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5 Ways To Make Me Wanna Catch 'Em All Again in Pokemon

The Pokemon series has now been around for 20 years, with a formula that is starting to grow stale. Here are a just few ways The Pokemon Company can spice things up and revitalize the franchise.

This year, the beloved Pokemon series celebrates its 20th anniversary with the release of Sun & Moon. Going into the 7th generation of main series games, along with countless spin-offs, that anniversary comes as no surprise. What is surprising is just how stale the franchise has become over the years.

Features like 3D graphics and online multiplayer have only painted over the quickly aging formula that's been around since its inception in 1996. While Sun & Moon seem to be trying to shake things up, there are some glaring issues seeping through the cracks based on what we know so far. There have been some interesting Pokemon revealed, including hilariously bad names like Type: Null, UB-01 (possibly going up to 08), and more. 

Not only that, but many of the "new" Pokemon are simply older Generation 1 Pokemon repurposed with new skins and typings. That gives a level of nostalgia to older players, but it does seem that it is mostly there to, again, cover up the fact that there are only so many new Pokemon ideas you can have before it starts to run out.

Recent data miners have revealed that there are approximately 800 Pokemon total in the Alolan Pokedex, up from around 724 in the previous generation. That is an insane amount and I wouldn't blame even the most hardcore fans for not being able to name the more than 700 we already have, let alone almost 80 more.

Rehashing older Pokemon isn't such a bad idea; in fact, I think it's nice. However, like a bandaid, that's only good for small wounds, not the gaping hole that's beginning to form. That's why I've set out today to show you five different ways The Pokemon Company and Nintendo can breathe new life into the series and make me wanna catch 'em all, again, without the need for a Full Restore:

1. Support Other Platforms

It's no doubt in anyone's mind that Pokemon Go was a (short?) phenomenon. You played it, your family played it, your boss played it, your dog will probably soon be able to play it. It's the reality we live in and it should be a major sign to The Pokemon Company. People want Pokemon, and they want it now. This year, we got to see the original three games re-released for the 3DS.

Don't let it end there, Nintendo. Keep the momentum going. Let's see Red, Blue, and Yellow ported to iOS and Android devices. It will not only open it up to make a lot more money, but usher in a brand new audience. An audience that will then become interested in the newest games in the series and the platform they're releasing on.

2. Embrace the Switch

Speaking of platforms, the newly announced Nintendo Switch, formerly NX, is the next step in Nintendo's line of home console and handhelds, blending them together seamlessly. That is the perfect place to put the 8th generation of Pokemon games.

While The Pokemon Company has already announced a Pokemon game is in the works for the NS, that could mean anything from the next Pokemon Battle Revolution to Pokken 2. I'm talking about moving the main series after Sun & Moon from 3DS to NS. It would still be grounded in its portable roots, but also something you can enjoy on your TV at home in, hopefully, a higher resolution.

3. AR to VR

As of this writing, there has been no announcement from Nintendo regarding VR support for the Nintendo Switch. Even if it doesn't support it, that shouldn't stop Nintendo from letting Pokemon make the leap to virtual reality in at least a small capacity. While sitting at home playing your Gen 8 games with a Nintendo-branded VR headset sounds amazing, that isn't necessary for it happen. The Samsung Gear VR and others already allow for VR on mobile phones.

We've seen Niantic do wonders applying augmented reality to Pokemon Go, so why not take that a step further? Whether it's an updated version or a brand new mobile game entirely, truly capturing your favorite pocket monsters right in front of you would be an emotional experience. We now have Pokemon in our world, so let's make our childhood dreams come true by going to their world.

4. Beyond the Sun & Moon

As mentioned at the very beginning, bringing back beloved Generation 1 Pokemon with some new, shiny threads is a pretty cool and logical thing. I mean, we're about to be exploring the 7th region of the Pokemon world. Sure, there's room for more to be explored, but we could go even further than the current world. Deoxys, Clefairy, and others all originally hail from space.

We've visited space before. There's even been talk about parallel dimensions mumbo jumbo. Some fans are even calling for a reboot of the franchise. We can put all of those things together by moving to a new world. Some familiar Pokemon could be there in unfamiliar forms, but more importantly, it's a chance to start fresh with new Pokemon that could be strange and unique. I mean, we already have an ice cream cone so why not?

5. A Brand New Team

With each new iteration of the Pokemon series comes the excitement of meeting new Pokemon and creating a team that you will use to dominate the new region. One way The Pokemon Company can refresh the series is by applying that same concept to their infrastructure. The creators are now 20 years older than when they first began, and with age comes the temptation to be less ambitious.

I'm not asking for them to step down or anything, but adding a lot of new faces to the development team, specifically in leadership roles, could bring some fresh and ambitious ideas to the franchise. Just a glance at what Niantic did recently with Go shows how this could pay off for fans and the company alike. 

The Pokemon series is thankfully here to stay, but that doesn't mean changes shouldn't happen to make long-time fans like myself want to catch them all again. Let us know in the comments below what you think could revitalize the franchise.

Published Oct. 31st 2016

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