Lately I’ve been playing a bit of Pokken Tournament. The one on one fighting game from Bandai Namco is such an obvious idea it’s amazing that it’s taken this long to come to fruition. And it then got me thinking. The main Pokémon series has always been attached to Nintendo handhelds, aside from spin-offs the classic JRPG style games have never made the leap to consoles. Why exactly is that? Why hasn’t there been a JRPG on the scale of a Xenoblade in the Pokémon universe?
The easy answer would be the cost of making a big console game as opposed to one on a handheld. But then you look at the popularity of the Pokémon franchise and unless there’s a drastic downturn in the next few years it seems to me like easy money. It seems weird that Nintendo would happily publish a massive, niche JRPG like Xenoblade Chronicles X and yet do nothing like that with what is probably its biggest selling franchise.
One of my favourite console Pokémon games outside the main series was the N64’s Pokémon Stadium. On the surface it was essentially just the battles from the Game Boy games transferred into 3D, but it gave me a brief look into what I hoped would happen with the arrival of the more powerful consoles. That would obviously not happen. Instead the consoles have been home to the spin offs, and as much as I enjoy the likes of Pokémon Stadium and Snap, I’m dreaming of more.
Just imagine the vast world open up ahead of you, maybe make it even more open than previous games. Maybe you don’t have to do gyms in order, maybe you can just go off on your own adventure stopping Team Rocket or just chill out in the Safari Zone. All in wonderful 3D.
Then there’s the potential for amiibo support. I haven’t hidden my love for the little plastic pieces of junk and since my last blog post on the subject my collection has grown to thirty four. Some of which I have no idea who they are (someone from Fire Emblem I think). While this suggestion may be enough to send some people into a hate filled coma, what if one way you could catch Pokémon is by collecting them out in the real world. I’m not saying this is a good idea from a gameplay perspective, but from a money making corporate one, combining two of their most popular products like this could form a Scrooge McDuck-like money mountain quite quickly.
Maybe all this is just wishful thinking, Nintendo have proven time and time again they don’t always do the thing that makes the most sense. As I sit here still waiting for a new F-Zero. For now though I’ll patiently wait for Pokemon Sun/Moon and dream of what could be on the NX.