Virizion’s Vision: Alternate Genre

Sammy here with another “Alternate” article. This time however, things are a little different. Rather than discussing an in game feature I wanted to think outside the box. I would like to talk about the game as a whole, more specifically the style of play. The interactive features of a game are what differentiates it from a movie. Without this predominant component games would cease to exist. Pokémon has relied on its Role Playing Game (RPG) Turn Based mechanic for its main series since the very beginning. This play style started simple, but over the years it has been given more depth so it would appeal to a broader audience. Gamefreak have worked very hard to strike a balance between the casual, hardcore, young, and older players. It has created a system which is easy to learn but hard to master. To us Pokémon veterans it may not seem too difficult, however if you’re teaching someone who is new to the entire series, and you tell them about every aspect of the gameplay then their minds would likely melt. Over the years features have been added, and the gameplay has been tweaked. Some people complain about the system staying the same, that it’s time for something new and fresh. But let’s be honest Pokémon wouldn’t be the same magical experience we all know and love if they took this setup away. This is where spinoffs come into the picture…[spoiler]

Ever since Pokémon became a phenomenon it has spawned spinoffs here, there, and everywhere. In the early days you had classics such as Pokémon Stadium and Pokémon Snap on the home consoles; to Pokémon Pinball and Pokémon Trading Card Game (one of my all time favourites which NEEDS a sequel) on the Gameboy. These days unfortunately the home consoles have been largely ignored. The GameCube era gave fans real hope of a fully fledged 3D adventure with the releases of colosseum and XD; however they never provided the freedom people wanted. Nevertheless they were great games, and it looked much more promising for the future. But then came the Wii, needless to say it didn’t deliver. Battle Revolution was a watered down Stadium whilst PokéPark was a light hearted adventure aimed at the younger audience, and focused more on mini games. To rub salt into the wound Nintendo stated that the main series would always be on a handheld, so it is unlikely we’ll ever get a similar game on a home console. But don’t cry just yet since new Pokémon spinoffs are still coming out thick and fast, so there is always hope. In fact Nintendo’s next generation console the “Wii U” offers a lot of promise due to its inventive new controller the “Wii U Pad”. Theoretically this makes the home console like a giant DS. What this means is that there is not only opportunity for new types of experiences, but also there is a great chance to put successful handheld franchises onto the console. So once again there is hope.

So whilst it is mostly bleak on the home console front, it is the complete opposite for the handheld as Pokémon games are booming. We’ve seen recent spinoffs on the DS turn into franchises (Pokémon Ranger & Mysterious Dungeon), and there have been numerous other experiments too including Pokémon Conquest. The aforementioned game is an important step in the series because it’s the first time (other than the cameos in the Smash Bros series) that Pokémon has been mixed with another game. The game is essentially Nobunaga’s Ambition with Pokémon elements mixed in. It takes place in a fictional region called Ransei which is set during the war torn states of feudal Japan. You are tasked with unifying all 17 kingdoms in order to bring peace to the land. It is a turn based game which feels reminiscent of Advances Wars and Fire Emblem. What makes the game stand out is the fact that the warriors from the Nobunaga series not only act like Pokémon trainers, but are actually involved in the battles too. Now I don’t mean they are stabbing the likes of Jigglypuff to death or anything sinister like that. Rather they are passively involved by the way of powering up their Pokémon during battle. They can also level up and evolve too just like their counterparts. It is the link between a warrior and his Pokémon that is key to being successful during the game. The same can be said for the partnership between Gamefreak and Tecmo Koei, as this is the key to this game being successful. Now the reason I talked about this spinoff was because I wanted to highlight the partnership between the two companies, and their two games. Conquest is a big step as it shows that Gamefreak are prepared to cooperate with other develops to bring something new to Pokémon. This excites me as a fan since we could potentially see a mash up with any game (though many are unlikely), and we could see Pokémon dip into some new genres. So finally here is the main focus, if Pokémon was to try a new genre what would it be, and how would it work?


Now before you boo and hiss at the very thought of an FPS, or the very mention of Call of Duty (COD) let me explain myself. I’m not for one second suggesting we give Pikachu a gun, or turn Garbodor into a bigger freak of nature than it already is. I’m merely speculating on how we could control a Pokémon from the first person perspective, and to use their powers to battle. The reason I parodied the titles of COD and Bioshock is because they’re two iconic series which offer two VERY different modern FPS experiences. One is mainly a competitive shooter which relies on quick reflexes, whilst the other focuses on single player storytelling, combining shooting with supernatural powers. Bioshock is probably the more feasible option (think Pokémon setting with Bioshock gameplay elements). They could implement the move sets in a similar way to how Bioshock handles its powers. This means you could shoot out a Thunderbolt or a Flamethrower in the same manner as shooting out plasmids, but minus the hands (check YouTube if you want to see how Bioshock is played). Now I don’t know how the others moves could work, and I know it may sound a bit too farfetched; however I haven’t been thinking about it for hours on end, this is just an idea which happened to pop into my head. It also made sense to mention the genre due to the mass market it has in the industry. I mean what if you did mix the most popular genre with (in my bias opinion) the best series on the planet? It could it be out of this world…


I’m sure some of you saw this one coming, but with the likes of Mario and Sonic having their own kart racers it kind of makes sense for Pokémon to have one. It may sound like a shameful cash in idea, however with the right amount of effort it could be ace. Imagine having Pokémon themed tracks with all the nostalgic music you know and love. You could race through famous cities, caves, and routes etc where you have different distractions happening in the background. For items you could have a Pokéball which catches the racer in front, and makes them have to rapidly tap A to escape. You could have X Speed to make you faster temporarily. You could also have moves such as Earthquake which could bring all racers in front of you to a momentary halt; or Teleport to get you back in the race if you’re far behind. Though there would be a challenge to decide what the roster of playable characters should be, each one could have its own signature attack. You could even have flying races with the likes of Charizard racing Salamence for example. Now I know there was a game called Pokémon Dash for the DS which was a racer (does anyone remember?). However it was a top down game that relied on the player using their stylus to make the Pokémon run. It was decent fun, but would be better as a mini game for the main series. In fact it was probably part of the inspiration for the Pokéathlon.

[/spoiler]I could go on forever about the potential crossovers or genre changes that could happen, but then this would be an even longer article than it already is. Besides I want you to do all the hard work, and discuss what you would like to see happen. So what genre should Pokémon attempt to try? What crossovers could work? What about the age old question – Pokémon Smash Bros or Pokémon Fighter 4? Starring all your favourite fighting Pokémon. I leave it up to you. Let the battles commence!


  1. Sorry for the lateness of my article, I’ve been busy preparing for college, and this was also my first time self publishing as Dae did it for me last time. If you have any ideas for future topics leave a comment below 🙂

  2. “I know it may sound a bit too farfetched”
    Did you maybe mean farfetch’d? 😉

    And I don’t think we’ll ever get a Pokémon game with a deep first-person (Pokémon based or not) storyline. The Pokémon franchise relies on its core, the main games on Nintendo’s handhelds. Releasing big budget games on their home console distracts from the series handheld roots, giving up their exclusivity on the handhelds. And releasing other big games on the handhelds lets the main games stand out a bit less.
    Giving that they employ a marketing tactic by keeping the core always strong, and ensuring that those keep selling, I doubt we’ll ever see a very good spin-off in any genre whatsoever.

    1. I like the logo btw.
      One of my biggest weaknesses was my lack of skill for graphics design 😛

      1. Damn it! I can’t believe I missed such an obvious pun 🙁

        But I agree it’s unlikely we’ll ever get anything major for a home console, whether it be a main game or a spin off. Also due to the awesomeness of the main games, no spin off will ever be better, however I do think we could see some good ones. For me the Trading Card game was almost as good partly due to the fact it had a similar plot progression (obtain 8 medals then beat the Elite 4).

        Thanks 😀 my gf made it though. She’s pretty good at Photoshop, however I like to think I’m not too shabby either. 😛

  3. What about a real time fight system, but with the main Pokemon travelling theme…thing

    Take the battle system from Pokepark, make it so you have four attacks total…maybe have a way to use items like they do in Kingdom Hearts (Potions, ect)..but throw it in to a main Pokemon like game….it could work 😛

    1. I do think Poképark has a lot of missed potential. The combat system definitely needs to be used for another game, and made more complex. I think a lot of games which are turn based would work well with a real time combat system too The problem is all the Pokémon spin offs that have used a real time system have been far too simple. I LOVE Kingdom Hearts, so a mix would be a dream for me XD

      1. Make it too complex, and it misses its targets audience, which is 3-7 year olds. You can’t deny Pokémon always aims for that market.

        1. True, it’s a shame they haven’t realized how many teenagers and adults like it. Obviously they can’t change Pokémon and make games where you kill them and stuff. However there are still many ways they could incorporate new features/elements which would appeal to the older audience, or they could just have a more mature spin off.

          1. They DO know that a lot of adults (in their twenties at least) and teenagers like it.
            They have two choices however:
            The first is catering towards the older group, essentially abandonning the younger segment because young kids can’t do thing the old kids do (in this case complex/difficult systems).
            Or they can always keep catering towards the younger audience. As there are always new people born each year, that means they always have a new staple of kids they can market towards; while hoping some of the kids that grow older still have some intereset in the games. This is essentialy to only tactic in which they can keep the fanbase growing.

        2. I guess so 🙁 I just wish they would create a spin off that is more adult orientated. The main series should stay the way it is, because it has the perfect balance between simplicity and complexity. But surely a single adult spin off wouldn’t be too risky. If they darkened the tone of the cover and took off Pikachu then kids might be none the wiser that it’s related to the series. Ok maybe it’s wishful thinking 😛 I’ll shut up now.

  4. I have a feeling any ideas like that would include Pikachu as the prominent pokemon… gah Im sick of it. Wish it was just a casual Electric pokemon that evolves and isnt cried about.

    1. It is a bit annoying I must admit. If they were to create a mature title aimed at the older audience it would be a bit weird having Pikachu as the cover star.

    1. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never played Golden Sun. 🙁 However I’ve heard plenty of good things about it, so it can’t be a bad suggestion 😛 I’ll definitely give the game a go someday.

      1. WAAAAAAT!
        Dude its a GBA game, Im sure you can find a “way” lol.

        But yes, that game defined me as a person :E

        As for similarities with pokemon games, there is turn-based battles, and you get to collect elemental creatures called djinn that can be used in battles individually or collectively in the form summons.

  5. the racing game idea didn’t sound all that great until you went in on different tracks and powerups… then my mind was made up. WE NEED A GOOD KART GAME FOR POKEMON!

    also, if they somehow did a fps, it wouldn’t have to be very different from the regular ds games except that you could aim and walk wherever (unlike some alleys next to pokecenters in certain museum-centric cities i could mention). fallout games are rpg’s too. it can be done. they’d just need the right people working on it.

    1. Yeah I felt the same until I put some serious thought into it. A lot of kart racers are too generic these days, nothing stands out about them. Mario Kart has always stood out because of the world it inhabits. I feel that Pokémon has a world that is just as significant, and therefore could have a big presence just like in MK.

      It could be done for sure, as you said you have games such as Fallout, Skyrim, and Borderlands etc. All of which are first person rpgs. It’s been proven to work, but it would prove a challenge to make due to the scale of open world games, and the Pokémon universe.

      1. The problem with huge RPG’s like Fallout and Skyrim is that even Bethesda can’t make them quite perfect.
        You get a massive world, with lots of freedom but you have to trade that in for some meager storyline, lots of the same (and bad) voiceactors, somme barren spots in the world and you can’t quite put a big focus on diverse combat. You can only get that when you have enormous teams (300+), lots of time and massive amounts of cash, which isn’t realistic.
        And given that Nintendo works usually with small teams that provide cheaper games, I wouldn’t hope on that. The latest big game they worked on was Skyward Sword and that turned out to be a bit of commercial flop, so I don’t think they are going to do it again soon.

        1. Yeah, not to mention the crazy amount of bugs and glitches in their games (though that could be down to lack of QA testing). I do feel that most of Fallout’s or Skyrim’s worlds are pretty empty too. I think Pokémon would require a lot more detail and more populated areas. I still think it’s possible (especially with next gen round the corner), but as you say Nintendo don’t do that kind of thing.

  6. A pokemon kart will be on par with MK i guess. It has a significant advantage to MK : it has so much variations like the number of pokemon eligible, maybe one/two pokemon each type, and the moves. The sequels of it can offer bigger roster and different pokemon. And even there can be two versions of it with different unlockables. It just needs to wipe out ‘kart’ or ‘racing’ on the title, cause people will think it’s just a cheap clone of MK like that dreamworks karting or ben 10. Maybe like ‘Pokemon Turbo’ or ‘Pokemon Dash Master’ as a spiritual sequel of Dash. That’s what I think

    1. I can definitely see those ideas working well. Out of all the possible genre swaps this certainly seems the most feasible. To make it even better they could add in a battle mode much like MK’s, but you use your chosen Pokémon’s moves or something to beat your opponents.

      As for F-Zero, I reckon they’ll bring out a 3DS one, I don’t know why I just have a weird feeling about it.

      1. Yeah battle mode is a must, as one of the central plot of Pokemon is battling anyway 😀 The only thing that’s bugging me is that whether it’ll be handheld exclusively or could be on the console also.. Cause well.. I’m not too crazy about console Pokemon spin-off.. It just doesn’t feel right (not because I don’t have any Nintendo console or anything). It’s like it’ll overshadow the main games (cause I’m sure this “PokeDash Master” could be a hit.)

        P.S : I’m actually thinking this seriously like it’s gonna happen 😛 Well I’ll be crazy if this is actually gonna happen 😀

        1. Haha, don’t get your hopes up, 🙂 it would be great if it did happen though. I personally think it could work very well on both the 3DS, and the Wii U. They could easily have some kind of connectivity. I don’t think it would over shadow the main series though because they are two completely different genres. The main series is also completely unique; whilst the racer would be similar to Mario Kart, and other clones.

    1. Would be a laugh XD I think they could get away with such a game if it was a paintball gun. 😛 Nothing would be more satisfying than shooting Pikachu in the face.

    1. That could work fantastically well. :O They both have the cutesy factor. All they would have to do is have the animal crossing gameplay and graphics; mixed with Pokémon inhabitants, buildings ,and other Pokémon features. The question is, what would the plot be? You could keep it simple and just build up a town, but I think they could do more than that.

  7. I don’t care about more crossovers or Pokemon FPS. I just want a spinoff game which is in quality of good old Stadium series or Orre series (and nope, PBR is far away from that quality).

    The spinoffs we’re getting today are shit. And seems like it’s not gonna improve any soon.

    1. I agree that the spin offs this generation haven’t quite lived up to those in the past. However Pokémon Conquest was a surprise hit despite being a completely ludicrous idea to begin with. That game gives me full confidence that’ll we’ll see some more quality spin offs in the future, but I understand the game might not be to everyone’s tastes.

  8. I think that Pokemon is the only turn-based game that I like. I think, with other games, it’s the fact that because I’m not as experienced in that particular game (as I am in Pokemon), I feel like I’m gonna be crap and die…

    I would enjoy a Pokemon Crossing or Poke Kart game. But Pokemon needs to take a lesson from Mario Kart and have a better roster (like a Pokemon from each generation for each type? I know it’s a bit much but oh well)

    1. Pokémon is a great game to ease people into turn based combat. With the series being aimed at a young audience, they’ve managed to make the core combat quite simple; however they have also been able to implement enough depth to attract an older audience too. I definitely think you should give other turn based RPGs a go though, I’m sure your experience with Pokémon will help. I tend to like playing turn based strategy games such as Advance Wars. They’re a lot more complex, but are very fun.

  9. Why does this thread have over 30 comments in such a very short time? I tried to read comments but my English is very bad, I didn’t understand anything unfortunately. It’s great to see PJ is active.

    1. Well, Sammydodger and I account for 20 of those 30 comments and the (even ex-)staff has always been very active in the comments.

      1. So the case is not what I thought. 🙁

        Dae, I don’t know if it’s an appropriate place to say this but I just have to say that…
        I think…
        …actually it’s not like that. I was going to say, You should know that..
        The case is…
        Oh, whatever, I can’t do it 🙁

        1. You can tell me. Don’t make me curious. And I’m pretty much open for critique, in fact, it would be better if you told me what’s wrong.

          And if you are too scared to tell it here, I can send you an email with my emailadress if you like that better. You can then respond to it and I’ll try to clear it out. That is, if you want me to send an email. That I can see your adress doesn’t mean I just have the permission to use it. 😉

          1. OK. I will try yo say it. What I’m going to say is that I think you will be very happy and succesful at the rest of your life and your life journey will bring nothing but good things. I know this may seem odd but it was hard to say it because I have doubts that you’re reading this might interfer with the future. Every little thing has an effect on universe and I hope my thoughts will not harm the possibilities. Namaste.

          2. I don’t believe in faith or destiny. Each person shapes his own life, for they make the most important decision themselves. You can argue that others may decide for you, but you still hold the decision to follow them or not.
            And I don’t think everything in my life will go well or as planned. But it’s up to me to make the best out of the worst situations, and trying to keep the spark in my life.

          3. You may call it destiny or whatever you like but there are zillion of things that you cannot control or have effect on. But that was not what I was talking about at first. I was talking about the butterfly effect. It sounds stupid when you think that me saying that I think you will have a good life may effect your life in a serious way. It sounds ridiculous but hey, the universe itself is ridiculous; how it works, or better, how it cannot work.

  10. a good one would be a mmo rpg and you take it from the trainers view. kinda like in WoW or SWTOR where you could attack anybody from a different faction or have a battle against someone of your own faction.

    1. I’ve always liked the idea of a Pokémon MMO. It’s one of those games which would suit it really well. However it would be a huge task creating one, and Nintendo don’t make those kind of things unfortunately 🙁

  11. You said that Pokémon Conquest was the first time we’ve seen Pokémon elements really fused with another game. However, Mystery Dungeon did just that a few years ago. The Mystery Dungeon has been a series for a looooong time. So Conquest is really the second attempt at combining two such games.

    Regardless, I agree with whoever said Pokémon Crossing. That’d be amazing. And I know every person in the world wants there to be a console game that has more of a real-time system than turns. But for now, I’m happy with the games just getting better and better.

    1. Ah yes good point. I totally forgot that Mysterious Dungeon was already an established series in Japan. My apologies for that mistake.

      It would certainly get me more interested in Animal Crossing. I tend to enjoy most Pokémon themed games, so I trust them.

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