouTube where this kind of discourse is far more visible. Gen 8 is notably the time where we're living in the Internet era and public discourse is on more public and widely used platforms, not just on dedicated internet forums like in the 2000s. On the whole, as I said, I do think that yes: Pokémon is an exhaustingly slow and inefficient franchise in terms of generational improvement, and I do think it's okay to get tired of all this, to be tired of this infinite loop of the series largely only making incremental changes at best and whatnot. That said, I do think it's common for people to try to project the blame on certain games or generations as scapegoats in this series because to them that's just easier.

I suppose that's a lot of rambling but that really sums up a lot of my thoughts on the current discourse. If I had to chime in my personal two cents, I'd like to say that I actually find this current point in time to be the most invested I've been in Pokémon in a good while. Maybe it's because I was gradually getting tired of the infinite loop of the series remaining similar with its games over the years, but Sword and Shield's DLC brought me into the game in a way that I haven't been before, and I'm loving the direction the series is going with this and now Legends: Arceus. I'm not instantly hyped for SV right now because we know so little about it, but I'm looking forward to it because I'm glad to see Pokémon is finally doing something different, and it happens to be a direction that I really like, and I hope Pokémon can refine the direction they took with the SwSh DLC and PLA to make an even better experience for SV and Gen 9 as a whole. I'm definitely more hooked into Pokémon right now than I was some years ago, and it's an odd feeling, but I have more interest in Pokémon now more than ever.

-----

Just one more side note btw

See the pattern here? We're going to see this until the end of time, and that's why Pokémon fans will always buy remakes even if they turn out like ILCA-inspired garbage along the lines of BDSP.
I believe this to serve as surefire evidence that Unova is the most popular "old region" at the current moment and should be the next region in line to receive a remake as a response to this consumer demand.
Of course, this is assuming that remakes even happen again. If what I've heard in a few Discord servers I'm in (from some people who are in leak groups) is true, then there's a good chance that we'll probably never see the traditional remake in the vein of FRLG, HGSS, and ORAS ever again.

PLA is the beginning of a new direction for past generational revisits. It seems like they would rather take different directions when revisiting previous regions from here on out, and PLA being a "pre-make" is the first example of that. So when we see Unova, Kalos, and Alola revisits, and maybe a Johto one too, odds are we'll be something fresh and different like a prequel/sequel rather than a remake, because apparently GF feels that doing prequel/sequel experiences gives them more creative freedom to do more than to exist within the confines of a mere remake.

Even if you were to take what I've heard aside, I think this sentiment is pretty evident. It's very clear that PLA was the game they actually wanted to make and that BDSP was a secondary concern and a necessity measure that they felt obligated to do, especially when you consider which game is considered better by the general playerbase (PLA is almost universally considered better by most Pokémon players).

*ends long rambling*
 
Ok so in contrast to what Wukong said, honest to god I think it's a crying shame that villains in Pokemon don't flat-out cheat more often. You are not convincing me for a nanosecond that Ghetsis or Lysandre would play fair, and in a series that already struggles to make cool villains as is it would really do miles to help them stand out.
I think there's space for both. The Sun/Moon Totem Battles were generally very well-regarded from what I can tell(and I personally loved them), and those are 2-on-1 with a stat boost. You don't get more Unfair Superboss than that.

But a good Elite Four, player versus 26-30 high level, high power mons? That's a beast, and conquering it feels like you've really done something special.

If it were up to me, the evil team would cheat. Lots of double battles, the horde battles from ORAS, the final admin battles being three to four 6-vs-6 with no breaks between them, built-in field effects, etc. And then the E4 and gym leaders would be scrupulously fair, just built to be tough.
 
Where I run into issues on the direction of the series is that it doesn't seem to be good at branching towards different interest groups. Even when there is a more divergent game like Let's Go or Arceus, major aspects will still be ported to the next main game. I get the feeling that the higher-ups view those decisions as progress rather than the trade-offs they are compared to maintaining previously existing mechanics. It means that if you don't like those divergences, it affects the entire series going forwards instead of just one game or spin-off. And, since for me we've been in a string of divergences I am not a fan of, it means I have little hope for the immediate future.

On the bosses argument, my main point is that I want to be able to use status as a primary strategy. A lot of other RPGs are really bad at this, making many bosses immune to debuffs because otherwise they can't handle them. Pokemon has very powerful status effects, but they aren't balanced against a single health bar. So the single mon bosses need to include extra ways to beat status specifically, because otherwise Toxic auto-wins against U-Necrozma. Maybe it can be done right, but given how SwSh and Arceus handle it (the former giving DMax excessive status immunities, the later by seriously nerfing status effects across the board), I doubt that it is going to be done right.
 
Considering Game Freak has never been particularly good at actually constructing their games, I can absolutely believe it. Game Freak spent 20 years refining their route layouts, their cutscene direction, etc, all these things that you do in the overworld. They gotta relearn all that (especially the cutscene direction) in 3D.
No
There isn't much to "relearn"

Routes already were 3D by Gen 4. And Gen 6 especially still featured tile based design for routes, only difference now is you can move diagonally for once. Gen 7 and 8 progressively are less limited, but the poor design is less inexperience, more they just got worse in controlling progression by over relying on barriers instead of sidequests. An "issue" Gen 5 brought

Cutscene direction has archaically remained the same, along with OW movement until LA. The only diff in the "3D" era is the camera can be more interact- oh BW did that already? Even HGSS for intro? Yeesh

And in terms of what you the player can do in the overworld, until LA it has always been "walking" and "talk to npc" or HM move. No primitive platforming outside forced cliff hops, they rigidly are almost the same as an 8 bit RPG. Already by Gen 3 GFs overworld was pitifully outdated compared to other GBA titles or older 16 bit era games, we just didn't care at the time

And this all ignores that GF isn't revolutionizing anything when they "became" 3D. There was a lot of external refs they can use, and Creatures Inc did the brunt work for mon assets already, so that was a massive load off their back

GF's priority Gen 6 was nostalgia cashing, and being basic still for the rising mobile crowd. And they served that purpose well, as much as we all hate it

It's not the medium, it's just stubborn tradition and realizing they barely needed to do much, until Gen 8's PR disaster slammed them rightfully
 
Some way to increase your own health similar to how you get more hearts in Zelda or more energy in Metroid would have been cool as well, but I'm not sure here either.
The survival charms you can buy give you 20 health each. They are a bit out of the way so they can be easy to miss if you aren't looking all around.

That is definitely a factor as to why we have the "attitude in cycles" where every Pokémon game is considered by the community to "suck" until those kids who grew up with said game become old enough to join the Pokémon internet and the discourse. Like how at one point Gen 3 was considered horrible until later on it was heralded as a pinnacle of the series. Then the same happened with Gen 4. And recently it's been happening with Gen 5. Soon Gen 6 will reach that point and we'll be seeing more and more people talking about how much they loved XY and ORAS and what those games delivered. And so on.
I feel like some of the Gen 5 appreciation is also because of how the games changed after Gen 6 in hindsight, but this has also led to going back to criticisms of the older games as well. There are things that get memed on like Gen 4's speed and Gen 1's glitches, but I have also noticed some more general Johto negativity, generally because of how it plays as a game to be completed compared to modern standards. Personally I like that Gen 2 was really ambitious with the scope of the world it was trying to cover originally as seen from the leaks, and even though the final product is relatively more compact, you can still feel the heart and soul put into it as an experience and it's interesting how its concepts are still returned to in later generations. Gen 2 made the region feel alive with trainers having names and calling you, real time passing by, more optional dungeons, legendary lore, places opening up routes and making the region feel connected, and I feel like it successfully established a future direction for the series after Gen 1's success, with innovative mechanics and QOL improvements like the original special split, held items, breeding, and shinies that are taken for granted today. Regardless, I agree with the point that there is a little something for everyone in the series.

I hope SV will be pretty good as a Gen 9 that builds on Gen 8 like when Gen 7/5/2 were more polished games on the same console as the last generation.
 
Contextually I think the issue with Cheater-Boss fights is that the story usually isn't written in a way that allows them to do so in a particularly meaningful way in the early games, while some later games go for Asymmetry but not in a way that is the boss having agency over that taking place.

- Gen 1: Giovanni doesn't really expect you to show up either time as Team Rocket, and in Viridian he's battling you in the Gym Leader Role rather than as Team Rocket, based on his dialogue. This point seems like it matters to me since remakes where Team Rocket isn't gone until post-game could retool his dialogue, plus other depictions show Giovanni playing unfairly when he is expecting a challenge or otherwise fighting on such grounds (fighting with Mewtwo in the anime, and setting up an ambush to attack Red specifically in Adventures).

- Gen 2: New Rocket just seems disorganized to the point of being comic relief, but whatever advantage they could pull at the Hideout is nullified by Lance being present to even up the fight, and at the Radio Tower they seem to just bank really hard on locking you out of the broadcast room rather than anticipating a fight with someone. It's flimsy here but I similarly go with the "caught off-guard" explanation for this.

- Gen 3: In terms of awakening the Legendary, Aqua and Magma tend to be one-step ahead of the player's efforts to stop them (whether singular, or both at once in Emerald). Most times where you battle them for a major operation there's either another confounding factor (the opposing team for Mt. Chimney, Steven at the Mossdeep Space Center), or the fight is to buy time while they are working on the main goal (stalled by an Admin at the Hideout, or fighting Maxie/Archie right next to Kyogre/Groudon). A big element for the Gen 3 villain plot is that they're constantly trying something or other that you're running into, but reasonably one kid can't be present everywhere to stop everything simultaneously, so part of the plot is playing catch up with them. They're constantly rushing to get things done and you probably don't register as a higher priority than any other nuisance they're dealing with, certainly not so much that they'd prepare specialized cheating for one particular battle when they could instead just try to finish their plan before you get there.

- Gen 4: Galactic arguably comes the closest so far to meeting this idea for me when I look at Spear Pillar. Cyrus has the Admins all acting at once to capture the Lake Trio for the Red Chain(s), and they succeed swimmingly despite your interference here and your track record, with the PC being the only trainer of the 3 who's presented as handling the Galactics they encounter on their own (Dawn/Lucas need back-up and Mesprit is still taken, while Barry is utterly beaten and Uxie long gone). The competent trainer storms Galactic HQ and Cyrus still gets away with the Chain. When you do reach Spear Pillar, Cyrus is already summoning Palkia/Dialga while Mars and Jupiter attempt to 2v1 you, only averted by Barry showing up. Even then, by the time you finish that battle, Cyrus is in control of the Legendary Pokemon, and the only thing that stops him from resetting reality (or turning it on you at least) is the Lake Trio/Giratina depending on the game. So Cyrus has you outnumbered and ganged up on while also controlling a deity that is forcibly taken from him before battling him at Spear Pillar.

- Gen 5: Ghetsis in BW I agree probably could have played dirtier given his nature and that it was one of the few times where battle between the PC and the Villains was expected/planned for. He does have the Sages attempt to bar your route to N, but otherwise doesn't step in until N's been defeated; depending on interpretation you could argue this was important to his plan with N as a puppet king (needing to command respect amongst the populous by becoming Champion would be undercut by fighting dirty), but if that's the case there was still more that he could probably do to prevent you from reaching N, considering no one besides the Sages even attempt to impede your challenge. B2W2 has the 7 v 6 battle thanks to the initial fight with Black/White Kyurem, which, execution from AI aside, is pulling a legendary on top of a full team in story when the player does not have one themselves as compared to BW. On top of that, before even attempting to battle the player, Ghetsis jumps immediately to directly attacking the player character without a challenge . Ghetsis probably plays the dirtiest in terms of his choice, though given his character I do think he could have been more underhanded when just looking at the vacuum of that character.

- Gen 6: Lysandre is diet N. I don't have much to say because his character in the games is so transparently the villain before the reveal that I can't even tell what my read on his behavior is supposed to be: was I supposed to think he was a good-philosophical man and the reveal is a twist; was I supposed to think Lysandre was a bit off his rocker but ultimately could be reasoned with; or was I supposed to see him as a loon from the start for a dramatic irony effect until the characters caught up? I bring this up because my inability to read the game character makes it hard to determine if he's even the type I would take to cheat against sudden resistance from a group of kids. Despite confronting him at the entrance to Team Flare's bunker, he doesn't fight you until you capture the Mascot Legendary to use against him even if he knows you are there and intend to stop him. He actively allows the player to steal a major asset for his plan than can be used against him by not acting sooner, and unless he's supposed to seem lazy/incompetent/arrogant, I can't think of a reason to do this in story, and all 3 of the former would explain not taking a cheat measure.

- Gen 7: Lusamine just flat out doesn't care about you or Lillie in SM, with the battle being about going to bring her back (whether out of concern, to answer for her wrongs, or both), since her goal of finding UB's/reaching Ultra Space with Nebby has already been accomplished. In spite of this, her Pokemon do have the UB-style power boosts in battle which give them a significant leg up on your party on paper. Most of what I say applies to Ultra Necrozma, albeit that is more for animalistic/outside-human-thinking reasons rather than insanity-based apathy towards the player's presence.

- Gen 8: This depends on what we're calling the main villain here. If we mean Rose, I think he has the excuse of most of the main conflict issues focusing on Leon rather than the Player as the solution to them (which is a different point of discussion). Since his plan is for Leon to capture Eternatus, him battling so you can't go interfere effectively is him playing dirty to help his plan succeed. If we count Eternatus in a similar vein to Ultra Necrozma, it's OP as hell on base stats, and at least has (natural or otherwise) abilities that inhibit the idea of battling it: It's technically a forme instead of Dynamaxed, so it has no time limit on Max Moves or the other benefits of said mechanic; it prevents/inhibits the ability of the player to Dynamax against it; it fights you in what would have otherwise been a 2v1 with Hop instead of the standard 4v1 Raid set up (since I assume Leon was too exhausted to fight further after the failed capture attempt) if not for the Hero Dogs showing up and winning the fight for you essentially. I also feel like Eternatus is depicted with a bit more malice or situational awareness than even Ultra Necrozma was, so there's the matter of whether or not its powers simply are or if it has to think to impose these advantages.

I guess my ramble amounts to the fact that it would take plans from the outset to make a villain who feels like they meaningfully cheat the system against the player, since it has to come from a combination of being in character, being within the means they're written with (Aether has a lot more resources than Gen 2 Rocket or Aqua/Magma by all appearances), and something set up as achievable by the game's systems to reflect. All of this makes for something I think GF would have to decide on from when they start writing the villain team rather than halfway through that writing process when deciding "what will the story climax be like?"
 
The survival charms you can buy give you 20 health each. They are a bit out of the way so they can be easy to miss if you aren't looking all around.
I forgot about the Charms. Though that's partly because I wasn't really sure how some of them worked. I blame the game for giving me unclear information.

The in-game description for the Survival Charm is "A mysterious charm that holds the power to protect a person from fainting while out in the field. This type of charm comes in five different colors." Not very clear. I thought it worked like this: when you were about to faint, the Charm would kick in and save you, like the reserve tanks in Super Metroid. This would come at the cost of losing the Charm. I also recall reading somewhere that the charm only has "a chance of" working, but I might be remembering incorrectly.

The reason I thought the Survival Charm would work this way was because that is how the Warding Charm works, it protects you from Status at the cost of the Charm disappearing. Because the Survival Charm didn't work that way, and because the game has a quite unclear description of its effects, I thought that it just didn't work at all (or just had a "chance" of working). Since it didn't stop me from fainting the few times I actually fainted in the field (notably against Tornadus, one of the worst boss designs I have ever seen, but that's for a different discussion), or when I fainted against a Noble, it led me to think that it just didn't work at all. But now I know. Thanks for telling me.

I wish I had known about this earlier as it would have been very helpful if I had still been playing the game. If I were to replay the game (which I never will) or if I were to continue playing it (which I doubt, haven't played it in over a month and I see no reason to go back to it), then I would definitely make sure to always have all five survival Charms in my bag at all times just to have as much health as possible.

Anyway, now that I know that the game actually has a way to increase the health for the player, I consider it a plus.
I hope SV will be pretty good as a Gen 9 that builds on Gen 8 like when Gen 7/5/2 were more polished games on the same console as the last generation.
I partly agree. I think Gen 5 was basically a straight upgrade over Gen 4, but I don't really feel that way about Gen 2 and 7. While they improved upon some things from Gen 1 and 6, there were some things that the previous generation did right that Gen 2/7 screwed up on. The most notable IMO is the level curve in Gen 2 (it wasn't perfect in Gen 1, but it was at least functional) and the lack of good training spots in Gen 7 (I can't understand how we went from the epic levels of Gen 6 to the almost as bad as HG/SS levels in Gen 7). Anyway, I believe Gen 9 will improve on Gen 8 in at least some aspects, similar to how Gen 2/7 did, but I'm definitely not expecting it to be a straight upgrade like Gen 5 was.
 
Been reading some anime discussion and I realised that my single most unpopular Pokemon opinion is probably that I didn't mind Tobias as a character/dreamcrusher lol. I've never followed the anime too closely, but aside from the original run I was most into it during the DP arc (mostly because of Contests, which were fun in Hoenn but kinda underwhelming for the first 70% of May's character arc ...but that's a whole other Unpopular Opinions post lmao). I understand that a lot of people felt like it was unfair how Tobias showed up out of nowhere and obliterated Ash after his win over Paul, and I don't really have a counterargument or anything, but I guess I just like it when we get a reminder that Ash might be a pretty big fish, but he's in a massive pond. It's a nice contrast to the games, at least.

Of course, now Ash is in the Top 8 of a global battle tournament, so things have definitely changed lmao
 
Been reading some anime discussion and I realised that my single most unpopular Pokemon opinion is probably that I didn't mind Tobias as a character/dreamcrusher lol. I've never followed the anime too closely, but aside from the original run I was most into it during the DP arc (mostly because of Contests, which were fun in Hoenn but kinda underwhelming for the first 70% of May's character arc ...but that's a whole other Unpopular Opinions post lmao). I understand that a lot of people felt like it was unfair how Tobias showed up out of nowhere and obliterated Ash after his win over Paul, and I don't really have a counterargument or anything, but I guess I just like it when we get a reminder that Ash might be a pretty big fish, but he's in a massive pond. It's a nice contrast to the games, at least.

Of course, now Ash is in the Top 8 of a global battle tournament, so things have definitely changed lmao
I just never got their insistence with sticking with one protagonist (Ash) throughout the entire series. Which is why the Tobias battle was so frustrating since the end of the DP arc, with Ash defeating Paul in the final of the Lily of the Valley Conference, would've been the perfect way to send off that character. Considering BW was considered a soft reboot of the franchise, they could have just cast a new protagonist (even better, a female protagonist) to carry the torch for the next few seasons, another 10-15 years.

Inserting Tobias just to roflstomp Ash and rebooting his brain along with the rest of the series in BW was just not the way to go in my opinion.
 
I just never got their insistence with sticking with one protagonist (Ash) throughout the entire series. Which is why the Tobias battle was so frustrating since the end of the DP arc, with Ash defeating Paul in the final of the Lily of the Valley Conference, would've been the perfect way to send off that character. Considering BW was considered a soft reboot of the franchise, they could have just cast a new protagonist (even better, a female protagonist) to carry the torch for the next few seasons, another 10-15 years.

Inserting Tobias just to roflstomp Ash and rebooting his brain along with the rest of the series in BW was just not the way to go in my opinion.
I think the issue is its just not worth it. Ash is already a pretty popular character, taking a gamble by replacing him and seeing if the new character sticks when youre sitting on a safe goldmine its not a smart thing to do. Plus, it's a move that only benefits a small portion of the audience, usually teens and adults, who aren't the main target audience.

Of course, when it comes to adding stuff, the anime will try to pander to everyone because theres no risk, but removals and changes are much more thought out for kids, because those are the major watchers of the anime
 
Been reading some anime discussion and I realised that my single most unpopular Pokemon opinion is probably that I didn't mind Tobias as a character/dreamcrusher lol. I've never followed the anime too closely, but aside from the original run I was most into it during the DP arc (mostly because of Contests, which were fun in Hoenn but kinda underwhelming for the first 70% of May's character arc ...but that's a whole other Unpopular Opinions post lmao). I understand that a lot of people felt like it was unfair how Tobias showed up out of nowhere and obliterated Ash after his win over Paul, and I don't really have a counterargument or anything, but I guess I just like it when we get a reminder that Ash might be a pretty big fish, but he's in a massive pond. It's a nice contrast to the games, at least.

Of course, now Ash is in the Top 8 of a global battle tournament, so things have definitely changed lmao
This. I don't follow the anime particularly closely either, I hate that we've already met all of the Top 8 (and that Ash has reached the top 8 so quickly - if there were ever a time to retire the character, it's now). I know it probably wouldn't work otherwise, but it just makes the world feel so ridiculously small. A trainer's journey is without end - unless you're like Ash and become one of the most powerful trainers in the world at the age of 11.

And if they have to be named characters who already exist, why not some of the Galarian trainers Ash hasn't met yet like Mustard or Peony? That's at least a bit more interesting.
 
Looking at it from outside the context of being a fan of the anime, I end up thinking of Tobias as more representative of a player than Ash is. He shows up, blitzes through the entire challenge with one or two mons, then moves on to another challenge. A pattern we've probably all done at least once. It's almost certainly unintentional, but I end up liking the idea that even the most basic way of actually playing pokemon is better than whatever thing Ash pulls out of his **** this time.
 

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