As the situation for Nintendo starts to get dreary, and E3 approaches, the same questions just keep coming up: "What is Nintendo going to do?" , "How is Nintendo going to fix this?" , "Why does Nintendo continue to ignore consumers?".
In the next-gen console race, Nintendo jumped the gun. I agree with what they did, they once again, revolutionized videogame interactions with their Wii U console. Anyone who has played "New Super Mario Bros. U" would agree that asynchronous gameplay is amazingly fun. Where they went wrong was the WHEN part of the release. If they had waited for a Holiday 2013 release, they could've improved the specs of the console, increased power efficiency, and generated much needed hype.
Since we can't change the past let’s try to fix Nintendo now. How you might ask? I can fix Nintendo with just a single game. This game is requested, sought after, and ultimately denied year after year by Nintendo and Pokémon creators alike. (Since they are so interconnected, I’ll refer to these two entities as Nintendo during the article.) The game I am talking about of course is Pokémon: MMORPG.
Let’s look at some sales statistics, brought to you, by: http://www.vgchartz.com/article/250656…
For the sake of the argument, we will only concern ourselves with the North American and Japan regions, as they say, underestimate. With over 150 million copies of Pokémon games sold since the franchises launch in 1995, there is clearly a market for the MMORPG. We already know that the game is viable, just ask Blizzard. With the release of World of WarCraft: Mists of Pandaria, we saw two main themes start to develop within the community which has defined the expansion, "Pandas and Pokémon". Blizzards blatant rip of Pokémon has capitalized on Nintendo's stubbornness. Let’s do Nintendo's work for them, and just tell them what we want in this game.
What we, the consumers, want in this MMORPG
I’m sure everyone remembers there first time playing a Pokémon game, most of use on the Gameboy platform. Stepping into a dynamic world that changed based on what you did, what you accomplished. How can we recapture these moments?
Required features of Pokémon MMO:
- 3D Environment
- Dynamic Everything
- Capitalizes on Wii U tablet controller using it as Map, Menu, and Battle HUD.
- A minimum of the first three regions introduced. (Kanto, Johto, Hoenn)
- Ability to start in each region, using chosen regions starting Pokémon.
- Ability to travel between regions
- Unifying storyline
- End-Game Content
- Parties and Friend Lists
Let’s dive into each “feature”:
While everyone loved the 2D environment that Pokémon captured beautifully, we want this game to regain our attention, and recapture our inner child. How better than to imagine and create a 3D environment of the places where Pokémon got off its feet. I would love to walk up the steps of the Kanto Region Pokémon League building after overcoming Victory Road, knowing that I am one step closer to conquering the Kanto Region and becoming a Champion.
With the amount of competition in the MMO market right now, how can this game make a dent? We can change the experience of Pokémon using Dynamic Events, Battles, and Scenarios. Have you ever wondered where Team Rocket disappears to when they leave? Having level appropriate events happen dynamically, anywhere, would increase the level of enjoyment. Imagine logging into the game, only to find that Team Rocket has invaded Pewter City, trying to obtain a Fossil from the local museum. We can also improve the Wild Pokémon battle system by having more than one wild Pokémon to defeat, or joining in mid-battle. The more dynamic, the more unique it is, and will continue to be.
Capitalize on the Wii U Tablet
When the Nintendo DS came out it was a phenomenal hit that made mobile gaming 2 times better. Games capitalized on the ability to project the game onto 2 screens instead of one. With the release of the Wii U, they have essentially done the same thing, only bigger and more flexible. The Wii U’s asynchronous gameplay is amazing and should be taken advantage of with a big game. Let us use the controller to access Menus, display Region Maps, Enhance Battle systems, and de-clutter the TV by moving these HUDs to the tablet.
Three Regions, all Starting Zones, all Interconnected, One Epic Storyline
Having the ability to start at any of one of the first three zones would help spread players out, keep the community diverse with many breeds of Pokémon. With a unifying storyline, this will help us stay engaged as we travel from each Region, slowly accumulating Pokémon, badges, and unique experiences all while the content is properly scaling to challenge us at every corner. This is what a game should be all about.
I’m not sure how you can say MMO, and End-Game content, without mentioning Raid in the same sentence. A problem with past and current Pokémon games is, “What do I do now?”, “Why should I keep playing?” Having users continue to play your game is one of the most challenging tasks a developer has. With a Pokémon: MMO, we can use standard MMO concepts such as Raids to keep the player playing. Rewards from these Raids could be Rare Pokémon, Rare Poké balls, Rare TM’s, Shiny Pokémon, Trainer clothes, and the list goes on.
Parties and Friend Lists
Now I’m no fan of the “Friend Code” system Nintendo uses, but, I’m not Nintendo. At least let us have the ability to view friends who are currently playing, and allow us to group up and play Pokémon together. Everything is better Coop
The point I’m trying to make is this game that keeps getting denied and shot down is a game that would turn Nintendo’s Wii U sales around. It would sell at least 10 million consoles in the first month, and be one of the best experiences a gamer could ask for. With around 17 Wii U games releasing in the next 8 or so months, the real question is, what else does Nintendo have to do?
The current discussion on Reddit: