Over the two decades that Pokémon has been around, the creators have managed to change the game time and time again. Multiple explorable regions, Mega Evolutions, you name it. Then they went along and introduced the Festival Plaza. See, all sorts of hits and misses all around. Every new generation brings the chance for gimmicks new and old to come and go. You know, like every Pokémon being in the game. Sometimes we just get rid of that now apparently. There are a few gimmicks that need to go, and a few gimmicks that need to come back. Here are five of each.
10 Return: Two Regions
That one thing that we’ll never stop asking for and we’ll never get, the ability to traverse two regions again in one game. Galar and Kalos, Sinnoh and Unova, Kanto for the 87th time, whichever regional pairing you want to give us, we will gladly take. While it certainly takes more development time to add an entire second region to any given Pokémon game, fans would gladly wait for a title as expansive as that. Kalos has so many unanswered questions, and the ability to travel there in Sword and Shield would add a level of depth that just might make the fans stop complaining for five seconds. Probably not, but still.
9 Stay In The Past: GO Catching
Arguably the most well-liked and uncontroversial aspect of the Let’s Go games were the catching mechanics. They were fully functional, and never had any sort of issues. Also, they were very similar to the core RPG games, and thus, people loved them.
They never caused any issues at all at any time, and fans are begging to see this mechanic return in Sword and Shield. This was awful. If you’re gonna bring this mess back again let’s at least program it right.
8 Return: Contests
Contests were fun once upon a time. In Generation Four, you could dress Steelix to be the cutest lil' boy in all the land. They were a fun, nice distraction from the main game. When they made their grand return in Generation Six… no thanks. It is time for these contests to return in all their glory. It’s a total possibility that they could be game cornered whenever the Generation Four remakes do release, but let’s hope they come back bigger and better than ever.
7 Stay In The Past: Kanto Nostalgia
We get it. Kanto. Stop that. The Alolan forms, the seventh iteration of the Kanto games. Kanto did a lot for Pokémon as a whole, but it’s time to appreciate the other regions a little. This isn’t about Sinnoh remakes (but please soon??), it’s about giving all the regions some attention. Remember Unova? That place was pretty cool. Kanto is arguably the most basic of all the regions. It did come first, after all. Leave it alone for a bit, please. Totally not about the Sinnoh remakes, but 2020 is a great time for a new game... just throwing it out there.
6 Return: Regional Variants
Regional Variants that aren’t built solely off of Kanto nostalgia though, can come back. Galarian Spoink. Galarian Dunsparce. All of them. Expand these regional variants into all of the generations, and give us a huge range of new forms of some underutilized and ignored Pokémon.
It’s a great way to bring back some of these older Pokémon and balance the meta in some new, exciting ways that fans don’t see coming. Make that weird lizard Heatmor relevant again. He’s really earned it.
5 Stay In The Past: CP
Another GO/Let’s Go mechanic, CP needs to stay in the past. It’s likely that if CP is to return, it will be in some sort of Johto Let’s Go remake that just… well let’s just get Sword and Shield in our hands before we even begin on that one. CP doesn’t do anything for stats except dumb them down. It is unnecessary, and you can take those weird candies no one trusts with you.
4 Return: Triple Battles
Triple Battles have recently been removed from Pokémon games (along with horde battles) due to the strain they put on the 3DS. With the move to the Switch, it is high time for these types of battles to come back, maybe with a few new mechanics as well. We can also bring back rotation battles, and let’s just get completely unnecessary and add some quadruple battles in because... nonsense.
3 Stay In The Past: Mega Evolutions
Mega Evolutions were simply a way for the Pokémon Company to further show their favoritism toward certain Pokémon, while also reminding us that Audino exists. They were fun for a bit, but then they continued to be shoehorned into game after game. They don’t do anything important for the game. However, they do horrible things to the Pokémon that are forced to utilize the technique. Let’s drop it please. Except Mega Ampharos. Absolutely iconic. You can stay.
2 Return: Following Pokémon
While we got a brief glimpse of this in the Let’s Go games, following Pokémon need to make a full-blown return sooner rather than later. Whether it be riding across the Kanto Region (again) on Charizard, or having an entire Rayquaza walk through a city with you, following Pokémon is one of the most beloved and underused mechanics in all of Pokémon. It is a requirement for Dynamaxed Pokémon to be able to follow you in Shield and Sword. Wailord, come along.
1 Stay In The Past: Festival Plaza
Festival Plaza was unnecessary and complicated. There’s absolutely room for a great online hub in Pokémon titles, and Festival Plaza had some great ideas in it. However, they were executed very poorly, and didn’t contribute to the game. Having a nice hub that is explorable and easy to navigate would contribute greatly to the online aspect of any Pokémon game. There is no reason it should take ten minutes to find your friends. That was no festival, it was a nightmare. Also, don’t restrict clothing colors to that mess of a place again, please.