Pokemon games and their features

Recently on Ask.fm, I received a question on my favorite features of Pokemon games and hopes for Pokemon ORAS due to some of my previous mentions of wishing we could even import our trainer from another game (due to X/Y’s customization). Just to be clear, these are just features that REALLY jump out at me personally so you may not see your favorite feature here and ones that I just think are nice didn’t make the list as I tried to keep it just to features I love.

So, I’m going to go through every game (though, not all of them will be listed)–even pulling in games from the side series of Pokemon as well. While I don’t expect Pokemon ORAS to feature everything I loved from past series for obvious reasons, most of what I’d like from it the game will already have… the only thing that hasn’t been confirmed is trainer customization which I am continuing to cross my fingers for and hope. Besides that, there’s just my small issue with contests, but I’ll explain about that more below.

Pokemon Yellow – The Anime references. While I’m probably an exception, I loved seeing them pull in stuff from the Anime. I think if custom trainers continued to be a thing, they could pull stuff in from Pokemon Special/Adventures too since we wouldn’t be taking the role of those characters and that seems like such a neat feature to me.

And while also part of Pokemon Yellow, I’m going to list this more on Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver simply as that let any Pokemon first in your party versus Yellow’s with only Pikachu – Letting a Pokemon follow you. Maybe it’s just me, but I really enjoy that feature. I find it incredibly cute.

Before we get to HGSS, I want to just pause to bring up the Gameboy Printer… I liked being able to print my certificates. I think it’d be neat if they could show up on your global link with a big downloadable version for you to go and print out. And then everyone can see I’m a Pokemon Master

Now, continuing to Pokemon Heart Gold/Soul Silver… the photos. While Pokemon X/Y has them as well, Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver had the added bonuses of being able to take them with your Pokemon and various NPCs:

X/Y also had the nice feature of of a larger limit and being able to see them on the global link. I think a mixture of the photo spots and commemorative photos would’ve been neat.

Pokemon Gold/Silver – Multiple regions. It makes me sad that Johto is the only one to have done this when we have proven to have planes and boats and just obviously other ways to visit other regions. I loved being able to get 16 badges in the Gen 2 games and it’s something I really wish would happen again. Also, Night/Day! Even though it could be hard catching certain Pokemon because of this, it was nice seeing time change in the Pokemon world.

Gold/Silver also brought along SO many new Pokeballs. While most really don’t show up again (and many are kind of useless), I honestly like them a lot and wish they’d show up again. Also, Mail. I never really used it, but I just loved to get one of each and save them as all the stationery were really pretty…

Pokemon Stadium 1 & 2 – I just…really love the minigames. I also thought it was interesting how a Pokemon’s appearance could look slightly different due to a nickname.

Pokemon Snap – There really is no feature that stands out in particular. I would say the closest is certain mechanics that unlocked new areas using a kind of puzzle solving effort versus just one item. Stuff you needed to continue to do along the way as well to trigger events. I just really love this game and want a sequel, okay?

Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire – Secret Hideouts! I’ve always loved them. I don’t think Diamond/Pearl did a better job with them at all (The only “pro” I could give to them is you could make them much bigger… but the item limit was still abysmally small which meant you had a very empty room) and I’m so happy to see them returning even better in the remakes.

Not to mention this generation also brought us contests and ribbons. My only complaint about contests is the way they are made that you kind of have to choose between Battling or Contests because certain moves just won’t fit with certain contests as they are all themed. I feel these could be fixed easily enough if moves didn’t have a specific “style” to them. I mean, Thunderbolt can be beautiful too and Surf can be cool, okay?

Pokemon Colosseum – Having someone follow you. While we’ve seen some games have certain areas where people will follow you and heal your Pokemon (One of the more recent ones being with Shauna in X/Y) and the areas are usually surrounded by double battles, I’ve always liked the idea of going on a journey with other trainers throughout versus them just showing up in various areas.

Not only that, but Pokemon Colosseum actually features my all-time favorite town–Phenac City:
I can’t say enough how much I’d love to see a town like that or like the one in the third Pokemon movie.

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon – I always loved the areas each Pokemon finds itself in. They all have their own special areas and I always enjoyed it–kind of like how in the Anime, Ash’s Pokemon hang out in the giant yard behind Oak’s lab. I think it’d be neat if you had a special place for all the Pokemon you’ve caught to roam around. Similar features are when Pokemon are waiting to be picked up after coming in the Dream World in Black/White and of course, the ranch in My Pokemon Ranch.

Pokemon Battle Revolution – Trainer customization. This was the first game to have trainer customization and while X/Y finally brought it back, Pokemon Battle Revolution still had a few things X/Y didn’t such as a pin/badge you can wear (closest you got in X/Y was something for your hat) and age. I don’t necessarily mind the lack of age choice in Pokemon X/Y, but I did enjoy all the extra accessories you could get.

Also, hats were optional. But yes, I can’t say enough how much I hope this returns in ORAS. Especially as there’s contests and I could buy poofy dresses and I have dreams, okay?!

Pokemon Diamond/Pearl – Accessories. Because I like dressing up my Pokemon :P Also, I enjoyed mining for various things in the Underground. And Pokemon Capsules! I think they gave unique ways for your Pokemon to appear besides just the Pokeball type’s effects.

Not to mention the special Legendary Events. Darkrai’s was incredibly spooky, Arceus’ caused a beautiful staircase, Shaymin’s gave us a long path of flowers… I want more ingame events like these through items versus just giving us the Pokemon.

Also, Wi-fi features! YAY!

Pokemon Ranger games – While I didn’t play them much, one of the things I really liked was how Pokemon could help you without needing a specific move to be able to do so. The Anime often showcases this as well. I’d love if there was more of these kind of special abilities your Pokemon could have because of what they are versus being limited to certain HMs and other things. I mean, Pokemon eat–but it’s not a move. I feel if HMs became something more of puzzle solving or an extra thing because that Pokemon is just able to do it versus having to be taught (unless you WANT to use it in Battle), it’d make things a lot more interesting just because of how many more obstacles you could come across in the game and being able to have a team versus having to switch out for an “HM slave”.

Pokemon Black/White – Pokemon Musicals. Maybe I’m a bit weird, but I actually enjoyed these more than contests. This is because you can both dress up your Pokemon and because your Pokemon would have just as much of a chance no matter what its moves happened to be–something that is much harder with contests.

Also, the Dream World which… is actually both a feature I like and dislike. I had so many issues with getting the Dream World to work for me and I had to work my butt off to try and qualify for the special medals you’d earn from it. That said, I still really liked the cute houses and customization. I’m just sad so many things that Japan received never really carried over.

Finally, Seasons. I loved the different seasons in B/W. While I had mixed feelings on certain areas being blocked off (I wish there were just things you needed to do in said seasons versus being powerless), I felt it gave a nice change of scenery.

Pokemon Black & White 2 – Join Avenue and Pokestar Studios. Both features were a lot of fun–while I didn’t use Join Avenue like most people did (I just enjoyed having one of each shop and getting the highest rank), I still think it was cute. I just wish you could’ve done even more to customize it.

Pokestar studios was really fun in a different way just because each “scenario” was like a puzzle to some extent. My only issue with it was the fact that the RNG could really kill the entire thing for you. I wish if you did the correct action (Either for Normal or Strange), the RNG would only have one thing to pick from versus getting a critical hit and making you start all over.

Also, medals! I much preferred the Medal Box in B/W2 to the way they work in X/Y. Not just because you could see them ingame, but because you could also get an idea of what you needed to do for future ones.

Pokemon Dream Radar – While I can’t say I used this feature a lot, I did like it’s AR capabilities. I liked the idea of being able to find Pokemon in real life. Though, I’d prefer more of the actual seeing the Pokemon method versus the clouds…

Pokemon X/Y – Pokemon Amie and Trainer PR Videos. Pokemon Amie finally let you interact with Pokemon in an entirely new way and I just enjoyed it so much. Not to mention cute mini games and you can decorate them!

As for PR Videos, while they may be silly, I still found them a lot of fun:

My only real problem with them is you couldn’t feature a Pokemon with you at the same time–it was one or the other (and you couldn’t even put more than one Pokemon in at a time either).

Also, the Global Link. I love the online log book and I hope it sticks around. Seeing that it is being brought back for ORAS makes me super excited. Plus, more different weather in the overworld! While we also had Fog in Gen 5, I felt it was more dynamic in Gen 6.

Finally, the Parade at the end. I loved the parade, I loved the credits (Kiseki still makes me cry everytime). It was just beautiful and I want to see these kinds of things continue. I really enjoyed all of X/Y’s cutscenes honestly. Plus Pokemon Center Birthday <3 That made me so happy. And I don't really want to specify a generation since I really love all of them... But I've found all the different Pokegears pretty cool. Poketch, Pokegear, PokeNav, C-Gear... I'd really love to see one that just incorporated all of these things and their little apps. The Counter, Dot Artist, and Color Changer are just a few of my favorite Poketch apps. Finally, in a bit of a contrast... my least favorite Pokemon features: Pokemon Emerald – The Battle Frontier. I’ve mentioned it before, but I hate the Battle Frontier and every installment we’ve gotten of it since. This is because it pretty much requires you to have extremely good luck and/or maximum stats. I’ve always agreed strongly on Karen’s line about Pokemon: “Strong Pokémon. Weak Pokémon. That is only the selfish perception of people. Truly skilled trainers should try to win with their favorites.” Now, I know most of my favorites are “weak”, but I never have any issue with the main game. I never have an issue using them against others who play similarly to me (Playing against someone with perfect stat Pokemon varies), but this is a mode I can’t beat (with few exceptions). And as a completionist, that sucks. That sucks a lot. While I could always “borrow a team” as many of my friends play that way, I like to get the ribbons for my team and all that mode tells my team is they aren’t good enough which is really discouraging. I don’t care that people play competitively. It’s obviously popular. There’s tournaments. But I don’t want to–that’s just not how I’d ever feel comfortable playing. Tossing a Pokemon away because it’s nature isn’t good enough or it’s speed is one point off or any of that. And nobody ever likes to be told they aren’t good enough just because they do something differently.

Pokemon X/Y – Mega Evolutions. Now, I can hear it already “But don’t you love Mega Audino?!”. I love Mega Audino’s design. I love Mega Diancie’s design (though, not as much as Mega Audino). I hate that neither of those amazing designs get to really be shown off.

The main issue for me is the gimmick feels a bit pointless. Even if you didn’t want to give the Pokemon an evolution (obviously for starters and for legendaries–Audino really should’ve gotten an evolution though of it instead), I feel these could have easily been switched by form changes. Meloetta, Deoxys, Rotom… just a few Pokemon who have form changes in different ways that effect their stats and/or typing. No Mega Stone required.

And rather than changing forms, if the bond is strong enough, they would just get a power-up which would strongly increase their stats. No form change necessary. This would make it so people can enjoy the design outside battle versus these lovely designs being temporary. While I could just ignore them and shrug for quite a while, Mega Diancie’s and Mega Audino’s forms actually made me incredibly sad because they were thrown into Mega forms and I can’t just enjoy them otherwise. I can’t open my party and see those forms, I can’t play with them in Pokemon Amie, and eventually there will be a point I will just never see them because they are bound to that mode.