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Pokemon: Gym Builder
You arrive in your new home, you’re kicked out of said new home probably a day after you get there (thanks, MOM!) and set out on your quest to become the Pokemon League Champion. Once you beat the Elite Four and the Champion, you make it into the Hall of Fame, and are welcomed to a place that you didn’t know existed/couldn’t access before to play games and battle under special conditions. This has been an appealing pull for the masses that have enjoyed playing Pokemon games since…well probably since before a portion of the audience reading this was born.
With that said, for Pokemon, there exists a large amount of room for development and deviation from their tried and true formula for Pokemon games, and Nintendo knows this. Evidenced, by several spin-off titles including the Mystery Dungeon series, Ranger series, and Pokemon Conquest. Which bodes well for fans of the series looking to get more variety out of their Pokemon games, and leads me to my idea for the next shift in the series.
“Pokemon: Gym Builder,” or PGB for short, would be a departure from the norm for Pokemon games for a number of reasons.
Normally, our story sees our young hero leaving home to become the best trainer they can be with no other goal, aside from perhaps stopping (insert Villain Team Name.) For PGB however, we find our hero well aware of the world around them and the basics of Pokemon training. Being the child of a Gym Leader him or herself, and having a general knowledge of most aspects of their world. Their intent being to break away from their family to forge a path of their own as a Leader of their own Gym in one of any of the abandoned cities in an entirely new region ready to make itself known to the Pokemon World at large.
This game will play a bit more like an RPG, with you/your character making decisions that determine where your Gym ends up being in the new region, what your allies are like, who your enemies become, and what mysteries your Gym holds.
The characters in this story would be a bit different than past games in the core series. While you essentially create your character, a silent protagonist they are not, ready to speak their mind, regardless of the outcome. A somewhat more mature tone of character would be present, but more for the sake of realizing that you’re actually used to Pokemon and don’t really need your hand held. The Professors, Allies, and Rivals, won’t assist you as often, and you’ll need to forge your own path with the Pokemon you obtain.
Not to say the game and the characters would be unaccommodating, but this would be a game meant to be more about individual choice. As such, it will fall more on you to think of what to do and who to trust in a given situation. You still can’t ride your bike inside though. We’re making people Gym Leaders…not animals.
At it’s heart, Pokemon is something special because of how simple it is. (Unless you EV Train.) That’s one thing that wouldn’t change in this game. You’ll still battle same as always, just with a more concrete goal–forge the toughest Pokemon Gym possible. By beating and recruiting people to your Gym, you determine what kind of opponents come to challenge you.
The Post-Game and online interactivity will offer something new, as access to one (or more,) of the previous regions and their Gyms becomes an option, as well as the chance to challenge the Gyms of other players from around the world and collect their Gym badges.
Now of course, nobody is saying that Nintendo needs to stop doing what they’ve been doing. The core Pokemon series has been very successful and has been a cornerstone of Nintendo for years, and that doesn’t look to be changing any time soon.
What Is being said, and what Nintendo most likely realizes is that, alongside the core series, there is plenty of room to branch out and try new things without taking away from the core gameplay elements that make Pokemon such a fun adventure for people of all generations.