There isn’t a true Pokémon fan in the world that doesn’t enjoy a good pondering of the future of the game: where it’s going to go next time, the region that will be explored, the gyms and their leaders, the Pokémon and their evolutions, and indeed whether we’ll ever see a deviation from the Rival/Gym Leaders/Evil Protagonist bent on using Pokémon for their own ends/Elite Four/Champion/Hall of Fame/Post-Game activities format. Whew, if I were speaking that out loud I’d need to take a breath, but luckily I’m communicating to you through the medium of written word, so no pause is necessary here: I simply like to muse about the future of Pokémon. Having played all of the main-series games from Generation I to V, I feel like I’ve been there from the beginning (probably because I have), I always enjoy a good look to the future and getting a few neurons firing about what would make the next sequel an even more entertaining experience than the previous. These are just a few ideas that would be present in the Pokémon White Version 3 game that I have in my own imagination (bearing in mind it’s an odd place at the best of times).
More to Catch
This may go without saying, but the next Pokémon title has to contain more Pokémon in order to keep things fresh. I’m aware that there are over six hundred currently causing the national Pokédex to almost burst at the seams, but this collection of multifarious critters goes a long way to making Pokémon the game that it is today, so it stands to reason that we’re going to need more in order to properly move forward. While Pokémon are added from game to game (and generation to generation), Pokémon White Version 2 of course shared the same Pokémon as its predecessor because it’s still generation V. The next sequel is going to need to have a shake-up of its Pokédex if it’s going to catch the attention of any long-term fans. Though it’s sometimes quite nice to get nostalgic over a Pikachu or reminisce in relation to a Ditto or an Arcanine, new creatures equals new experiences and more boxes ticked in the (hopefully expanded) Pokédex.
I’m often reluctant to venture into the territory of question the game mechanics of Pokémon itself, mainly because the whole Pokémon gaming experience is backed by well over ten years of longevity and millions upon millions of Pokémon fans that enjoy the next game as much as the last. Plus, I cannot claim to be incredibly well-versed in the technicalities of type matchups and the ridiculous number of variables involved in the game. That said, there have been new Pokémon types added to the game since Generation I, such as Steel and Dark types (introduced in Generation II), but it’s been quite the while since we’ve seen any significant changes in this department.
If Pokémon White Version 3 is to mark a step forward, I think it’s about time we saw a few new types of Pokémon introduced. An example would be an antecedent that opposes an existing type, such as a Light types (being the opposite of a Dark-type), which are a topic of considerable discussion on several forums and fan sites. It isn’t too much of a leap to consider other types like Synthetic, Quantum, Plasma, Magic, Wind, Solar, Lunar, Space, all possessing their own characteristics and relative super-effectiveness/vulnerability to other types. There are of course some technical details that need to be ironed out, along with problems in fitting them into the current game mechanics, but that’s just one of the many things that the guys at Game Freak are paid to take care of.
Yet another feature that hails from the ‘duh’ category, but the next Pokémon game simply has to be in 3D. It was a controversial move for Black 2 and White 2 to be released for the DS with tens of thousands of people probably having already purchased the Nintendo 3DS for the very purpose of being able to play the game in 3D. One can only imagine the disappointment of these fans (one can also Google the issue and read the opinion of the disgruntled masses), so it seems extremely unlikely that Pokémon White Version 3 wouldn’t be in 3D. It not only makes sense from an expectations standpoint, but also from the point of view of the gameplay itself: 3D battles have the potential to be visually stunning, areas such as caves, mountains, and wild scenery would be greatly enhanced, and the gyms of Pokémon White Version 2 would look quite cool if they belonged to the visual third dimension. Come on, Game Freak, you know you have no choice this time around.
The contrasting Black City/White Forest are beautifully done, but we need more of the same!
Aside from their unique gameplay mechanics and incredible longevity, the Pokémon games are known for bringing out two games per release of differing colours which are largely similar in content but occasionally including some version-exclusive areas, events and Pokémon. Pokémon Black 2 has Black City whereas White 2 has White Forest, containing many wild Pokémon that aren’t available in Black 2, and vice versa. These version-exclusives make the playing of both titles essential for catching the entire collection of Pokémon, as well as lengthening the enriching the whole experience for the player. Though these unique points in each game are entertaining, they are few and far between, and Pokémon White Version 3 would do well to increase the number of differences between the two games
Aesthetic differences already apply to some areas, but there could be more areas like Black City/White Forest, and more significant differences in the gyms between the two games. The version-exclusive items in each game need to be higher in number and more entwined with the storyline in order to simultaneously keep both games closely connected and still allow them to possess enough differences to keep them as truly separate titles in their own right.