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Greenlit The Rule of Three: A Deeper Look at the "Third Versions"

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Old May 30th, 2016 (3:23 PM).
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This article will be written after Does it Take Two? and will focus on what are referred to within the Pokémon community as "third versions." Matters that will be discussed include:
  • a brief history of third versions, including a debriefing on "Japanese Blue Version," Crystal Version being the only third version to feature a "minor legendary" on the cover due to Lugia and Ho-oh not being in a trio, Emerald Version being released after FRLG, and Platinum Version being released before HGSS,
  • positive aspects of third versions (added content, tweaked stories),
  • negative aspects of third versions (likely a factor as to the lesser content included in the associated "main pair" of games),
  • their relation to the "Rule of Three" ("a writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things" [Wikipedia]),
  • B2W2's similarities (and differences) with traditional third versions,
  • why remakes don't receive third versions,
  • my thoughts as to why XY didn't receive a third version,
  • and my thoughts on the future of third versions (whether gen 5 and gen 6 "not having" a third version game has any impact on if they will continue to be developed).
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Old May 31st, 2016 (2:16 AM).
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I really like these in-depth looks at the marketing and storytelling in the series. So I'm all for another one.
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Old May 31st, 2016 (6:59 AM).
Hikamaru Hikamaru is offline
 
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I'd definitely be up for this, especially if you're planning to share your thoughts on 6th Gen skipping the third version and how it'll impact the concept of third versions in the future.
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Old June 2nd, 2016 (12:16 AM).
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Heh, I love rules of threes. :)

That sounds like a lot of sections, so it sounds like another long article in the works.

As said elsewhere to someone else, I'd avoid going into too much depth on 6th gen not getting a third version/whatnot for Kalos given Jake plans on writing an article on Zygarde.
Quote:
B2W2's similarities (and differences) with traditional third versions,
It may be neat to also briefly talk about how the fandom expected a Pokemon Gray/Grey as well, and the reveal of a sequel was a surprise for many. Game Freak do have a habit of reusing patterns, arguably (right down in the basic structure of the games), which contributed to that. [Of course, the fanbase has often made wrong predictions en masse, e.g. everyone and their dog were convinced the 3rd Sinnoh game would be called Pokemon Opal.]
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Old June 2nd, 2016 (9:22 AM).
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Could you elaborate more on "why remakes don't have third versions?" Reason being I feel that with enough time (and the advancement of technology), a third remake for say 1st, 2nd, or 3rd would most likely still be made. I'm curious about your point of view on the subject.

Love the concept of all this though - awesome job conceptualizing!
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Old June 2nd, 2016 (9:49 PM).
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Originally Posted by El Héroe Oscuro View Post
Could you elaborate more on "why remakes don't have third versions?" Reason being I feel that with enough time (and the advancement of technology), a third remake for say 1st, 2nd, or 3rd would most likely still be made. I'm curious about your point of view on the subject.

Love the concept of all this though - awesome job conceptualizing!
I assume it was meant to be on why were the remakes, when released, done in batches of two, rather than three (e.g. HGSS rather than HGSS +... idk, Sexy Crystal). But Rivvon can clarify further. I suppose it's true we could get remakes of remakes down the track, but that's speculation on the distant future rather than analysing what games we do have, or know we will have.
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Old June 4th, 2016 (9:25 PM).
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Heh, I love rules of threes. :)

That sounds like a lot of sections, so it sounds like another long article in the works.
I have a feeling I'm nearly incapable of writing a shorter article...oops...

Quote:
As said elsewhere to someone else, I'd avoid going into too much depth on 6th gen not getting a third version/whatnot for Kalos given Jake plans on writing an article on Zygarde.
That's fine. I mainly just want to bring it up in regards to what I feel will happen in the future, if this signifies an end for third versions (spoilers: I don't think so--not yet, anyways).

Quote:
It may be neat to also briefly talk about how the fandom expected a Pokemon Gray/Grey as well, and the reveal of a sequel was a surprise for many. Game Freak do have a habit of reusing patterns, arguably (right down in the basic structure of the games), which contributed to that. [Of course, the fanbase has often made wrong predictions en masse, e.g. everyone and their dog were convinced the 3rd Sinnoh game would be called Pokemon Opal.]
As one of the few who expected sequels to BW this is always a fun topic for me. I may include something like that in the first section, along with how, despite how systematic Game Freak's approach to Pokémon games had been up until that point, there were still subtle yet noticeable differences (the order of third version vs. remake in gens 3 and 4, for instance).

Quote:
Originally Posted by El Héroe Oscuro View Post
Could you elaborate more on "why remakes don't have third versions?" Reason being I feel that with enough time (and the advancement of technology), a third remake for say 1st, 2nd, or 3rd would most likely still be made. I'm curious about your point of view on the subject.
That section of the article will basically come down to this: with the original batch of games of a generation, maybe they don't have time to add everything they want to because of time constraints, or they came up with a good idea but too late into development, and other such things. But then they can add them into a third version--essentially an extended deadline.

But with remakes, the three games are already there; all their source material is laid out before them. HGSS squeezed in the Suicune subplot of Crystal, for example. ORAS faced some challenges in keeping all the features of Emerald, but they did keep Rayquaza's plot relevance and even utilized Wallace's Emerald Champion team--all in a post-game aptly titled the "Delta Episode." So ultimately there's really no excuse to not include the third version in the remakes since it's already there for them to make use of.

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Love the concept of all this though - awesome job conceptualizing!
Thank you very much!
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Old July 2nd, 2016 (3:47 PM).
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Does anyone have any more suggestions or comments for this? The sequel article is done and I think this would be an appropriate article to follow it with. I'd like to hear what people think!
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Old July 3rd, 2016 (12:40 AM).
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    I think you should take a look at the 3rd and 6th generation as a whole and understand what they bring to the game, as it also seems to me that the generations themselves follow the Rule of Three in some way with major mechanical changes. 3rd being Natures/Abilities and 6th bringing Mega Evolution. I also find it kind of interesting that Hoenn seems to be the more innovative region, with it being featured now in two generations that bring forward major changes. Even if you can argue that 6th gen is a remake of 3rd, seriously it kind of seems interesting that Hoenn's remake run is also a generation in and of itself with yet another new mechanic?
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    Old July 3rd, 2016 (5:53 PM).
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    Quote:
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    I think you should take a look at the 3rd and 6th generation as a whole and understand what they bring to the game, as it also seems to me that the generations themselves follow the Rule of Three in some way with major mechanical changes. 3rd being Natures/Abilities and 6th bringing Mega Evolution. I also find it kind of interesting that Hoenn seems to be the more innovative region, with it being featured now in two generations that bring forward major changes. Even if you can argue that 6th gen is a remake of 3rd, seriously it kind of seems interesting that Hoenn's remake run is also a generation in and of itself with yet another new mechanic?
    I might be able to fit something like that into here. Although I do think gen 2 brought some big innovations to the table with two new Types and the division of the Special stat, and gen 4 brought about the physical and special split of attacks that many people take for granted (along with the series's first use of Wi-Fi). Although you could look at it that gen 3's and gen 6's upgrades were the biggest overall, and it is interesting how gen 3's remakes fall into gen 6. So maybe not as it's own section, but perhaps added into the Rule of Three section?
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    Old July 3rd, 2016 (10:38 PM).
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Rivvon View Post
    I might be able to fit something like that into here. Although I do think gen 2 brought some big innovations to the table with two new Types and the division of the Special stat, and gen 4 brought about the physical and special split of attacks that many people take for granted (along with the series's first use of Wi-Fi). Although you could look at it that gen 3's and gen 6's upgrades were the biggest overall, and it is interesting how gen 3's remakes fall into gen 6. So maybe not as it's own section, but perhaps added into the Rule of Three section?
    I am not so convinced that this satisfies the 'rule of three', as I personally view other changes to be pretty darn significant, and at best gen 3 and 6 being the 'biggest' is somewhat subjective. Sure, abilities have been huge, but is it, along with other gen 3 mechanics, any bigger than generation two, which gave us breeding mechanics, a whole separate Special Defence stat, two new typings and held items, plus a whole bunch of fixes to gen one issues? Gen 4 meanwhile did wonders for so many Pokemon with the physical and special attack changes - finally that grass type with high physical attack stats could do something, for instance. Meanwhile, I honestly doubt that Game Freak intended for any rule of three to occur with battling game mechanics specifically, especially when you factor in e.g. reasons for changes or features implemented in the first place (gen 2: new typings to help nerf Psychics; delays preventing stuff like DexNav appearing in earlier games, etc)

    So personally I don't feel it's a strong argument and would somewhat muddle the article as well (seems like it goes too much on a potential tangent to what you'll already write about). Just my opinion there, mind, but it's not quite something I feel comfortable with including for those reasons.
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    Old July 4th, 2016 (12:11 AM).
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      Quote:
      Originally Posted by bobandbill View Post
      I am not so convinced that this satisfies the 'rule of three', as I personally view other changes to be pretty darn significant, and at best gen 3 and 6 being the 'biggest' is somewhat subjective. Sure, abilities have been huge, but is it, along with other gen 3 mechanics, any bigger than generation two, which gave us breeding mechanics, a whole separate Special Defence stat, two new typings and held items, plus a whole bunch of fixes to gen one issues? Gen 4 meanwhile did wonders for so many Pokemon with the physical and special attack changes - finally that grass type with high physical attack stats could do something, for instance. Meanwhile, I honestly doubt that Game Freak intended for any rule of three to occur with battling game mechanics specifically, especially when you factor in e.g. reasons for changes or features implemented in the first place (gen 2: new typings to help nerf Psychics; delays preventing stuff like DexNav appearing in earlier games, etc)

      So personally I don't feel it's a strong argument and would somewhat muddle the article as well (seems like it goes too much on a potential tangent to what you'll already write about). Just my opinion there, mind, but it's not quite something I feel comfortable with including for those reasons.
      Arguably the biggest additions were in fact 3rd and 6th gens as I mentioned because they were more than just tweaks, they were new battle features entirely

      There's nothing subjective about that. You're arguing that changes to already existing rules constitutes an entirely new feature.

      I think your entire concern is unfounded.
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      Old July 4th, 2016 (1:40 AM).
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      I don't think that remakes in later generations have anything to do with the "rule of three" so I'm not even sure why this is being discussed. It would be interesting to go more in-depth with gens 3 and 6 for sure - or any other generation for that matter - and that's something we can definitely do. I don't think we should do that during this article though, since it's straying quite a way from the topic at hand.
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      Old July 4th, 2016 (2:16 AM).
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      Arguably the biggest additions were in fact 3rd and 6th gens as I mentioned because they were more than just tweaks, they were new battle features entirely

      There's nothing subjective about that. You're arguing that changes to already existing rules constitutes an entirely new feature.

      I think your entire concern is unfounded.
      I don't quite see Abilities as an entirely new feature - or moreso terribly different from other 'tweaks' like the hold item system (which adds a heck of a lot to the game. Some Pokemon in competitive nigh rely on having items to be viable). Sure, items did exist, but the ability for a Pokemon to use an item by itself changed the battling system significantly and was entirely new, and is even something Abilities are based upon. Abilities are an extension for the Pokemon, and some pseudo-existed within the typing system (Levitate granting Ground immunity to more than just Flying type Pokemon, for example).

      And again, I feel it is a subjective thing with which is 'bigger' or whatnot. Someone else may feel that 5th gen's addition of two battle modes (Triple and Rotation) is more significant than Abilities. Meanwhile, I disagree that something being entirely new makes it more important or impactful than something such as new typings (e.g. just because types already existed doesn't take away from the huge change Steel/Dark types brought us imo), which really have a significant impact on the battling scene. In other words, I still feel it's a valid concern of mine. Not being brand new doesn't negate the impact of a change.

      It's also ignoring a lot of other brand new features outside of battling based ones. Gen 2 brought us the day/night system for instance, and breeding - these are huge imo. Gen 3 gave us contests, another thing outside of battles. Gen 4 had gender differences in appearance, etc etc.

      Meanwhile, I still don't feel convinced these would even be intended to be done as so if you believe gen 3 and gen 6 have the biggest change. There is no reason for them to wait so many games until making a 'more' major change like that on purpose. Game Freak even had planned, going by an interview, for GS to end the series (and then they decided to keep on going with the money making scheme I suppose with Crystal and then more). Further, it's really known as a Rule of Three, not a Rule of Threes. It's not a case of 'every third thing is the major one', just the last of three being that by and large. That page does mention a Rule of Thirds, but it's an art thing more than anything else and again doesn't really deal much with sets of three or repeating. So I don't see gen six as fitting in too easily either.
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      Old July 4th, 2016 (10:07 AM).
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      I'll start up the article draft and we can see from there what can be added or removed. I look forward to the input that stage of the process will garner! There's definitely a lot of interesting aspects that go into the Rule of Three. Although I do think Melody is onto something that may work well for a separate article.
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