“Pokémon Sun And Moon” gameplay mechanics haven’t been featured much in light of monster reveals, so let’s talk about a few changes we’d love to see in 2016’s games. From difficulty to HMs, here’s what we hope gets refreshed.
1) Greater Trainer Customization: Especially for “Pokémon Sun And Moon,” there’s lots of emphasis on the trainer as the player’s avatar. For the first time in the series, trainers are visible throughout battle sequences. That being said, customization has to be overhauled in the upcoming games.
So far we’ve seen a few hints of changes, like that all avatars aren’t required to wear a hat, but there hasn’t been much in the way of a true showcase. When the final build arrives, we hope for total freedom in how we look and what we wear. If someone wants to make a fat male character that wears a skirt, they should have the option to do so. Let the trainer express the player as much as possible.
2) PC Update: The PC is one of many “Pokémon” gameplay mechanics that are just tradition at this point. That being said, the system still needs to be overhauled. If I want to swap out party members, I shouldn’t always have to travel to a PC to do it. There are balance concerns with removing the PC entirely, obviously, but a few changes can be made.
For example, if we just caught a new Pokémon and want to add it to our party, we should be given the option to immediately transfer and use it in a weakened or half-healed state. It also wouldn’t hurt to possibly offer “mobile PC access” in specific map locations where balance isn’t a problem. Preserving the challenge that the PC provides is a must, but it can be handled differently.
3) Walking Pokémon: Walking Pokémon aren’t necessarily a gameplay mechanic, but they could be morphed into one for “Sun And Moon.” The feature hasn’t been available since “HeartGold And SoulSilver," so it’s time for a return. The 3DS is basically a legacy piece of hardware at this point, so developers should know enough about it to get one more character model on screen.
If the feature comes back, it could be leveraged in new ways. Recent rumors suggest that walking Pokémon might soon offer players candy rewards in “Pokémon Go,” so why not feature a similar system here? Let players get items, increase their party morale and become the very best simply by shirking Pokéballs. Any incentive is a good one.
4) Difficulty Levels: If recent demos are any indication “Pokémon Sun And Moon” seems to be traveling further and further down the path of being labeled “baby’s first RPG.” That’s a real shame considering how many adults have a renewed interest in the brand since “Pokémon Go” arrived. Adult gamers often need something with some difficulty, so “Sun And Moon” should scale to support those different styles.
For example, when starting a new game, there should be designated settings for “novice,” “great,” “ultra” and “master.” The latter two difficulties should be extremely hard. Make trainer AI smarter and enemy Pokémon stronger. In a way, it’s a method of making sure “Sun And Moon” appeal to the most people possible.
5) HMs: This argument is a really tired one for “Pokémon” fans, but that doesn’t make it any less true. HMs were introduced as a way to restrict and unlock certain areas of the map as players progress, but their implementation remains as clunky as ever 20 years later.
Trainers have gotten used to designating one party member for HMs, but the problem with that is that it leaves one less monster that could be finely tuned for legitimate combat. In 2016, there should be new ways to make HMs work. The easiest solution would be to either make it so HMs don’t take up a move slot or repurpose them as an ability that trainers have rather than Pokémon. It’d just make exploration more seamless and less frustrating.
“Pokémon Sun And Moon” come to 3DS on Nov. 18.
What do you think of these gameplay tweaks? Would they make “Sun And Moon” better? Tell us in the comments section!