Nintendo has been really coming through with their ability to finally accept the concept of DLC in their games. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which was already a gigantic game, got an excellent add-on that added more dungeons, outfits, and even a motorcycle. Pokemon Sword and Shield feature expansions that extend the world and add more Pokemon and story beat to the mix. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate added the “Fighters Pass,” which added more characters to the game’s already crowded selection screen. Even Super Mario Odyssey got in on the fun with free DLC featuring new outfits and a really fun online mode where players hide balloons from each other.
There’s one place, however, that Nintendo hasn’t really messed with and, while it’s a bane to a lot of people, it’s something that would absolutely make me turn over my wallet. It’s cosmetics and other visual changes to their games. One game, in particular, that would absolutely destroy me is in Pokemon. The following, if you’re listening Nintendo, is a list of things I would 100 percent drop my money on so fast it ruin my financial stability.
When Isle of Armor was first revealed I was really excited when they announced it was going to add new clothing. They even gave us a taste of some of the clothing you were going to get.
Little did I know that the trailer showcased ALL of the clothing you could get, with the exception of some of the harder to find stuff like the W x F x G clothing, the rival shirt, and the crown. And the outfits were clothing items from preexisting characters which, while cool, made it feel really silly when you were talking to the character you shared an appearance with.
One thing Niantic learned hard with Pokemon Go is that if they introduce a new clothing item, people will buy those things quickly. Even if it’s terrible. In fact, in Pokemon Go I own Stantler horns and I absolutely hate Stantler. Give us some new clothing. I get that it would only really be shown off in raid battles and online play but being able to customize my characters fuller would allow me a better connection with the game.
One thing that some players may not remember from past games is the concept of Pokeball “seals”. These only existed in Pokemon Diamond and Pearl and were never seen again.
The concept was like this, you have 12 Pokeballs in your seal case and, by doing different things you earned stickers like seals. You’d pick a Pokemon that stayed in there (usually six would be the six in your party) and you’d decorate the Pokeball with these seals.
Let’s say you put a couple of stars on the front of the ball. You wouldn’t see it on the ball but when the ball opened to reveal the Pokemon, stars would shoot out in the direction of the sticker. Other effects like a puff of smoke or a rainbow light or other things could be added to your Pokeball to really give your Pokemon a showy entrance upon throwing them into the arena.
This would be a killer addition to the game. Create a thing of 18 Pokeballs that players can purchase, purely cosmetic, to allow them to be able to create enough for their main six and two battle teams. If they need more, they can be purchased.
Make the seals something you can earn. Win enough trainer battles and you get these special stars. Escape enough battles and you get the smokey entrance. Catch a shiny and you win a special glimmer. Just cool things to add some more surprises to online battles and give you more control.
Here is a concept Pokemon has played with in the past and constantly abandons and it KILLS me. Do you remember “Cosplay Pikachu” from Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Saphire?
It was a Pikachu that could literally wear full-on costumes. She could be dressed as a wrestler or in a frilly dress or as a mad scientist and it was wonderful. In Let’s Go Eevee and Let’s Go Pikachu you could dress your partner Pokemon up in all sorts of different outfits — even a Team Rocket uniform.
So why do they keep dropping this? Instead, when if they did a thing, like the several cent Mii outfits in Smash, where they could occasionally tweak the code of a Pokemon allowing it to wear some costumes?
They could pay attention to the meta and pick Pokemon that a lot of people are using online a lot and start with some of those, occasionally working in other Pokemon that they’re trying to encourage other people to try out.
Pokemon Sun and Moon (as well as Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon) featured a stellar in-game mechanic that I loved but few got to enjoy because it was buried deep in the post-game.
You could find some of the main characters of the game, mostly gym leaders, and do something for them like little quests and afterward, they’d teach you how to throw Pokeballs like they do. There was left-handed throwing, overly aggressive fastball pitching, and my personal favorite, a lazy finger flip.
Give me animation themes for my character and I will absolutely snag one — especially if it alters their running animation and walking animations as well. Model some of the gym leaders. Let my character wander around like the spooky Ghost Gym Leader or let me stand tall like the Water Leader. Give me a powerful stance like the Fighting type or a series of cocky moves like the Rock type has. I would love that so much.
While we’re spitballing ideas, here’s a bunch of things I’d like to see them just add in general. For one, they keep having seasons of online tournaments that just… end. There’s zero fanfare and t’s really anti-climatic.
In Pokemon Sword and Shield it’s all about fanfare. Your character enters massive arenas and fans going nuts. It’s a world obsessed with the sport. Meanwhile, in the real world, an online tournament comes and goes and you have no idea who won. Let’s fix that.
In big towns like Hammerlocke and Wyndon there are plenty of spaces where you could have electric billboard-type things in the towns. Things that, whenever a tournament ends, you could showcase the top three champions of the previous tournament. You could even make them so that if a player interacts with one it’ll show you more details like having the character waving in the middle of the arena with the team of six they won the game with, much like the intro screen after you’ve beaten the main story.
Maybe you could even have it so that it saves the final battle so you can watch it from the billboards. It would give winners something to really strive for, especially in a world of online streaming and clout chasing.
You could even add something with billboards that tie to other games. For example, maybe a billboard or a museum that showcases approved snapshots from the upcoming Pokemon Snap? That would also be incredible.