This Pokemon Day, what can Pokemon Gen 8 Learn From Let’s Go!

This Pokemon Day, what can Pokemon Gen 8 Learn From Let’s Go!
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Pokemon Day is nearly here and rumors are ramping up that Nintendo will spill the beans on the Pokemon Gen 8 game they teased during E3 2017, which everyone assumed would come sooner rather than later. That’s why when they showed off Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee! it came as a shock to most fans. There was a lot to love at first glance, but once details started rolling out, fans became upset. Now, after getting some time playing Pokemon Let’s Go!, I think Nintendo made not only a smart choice, but also improved upon the core series, which we know will launch sometime in 2019. Here are five things I hope Nintendo brings to the 8th generation Pokemon title and five things I don’t want to see in the next Pokemon game
leading up to the Pokemon Direct Nintendo recently announced for tomorrow. Some slight spoilers are ahead.

Things I want to see

Pokemon in the overworld:

When I first saw Pokemon running wild through the grass in the overworld, I thought Nintendo was making a mistake. Mainline Pokemon games have always featured random encounters, why the need to change it? Well, I’m convinced this was the right decision.

Kanto feels more alive than it ever has before.

Having Pokemon roam around the map not only makes the world feel alive and dynamic, but it also makes me want to explore freely. Of course, past Nintendo handhelds didn’t have the best processing power but, for the first time, Kanto feels alive. I’d love to see an all-new land be filled with all different sorts of Pokemon running around. Also, in Pokemon games of the past, I’d dread seeing an item off to the side because I knew I’d run into a Pokemon. All I wanted to do was pick up one measly item! Sure, I could use a repel, but now, I can see where that Rattata is running and can avoid it with ease. Keep this going for Pokemon Gen 8!

Pokemon that follow you:

This feature isn’t anything new; Pokemon Yellow allowed for Pikachu to follow you back in 1999. Heart Gold and Soul Silver on the DS did this as well. So, let’s continue this going forward! I loved having some of my favorite Pokemon follow me around, especially since the new graphics are charming and detailed compared to games of the past.

Having Pokemon follow me made me feel closer to each monsters, especially my Pikachu. I felt like my party was just as important to my adventure as earning all eight gym badges were. Plus, being able to ride bigger Pokemon, some faster than others, is awesome. Flying around on Charizard is a sight to behold!

Master Trainers:

You’ve gathered all eight badges and defeated the Elite Four, now, all that’s left is… to catch ‘em all. Nintendo has done a great job over the last few iterations to make the endgame in Pokemon games last longer and give you more to do. This time around, they introduce Master Trainers.

I’ve never used Dodrio in my party before, but now I’m forced to if I want to beat ’em all.

What are Master Trainers? Well, they are specific trainers that have spent their entire lives training one Pokemon. It’s up to you to take them down using the same Pokemon. There are difficult endgame trainers that are surprisingly tough. They don’t have any mercy on other trainers.

Why do I love this so much? It forces me to use Pokemon that I normally don’t battle or train. I mean, I’ve owned hundreds of Rattatas and Weedles over my twenty-year relationship with the franchise, but outside of the opening areas and getting them to evolve, they end up sitting in the Pokemon Box. Now, I’m driven to train these Pokemon, take down that Master Trainer and earn my title. Of course, having just over 150 of these Master Trainers is feasible, but given that there are over 800 Pokemon (and more assumably on the way) I think Nintendo should widdle it down to a mixture of some of the most popular Pokemon with a batch of less popular Pokemon in Gen 8.

Being able to change my party whenever:

I love Bill. Bill is the reason we have the Pokemon Storage Box in the PC that sits in the Pokemon Center. The first time meeting him is one of the most memorable moments in gaming. But, this is a tired and outdated mechanic. Nintendo wisely made the decision in Pokemon Let’s Go! to change out my party whenever I want to.

No longer are you tied to running back through a route or flying back to a city just to add that new Pokemon you just captured. Just go into the menu and switch your Pokemon around with ease. Even if they wanted to put some form of a limitation on it, I’d be fine with that. For instance, you can access the Pokemon Box if you’re in a city or any route, but if you’re in a gym or dungeon (think like Mt. Moon or the Silph Co.), you can’t swap your party out. That’ll still have me visiting the Pokemon Center less than I normally do in Pokemon Gen 8.

Pokemon Go interaction:

Pokemon Let’s Go! Pikachu and Eevee were designed to work hand in hand with the popular phone app; look at the design of both games and you will see where the inspiration for these Nintendo Switch titles came from. While these aren’t mainline games, I don’t see any reason why the next mainline games can’t interact with your phone.

Think about it, there are over 800 Pokemon and counting. Pokemon Go doesn’t have all 800 available yet, but that list is also growing rapidly. In just two years, Niantic has already introduced Pokemon all the way up to the fourth generation. Having the connectivity to Pokemon Go will allow players to have easier access to version specific Pokemon or rare Pokemon. Plus, they could introduce new mechanics like gift-giving between the two games or even allow you to transfer Pokemon back and forth (a limitation for Let’s Go!). Everyone knows how big of a deal Pokemon Go still is, so I don’t see why Nintendo would limit themselves.

Things I don’t want to see

Motion controls:

Nintendo seems hellbent on making us use motion controls when you least expect to use them. Breath of the Wild used it, Splatoon 2 did, and now Pokemon Let’s Go! forces you to use motion controls.

To the right you can see my Ultra Ball thanks to the motion controls in Let’s Go!

Nintendo, we are well past the Wii. Motion controls aren’t my preferred way of controlling anything. Yes, waving the Joy-Con as if I was throwing a Pokeball fulfilled my inner fantasy of actually capturing a Pokemon, but after doing it a dozen times, I quickly grew tired. Plus, I don’t know how many Pokeballs I lost because the ball got thrown to the left when I was clearly throwing it in front of me. I’d be fine if Pokemon Gen 8 had the OPTION of motion controls, but please don’t force us to use them.

The lack of random Pokemon battles:

I love how I can now see the Pokemon running around the world (as I said above), but I’m torn on not being able to actually battle them. There were enough trainers in Pokemon Let’s Go!, but this game feels strangely incomplete since my Pikachu can’t battle my 400th Rattata.

Maybe Nintendo could introduce an option of a “Pro” mode and a “Casual” mode. In the “Pro” mode, you will play the game just as you’re used to: run into a Pokemon, and you battle it and decide if you want to capture it. In the “Casual” mode, when you run into a Pokemon, all you can do is capture it. Maybe give players more experience if they play on “Pro” mode. This option would give me more to do while I’m on my journey, but if I want to speed through moments, or if I’m just looking to farm-capture certain Pokemon, I can turn on this “Casual” mode on the fly. Extra options are never a bad thing.

A friendly rivalry:

At least Gary acted like he didn’t care for you.

Man, I miss Blue (I originally called him Gary because of the anime). Yes, you run into Blue a few different times in Pokemon Let’s Go!, but I miss how much of a bully he was to you. “Smell you later,” he’d say after I beat him for the fifth time. Even Gold and Silver had a rival that was, you know, an actual rival.

Now, all your rivals are your best friend and are always looking to help you out. Pokemon Let’s Go! even hints that your rival went a little easy on you during your final battle! I think it’s time to return to the old days where your rival actually wants to beat you and will do anything possible to accomplish that role. Think about Goku and Vegeta in DBZ. Yes, the two eventually became friends, but Vegeta always wants to one-up Goku, and that gives a compelling arc to his story. Make it happen Nintendo!

Unnecessary mini-games:

Petting Pikachu is fun at first, but unnecessary after some time.

I know this one won’t go away, but hear me out. How often do you actually pet your Pikachu? Yes, I enjoyed it at first, but after a few times of doing it, I stopped. And this has happened in every Pokemon game that has come before.

Dressing your Pokemon, putting them in talent shows, mixing berries, and the list goes on and on. None of these ever feel fleshed out, and they are nothing more than a simple distraction from your main goals. If these pointless distractions were left out of Pokemon Gen 8, I’d be ok with that.

Strangely complex menu:

This may just be a limitation of the Switch when you compare it to the dual screen capabilities of the DS family, but man, I was surprised at how often I struggled to find things in the menus of Pokemon Let’s Go! Let alone, there was no easy way to switch between having one Pokemon follow you versus the other.

If only I could fly over this and not have to return to the menu…

Especially in the late game, you gain the ability to fly with certain Pokemon. The problem? They can’t enter doors because they’re, you know, flying in the air. So, if I was flying on Charizard (which I love doing) and wanted to enter a building or cave, I’d have to bring up the menu, click on Pokemon Party, and then click on putting my Pokemon back in its Pokeball. I know there are only a handful of buttons on the Joy-Con, but the Plus Button doesn’t do anything as it is, so why can’t I map that button to something?

These are the five things I’d like to see, as well as five things I’d like to see Nintendo either remove or improve on. What do you think? Do you think the 8th generation Pokemon game should feature random battles? Or what about Pokemon running around in the overworld? Let us know in the comments below, and for more information on Pokemon, keep it locked to Mammoth Gamers.

Brandon Stephenson

Brandon has been a gamer since he could remember. He plays any game recommended to him. Kingdom Hearts is a subject you don’t want to start him on. Outside of gaming, Brandon enjoys watching baseball. He wishes every console had a handle on the back like the GameCube.