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On the troubling state of the Pokemon franchise

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I'm still pretty excited for S&S and I'm more than willing to give it a chance and a Day 1 purchase. But I will admit my Pokemon...drive... is kinda dwindling. I kinda wished I skipped on US/UM since revisiting the area added next to nothing and I actually never finished Let's Go... I played up until I could get Meltan for PoGo and just stopped....

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I'm getting to the point in my life where I question if I can justify dropping $60 on a game. There's no way I'm paying full price for Sword/Shield if they won't bring back the National Dex. The fact that they said this is the strategy "going forward" is a MAJOR red flag for me. This cart is so much larger than the 3DS carts and we're paying nearly twice as much. Don't go cutting stuff on me. I'll buy it used at best.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/15/2019 at 11:24 AM, DLurkster said:

I'm curious, when was the reset button for you?

 

To me I believe it is gen 5 because of it's story and no catching any previous gen Pokemon until post game, also reusable TM's.

There hasn't been one yet, personally.  Gamefreak has put a lot of work into making every single game interconnected either through transfers or remakes that there's never really been a point in the series since maybe Gen 2 > Gen 3 where there's been a clean break between what's accessible.  It took Gamefreak this long to realize how horribly impractical or unsustainable it probably is to keep adding shit to the series with no stopping point until the games eventually become bloated unbalanced messes, so yeah my only criticism is them giving this expectation that they'd keep doing this for so long even though it's clearly been a pain in the ass to give us backwards compatibility to games that are nearly two-decades old over four console generations.

Edited by luca

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I have no idea how hard it is to build a game with all those upgraded models, but maybe if they increased the size of their development team or outsourced as others have been saying (didn’t Monolith basically save the development of BotW?), maybe then it wouldn’t be so much of a pain?

 

I just can’t help but feel that sacrificing part of the franchise’s whole identity (gotta catch em all) is not a good decision. I don’t care about Megas or Z moves. It’s the Pokémon cutting that hurts.

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I'm not too bothered by the decision to exclude a portion of older Pokemon for Sword & Shield, but I hope that the Pokemon chosen for the Galar region really fit in. I only have an issue with how this information was handled. It reminds me of the situation with Super Mario Maker 2's online play where Nintendo released the information later and away from a Direct or presentation. If they know it won't go over well, just bite the bullet during Home's reveal and not let expectations develop for that application.

 

I still feel that Pokemon Black and White handled its new generation the best by exclusively focusing on the new Pokemon for a vast majority of those games and only had older generations start appearing for the post-game. I would not mind that being the direction for the Galar region to emphasize the new Pokemon in the hopes that they gain more appeal than the idea of using a bunch of older Pokemon.

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7 hours ago, DranSeasona said:

I have no idea how hard it is to build a game with all those upgraded models, but maybe if they increased the size of their development team or outsourced as others have been saying (didn’t Monolith basically save the development of BotW?), maybe then it wouldn’t be so much of a pain?

 

I just can’t help but feel that sacrificing part of the franchise’s whole identity (gotta catch em all) is not a good decision. I don’t care about Megas or Z moves. It’s the Pokémon cutting that hurts.

MonolithSoft didn't save Breath of the Wild as that implies the game's development was in need of saving. Unless I've missed something the credit given to MonolithSoft's support was,more or less, that they have experience with creating large open environments and so Nintendo enlisted their help with the game. A known quantity within the development plan that they had set out. No doubt that expertise helped in a major way but it changes the script quite a bit when their efforts are framed as having "saved" the game's development rather than "supporting" it.

 

To that end I get the idea around Game freak needing to outsource more of their work to share the burden of producing the title or expanding their dev team because I'm sure they're seeing bottlenecks in their long lived processes with these games. But I don't think it's something that necessarily has surprised them as much as they've acknowledged constraints and are instead choosing to work within them. 

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36 minutes ago, Tyranogre said:

D9MROulXoAAuWly.png

 

It's not just Americans, either.

 

Japan is also pissed about this.

[large post in perfect english]
"I can't use English websites"
???

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21 minutes ago, Pichi said:

[large post in perfect english]
"I can't use English websites"
???

I think he means that he can’t register for certain websites because he has a Japanese IP address.

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Just now, Tyranogre said:

I think he means that he can’t register for certain websites because he has a Japanese IP address.

it's common for Japanese sites to filter IPs, but I've never heard of the inverse being true. Especially not something like reddit lol

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11 hours ago, Kezay said:

MonolithSoft didn't save Breath of the Wild as that implies the game's development was in need of saving. Unless I've missed something the credit given to MonolithSoft's support was,more or less, that they have experience with creating large open environments and so Nintendo enlisted their help with the game. A known quantity within the development plan that they had set out. No doubt that expertise helped in a major way but it changes the script quite a bit when their efforts are framed as having "saved" the game's development rather than "supporting" it.

 

To that end I get the idea around Game freak needing to outsource more of their work to share the burden of producing the title or expanding their dev team because I'm sure they're seeing bottlenecks in their long lived processes with these games. But I don't think it's something that necessarily has surprised them as much as they've acknowledged constraints and are instead choosing to work within them. 

I was under the impression that Nintendo was under a lot of pressure with this last Zelda game and Monolith offered to help, which Nintendo accepted; not that they planned to bring them in all along, which you seem to suggest here. o_O

 

I agree with Ty on this. I don’t believe that they have constraints they could not work out fairly easily if they weren’t being lazy or greedy or whatever. To say they are choosing to work within their constraints frames it as though it’s the better or more practical option, or that they have little choice or something, but I don’t think any of that is true. Their constraints are by their own design here.

 

It’s a huge temptation that many gaming companies are falling into these days that it’s okay to sell games that are incomplete because people are expected to buy them anyway, because ooh shiny object! I can guarantee that if they prioritized putting every Pokémon in over the next big gimmick (pun intended), they could have done it. I don’t buy the claim that this was the best option for them. Also, really don’t see why delaying the game for a bit to accomplish this (which they set up as the unfavourable alternative if I recall correctly) would be an issue. They do have options.

 

Again, I don’t care about megas or z moves. Honestly the Pokédex is not a big deal for me either as at this point changing the entries for older Pokémon seems redundant. It’s the decision to exclude Pokémon that’s the problem for me.

 

I don’t believe that because other companies have been doing it for a long time (resetting their monster rosters), that means it’s automatically reasonable to do it here. The whole point of Pokémon is catching them all. It’s part of the whole appeal. As I said before, this is part of their identity. This is why I am really on the fence about buying this time.

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It was from an interview the same year Zelda came out. Aonuma mentioned the capacity that MonolithSoft has helped in the past and that with Breath of the Wild specifically had to do with their knowledge of creating large environments.  They had MonolithSoft assist specifically because of their expertise in this area that the Zelda team may not have had as much experience in. That's what I mean when I'm saying it was a known quantity.

 

As for Pokemon, when I talk about constraints it's definitely more about constraints they've set for themselves and have to work within; practicality being the context for whatever constraint that happens to be. This isn't a situation where Gamefreak are selling an incomplete game. It's borderline disingenuous for people to rally around the idea that Gamefreak are being lazy, greedy or otherwise of the belief that they are getting away with fleecing their audience because they expect it to sell anyway.  There's criticism and then there's self indulging cynicism. I sympathize around the idea that people should have an avenue to transfer their content whether that be at launch or later down the line but as Sword and Shield will exist is no different than a new generation that omits all but the Pokemon roster that are default to that version of the game.  But for all intents and purposes Sword and Shield will be a complete experiences at launch barring any controversy about cutting out some portion of the Galar region to sell back as a new chapter in the adventure or something to that effect.

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28 minutes ago, Kezay said:

But for all intents and purposes Sword and Shield will be a complete experiences at launch barring any controversy about cutting out some portion of the Galar region to sell back as a new chapter in the adventure or something to that effect.

To add onto this sentence, since all Pokémon can be transferred to Home (per Serebii), I think it's extremely likely that the next iteration of gen 8 proper will have expanded the roster with a generation long goal of getting all the mons there. Like, I'd like to think GameFreak isn't intending Home to be a purgatory forever especially with one way gen 7 transfer. 

 

If that speculation is correct, my two main gripes are:

  • The fact GF *probably* has no plans to retroactively update SwSh if a newer entry introduces oldmons. This is a very GF thing to do where all updates are saved until the next iteration with it rarely applied retroactively. This is true of new Pokémon and Formes; for example, new ultra beasts in usum.
  • No communication about a long term plan. Like, even if their long term plan is for Home to be purgatory, I'd like to know that before sending gen vii mons there. 

In either case, I fully expect the next game to add more oldmons (albeit only playable there) and Home's strange feature of allowing all mons would suggest that. 

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2 hours ago, Kezay said:

It was from an interview the same year Zelda came out. Aonuma mentioned the capacity that MonolithSoft has helped in the past and that with Breath of the Wild specifically had to do with their knowledge of creating large environments.  They had MonolithSoft assist specifically because of their expertise in this area that the Zelda team may not have had as much experience in. That's what I mean when I'm saying it was a known quantity.

 

As for Pokemon, when I talk about constraints it's definitely more about constraints they've set for themselves and have to work within; practicality being the context for whatever constraint that happens to be. This isn't a situation where Gamefreak are selling an incomplete game. It's borderline disingenuous for people to rally around the idea that Gamefreak are being lazy, greedy or otherwise of the belief that they are getting away with fleecing their audience because they expect it to sell anyway.  There's criticism and then there's self indulging cynicism. I sympathize around the idea that people should have an avenue to transfer their content whether that be at launch or later down the line but as Sword and Shield will exist is no different than a new generation that omits all but the Pokemon roster that are default to that version of the game.  But for all intents and purposes Sword and Shield will be a complete experiences at launch barring any controversy about cutting out some portion of the Galar region to sell back as a new chapter in the adventure or something to that effect.

Don’t recall that interview. I will look it up when I have more time and get back to you if I can’t find it. Not for this conversation specifically but just because this is completely different from the story I heard before.

 

It’s not disingenuous to say that cutting out a large swath of their “gotta catch em all” characters from the roster results in an incomplete experience. It’s one of the major reasons people were mad about the same thing in RSE and obviously the major reason why they bothered with the cross game compatibility with the Colosseum games at all. To say “this is what they do every generation” is basically the same thing as saying “why expect better from the brand? It’s tradition”.

 

The simple reality is that they built a brand, and it’s not unreasonable to expect them to deliver on it. The fact they have struggled to do that all this time does not make it all of a sudden a good thing. As far as I’m concerned, the Pokémon experience as a concept wasn’t complete until they allowed us to have everyone in one game. And now that they’re backpedaling on that, it makes the situation worse than any time before, because we had it and now they’re taking it away.

 

But really, why are you guys defending them on this? How is this even remotely a good call?

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You're misrepresenting my point regarding the disingenuous nature of the commentary I'm seeing.  As I mentioned before, criticism is one thing, but relegating the effort of this change to laziness, greed or scheming on the idea that they expect people to buy it up anyway regardless is definitely changing the tone of what is actually happening.  There's criticism and then there's that.

 

The issue with RSE is something I don't remember from back then, not that it doesn't excuse anything but it's just news to me that the impetus for the connectivity with Colosseum was a direct result of that.  Feel free to educate me here because I honestly don't know.  But to the point being had with that, it's not to excuse it by saying every generation did it so that makes this okay, it's more that this scenario has happened before and so there may be more to it going forward even taking into account potentially bringing the ones left behind back into a new generation.

 

You're right it is a brand, but even the brand doesn't hold as fast to the Gotta Catch Em All moniker anymore.  I don't even remember the last time that tagline share top billing on the game cartridges let alone additional merchandise.  That isn't to say it's not part of its DNA but I think that may be in part due to the realization that catching them all is not nearly as integral to the enjoyment of the brand or its media as it once was.  It has endured in many other ways beyond becoming a Pokémon Master and catching them all. 

 

I would certainly hope that in time they offer options to bring everything back under that umbrella going forward so that there aren't Pokémon that are just forever lost to pre-Switch entry software. But when Sword and Shield drops later this year, what they're providing is not a partiality of the advertised experience.

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Posted (edited)

It's not even that I want to defend Sword/Shield. I'm probably skipping the games because of the culling and hopeful by the time Pokémon Ultra Armor 2, the culled mons are back, and the way Home is being handled suggests it probably will. Instead, I'll look forward to games like Three Houses and New Horizons that look fresh and solid in their direction rather than sour myself over Pokemon.

 

But, I also feel the Pokemon fanbase as a whole is being self-destructive in its disappointment. Joe Merrick, for example, has gotten hell just for not being vocal *enough* or correcting basic facts (e.g. technical workings of Sun/Moon) makes me worried, at the risk of sounding melodramatic, that the Pokemon fanbase is heading down a dark path. It's okay to be disappointed and voice it, but there reaches a point where folks need to make peace the game isn't for them, even if it's from a beloved franchise. 

 

Basically, Pokémon, don't become fire emblem fanbase 2.0

Edited by Ares

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@KezayI’m not trying to misrepresent your points and I don’t want to come across as too aggressive either, so apologies if I’m coming across poorly.

 

But I definitely do think there’s laziness at least involved in their decision making process, and definitely don’t think it’s sensational or overly cynical to say so. It’s plain to see by the end product that Pokémon games are just not of the same tier as other IPs that are actually making a concerted effort. Say what one will about the mechanics in BotW (specifically the weapon shattering), but the difference between the clear amount of effort put into that vs. any Pokémon game is clear as day. Pokémon is good and fun sure, but to say they are everything they could be would not be true. That’s more or less where the laziness charge is rooted in, I believe.

 

I disagree that catching them all is not still part of the brand. Brands don’t have to be surface level all the time; Pokémon succeeded in selling their brand in ways other companies could only dream. That’s both their blessing and curse, and it’s something the fans are more than understandably concerned about them trying to backpedal on.

 

It’s more than just in the DNA, it was the whole implicit point of every generation (how else could they sell the same game twice every year or two), and especially gen 7. Honestly I don’t play Pokémon for the story. There’s little there. I don’t play for characters. They’re one dimensional. Gameplay is fun but not groundbreaking. No, I play because there’s something magical about the Pokémon themselves. To just try to make Pokémon to be about newer animals and gimmicks replacing old ones instead of collecting your favourites (I.e. bug catching, the whole basis of it) is not a good strategic direction, IMO.

 

Anyway, I hear you and all about wanting to try to not be too cynical or melodramatic and hoping for the best, but honestly they don’t give me much reason to trust their decision making. So yeah, I hate to say it but if things don’t change I might end up hanging up the hat too after... 21 years. :( 

 

@AresYou make a fair point. It’s just sad that you have Nintendo in general really listening to fan feedback lately while GF/TPC just... flail in the corner like a Magikarp. 

 

Okay yes yes that was definitely melodramatic I just had to say it, sorry. :P 

 

I stand by what I said above, but yeah I can’t argue with that at the end of the day I have little control over the situation so might as well just let go. It’s just hard, is all. After all this time. But probably for the best.

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The upside of them constantly rehashing the same thing is that you'll only have to wait another year to see if they'll do right in the next version lol

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12 hours ago, Pichi said:

The upside of them constantly rehashing the same thing is that you'll only have to wait another year to see if they'll do right in the next version lol

Lol Yeah, that’s a fair point. 

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