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What Wii U could bring to Pokémon [PART 2]

[Editor's Note: This is a continuation of our analysis of what a Pokemon game on the Wii U could mean for both the series and Nintendo. You can read part one here.]

Pokémon games don’t have a good history on home consoles. The bulk of the titles have either been glorified apps for viewing and battling the Pokémon from your portable games (Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Battle Revolution) or weirdly gimped RPG experiences (Pokémon Colosseum, Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness).

Game Freak and Nintendo have each previously voiced their opinions that core Pokémon RPGs are best experienced on portable game systems, owing to the nature of collecting, grinding and trading. This is why every core Pokémon experience to date, plus the recently announced Pokémon X and Pokémon Y, are strictly bound to GameBoys and DS systems. But perhaps the Wii U, Nintendo’s most connected and most social home console to date, could influence that to change.

Let’s take a look at how the system’s unique and innovative features might influence the gameplay of a ‘Pokémon Wii U’, were it to be a traditional Pokémon RPG.

Pokemon centres

We’ve recently been given a look at what the interior of a Pokémon centre might look like on an HD system (although it’s not the art style I would have gone for), but how would the centre operate? Given the advanced social capabilities of the Wii U one could speculate that the Pokémon centre, long the home of the portable games’ connectivity functions, might operate as a new game’s trading, battling and social hub.

Of course the Wii U is always online and always connected to your friends, so it would no longer strictly be necessary to play at the same time or in the same space to enjoy the full benefits of connectivity. Being online at the exact same time as your buddy might allow you to battle or trade directly, or team up to take on all online comers in a two-on-two tournament, but even if none of your friends were online there could be plenty of asynchronous online features.

Perhaps you could access your friend’s trainer card, see what Pokémon and items she currently has, and propose a trade. Your friend would get a Wii U notification and the next time she’s online she would have the option of accepting, rejecting or modifying your offer.

To get a little more speculative, perhaps an online Pokémon centre would allow the removal of previous games’ automated daycare and breeding services in favour of social versions of the same systems.

For example you have a level 4 Magikarp and want to level him up in order to evolve into Gyarados. Take him to the daycare centre, right? But what if you could find a real-life player through the Pokémon centre who you would pay per level to take your Magikarp around the region with them gaining experience? That way players who love to grind would be rewarded for their services, and you’d get a levelled up Pokémon and a cool social experience.

Battling

Since the first DS Pokémon RPGs the virtues of a dual-screen device for batling have been clear. Big, touchscreen buttons streamline the experience of selecting moves and items while freeing up real estate on the main screen for health bars and of course the Pokémon themselves. This same two-screen setup could be brought over to Wii U wholesale thanks to the gamepad, and the whole dynamic could even be improved upon for the home console.

The large size of the gamepad screen means the battle commands needn’t take up the whole thing, and would likely function just fine if confined to one half of the display. The other half could be used for vital battle statistics or other information. Perhaps that side of the screen could even be devoted to displaying information from equippable apps or gear, the like of which we’ve seen in past games, which serve specific battle functions. One app might be a reactive and interactive Pokédex, analysing the strength of your team of monsters against your opponent’s on the fly. Another might be as simple as stats on the number and type of different moves used, or a detailed chart on the progress of your team toward levelling and evolution.

There whole game could also feature a single-screen option that incorporated contextual menu overlays onto the main screen, like in the GameBoy Advance games, in case you wanted to play the game solely on your TV with a pro controller or solely on the gamepad while your significant other watches MacGuyver.

Exploration

The gamepad has exciting potential in terms of augmenting the experience of wandering around looking for battles and wild Pokémon too, as that same technique of using half the screen for game commands and half for customisable apps could be instituted to provide a range of different services. Remember the Pokétch watch in Diamond / Pearl? The simple LCD wristwatch provided many different apps to play with, from a representation of your team’s health to a radar that displayed hidden items. That functionality could be expanded on Wii U to far beyond even what the 3DS will be capable of in X/Y. Perhaps a dynamic RSS-style feed of what your online friends are doing, which Pokémon they have caught recently or who they are challenging.

Regardless of the exact use of the touchscreen, it’s at least clear that a Wii U Pokémon RPG would allow you to rifle through your bag and check on your stored Pokémon on the gamepad without ever having to pause the action on the main screen. After a battle potions and status items could be administered, Pokémon could be switched in and out in a matter of seconds. This simple fact could speed up the minute-to-minute gameplay considerably.

And what of the broadened internet functionality of Wii U? Perhaps a Wii U Pokémon RPG could feature something like the safari seen in previous games, updated to allow you to explore an enclosed environment with a group of online friends. Allowing peer-to-peer interaction in the general game would be difficult without changing the whole dynamic of the RPG, but an enclosed  dedicated space could provide an opportunity to battle, level and trade alongside friends in a more dynamic environment than the traditional Pokémon centre affair.

So what do you think? Would you welcome any of these additions to the series, or do you think core Pokémon RPGs are best left to handhelds? Do you have different suggestions for how a Wii U entry might be handled? Make your feelings known in the comments below.

Continue reading:




  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Chris-Bingham/100000260255063 Chris Bingham

    The Wii U Gamepad could be used as the Pokedex

    • Guilliman

      That would so exciting!  I can imagine it now, you’re walking along a forest path with your obligatory one female and one male companion -suddenly a critter pops out of the bushes, the gamepad, your real world Pokedex, bleeps, and even though it’s never seen one of these things before its robotic Pokedex voice tells you the creature’s name and all about it.  Ah, bliss.

      Also, if they made a Wii U Pokemon, they could make a limited edition Pokedex red gamepad, surely that would sell by the bucketload!

  • Genesect4ssb4

    Voice chat on Pokemon Wii U for double battles.

  • John Paul Herrera

    I’m not sure a core RPG Pokemon game is ready for a home console, but these are still great ideas. I think a an RPG like Colesseum or XD would be ideal, even set in a previously discovered region. You could catch rare Pokemon you couldn’t find in X and Y and then send it over! A good storyline and online capabilities like Battle Revolution would be great.
       Plus, people could send over Pokemon from X and Y onto the big screen, connect with a customizable persona used for the main game, and the 3DS could maybe be used as a second game tablet to battle against friends.
       Anyway, I’m sure any Pokemon game for the Wii U would boost up sales, even if by a margin.

  • Kirbyomega

    Well I would comment my ideas, but my comment on part one was as long as this article XD. So I think you have had enough of me for now XD

  • Lazara the Last

    I liked the name of this article better than the last :D
    Anyways, great article! If I could have one game on the Wii U (except for obvious ones like Zelda and Metroid) it would be pokemon! I know it sells better on a handheld and fits better on one too, but just one game. Nintendo could use it as an experiment, if it won’t sell as good as they thought, they don’t need to make a sequel. If it’s a brilliant success, they earn a lot of money and we get our pokemon game! :D

  • Ryan Mickley

    What if you could use the gamepad as a pc box on the fly and just transport pokemon whenever you want

    • http://weeklyrift.com/ Tim Biggs

      That’s a cool idea but I think it would make it a bit easy. Having to choose 6 pokemon to take with you when you’re not entirely sure what you’ll be facing is part of the fun. If you had access to a mobile PC box there’d at least have to be some kind of penalty.

  • angel

    this should be a downloadable game so it could download in your wii u and connected with your 3ds for the basic functions from leveling up, adventure ect. to go and continue in your wii u

  • http://www.facebook.com/whatmakesyoucryandwhy Joe Owens

    Someone needs to start a worldwide petition to bring all this into the eyes of Nintendo. All these ideas are amazing and if you could trade pokemon between the wii u version and the handheld versions, all the better.

  • Y000000

    The writer pretty much touched on everything. Another addition that would be crazy but would make the game even more incredibly addicting would be to choose your own rival this time or even make it random. This would kind of force players to continuously play the game to 1up the other while you keep track of stats on the wii pad. It will tell how many minutes ahead/behind you are, how many badges have been earned and how many pokemon are in one anthers pokedex. Another would be to make the wii pad a camera, like in pokemon snap, when you hold it up to the screen because to game will most likely be in 3rd person. Maybe instead of a safari make pokemon snap a minigame with the prize being a rare pokemon or something.  And also during a battle all stats should be stored on the wii pad so battles look better without all the extra ish on the screen.

    • http://weeklyrift.com/ Tim Biggs

      I love the idea of a pokemon snap safari. Why not mine past spinoff ideas for use as minigames? Something like pokemon ranger could be instituted too, taking the place of that weird underground mining stuff in Diamond / Pearl. You could even view the underground on the gamepad and regular ground on the main screen.

      • Cole Holbrook

        I really think that a safari zone would be good. You could use the Gamepad s a sort of heat scanning thing. when Panorama veiw comes out for Wii U it will be similar to that. You can look around the safari around you and if their is a pokemon their outline will appear on the gamepad and you have to chase it down. It would be a fun new spin that keeps people focused instead of mindlessly running in circles through the grass hoping to find a rare Pokemon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000589142264 Lynval SwagTank D’tchalis
  • matthew hull

    I think Nintendo would be missing out on a great opportunity it they gave up on putting a Pokemon Wii U game, which the game could connect to you Pokemon X and Y, and the game could have the same aspect as Pokemon Stadium, but you could battle all gym leaders and elite 4 members Plus champs, and be able to get starter Pokemon from all the regions.

  • Guilliman

    A console version should be made with different gameplay, and that alone would differentiate it from the handheld versions and avoid competition between them, but there should obviously be cross-functionality.  So you could load your Pokemon from the console onto your 3DS to train it up whilst you’re away for the weekend etc.

    In fact, I’d take it further.  I have a grander vision: how about a console game and a 3DS game that features stories that runs parallel with each other.  The handheld version could be set in a new world, and the console version set in one of the older regions, with protagonists working together from afar to save the world.  I’ve even got names for the games:  Pokemon Terra for the console game, and Pokemon Astra for the Handheld.  Terra means Earth, so I thought that was appropriate for a console game as it is grounded, non-portable.  And Astra means stars btw, both are Latin.

    The climax of the story/final battle would take place in space on an enormous comet as it hurtles toward the Earth.  The plot of the game revolves around some mysterious (things are always mysterious in Pokemon.  Not surprising really since every few years scientists are baffled to discover that a) there’s a country they’d never heard of, and b) it’s filled with 100-ish new Pokemon), spacefaring Pokemon that has been asleep, encased in ice at the centre of the comet (for anyone who doesn’t know their space objects, comets are often made of/filled with ice) for 100 years, maybe 200, or thousands or something (I’m making this up as I go). 

    The Team Rocket equivalent human bad guys of the story aren’t evil, they’re disillusioned intellectuals and idealists who have lost faith in humanity and believe the end for humans is nigh because of war, pollution, reality TV, the existence of really, really rubbish Pokemon like Trubbish -you know, the usual reasons for losing faith in humanity and thinking the end is due.  They have constructed a great rocket, a space age Noah’s Ark to take them to an Earth-like planet they believe can sustain life, named Carpathia (named after the ship that picked up the survivors from the Titanic).  And they’ve somehow (still making it up as I go, haven’t ironed out the details) altered the path of the great comet so that it will collide with the Earth, and they somehow plan to harness the comet’s new trajectory to slingshot their starship toward where they want to go.  Haven’t thought of a name for them yet, I’m thinking possibly Team Nova, or to break away from the Team “…” convention they could have a greater title and be a shadowy organisation called The Terra Nova Project.  Terra Nova was the name of explorer Robert Falcon Scott’s failed expedition to the North Pole (they made it, but all died on the way back), and fittingly it means New Earth.

    So anyone what do you think, cool story idea, or lame?  Have to admit I’m quite pleased with that…  If Nintendo don’t use it I might have to write a novel ;)

  • Cole Holbrook

    One thing.. actually two. *Magikarp* and *Gyaradose* Just sayin’!

  • Cole Holbrook

    I can picture is perfectly… Choosing a region to start in… i would choose Hoenn. I could choose Torchic. When I beat the Elite 4 a new region is available for choice. I choose Kanto! There is a restriction on bringing over any Pokemon. When I beat the first gym leader Pokemon level 20 and under can be used from Hoenn. (similar to Pokemon listening to you that you got in trades) This would be needed as it would be too easy to just bring over level 60 pokemon and sweep thtough the region. This continues every time you beat an elite four until you beat every region. You are then the champion. Any of your many rivals can now challenge you (since you are the champion) and try to take your place. You can except any time. Awesome! Your team could eventually be 6 started pokemon from 6 different region. each of them you raised in their own regions! This would probably be the best thing to ever happen. Ever. Even with the graphics of X and Y (with some HD improvement) this would be the most amazing Pokemon game to date. (since it has everything the other had in one game! :O) Of course this would need to be released a while after X and Y are released so that the 3DS games can get their sales. Then they could still release gen 7 on 3ds and it would get sales! cuz its a branad new game thats not on the Wii U. SO MANY SALES.

  • Johny

    well since when wasnt a quality pokemon game welcome ?
    of course its welcome.. and we should encourage nintendo to do something about it :) it would without a doubt HUGELY boost wii u sales of course.. so it would obviously be a good decision
    the only downside is that they just annouced Pokemon X,Y for 3DS… and announcing another one on a wii u wouldnt look/sound so hot :/ It would be similar than when they announced  NSMB2 and NSMBU at the same time. and we all know our feelings at that time :)

  • Alex Damman

    someone answer me this… how do you play pokemon? i mean i don’t think its a bad game… heck, i agree with most people in thinking that it is one of the greatest franchises ever made. but how do people do it? how do people memorize the exact stats for 80 bajillion different pokemon, deal with the extra systems that they have added over the years, formulate a strategy for creating and training a team, and choose the exact right pokemon with the exact right moves and exact right training and upbringing to beat the game? it boggles my mind that people have the capability to keep track of everything in a pokemon game. every time i try to play pokemon, i usually enjoy it, but i either can’t get past the second gym leader or have to sit next to the computer and research stuff on the wiki every 2 seconds.

    so… bottom line… how do you people do this?!

    • paperchao

      All, I can say is, don’t underestimate the capabilities of your brain :)

  • Guymelef

    This was my reply in Part 1: I like the idea of a Pokemon MMO. And perhaps add a mix of Skylanders by allowing you to use cards, instead of figures — it just makes sense coz there’s already a separate card game that’s also quite popular — but make it optional only. Using figures a la Skylanders would be too costly coz you have over 700 Pokemon’s to choose from. 
    I don’t believe the 3DS market will be affected, especially if they do it like Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. where you can share saves between the handheld and console and even do co-op play (if the integration of the handheld and console divisions of Nintendo gives us this, that would just be awesome). Now that would be Pokemon U (as in Ultimate).

  • Stephen

    Downloadable content Pokemon would bring me back to the series, I got bored of buying “new” Games that basically were more or less cut and paste with different Pokemon, makes sense to let the game evolve(no pun intended) technically, DLC for additional gyms side quests and additional DLC Pokemon packs that once you’ve added to your game you have to go out and catch em.
    I think that would bring much revenue to the Wii U considering that Pokemon has a massive following and turning it into basically a MMORPG were you can sell DLC you basically don’t miss out on the sales of the future 3DS version of the game, that I also feel should start seeing changes to showcase the true potential of the 3DS with DLC,improved graphics engine act.
    Maybe even cross platform like MH.

  • druszko

    Ever since I was a young boy back in the 1990’s I had dreamed a dream where Pokemon had became real and I was a trainer immersed in the imaginative region known as Kanto. I can admit that I had bought a nintendo DS only for the reason that I wished to continue my journey through Nintendo’s handheld devices however that dream had never been met. Not that I was dissapointed with the games I just found each game introduced after blue and red to be somewhat repetitive and lacked a one up mushroom to a certain extent. Even with games such as Pokemon Stadium they seemed to be lacking even more with excitement than compared with the handheld. With this sudden idea of Pokemon being introduced to the wii u I literally have been brought back to such childish wishes in hopes to maybe experience the world of Pokemon in the most realistic RPG up to date. 

    • Matt Hungerford

      i wouldn’t say blue and red were the last great, i’d say that would be gold and silver and since then i can concur with the lack of ingenuity put into the pokemon games

  • druszko

     Send the link!

  • Tellus

    All i have to say is Pokemon Stadium with open world first person exploration and an economy. Mini games also available like pokemon snap

  • yamiryuu_zero

    I think we do need a free MMORPG Pokemon game. Imagine how much of a success it would be if you could link up any Pokemon game for DS or 3DS to the Wii U and interact online with friends and strangers. Something like Pokemon Battle Revolution, where you have an entire island to battle would be awesome, specially with those scenarios in HD, but we also could have more islands or continents to explore as well. There could be even championships, trading centers, and customizable battle passes, with uptades and DLCs (some free of charges, others payable).

    And imagine the integration with Miiverse!  You could keep an eye on what’s happening on the online world even when your DS or the Wii U are shut. You could see who is offering a Pokemon or item for trade, see the ranks of battles, or watch live battles through cell phones, tablets or the computer.

    Once the Miiverse hits the 3DS, it’s going to open so many possibilities, not only for Pokemon series, but for any other games as well. I hope this generation has a free Pokemon MMORPG, it would be the dream of every trainer in the world.

  • bram476

    The market in handheld games is getting harder to compete in in terms of smartphones and tablets taking over. This would be a very good development of this was possible. Would be lovely if it would become a sort of world of warcraft but then with pokemon….on the wii U. Social media is also an aspect what can be exploited.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/YKQGYOBX73PR3DD3DCURO44HWA Sir Feeny

    I don’t think we’ll ever see a Pokemon game that will truly be what it has the potential to be. The games will always be aimed at kids and due to that, they’ll always create the same lazy games they have been for years. I have my own vision for a home console Pokemon game, but I know it will never come into fruition, and I’ve accepted that.

  • DemonRoach

    Waste of an article.  What Nintendo needs is new games (New IP).

  • David Noble

    Alright, so I’ve been thinking about this for awhile now, and I’ve composed a letter.  I need help with three things:  “What major ideas should I add?”; “Are there any problems with the ideas already given?”; and “Should I send it to Nintendo or Pokemon, or should I even bother?  I’ll post the letter as a series of replies to this comment.

  • David Noble

                                                              GamePad Battling
    T.V. Screen – Displays an arial view of the battle
    GamePad Screen – Displays a front view of the battle
    X Button – Attack 1
    Y Button – Attack 2
    A Button – Attack 3
    B Button – Attack 4
    R Button – Right Guard
    L Button – Left Guard
    ZR Button – Right Dodge
    ZL Button – Left Dodge
    + Pad – Direct Attacks
    LO – Move
    RO – Fly (for flying types)

  • David Noble

                                                         GamePad Journeying
    T.V. Screen – Displays the traditional overhead view in H.D.
    GamePad Screen – Displays a forward view and functions as a Pokedex
    X Button – Opens the Pokedex file on the targeted Pokemon
    Y Button – Opens Backpack on the T.V. Screen
    A Button – Speak or Battle a Person/Pokemon or select an item in the Backpack
    B Button – Run
    R Button – Rotates items in the Backpack to the right
    L Button – Rotates items in the Backpack to the left
    ZR Button – Rotates Backpack pouches right
    ZL Button – Rotates Backpack pouches left
    + Pad – Select an Option
    LO – Move
    RO – Rotate View

  • David Noble

                                                         Miiverse Compatability
    Aventure – Players could begin in any region and travel between them in order to create more varying conversation on Miiverse.

    Info – Players can leave notes on gym leaders and such.

    Records – A list of recent gym victors, the quickest victories, least damage taken, etc. could be displayed outside the gym.

                                                             Online Features
    Travels – Various online trainers could appear at their last save point, and trainers can challenge each other to battle, compare Pokemon, etc.

    Tournaments – Actual leagues, as in the T.V. show, could be held regularly, in which the victor would be allowed to challenge the Elite Four, for example.

    Online Region – An extra region could be added in which experienced trainers could battle each other, qualified players could be gym leaders (with requirements for being online so that they can be challenged), and the best of the best come together for the most epic tournaments in the world.

  • David Noble

                                                                General Changes
    Battle – The battle would be altered from its original attack and wait to an interactive, skill-involved battle in which you actually control you Pokemon’s movements and attacks.

    Gyms – There could be more than eight gyms to allow some variation in journeys within a region.

    Experience – The different stats could gradually, but very little, increase with battles to allow actual strategy and skill and real experience determine the outcome of the battle, as would be possible with the new battle style.

    Journey – The journey could start in any region, in any city, because, as in the T.V. show, the real difficulty in new battling is adapting to new strategies that aren’t familiar to you, developing tactics that fit your style, and accessing attributes of your Pokemon other than just strength.

    Wild Pokemon – Wild Pokemon could be anywhere in reality, so they might as well be on the path.  Just seeing a Pokemon doesn’t mean you’ll battle it.  For these reasons, Pokemon should be wandering, and the trainer should be able to see what they are ahead of time.

    Regions – Players should be able to travel between regions in order to maximize exploration and battle experience.  If the trainers could trave between regions, they could more easily complete their goals of catching every Pokemon, being the best there is, etc.  It creates a long-lasting game that is interesting beyond winning a league tournament or even defeating the Elite Four.  It means the player can continue achieving more, and the challenges will never end, and the trainer will get better all the way.  After all, there is nothing a trainer likes better than becoming stronger, faster, smarter, and this incredible game could be just what they need to achieve that.

  • David Noble

    While we’re on the topic of home-console pokemon games, does anyone else find themselves wishing the battles were actual movements and strategy, you know, like in Pokemon Revolution and Pokemon Rumble?  If the battles were more based on player skill than tapping “Fight”, “Rock Slide”, “Figh”, “Thunderbolt”, “Fight”, “Vine Whip” and by the end of the game ending up going through all your battles in one move, maybe the game would still be fun after the Elite Four, or even after all your pokemon were level 100’s, you know?  Pokemon is awesome, but does anyone else find themeselves wishing battles were challenging, not either easy or impossible all the time?