10 Things That Need to Be Fixed In the Next 3D Pokemon Game

Pokemon Y is a fantastic game which I’ve poured well over 150 hours into, but in the process I’ve come up with a list of demands for things I’d like to be fixed in the next 3D iteration of the franchise.

1. The Daycare Box Problem

I suspect this has been a problem as long as breeding has been a part of the franchise, so at this point it’s a bit ridiculous that it’s still an issue. The day care lady will only take Pokemon that the trainer has in their party, and will only give Pokemon back if there is space in said party. There’s a PC right next to her, but here’s why this ends up being a giant pain in the ass:

Let’s say I’ve left my Ditto and Snorlax in the day care so that they can breed the greatest Pokemon ever, Munchlax. I walk up to the Day-Care Man, and he tells me he has an egg for me. Cool! My party is full right now, so let me just drop off Moltres, Garchomp, and Goodra in the PC, so I can grab that hideous female Wobuffet and breed a Wynaut. I need this much space in my party so I can hold both the egg and Snorlax, because I can’t just swap Snorlax with Wobuffet directly.

I go back outside and pick up the egg, then head inside and talk to the Day Care Lady. She tells me that her husband is looking for me. Shit! That means my Snorlax and Ditto have ALREADY produced another egg! (And yes, this happened to me several times.) Okay whatever, I go back outside and get the new egg, which I now have to deposit back in the PC so I have room for Snorlax again. So I do that, and I pick up Snorlax, deposit Wobuffet, and then go back to the PC, deposit Snorlax, and pick up Moltres and Garchomp again.

Instead of all that, how about when I talk to the day care lady, it just opens up the fucking PC and party menu and lets me change things out directly? It could use the same interface used for trading with friends, or even the one from the Organize Boxes part of your PC (which, incidentally, is the only way of organizing party members that actually makes sense).

This probably doesn’t seem like a big deal if you don’t breed a lot of Pokemon, but in the course of catching everything in the Kalos region, I had to breed something like forty of them, and organizing the party became a huge unecessary time sink.

2. Levelling Dramatics

Speaking of unecessary time sinks, I’d love it if there were some way to speed along the text during levelling and learning new attacks. In this case, it makes enough sense to have all the dramatics: when you’re just levelling a core party, every new level and attack learned really matters, and it can be satisfying to hear the “boo-boo-boo-bwuh!” sound.

However, if you’re trying to catch all the Pokemon, then you’re probably making extensive use of EXP share, breeding, and grinding at the Battle Chateux. I had a number of battles in which I watched as many as twenty level-ups after knocking out one Pokemon. The whole “Pidgey forgot Sand Attack… And… Pidgey learned Gust!” thing gets really old, really fast.

This wouldn’t be hard to fix without pissing anyone off. Just put an option in the game to skip the sound effects in those parts. There’s always been an option to skip attack animations if you want battles to go faster, but I can easily tolerate watching my Pokemon do cool stuff over sitting through an endless string of level-up chimes.

3. Sound Effects

Since we’re on the subject, let’s talk about the reason I couldn’t stand to have my sound on while playing Pokemon Y. Mind you, I typically don’t keep the sound on when playing handheld games, especially if they’re RPGs, because I get sick of hearing the same battle jingle in about ten minutes, but in this game the entire sound design was wrecked for me by the overly abundant, obnoxious sound effects.

The new games retain the same sound effect for running into walls and objects that they old games had, but unlike in those games, the spatial relationship between the character and the edge of the environments is way less clear in this game, i.e. you’re constantly bumping into shit. Invisible walls, people, tables, everything makes this annoying noise.

But that obnoxiousness pales in comparison to the roller skates which, for no apparent reason, make a swishing sound constantly, followed by a grating skate sound that isn’t synchronized with the steps your character takes. I found these noises infuriating to the point that I never even bothered checking out the music in new towns. Once again, this would be easily fixed by including an option to disable sound effects.

4. The Skates

Perhaps the most baffling design choice in this game was to map the skates to the control stick, with no option to turn them off. I don’t hate the skates completely–I think they were an interesting idea in trying to make movement around the 3D environment feel less restrictive. However, it feels like the majority of the game was not designed with the skates in mind, making them nigh unusable for certain sections, such as the hedge mazes and this place with all the stupid fucking rocks.

Yes, you can switch to running shoes by using the control pad, but it feels really awkward to use, and I always naturally reach for the control stick. As soon as I got the bike and realized that it was not only faster, but completely lacked the clunky controls of the skates, I found it impossible to go back to skating.

I get that they didn’t want you to have to press the Y button every time you wanted to use the skates, but all they needed to do was give the skates an on and off button like the one EXP Share has. If the skates are on, then they’ll come out whenever you use the control stick; if they’re off, then you can assign them to the Y button and use them when appropriate. And hey, they could even do the same for the bike, because I actually wouldn’t mind having that one come out every time I move the stick.

5. Loading and Frame Rate

This is a big technical problem that a lot of people have noticed, and while it’s somwhat forgivable on the developer’s first foray into a much heavier game engine, there will be no excuse if the loading or framerate is this bad even in Pokemon Z.

Between all the loading times, running into a wild Pokemon and immediately running away takes nearly half a minute, which adds up VERY quickly if you’re running around a patch of grass in search of rare Pokemon. The framerate chugging is particularly bad in group battles, but worse yet, it completely ruins Y’s legendary Pokemon, Yveltal, whose animation stalls every single time you click on a menu item.

Pokemon really doesn’t deserve the free pass it’s being given on these issues just because it hasn’t been 3D until now. If any other game came out with framerate issues this bad, it would be getting points docked on every major review, and there’d be questions of a rushed launch. This NEEDS to be better in the next game.

6. Endgame Content

I don’t have as big a problem with this as a lot of people seem to, but I suspect that’s partly because I never reached the endgame on the last few generations of games. That said, I’ve been disappointed ever since Gold and Silver came out that none of the other generations featured 16 gym battles, and considering how many references are made to older regions in this game, it was kind of upsetting that the game never ventures into any. Now that Pokemon is in 3D, it would be especially cool to see older regions updated into the new graphical style.

Other games had trainers who could be fought again and again, and more extensive battle tower sections, whereas Y just has the Battle Chateaux, which I’ll talk about in a bit. There are at least the Looker missions, which I think are a cool gesture, but by the end of the game I was more concerned about team building and training than about having more story missions. Altogether, I think this is something Z will probably do better if that game is indeed a thing.

7. The Battle Chateuax

I spent a lot of time in this place levelling an ever-changing roster of monsers to evolution, and I could never totally wrap my brain around how this place works. There’s a ranking system wherein you start out as a Baroness and work your way up through social ranks, unlocking stronger and stronger trainers as you go. However, the weaker trainers never go away, and except for the gym leaders and elite four who show up in the later ranks, you can’t tell what rank a trainer is just by looking at them.

The NPCs in the chateuax leave and come back throughout the course of the day at total random, meaning that a lot of the time there’ll be like three trainers worth fighting there, and only one of them stands out, so you end up fighting every single trainer in the place, sweeping the floor with a ton of lowbies, just trying to find the trainers who will actually help you level.

Then there’s a system of sending writs of challenge, which can raise the levels of all enemies by ten, but that isn’t particularly helpful if the place is full of low-level trainers. I just can’t wrap my brain around why they wouldn’t make it clear which trainers were which rank, or better yet, scale the trainers to your level, and give you the option to send writs for lower levels if you need to. It makes way more sense than the blue writs, which reduce all levels by 10, but doesn’t necessarily exude trainers with level 60 Pokemon. This whole place is basically a clusterfuck and ends up taking more time than it needs to.

8. Lumiose City

I love the idea of having a gigantic, interesting city with a lot to do. However, making it so difficult to navigate, with such an awkward set of camera angles, was NOT the way to go about it. Lumiose City is borderline nausiating, and you can totally lose your barings just by turning around a couple of times. Too much of it looks exactly the same to ever memorize where everything is, necessitating the use of taxis, which is kind of ridiculous. The taxis don’t save on travel time by way of distance, they’re just the only way to find your way around.

All-around, this was a cool idea that wasn’t executed very well, just like the big cities from Black and White. I think Pokemon needs to take a note out of big cities from other RPGs and focus on navigability and ease of movement and being able to tell where the hell you are.

9. More Customization

Introducing customization to the Pokemon franchise was a great gesture, but it’s weirdly limited. Why is player creation less multi-racial than the game’s own NPCs? The game features a number of boutiques to buy clothes, but the majority of the clothes are either samey or downright ugly, and there’s literally no option to get rid of your hat. What I don’t get is, why not put all of the NPC outfits into the shops? The assets are already there, and a lot of the NPCs look really cool. I’d love to dress up as one of the Furisode girls, or one of the Pokemon Rangers.

And finally, my last nitpciky complaint:

10. Less Disappointing Train Rides

Every time there’s a light rail in the game, all the NPCs rave on about how cool it is to ride on the light rail. Then you get on, and all you get is a fade to black before you’re dropped at the next station. What the hell? Why even have them? You only need to use each of them once, so why not put in some kind of cool cutscene of scenery whizzing by your window at least?

Anyways, those are my grievances, and hopefully some of it gets repaired by the time Pokemon Z rolls around, or at least by the next 3D generation of games. If you scream loud enough at your monitor, I may do a proper analysis of the game next.

19 thoughts on “10 Things That Need to Be Fixed In the Next 3D Pokemon Game

  1. Pingback: Some New Pokemon Analyses! | The Digi Bump

  2. I find Lumiose City a *little* bit easier to navigate if you’re on your bike, but even then those darn (though pretty) trees get in the way!

    Totally agreeing with everything here. I’ve had a lot of ideas for Pokemon games lately but I keep forgetting to write them down XD

  3. I can get what they were trying for in Lumiose City, but the 3rd-person camera view is awkward–to rotate you have to be stationary, and it’s often hard to see where you’re going. It’s also easy to change zones if you don’t know what you’re doing, which makes going to and fro annoying.

    I also detest the way that the Lumiose Boutique gates you from entering. What the hell should I exactly do to be stylish? Yeah, I’m supposed to check out the city but the hint is so vague, some people even think it’s in the clothes they wear.

    That said, I really like the idea of a Friend Safari. (Add me, my friend code is on my Twitter profile info)

    • Actually, there is an outfit that can get you into the boutique. The one the painter gives you in the last city can get you in there.

      I will add you if I can, meaning if someone still hasn’t added me back. I hit the max number of friend codes the other day not knowing it was coming lol.

  4. Pingback: Analyzing “Pokemon Y” (by way of FireRed) | My Sword Is Unbelievably Dull

  5. I disagree with your assertions. maybe it’s because I pick a team and use those six with 1 or two HM slaves for the entire game which is normally a water, electric, a dragon, with a dark, physic, grass, ghost, and/or a fossil pokemon. Plus the only features I think NEED changing is to move the HM’s into TM’s and to have an option to disable the bicycle music.

    • Only if we can also get the reverse option as well,so that while on the bike you ALWAYS have the bike music. Sometimes I wonder why Pokemon even bothers having seperate music for the bike any more, when it always goes back to the standard music whenever you cross a town/route border.

      Also, I kind of think HMs should be taken a step further. Not just combine them with the TM, but get rid of most of them all together. Having to carry arround a dedicated HM slave just to navigate the game world is a pain. If I need a Pokemon to cut down a bush or fly me to another town, I shouldn’t have to teach it a crappy move. It should be enough that I have the right badge and a pokemon flaged as able to perfom the task regardles of what moves it knows. Heck, even with the good HMs like surf and waterfall, it’s still a pain since for battles having both moves on the same pokemon is redundant, but it restricts part structureto carry two seperate pokemon for using each move.

    • I actually like the bicycle music much better than some of the other tracks, and I wish there was an option for it to stay on for the duration of the whole time you’re on your bike like it did in generation 1. They can call it “Retro Bike Mode” and have it in options. :3

  6. I agree with you totally on most accounts, however I think that a couple of your points are rather nitpicky. I personally don’t have an issue with anything about the Roller Skates or other sound effects. I actually like the swishing noise of the Skates. Thing I agree the most on, lack of post-game content. I was expecting something along the lines of Black Tower. There just isn’t anything to do besides grabbing all the Mega Stones

  7. At times, I wish the game came with it’s own separate map of Lumiose. Remember when you first enter the city,and you have to find your friend at that one Cafe? That took me, no joke, TEN MINUETS! Why Nintendo, Why can’t I find anything in that city. I don’t get motion sick, just really lost. The Town Map needs a sub- map for this city. That is sad. Also, that ghost in that one building. That was, random, to put it lightly.

  8. I find it odd how people are not liking Lumios City. Honestly I have no problem navigating it. granted I have to be using the skates to get around. Another reason for that being I love the skates and can’t get used to biking or walking now. Yeah the camera angle could be a bit better. But I don’t really see it at all as a hinderance. I guess i’ve just grown used to the view. I feel like i’m ALWAYS in Lumios for something, and after the first week of playing I was able to just know what places were where and how to traverse the map. Lumios is kinda second nature to me now just because i’ve been in it and explored it so much. I never had to use the taxi or Gogoat shuttle service.

    Actually I think that’s one of the things I think should be added to this list. Ridable Pokemon. The Gogoat in Lumios is pointless if you just take the time to learn the map, and the Rhydon/Momoswine are so clunky and painful that I hardly ever visit those two areas unless I have to. The only fun ridable Pokemon is the Skidoo on that one route and even then it’s one route. I was hoping we would be able to ride our Pokemon anywhere on the map. Where’s my ridable Rapadash damnit. The overworld models for Pokemon are really spectacular, it would have been nice to seen that used fully.

    • To add onto this a bit more with something I thought of after I posted it I feel the post game content could have been remedied if they did something like the Pokemon World Tournament again. The PWT in black/white 2 was great and really added time to my game. I would have LOVED to see classic gym leaders come back in 3D models. They went out of their way to make a reference to Green’s character, why didn’t they have him in something like the PWT again. It would have made so much sense. Gah wasted opportunity to add to my nostalgia boner.

    • I have to agree with you here that I currently have no problems navigating Lumiose City. I DID get kind of lost the first few times I explored the entirety of it, but I got used to its layout and started remembering landmarks and such. The only time I ever paid for transportation was for a Gogoat, just to see how that actually worked.

    • But this is the frist they have ever programed rideing a pokemon and do have any idea how hard that is. I have only have an inkling, because I have had an anamtion class, but even I know that to start out with, it must be slow. Though riding a rapadash would awesome and fast but they would probly have you use pokemon amine first.

      Which even you admit is awesome. I mean by using it Traded pokemon lesion to you een better then with the bagde, and cought pokemon when used with it level up like a traded pokemon as well as the other cool things it does

  9. I really wish they read this and work on a Pokémon Z. By the looks of tradition, after Pokémon Z (if that’s what they will call it) they will start working on Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire which I’m really lost on how they will give that game a huge overhaul that wasn’t anywhere near possible on the Gameboy Advance but it will be awesome nonetheless because I loved that game.

  10. The only real bothersome part of Lumiose for me was the fucking Tour d’Eiffel. Why the camera angle suddenly decides to go overhead is just confusing and no bueno. I really disliked that.
    Options are always nice.
    The Battle Chateau can get a little tedious (lol you spelled it plural or like gateaux, like cake) and I do hate having only low level trainers in there… It’d be nice if all the Baronesses were Lasses and all the Marchionesses were Socialites and so on and so forth, just so I could tell who was who, or if there were multiple Battle Chateaux that split the trainers up, especially so I didn’t have to keep running back and forth between Lumiose and wherever I’m at. Sootopolis, whatever.

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