These are two big questions in the absence of such announcements ar E3. Yes, new Pokemon Switch games were announced and that’s cool. So is being able to transfer Pokemon captured in the Pokemon Go App. Still, TRUE Pokemon fans will not be fooled: When will the 8th Gen Pokemon games be announced?
…Before that, let’s talk about remakes to the 4th Gen games Pokemon Diamond and Pearl.
I think it would be a safe bet that they will happen. The 1st Gen remakes FireRed and LeafGreen were released during the third gen on the Game Boy Advance. The 2nd Gen remakes HeartGold and SoulSilver were released during the 4th Gen on the Nintendo DS. The 3rd Gen remakes OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire were released during the 6th Gen on the Nintendo 3DS. The remakes were all released on new hardware from the originals.
My guess is the Diamond and Pearl remakes will be New Nintendo 3DS exclusive. Like OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire, they will also likely be remade in full 3D just like OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire were. Diamond, Pearl and Platinum were mostly 2D despite being on the Nintendo DS, which could handle 3D environments. The Pokemon Company probably could have put OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire on the Nintendo DS but with the Nintendo 3DS, they could take full advantage of the improved hardware and make better games.
That aside, it will be interesting to see what the Pal Park will be replaced with. Those who played the 4th Gen Pokemon games when they were current could use the Pal Park to transfer Pokemon from the 3rd Gen games to the 4th Gen using a Nintendo DS or Nintendo DS Lite (The Nintendo DSi doesn’t have a GBA Slot). Diamond and Pearl required you to see every Pokemon in the Sinnoh Pokedex to use the Pal Park (as well as fully access the postgame area). In addition, you could only transfer Pokemon once a day in both games. These limitations were removed in Platinum, HeartGold and SoulSilver though. In all five games, you could only access the Pal Park after you beat the Elite Four + Champion.
The 4th Gen introduced Move-based Evolution and Area-based Evolution. For example, Eevee evolves into Leafeon near the Moss-Covered Rock in Eterna Forest in Sinnoh. A Moss Rock has since been included in every game released afterward so trainers can evolve Eevee into Leafeon. Piloswine evolves into Mamoswine when it knows the move Ancientpower. You will only be able to get Anicentpower by paying the Move Relearner a visit. In Sinnoh, he’s in Pastoria City. In Johto, he’s in Blackthorn City. In every game after Crystal, he’ll help you relearn any move a Pokemon learns by leveling–excluding Egg Moves and special Moves Promo Pokemon come with and moves learned from Move Tutors–for a Heart Scale. You can get a Heart Scale from Wild Luvdisc (Use the move Thief, which is learned from a TM).
When the Diamond/Pearl Remakes are released, they will likely follow the precedent set by the other remakes and incorporate the story mechanics from the third games. In HeartGold/SoulSilver, the Suicune story events were included from Crystal, ending with a guaranteed shot at Suicine. In OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire, the postgame Delta Episode is all about Rayquayza, who is Emerald’s cover legendary. As a bonus you get a shot at catching Dexoys, who was an event Pokemon Emerald as well as HeartGold/SoulSilver.
Speaking of Event Pokemon, Sinnoh has five: Manaphy, Phione, Shaymin, Darkrai and Arceus. Manaphy could only be acquired via a Manaphy Egg in Pokemon Ranger for the Nintendo DS. The other three required event items you could only get from a Nintendo event. My guess is this time, Nintendo will make all of them accessible without having to go to an event.
Darkrai is Cresselia’s polar opposite so they could be version-exclusive in the remakes. Darkrai is actually referenced in the postgame sidequest to get the Lunar Wing, which is how you encounter Cresselia. The Lunar Wing is needed to wake a child trapped in an endless nightmare caused by a certain pokemon we all know who is known for inducing endless nightmares.
Arceus has the power to create a Dialga, Palkia or Giratina in HeartGold/SoulSilver or Platinum. What could be done is require a player to have Dialga, Palkia and Giratina to trigger a sidequest leading to the Arceus encounter.
Giratina lives in his own world in Platinum. That could be brought back. Same with Shaymin and its alternate form. To get Regigigas in Sinnoh, one needed to import Regi-Rock, Regi-Ice and Regi-Steel from Hoenn (3rd Gen Ruby, Sapphire or Emeral) originally. You can get them in OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire or UltraSun/UltraMoon so that’s covered.
Professor Oak makes a cameo appearance in Sinnoh. His appearance could be expanded upon to now result in his giving you a Bulbasaur, Charmander or Sqirtle. In HeartGold/SoulSilver, Oak will do this when you get all 8 Kanto Badges. They don’t appear in the original games but The Pokemon Company could probably get away with adding Professor Sycamore and Professor Kukui to the remakes for Z-Moves and Mega Evolution respectively. Lucario, Garchomp, Abomasnow, Gallade and Lopunny all have a Mega form. So do other older-gen Pokemon that also appear in Sinnoh such as Glalie and Gardevoir.
Before I continue, I wanna say this.
The Ruby and Sapphire remakes Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire expanded on Mega Evolution, which was introduced in X an Y. The Pokemon Company gave a giant middle finger to those expecting a Pokemon Z when Zygarde’s other forms were released online and instead added them to Pokemon Sun and Moon. It felt like more of an afterthought as did Mega Evolution in the 7th Gen games.
Speaking of: I only just found out a few weeks ago The Pokemon Company released lore reasons to explain Mega Evolution being boarderline taboo in Alola. According to the Pokedex Entries for almost all Mega Evolutions in the 7th Gen, Mega Evolution puts a massive strain on the Pokemon’s mind and body. In the hands of an inexperienced trainer, some Mega Evolved Pokemon will go berserk and attack its trainer. Others will lose control of their abilities. The only way to prevent these negative side effects is for the Pokemon to have a strong bond with its trainer. The one interesting exception is of course Mewtwo, who can freely Mega Evolve without a trainer (as demonstrated in one of the Pokemon movies).
Anywho, Mega Evolution is prettymuch dead.
The Pokemon Company currently has no plans to introduce new Mega forms or expand on Mega Evolution. This is why it is merely supported in the 7th Gen and can only be accessed after clearing the main story in Alola. So, if you stockpiled Mega Stones in X/Y and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire with the hopes of being able to freely use said forms in Alola like I did, sorry to disappoint.
In a way, it actually forces those who skipped the 6th Gen games to get them since Mega Evolution is the big mechanic in those games. At this point, you’re locked out of all the promo items and promo Pokemon released when the 6th Gen games were current (Especially the 12 Legendary Pokemon released in 2016 to coincide with Pokemon’s 20th Anniversary, shame on you). You can still access the GTS and trade online in the 6th Gen games minus the Pokemon Link features (now only works with the 7th Gen games). Unlike the 4th and 5th Gen games, Nintendo will likely keep the 6th and 7th Gen online features minus the Pokemon Link features online indefinitely.
Now let’s speculate the 8th Gen. Not the pokemon we may see but more important stuff: Changes to gameplay mechanics as we know them.
The 2nd Gen introduced Steel and Dark types. The 3rd Gen introduced Double Battles. The 4th Gen reclassed elemental moves as Physical (Aqua Tail and Fire Punch), Special (Psychic and Aura Sphere) or Other (Recover and Mean Look). The 5th Gen introduced Triple Battles and Rotation Batttles but only for the 5th Gen. The 6th Gen introduced the Fairy Type and Mega Evolution. The 7th Gen introduced Z-Moves.
I think it would be fair to say the 8th Gen will introduce another game-changing mechanic or two as well. My hope is the introduction of two or more new types. More so since The Pokemon Company is looking to reduce the number of existing Normal Pokemon further. Remember: Jigglypuff and Clefairy were originally Normal Types before they became Fairy types in the 6th Gen.
If I were to introduce new Types for existing Pokemon, I would go with these:
- Beast: Pokemon based on or strongly resemple real-world counterparts. Such Pokemon include Rattata, Sentret, Teddiursa and Lilipup. They would have a Type advantage over Poison, Grass and Normal types but be weak to Fire, Rock and Steel Types.
- Cyber: Pokemon based on technology or that have been genetically engineered. Such Pokemon include Porygon, Genesect, Mewtwo and Type:Null. They would have a type advantage over Psychic, Dark and Fairy types but would be weak to Electric, Water and Bug types.
- Mythical: Not an actual typing but a classification for Event Pokemon such as Celebi, Jirachi and Diancie.
- Legendary: Not an actual Typing but a classification for Rare and powerful Pokemon such as Lugia, Groudon and Giratina.
It took 7 years but I now appreciate the rebalancing that has been going on since the 5th Gen. Some Abilities were nerfed and all the Super Legendaries were nerfed HARD. The rebalancing changes done in the 6th and 7th Gens has effectively been open war against Cookie Cutter builds the internet invented 20 years ago. Most of you know what I’m talking about: “If you’re having fun, you’re not doing it right”. I don’t participate in the online Pokemon tournaments since I returned to the Pokemon Games at the start of the 6th Gen. The reason: I respect those who are serious competators too much to waste their time and mine. I’m not a serious competator in that way. Sure, I’ll level 12 to 24 Pokemon to 100 but that’s are far as I’m willing to go. I won’t digress further.
Getting back on topic, I would like to see Pokemon Abilities reworked and upgraded. 4 Gens since Abilities were introduced, it’s time. More so given more and more Pokemon obviously have a signature Pokemon Ability compared to the 3rd gen.
What I have in mind is each Pokemon having 3 to 4 Abilities:
- Passive Ability: The Pokemon always has this ability is often the signature ability of the species. For example Wishiwashi’s Schooling or Aegislash’s Stance Change. Because more often than not it is a core ability, it can’t be effected by other Abilities or Pokemon moves.
- Primary Active Ability: The Pokemon’s main Ability. Can be swapped with their Secondary Ability. Can be switched with their Second Ability.
- Secondary Inactive Ability: Some existing Pokemon have a Second Ability that isn’t their Hidden Ability. Can be switched with their Primary Ability.
- Hidden Ability: Some existing Pokemon have a second or third ability that can only be accessed via Promo or Virtual Console Transfer.
I’ll use five Pokemon as an example: Zoroark, Groudon, Kyogre, Talonflame and Pikachu:
- Zoroark and Zorua both have Illusion, giving them the appearance of the last non-fainted Pokemon in your lineup when sent out. This would be a Passive ability now.
- Groudon has Drought, summoning Sunlight when it enters battle. The effect was permanent unless changed until the 6th Gen when it was nerfed to now only last 5 turns. This was done mainly because other Pokemon gained Drought in the 6th Gen. Vulpix & Ninetales have Drought as their Hidden Ability and when you import a Pokemon from the 1st or 2nd Gen games, they always come with their Hidden Ability. Torkoal also has Drought as one of its two possible abilities in OmegaRuby/AlphaSapphire. Finally, Mega Charizard Y automatically uses Drought upon transforming. Obviously it would make sense to nerf Drought since non-legends would now have the Ability.
- Kyogre has the same kind of thing with Drizzle. Those who want “Old-School” Kyogre/Groudon will want to use their Primal Forms, which you have access to in the 7th Gen’s postgame (after getting the Mega Keystone from Dexio): Desolate Wasteland/Primordial Sea are buffed versions of Drizzle/Drought: Not only is the weather permanent as long as they’re in battle but Water and Fire type moves will not work respectively.
- Talonflame’s Hidden Ability Gale Wings would be Passive and likely haved to be buffed to now be active while above 50% health.
- Pikachu is the official mascot for the brand so…yeah. It’s no secret Nintendo has been doing everything they can think of since the 1st Gen to make Pikachu seriously viable in competative battles. It started with the Light Ball introduced in the 2nd Gen, which doubles Pikachu’s Special Attack stat. Then Pikachu got Volt Tackle as a signature move starting in the 4th Gen, which inflicts MASSIVE recoil damage on top of it so if Pikachu goes first it likely won’t survive the exchange. Pikachu’s Ability is Static and its Hidden Ability is Lightning Rod, neither of which do the Mascot Pokemon any favors. Anyone facing a Pikachu will use a Ground Type to shut it down completely anyway. Iron Tail on Pikachu doesn’t do enough damage to scare away Rock/Ground types, let alone KO in one turn and Surf is more of a threat coming from Alolan Raichu. So, Pikachu would need Passive Ability that would make it viable in Competative Battles. At best it’s a glass cannon and at worst, it’s a waste of a slot. A Passive Ability that Negates it’s Ground-type weakness would be a plus as would a Primary Ability that can shore up its Defense. This is just to start. LOL.
…I think that’s enough for folks to get the idea. The point is it would add depth but still wouldn’t make the games too complicated for beginners.
Moving on, I also think it’s time to make the biggest change since the main series Pokemon games were introduced: Doubling the number of usable moves from 4 to 8. It’s time. The series has progressed enough to handle a change this drastic. How it could be done is having two sets of moves: Primary Moves and Support Moves. Primary Moves are offense used to attack or effect opposing pokemon. Support Moves are Defense, Healing and Buffs used to strengthen your Pokemon and/or team. In battle, you can pick a combination of both or two of the same category.
There are two restrictions, however. The first is you can’t pick the same move twice in the same turn unless Encore is in effect (Encore forces the opposing Pokemon to use the move it last used for the next 2 to 5 turns). The second restriction is you can’t two different moves that inflict a negative status. For example a Hyno using both Hypnosis and Poison Gas. You can only have one of them on a Pokemon at a time as it is so…yeah. Moves that have the chance to inflict a status condition like Sludge and Sacred Fire will still work of course.
I think of Pokemon that have deep movepools but are held back by the 4-move limit. Most Grass, Psychic, Bug, Normal and Water-Type Pokemon have large and deep movepools. Let’s look at the final evolutions of three Pokemon you would would often get early on in different gens with large movepools: Butterfree, Beedrill and Pikachu.
- Butterfree takes about 2 hours to evolve in the 1st Gen but once evolved, you’re good until you evolve Abra into Kadabra and get Oddish (Red and Yell) or Bellsprout (Blue and Yellow) even if you started with Bulbasaur. Across all the Gens, Butterfree learns a combination of Grass and Psychic moves. It gains Bug Buzz in the 4th Gen but most of its moves and stats both suggest it’s not meant to be in your lineup once you can get something better. With my idea, it can open with Sleep Powder and use Psybeam in the same turn for example.
- Beedrill’s movepool was sorely lacking until the 7th Gen. It now learns Twineedle upon evolving, making it an instant threat to Grass, Dark and Psychic Pokemon. Despite its Bug/Poison typing, Beedrill was the only Bug Pokemon that could take advantage of STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus) in the first Gen thanks to Twineedle and Pin Missile. This allowed it to go offensive against Psychic Pokemon. The irony is thanks to its typing and lacking stats, it’s a glass cannon. It doesn’t take much to take down Beedrill. With my idea, it can at least strike hard and fast before it’s taken down itself. It’s not the only Bug/Poison type but its stats make it super fragile so the change would make it a threat.
- Pikachu’s movepool is almost entirely electric, rendering it useless vs. Ground types. It would probably need to be given a move that allows its Electric moves to hit Ground types ala Ash’s Pikachu. That aside, it would need signature moves to hide how fragile it really is.
Speaking of Moves. I think it’s time Hidden Power’s displayed type be shown once a Pokemon learns it. Yes, there is someone in the 6th and 7th gen who will tell you the type it will be but it would be much more straightforward to display the type once it’s been learned.
This is getting lengthy but I’m almost done.
Hints were dropped in the 6th Gen The Pokemon Company was moving away from HMs with the introduction of rideable Pokemon. In the 7th Gen, HMs and The Item Finder were rendered obsolete with the Ride Pager. It’s a safe bet the concept will not only return but be expanded on in the 8th Gen. We have yet to see Ride Pokemon for the moves Flash, Rock Climb, Waterfall or Whirlpool. There were no scalable walls, dark caves in Alola, nor were there any Whirlpools or Waterfall obsticles and I assume that was on purpose. Flash has been obsolete outside battles since the 5th Gen so…yeah.
In HeartGold/SoulSilver, the out of Poke Ball feature first introduced back in Yellow was brought back but for all Pokemon: The lead Pokemon will follow behind you in those games. Yes, even Pokemon that are not supposed to be able to move easily like Magikarp and Metapod.
My point is I would like to see a fusion of both: You can pick one to three Pokemon that is always outside its Poke Ball. Depending on the Pokemon, you can interact with it in different ways to overcome obsticles or even just to get around. The Lati Flute flight concept from AlphaSapphire/OmegaRuby is something I’d like to see brought back: Rather than just picking somewhere to fly to, you manually fly there on a Pokemon.
To provide a few more examples:
- You can use a Pokemon that knows Explosion like Electrode or Forretress to blast away destructable walls and other obsticles. Since it’s out of battle, it doesn’t faint.
- Using Flash inside a Cave forces a Wild Pokemon Battle but also lowers the Accuracy of the Pokemon you face.
- Having certain Pokemon like Muk or Wheezing out of its Poke Ball will prevent you from encountering Wild Pokemon.
To take that third idea a step further, it’s time to change how Wild Pokemon Encounters play out again. SOS Encounters was a more drastic change than Wild Double Battles and Wild Swarm Battles introduced in the 6th Gen. I would only be ok with SOS Encounters making a return if you could send out a second Pokemon to back up the first. That and being able to use a Poke Ball even if there is more than one Wild Pokemon present.
My point is it’s time for the way Wild Pokemon Encounters happen to change even further than we’ve seen in the 6th and 7th Gens. Maybe even have a Wild Pokemon just want to join you when the battle begins without fighting you. Or Possibly even encounter a Pokemon that just doesn’t want to be caught and deliberately dodges or repels Poke Balls unless hit with a status ailment.
One more possability is if you have certain Pokemon, the opposing Pokemon behaves differently. I mean in general. A few examples:
- When Zangoose and Seviper face off, their stats boost when fighting each other.
- Most Wild Bug Pokemon flee when facing a strong Fire or Bird Pokemon.
- Pokemon visibly react when facing a Pokemon it has a type disadvantage or significant level disadvantage against.
- Koffing and Wheezing may explode when hit with a Fire-Type move, leaving it with 1HP but possibly taking out the opposing Pokemon.
- Powder moves linger for a few turns and can effect Pokemon Switched in.
- Using Earthquake in a Cave may trigger a cave-in somewhere or otherwise alter the interior.
- Using Fire-type moves in tall grass may set the field on fire. After the battle, any wild Pokemon that were hiding nearby will be exposed.
I hope folks get the idea. Battles need to become more dynamic. This last one is a massive game changer.
One concept introduced back in the third Gen but was never expanded on is teaming up with NPC Trainers. I don’t just mean for story events but throughout the game. You could have a Trainers’ Club or Trainers’ Association and recruit trainers you encounter in the game to join you on your adventure. After you clear the main story, you are then able to recruit important trainers like Gym Leaders and the Elite Four.
The kind of trainer you recruit to join you offers different Perks and obviously will use certain Pokemon. They will also offer more help the stronger your bond with them grows.
- Bug Catchers use Bug Pokemon in Battle. In time, they will offer to train your Bug Pokemon for you and even catch certain Bug Pokemon you have encountered before. Pokemon they catch will be sent to your box.
- Fishers use Water Pokemon in Battle. In time, they will give you tips on rare Water Pokemon you can fish for and even offer to catch certain Water Pokemon you have encountered before. Pokemon they catch will be sent to your box.
- Bug Catchers and Fishers will both also sell you Net Balls to catch Bug and Water Pokemon.
- Doctors/Nurses use Pokemon that know recovery and support moves. They will sell you recovery items and offer to fully heal your Pokemon for you. In time, they will sell you powerful recovery items like Max Revive, which can’t be bought in stores.
- Breeders use various Pokemon that evolve twice. They will offer services to help Pokemon that evolve via Happiness and quickly hatch Eggs. In time, they will offer to teach your Egg Moves you would normally have to Breed Pokemon for.
- Hikers use Rock, Ground and Fighting Pokemon. When using Dig or an Escape Rope from within a Cave, they will offer to take you back to where you left off if you want. In time, they will offer to sell you items normally found on Wild Pokemon encountered in Caves.
These are a few examples. As a bonus, you will experience a boost in EXP and Prize Money when traveling with Pokemon. Unlike the 4th Gen, your team is not automatically healed after each battle unless you have a Doctor/Nurse with you. You can’t control your Ally Trainer’s Pokemon but you can influence what Pokemon they use: Once you’ve maxed your bond with an Ally Trainer, they will ask you which of their Pokemon you think they should use when you visit a Pokemon Center.
Ok that’s enough of this. This took me a week to put together. I can only dream some of these ideas happen!