With the Pokemon franchise now just a few years shy of its 20th anniversary and with its 13th installment coming out this year, it doesn’t take a genius to see that Game Freak is running out of ideas. From the title of the game, to creating new types of Pokemon, and to some of the ridiculous Pokemon they have created these are what I believe to be the roadblocks that Game Freak has to overcome in order to keep the Pokemon franchise going as far as maybe even their 30th anniversary.
While the title of the game seems meaningless to a lot of people, it still is an important part of trying to sell a game. The title can’t just be something ridiculous because that puts an unnecessary negative on a game. Game Freak can easily go the route of just picking some random color that they haven’t used yet like purple, brown, or orange, but who would actually want to play a Pokemon Brown version. Naming each game after a color has long been a staple of the franchise, and while they avoided picking two more colors this year by going with letters, they will run out of new ideas eventually. Plus, the amount of legendary Pokemon they can model after a letter in the alphabet that won’t look absolutely absurd was just cut in half.
At E3 this year it was unveiled that their will be a new Pokemon type in X and Y called Fairy type. Now this isn’t a big deal at all, because you can actually argue that fairy attacks and a fairy type of Pokemon makes sense. The problem that arises from this new type now, is that there really isn’t another type of Pokemon that can be introduced in the game. Right now Game Freak is at the point where they just have to combine every single type in different ways with different Pokemon, and that is working for now, especially with fairy being introduced, but how long until they need to create a new Pokemon type, and what are their options. Right now all I can really think of is cosmic or something of that sort as a new type, and that just proves to show that they really don’t have many options of creating new types of Pokemon that make sense in this universe. And lets face it, if they created some totally bogus new type of Pokemon, fans would be in complete uproar.
Now the real pressing issue for this franchise is the new Pokemon that will need to be introduced in the generations to come. Now absolutely ridiculous Pokemon are already in this franchise, and the fact that there are 3 Pokemon named and modeled after vanilla ice cream is just absurd, so we have to wonder how many silly and out of place Pokemon will there be in Pokemon X and Y. In the last generation with Black and White we saw so many Pokemon that were just rehashes of animals used multiple times already with just a different name to accommodate some new variation of two types. A dark and dragon type Pokemon is really cool, but Deino? Really? Thats what they came up with?
Ultimately these games are about the type of awesome Pokemon that are in it the game, and without those awesome Pokemon, it is difficult to want to actually play the game. The title of the game, and the types of Pokemon really don’t matter when you have awesome Pokemon like Charizard and Squirtle running around beating things up.
Awesome Pokemon are what keeps this franchise going, and no matter how many times the re-release awesome versions like red, blue, gold and silver, they will need to keep making new generations to keep the franchise going. With the amount of problems in originality that already face the franchise in Black and White, and probably X and Y, I can see the franchise fizzling out at some point.
Pokemon X and Y look great with the 3D really giving the game a Pokemon Stadium feel, and this franchise will easily celebrate its 20th anniversary on top of handheld gaming, but its 30th anniversary? That’s still very up in the air.