It's incredible to think about how much [Pokémon](tag:2538552) X & Y were at once huge expansions of the Pokemon brand, and huge solidifications of what we've been used to for almost 20 years now. Yes, a departure from sprite-based graphics and the introductions of mega evolutions did feel huge, but players who've been absent from the series since Red and Blue could theoretically pick up these games and feel no difference, and maybe that's a good thing.
Many felt like Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire took a slight step back, and with the possibility of Pokemon Z looming on the horizon, it's worth asking what could be added to this new edition, either as a neat feature or a massive overhaul. Put simply, what are fans looking for in Pokemon Z?
Reintroduce character customization!
We've come a long way since trying to cram in your full name for the Ash substitute, or tricking Professor Oak into calling his Nephew "Dickbutt" for the rest of his life. Graphics have taken a huge leap, especially on handheld consoles, and our avatars have grown more expressive. Why then did Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire back-peddle on character customization? A huge appeal for Pokemon, whether it was in the games, anime or trading cards, was the idea that you weren't just catching magic monsters, but cultivating YOUR collection. Allowing us to personalize our character's image further in Pokemon Z would be a sure fire way to please fans!
Mega evolutions for everyone!
I understand that Game Freak wanted to make Mega Evolutions seem extra special to new and old players alike, but did the mechanic have to be so sparsely strewn throughout the game? A comparatively tiny number of Pokemon actually applied to it, and in the worst case scenario, it would affect which Pokemon you would show interest for in the first place. Imagine if the mega evolution applied to every Pokemon in Pokemon Z! It could still feel special if the ability to level a Pokemon up to the level required was made SUPER hard to attain, but the rewards would still seem huge! I want a mega evolution for Miltank dammit!
This suggestion is slightly sketchy. I'm almost shocked that some form of Pokemon game wasn't rushed out to cater for the Amiibo craze. I suppose I should be glad that Nintendo often steers away from rush jobs in that respect. Sure there are technically Pokemon Amiibo tying in with Smash Bros, but what with the whole premise of collection and implementation, Pokemon seems to have Amiibo written all over it! The only reservation I have for Pokemon Z is, once again, the risk of the mechanic overriding the wonderment of gameplay. Amiibo's influence could split the Pokemon experience into two collecting endeavors, and pose the risk of in-game functionality being dependent on Amiibo support. The idea of some Pokemon being barred from players unless they buy an Amiibo equivalent is a big no no for fans!
This might be an obvious suggestion upon the release of a new Pokemon game, but it seemed like Pokemon X & Y dialed back on the amount of new Pokemon added to the in-game universe. While this let Game Freak conceive and develop unique and interesting new Pokemon like the delightful Hawlucha, it made new additions feel like an afterthought. Players were taught to perceive the new Pokemon as a neat sprinkling on top rather than an introduction to an entirely new world. Still, I can appreciate this sparing approach if it keeps us from having to play with hurried messes like Luvdisc.
With every new iteration of Pokemon, there always comes the demand from veteran players for a return to the old format of Red and Blue. Games like Fire Red and Leaf Green were proud efforts, but still felt like rereleases rather than true updates. While nostalgia plays a huge part here, I think what players are really calling for is a return to the simplicity, and closed off discovery that Red and Blue provided so long ago. Just telling potential new players the sheer number of Pokemon they can catch is enough to put them off. Imagine if you will, Pokemon Z with only 150 Pokemon, but not the "original" 150. It would be a sign of not letting old long lost fans get intimidated or scared away, while still providing completely new content for players to dig into!
To be honest, I really wouldn't mind Pokemon Z containing fewer Pokemon. I wouldn't mind an entire game where all you could catch was Raichu. Then again, I'm a crazy person, so don't listen to me.