Here's the problem with [Pokémon](tag:2538552). It's such a clear cut, brilliant idea; such a beautiful pristine premise that works so well, it has no imperative to change. Maybe that's an exaggeration, as we've actually seen much progress made by the Pokemon games over the years, whether it be increases in graphical fidelity, entirely new gameplay features or of course the obvious new Pokemon, these games have come a long way.
And so we come to the next iteration in the Pokemon Franchise. Pokemon Z is the game expected to carry the brand to the future, and although the name pertains to it being somewhat of a continuation from Pokemon X&Y, in what ways could Pokemon Z truly depart from the games that came before it, and make that revolutionary jump that fans have been waiting for? Here are a few of the craziest ideas for GameFreak's latest endeavor! Is it likely any of these will make it into the next game? Nope! But dreaming big is what Pokemon always taught us, right?
Fan contributions to Pokemon Z!
Pretty much since the very inception of Pokemon itself, fans of the games, anime and trading card game have strived to design their own creatures that could stand side by side with the official roster. Now I'd wager that a fair few of the new Pokemon we got to see in X&Y were designed by former fans, but what if GameFreak took a different approach, actually calling out to fans for their contributions?
Scan the internet for five minutes and you'll find fan-made designs for Pokemon that surpass a fair few of the new additions we've seen over the years. I'm just saying, there are plenty of fans out there who can do better than "Luvdisc". Imagine being the one lucky artist whose design was accepted into canon? My personal favorite is a Puffin-styled Pokemon, and upon seeing GameFreak had never taken advantage of this design, I was in!
I know how much hostility this suggestion is likely to garner. Pokemon is one of the few gaming franchises that has resisted the wave of dark and edgy sensibilities. Upon seeing how many properties try to make themselves dangerous for a juvenile market, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Pokemon was in fact the last bastion of actual fun in videogames.
I'm certainly not suggesting that we start seeing anything resembling Shadow the Hedgehog in future Pokemon games, but rather that a feeling of danger and immediacy be brought to the more naturalistic elements of the series. Remember those cool realistic interpretations of Pokemon we saw a few years back, and how grotesque they turned out to be? I'm not saying that Pokemon Z should adopt that entire style, but perhaps a subset of uncatchable, truly wild Pokemon could have that look. These kinds of Pokemon could pose a legitimate threat to a trainer and their own Pokemon, and would provide a greater sense of caution in roaming the land in search of new things to catch.
A crossover with Digimon
As this fan-film will attest, this option is a case of pure unbridled indulgence. The prospect of two properties that have seemingly been rivals crossing over would have the same weight as Marvel and DC appearing together, or Disney and Looney Tunes sharing the same world. While these examples have managed to pull this off against all odds, we're yet to see Pokemon and Digimon appear alongside each other. The difficulty here comes from balancing. Digimon can logically grow far bigger and stronger than Pokemon, and it would be tricky to align them in gameplay. Still, imagine these characters appearing within each other's aesthetics. What would happen when a Pikachu Digivolves? Something new entirely?
For a wealth of other predictions on Pokemon Z, you can find my other articles right here! What are your thoughts, hopes and fears for Pokemon Z? Let us know with a post here on MoviePilot, vote in our poll, or leave a comment below!