Sunday, 3 June 2012

A 3D Pokemon RPG - where is it?


Since my post on motion controls and how Nintendo suck balls by introducing them to gaming, thus creating a false demand for them causing, Microsoft and Sony to waste time and money on making their own motion controllers for no real reason.  I looked into Nintendo's next fail boat, the Wii U.  This new console will apparently be capable of producing graphics "almost as good as PS3 and Xbox 360".  I am not shitting you here, developers have said now that the Wii U will not be able to produce graphics to the same quality as the current gen of Playstation.  Nintendo will likely go with the early release strategy hoping to pick up sales before its competitors release their next consoles in a year or two's time. 
Is it me, or does it just look a little like the Xbox?

Yeah the Wii U will likely gain popularity among the casual gamer crowd again and will be flooded with third party shovelware titles once again, drowning all of the decent original titles with them.  Nintendo will probably release several Mario, Zelda and Metroid games for the twelve fans left out there for these franchises and just sit back and rake in the money.  Nintendo of course do have one other major franchise that has never really been given a chance on the console and that is Pokemon.

The original series was huge worldwide
There have of course been Pokemon titles on the consoles, but these are usually spin off titles like arena battle games, downloadable titles or some other side project like pokepark, but Nintendo have never released a full 3D version of the handheld classic on the home console.  The obvious answer is that Nintendo want to keep their number one handheld game on the handheld so sales stay strong, but they seem stubborn to ever update these games graphically and technically.

The original Pokemon titles were huge, one of the biggest if not the biggest handheld game ever released on the Gameboy.  It had a great gimmick that pulled in thousands of gamers of all ages and due to this massive popularity, became a worldwide phenomena.  Much like Hasbro in the eighties and nineties, Nintendo pushed out a cartoon to sell the product, created toys, board games, room decorations the lot.  The cartoon was massive in the 90's and early 2000's, but has since waned in popularity, but the games are still going strong.

This is just a small example of the toys available
The biggest hurdle to fans ever seeing a more modern version of their favourite JRPG is the japanese fanbase itself.  You see in japan if a game is popular and successful over there the fans rarely ask for anything else in their sequels, so the developers usually do the bare minimum in regards to improving the titles.  Look at franchises like Dynasty Warriors, tekken, disgaea, dragonball Z and many others.  Each of these games have very little progression as each successive title rolls out, unlike western franchises that push themselves to add new features constantly for a market that wants new experiences from their games.  The upside to Japans view is that new franchises are born more regularly over there and thats why we get the likes of Dragon's Dogma, Vanquish and Bayonetta.

This development style is what generally holds back the Pokemon titles on consoles like the 3DS.  Where we should be seeing cool 3d graphics on a handheld that does actual 3d effects we instead suffer the same old sprites from nearly ten years back.  Sure they clean them up a bit and add maybe a few more basic animations, but thats it, even the sound effects are outdated.  The gameplay has also remained largely unchanged with nothing new to spice things up, and the only real major additions since the more recent Black and White editions is changing seasons and 3d buildings, but still the same old pokesprites.

Black & White was the last DS title
I would say that now is the time to really blow us away by announcing a full 3d Pokemon RPG on the Wii U.  New battle graphics, maybe a totally new battle system, fully voiced dialogue or at least partial voice over and more customisation options.  If all Nintendo did was convert say Pokemon red & blue it would still sell a shitload, hell I would buy the Wii U just to play it.  I can't see it harming the handheld sales of the franchise since many gamers still enjoy their fix of pokemon on the go, but being able to sit down and see the kanto region in full 3d would be pretty awesome.

Maybe one day Nintendo will bother its arse to do this, but until then we are stuck with the same old 2d sprites wobbling around on a screen that produces 3d.

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