8 Ways Nintendo Can Save Pokémon
For the love of Arceus, end the three year cycle.
Pokémon is still a global sensation, whether you subject yourself to the tide of all of its media or not, and is still recognised as one of the most profitable intellectual properties ever. If you needed proof, the recent entries Pokémon Scarlet and Violet are recognised as Nintendo's biggest launch of all time.
Now that the dust has cleared in the wake of the release of these games, it's time to address the burning question. Why, oh why, are the video games - the franchise's bread and butter - in such a weird place?
And, more to the point, how do we fix them and make sure that Pokémon becomes a series that reflects its market share? So many of us have nostalgia for Pokémon that we'll buy the games every time they come out but even the most devoted fans know they could do so much better.
In this list we've looked at what Generation IX of Pokémon so far has done right and wrong and in all ways how these things can be improved on. Because, despite its insane sales, the video games are in serious peril of being little more than a laughing stock if things carry on the way they are.
8. Performance NEEDS To Be Better
Let’s get this one out of the way early. When Pokémon Scarlet and Violet released, the games were the talk of the internet purely because of how they were running.
Videos filled social media on that first week of glitches and oddities with NPCs casually walking through battle scenes or Pokémon stuck in walls. But more than that, people were perturbed at the game running at frame rates that can only be described charitably as “chugging”.
The series appeals to more than just gamers, as evidenced by Genearion IX entering the realm of the top 15 best selling Switch games ever on its opening weekend alone. But the thing is, it's not about sales, it’s about public perception. Conversations about Pokémon games in the 2020s centre on GameFreak’s lack of polish and Q&A more than anything else which is why the positive reaction to the game’s content was lost under a sea of “yep that’s GameFreak for you” as the glitches rolled in.
The next major games in the series cannot afford to go through the same thing again or they'll just exacerbate the reputation of Pokémon being a franchise that not only cannot stay relevant but is alienating its core consumer base of gamers, who more often than not care about a smooth experience.
It would be silly to expect remarkable, hyper-realistic 8K visuals but something at least reliable and consistent would be a big step up from Scarlet and Violet’s most egregious misstep.