The PokéCommunity Forums Pokémon Gaming Pokémon Gaming Central
the linearity of Pokémon games

Pokémon Gaming Central For topics that aren't necessarily restricted to one game, Pokémon Gaming Central ranges from comparing and contrasting the differences in the gaming generations to discussing the gaming franchise as a whole.

View Poll Results: What is your opinion on the Pokémon formula?
It's perfect the way it is - never change 1 10.00%
I'm ready for something different 3 30.00%
Mixed feelings! 6 60.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

Thread Tools
Old January 19th, 2018 (11:16 AM). Edited January 19th, 2018 by Juno.
Juno's Avatar
Juno Juno is offline
i'm strong.
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Canadia
Age: 24
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,870
When you go into a Pokémon game, there's usually a few things you can expect - you're likely a child around the age of 10 living with your mom, you'll have a rival who will pop up at almost every milestone in your journey, there's a big, bad team you'll have to thwart, you'll be challenging gyms (or trials, in Alola's case) and collecting badges that will be proof of your prowess and eventually you'll be making your way to the Elite 4. Maybe catch some Legendaries along the way.

And so on. Pokémon games are quite formulaic and there are rarely many surprises or curveballs thrown your way. What do you think of the Pokémon formula? Do you keep returning to the series because you love the way it's laid out, or are you ready to see some big changes?

When Nintendo released Breath of the Wild, it was widely praised for being so different from its predecessors in such a refreshing way - do you see something like that coming for the Pokémon series, with Nintendo shaking up the formula in a big way, or do you like it just the way it is?

edit: so I just opened the "What's Next" Megathread and noticed a lot of similar points brought up there - really didn't mean for this to be so similar! If you feel this thread doesn't promote much different discussion, feel free to close. :)
video games
Reply With Quote
Old January 19th, 2018 (12:19 PM).
XNaut's Avatar
XNaut XNaut is offline
    Join Date: Dec 2017
    Location: USA
    Gender: Female
    Nature: Quiet
    Posts: 4,871
    I keep returning because I still love the way it's laid out and it's like this catch phrase I hear alot, "It will never get old." I'm also open for new changes but I don't like the fact that I would have to keep on buying new game systems when a new game gets released for the new game system only. I saw Breath of the Wild was mentioned here. I admit that I loved the huge exploring in the Hyrule Field and exploring there was so beautiful but, that's all I like about Breath of the Wild. The storyline for Breath of the Wild was not good as Ocarina of Time and Twilight Princess.
    Reply With Quote
    Old January 19th, 2018 (12:21 PM).
    Keiran's Avatar
    Keiran Keiran is offline
    [b]Rock Solid[/b]
      Join Date: Apr 2011
      Location: New Jersey
      Age: 27
      Nature: Careful
      Posts: 2,445
      (Personally I think the thread differs because it's about game structure, rather than individual features.)

      I don't have a problem with linearity. I'm okay with the current formula, however I think they just need to add...more content. I'd also be okay with them trying something new. My only issue with the newer releases is that they're linear...with no side content...and also have constant cutscenes. My favorite Pokemon games, B2/W2, had side content and additional areas to explore at almost every location - and on top of that, many areas changed with each season. And furthermore, those games had unlockable modes which allowed for a whole 'nother experience. There was also a ton to do post-game. USUM, while not objectively bad, felt like a small DLC pack that cost $40 and did little to solve the complaints many people had about SM. XY was nearly as lacking as Gen 7, but I think that its very low difficulty and lack of character development made it feel like there was less than there was.

      So, yeah, I'm okay with their formula, I just think that they need to take a break from releasing a game every year so they can actually develop one with a decent amount of content that doesn't rely on constant cutscenes of trivial conversations to fill the void.
      Mod of Trade Corner| Pair | Trainer Information

      When kings upon the main have clung to pride
      And held themselves as masters of the sea
      I've held them down beneath the crushing tide
      Till they have learned that no one masters me
      Reply With Quote
      Old January 19th, 2018 (12:32 PM). Edited January 19th, 2018 by strangerhypno.
      strangerhypno's Avatar
      strangerhypno strangerhypno is offline
        Join Date: Jul 2017
        Posts: 2,294
        Breath of the Wild is a good game but lacks a lot of good qualities form it's predecessors like memorable characters and fleshed out dungeons.

        The major problem I have with recent pokemon games is how incomplete it feels. SM was not polished at all and USUM was a cash grab. A third version type split into two versions.

        As for changes to the current formula, I want places to explore, not necessarily open world but the Alola islands were a let down. I also want less tutorials, a compelling story and a rich post game
        Reply With Quote
        Old January 19th, 2018 (12:39 PM).
        Nah's Avatar
        Nah Nah is online now
        Join Date: Nov 2013
        Age: 26
        Gender: Female
        Posts: 12,654
        To me it's not so much that they need to take the series in a whole new direction a la Zelda BotW (though this would be nice too someday), but rather that they should fix the problems with their current formula.

        But I don't see them doing it anytime soon--when you can put out literally incomplete crap like Sun/Moon and sell ~15 million units, why bother doing anything else?
        Nah ンン
        “No, I... I have to be strong. Everyone expects me to."
        Reply With Quote
        Old January 19th, 2018 (2:12 PM).
        BettyNewbie's Avatar
        BettyNewbie BettyNewbie is offline
          Join Date: Dec 2014
          Gender: Female
          Posts: 895
          From what I've noticed, there seems to be an inverse relationship between linearity and storytelling in this franchise.

          RBY and GSC had fairly barebones plots, but gameplay was actually pretty open by Pokémon standards.

          In RBY, Surge, Erika, Koga, and Sabrina could be fought in any order, and Koga was the only one who needed to be fought before Blaine (due to HM 03). The region also provided alternate paths for getting to both Fuchsia City and Cinnabar Island, so areas like Cycling Road and the Seafoam Islands were 100% optional.

          GSC were a little more linear, but Chuck, Jasmine, and Pryce could be battled in any order, and you were also given the option of either doing the Amphy medicine sidequest or the Mahogany Town Rocket plot first. Ho-Oh/Lugia also weren't a part of the main plot like later Box Legendaries, so you weren't forced to encounter them before the League and could entirely skip over Tin Tower/Whirl Islands. Heck, even in Crystal, Suicune still wasn't a mandatory pre-League encounter. Of course, there was also very little linearity in the Kanto postgame.

          Compare this to the Unova and Alola games, which had far richer, more detailed storytelling than RBY/GSC, but also aggressively railroaded you through the game. Every Gym/Trial had to be done in a specific order with zero room for sequence breaking, and there was no ignoring the main Legendaries since they were actually a part of the plot.

          Most fans like that the newer games have had stronger storytelling, but it seems to have come at the expense of exploration and adventure. Ideally, GF would find a way to reconcile the openness of Kanto/Johto with the storytelling of Unova/Alola and give us the best of both worlds.
          Reply With Quote
          Old January 19th, 2018 (9:33 PM).
          Rainbow's Avatar
          Rainbow Rainbow is offline
          Join Date: May 2010
          Age: 19
          Gender: Female
          Nature: Quirky
          Posts: 6,039
          It is perfectly possible to tell a detailed story while still allowing player freedom. Look at most open world AAA games. Skyrim's a great example. Game Freak hasn't learned that yet. The older games allowed more freedom but had a minimal story, and now with the stronger stories they have to hold your hand the entire time because that's the only way their story makes any sense.

          So yeah I'm ready for something new. SM shook up the formula in some ways, but not in terms of linearity.
          Reply With Quote
          Old January 20th, 2018 (12:33 AM).
          Ageha1304's Avatar
          Ageha1304 Ageha1304 is offline
            Join Date: Aug 2012
            Gender: Female
            Nature: Adamant
            Posts: 108
            I am kind of used to this linearity, but I would love if Gamefreak would do something new with Pokemon. Breath of the wild was amazing and if they could do something similar with pokemon, then I would be ecstatic.

            I would love to see a game where you can literally see pokemon roam around, where you can go around freely with no silly snorlaxes blocking your path. If you wander into a wrong zone, then some pokemon just chase you out. I really hope that the pokemon game they are preparing for switch moves away from the standard pokemon formula and does something new.
            Reply With Quote
            Old January 20th, 2018 (3:46 AM).
            PageEmperor's Avatar
            PageEmperor PageEmperor is online now
            OH NAW, NOT TEH BEEZ
              Join Date: Jul 2015
              Location: with an axe
              Gender: Male
              Posts: 10,146
              Eh, I honestly don’t care about it anymore. I used to, but ever since my interest for the series regained last year, I don’t really care.
              Reply With Quote
              Old January 23rd, 2018 (10:53 AM). Edited January 23rd, 2018 by Sabrewulf238.
              Sabrewulf238's Avatar
              Sabrewulf238 Sabrewulf238 is offline
                Join Date: May 2008
                Age: 27
                Gender: Male
                Nature: Jolly
                Posts: 2,310
                I'm ready for a change as long as that change isn't related to the battle system. I'm a bit burnt out these days with them adding some new flashy battle gimmick each gen. (I swear gen 8 is going to introduce Pokemon going through magical girl transformation sequences) I'd really prefer they focused on fleshing out the ones they have instead of abandoning them in the next generation. (*cough*megaevolution*cough*)

                I'd actually like to see them return to basics and just create regular old evolutions for older Pokemon.

                I know it sounds like I actually want things to stay the same, but that's more for in-battle mechanics and the Pokemon themselves. The actual structure of the game I have no problem with them shaking it up. (like making it open world and changing how you interact with and progress through the world)

                Short of a complete overhaul I don't think there's any battle gimmick they could add that would make people think "this is a really different Pokemon experience".
                Looking for X & Y friends, friend code is: 2964-8571-0102
                Send me a pm if you add me.
                Reply With Quote
                Old January 27th, 2018 (1:49 PM).
                Seliph's Avatar
                Seliph Seliph is offline
                Join Date: Feb 2013
                Gender: Male
                Posts: 2,641
                Originally Posted by Juno View Post
                When Nintendo released Breath of the Wild, it was widely praised for being so different from its predecessors in such a refreshing way - do you see something like that coming for the Pokémon series, with Nintendo shaking up the formula in a big way, or do you like it just the way it is?
                With Breath of the Wild it was less of a new experience and more of a return to the series roots. The first Zelda game was pretty much an open world game that allowed you to get into any dungeon in any order you wanted.

                Looking into the roots of the Pokemon series it's actually quite similar in that regard, albeit to a lesser extend. In that sense and given the apparently still ongoing open world craze I'm somewhat surprised we haven't seen an official Pokemon games/spinoff that tried to bring back the idea of an open world experience (not counting GO for obvious reasons).

                My guess is that Pokemon going linear for so long has to do with what happened with the transition from gen 2 to 3. Whereas the first two games focused on exploration, from gen 3 onward story gained more and more of importance, probably due to the popularity of RPGs and the devs wanting to access that target group. Though, in order to give a better story experience, you usually have to cut other parts and having a less linear world doesn't help storytelling.


                Rant aside, I think the basic formula is fine. I'm not playing the games for their story, anyway. In fact I come up with my own story and just blindly mash through the cutscenes in order to get to the next Route. I suppose, I am quite annoyed at times at having to walk a certain path before getting access to places I want to reach for my own "story" that I'm building. Then again I've been around since gen 1, so I started with the explaration era of the franchise.
                Reply With Quote

                Quick Reply

                Join the conversation!

                Create an account to post a reply in this thread, participate in other discussions, and more!

                Create a PokéCommunity Account
                Thread Tools

                Posting Rules
                You may not post new threads
                You may not post replies
                You may not post attachments
                You may not edit your posts

                BB code is On
                Smilies are On
                [IMG] code is On
                HTML code is Off

                Forum Jump

                All times are GMT -8. The time now is 3:26 AM.