Is It Time To Cull The Pokemon Universe?
More Pokemon are coming, whether we're ready for them or not.
Sunday brought with it the grand, surprising reveal of the ninth generation of Pokemon titles, debuting our first look at the new Spanish-inspired region of Pokemon Scarlet and Pokemon Violet. It was big.
Some fans foresaw the reveal, but for many, it's very soon to debut a new generation - but it seems like it's been in the works for some time, offering the exact open-world experience that many long-term Pokemon fans have wanted for years. It's a big deal, and not one that we're particularly ready for.
With a new generation, of course, comes the franchise's greatest draw - the Pokemon themselves. And if our lovely three starters are anything to go off, this new region should be rife with some delightful creatures - but there's another problem at the heart of the ongoing series that threatens to overcomplicate the inherently simple gameplay. There are too many Pokemon, in our games and floating around in pop culture consciousness - and we need to find a solution.
There Are Hundreds Of Pokemon. That's Not A Good Thing
We all love Pokemon, that's certainly no secret, and as a dedicated fan of the franchise since Pokemon Emerald, it's hard to be disappointed to know we'll get some lovely new beasties to abduct and force into fighting rings for sport. But, there's a disconnect.
Pokemon aren't quite as beloved now as they once were - after all, do you know anyone whose favourite Pokemon is from Gen 5, or beyond? It's all about nostalgia, as much as we'd like to admit it isn't. But it doesn't matter - because legacy Pokemon are trickling out anyway.
The arrival of Sword and Shield's new gameplay mechanics, featuring fully modelled Pokemon wandering around with their own fresh animations in the opened-up wild area was a treat for players, and indicative that the Pokemon game of our dreams was around the corner. But, it came with a caveat - not every Pokemon would make it into the game, as they'd all have to be individually modelled and animated.
'Dexit', as it became colloquially known, tore the online Pokemon communities clean down the middle, and served as the beginning of a reality we weren't ready to accept - that there are some Pokemon that we'll never see in a mainline game again. The Pokedex now has limited room, and presuming that 70+ new Pokemon are set to join this expansive world, we're bound to be left with even more monsters left out in the cold. So what can be done?
Can Nintendo Fix Their Pokemon Inundation Problems?
Realistically, there's little that can be done about the fact that there are a lot of Pokemon, and that more are coming. If there's one constant in Pokemon, it's the Pokemon themselves, so as long as the franchise continues, we'll be getting more. So, the franchise needs to start getting brutal.
Tell us beforehand who's made the cut and who's getting the chop. Reveal the game's inter-regional Pokedex ahead of time, and make a decision on who's never coming back. It might be sad to see them go, as someone somewhere is bound to adore the Klefkis and Vanillices of the world, but it's a case of ripping off the plaster and letting players mourn their losses. This may be a franchise designed for children, but let's face it, we're all grown-ups here. We can take it.
This is a sad inevitability that has been forced along by the progression of the franchise, both in size and approach - and we're not sure if we can take the emotional rollercoaster that comes with crossing our fingers that Oddish shows up in the new game.
Pokemon Is In A Conservative Era, And We Hate It Too
It's an incredible shame that so many Pokemon are going to be left by the wayside come the release of Scarlet and Violet, but it's a new reality that Pokemon has to contend with. We can't have it all, and The Pokemon Company seem to be trying to avoid it with their reluctance to address it head-on. We all know the cull is coming - so why hold off?
It's a sad reality to contend with, but we'll have to embrace it at some point. But if we might make a selfish plea to The Pokemon Company - please let Oddish make it through the Pokemon sieve.