With the second round of games from Pokemon’s fifth generation proving to be further critical and commercial successes for Game Freak and Nintendo, the time comes to look at what the future holds for this powerhouse of a handheld RPG franchise.

The main series of Pokemon games now spans over a decade and Nintendo and Game Freak have worked out a very successful formula that has been improved by minor developments with each new generation. Pokemon games have come a long way since Red & Blue, and one need only compare a battle scene from these games to one from the most recent Black 2 or White 2 to see how the innovations and advances in technology have improved the series. Despite these changes, though, the basics of the games are still essentially the same and the formula is still as reliable as ever.

With that in mind, we have a list of ten things we’d like to see in the future of the Pokemon franchise. Some of these are minor changes like the innovations that have been continuously developed as the series has aged, but others are a little more substantial. Take a look and let us know what you think; would you pick up the next Pokemon game if these features are included? Or are there any things you’d like to see that aren’t included in our list?

10. Proper Use of the 3DS

Inevitably Generation 5 will have been the last of the Pokemon series to find its home on Ninetndo’s old handheld system, the DS. The sixth generation, which will most likely be surfacing in 2 to 3 years, will be the first main series game that makes its way onto the 3DS system.

For me the time to upgrade my DS system to the 3DS will come once there is some concrete announcement on a main series Pokemon release for the console, and I’m sure I am not alone with this plan. For many handheld gamers the 3DS is not an attractive purchase simply because there are very few worthwhile games available for it at the moment. Pokemon’s sixth generation could be the game to buck this trend, but it needs to be done right.

The Pokemon games have had basically the same visual style since Red & Blue, albeit with all the available graphical enhancements employed. The move to the 3DS could see a slight tweak to the old top down style and see the player’s view swing down a little in order to make use of the system’s 3D functionality. This change does not have to be radical; the battle camera is already positioned at such an angle that could quite easily be tweaked to offer 3D use, whereas the open world view could simply be dropped to the player’s shoulder level to give the feel of an immersive 3D environment. And come on, how many of you would pass up the opportunity to get a better, more in depth look at some of the games’ locations such as the bug infested forests or sprawling cities like Castelia?

Good use of the Nintendo’s 3D system is key to the success and continued improvement of the Pokemon series, but this should be something that Game Freak and Nintendo are more than capable of achieving.

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This article was first posted on December 4, 2012