Good Old Reviews
3 Game Pitches Nintendo Doesn't Have The Guts To Make

Marshall Lemon | 12 Mar 2016 08:00
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The Pokemon Wars

Pokemon Lt Surge

In the Pokemon games, Pokemon have integrated themselves into every part of society. Humans raise them as pets, entire businesses have sprouted around their care, and young children pit them against each other in combat. But if humans can train Pokemon to attack each other, what's stopping them from being used as weapons of war? The psychic Pokemon alone would be devastating on the battlefield, without getting into the rock-paper-scissors chaos of unleashing Pokemon types against each other.

Many Pokemon players have asked this question. In fact, there's a fan theory suggesting Kanto tried to annex Johto shortly before the original Pokemon game. Now consider that - outside of older figures like Professor Oak - there are remarkably few adult males in the entire Pokemon series. It's almost like they "fainted" in a conflict nobody really wants to talk or think about anymore. Well, except for Lt. Surge, an actual Pokemon character who rants about how electric Pokemon saved him during the war.

How could a Pokemon war be depicted as a video game? Fairly easily: Just swap traditional RPG gameplay for turn-based strategy mechanics. Players start each mission by assembling six Pokemon, choosing them based on what encounters you expect to meet on the battlefield. Once deployed, players take turns giving orders to Pokemon, telling them to attack other units, capture key objectives, or complete supporting tasks. If you've chosen the right Pokemon for the job - like say, electric Pokemon for a water mission - you can tear through most objectives in no time at all. Otherwise, you risk failing the mission and losing ground to the enemy.

Some will argue that Pokemon is a game for children, and shouldn't be associated with warfare. But who said a Pokemon wargame has to be pro-war? Remind everyone of the horrors of combat is easy when adorable animals are the ones at risk. (Although for everyone's sake, it's probably best we stick with fainting Pokemon when they're defeated.)

Besides, why can't we depict Pokemon in warfare when we already throw them into animal-fighting rings? We lost that moral high ground when Pokemon literally started dueling in stadiums during the Nintendo 64 era.

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