Game Freak are renowned for introducing revolutionary features only to proceed to toss them aside and take a step back when it comes to releasing the next installment, claiming that unique features make a game worth revisiting. There’s an argument to be made that some of these features should absolutely remain in future games and these are just a few that I’d like to see the most!
1. Shadow Pokemon
Introduced in Genius Sonority’s 2003 title Pokemon Colosseum, Shadow Pokemon are corrupted versions of the monsters with their hearts closed off that need to be purified by the player. In their original iteration they only knew one move, Shadow Rush, which did high neutral damage to every Pokemon with the cost of recoil damage. This was later expanded in Pokemon: XD with a plethora of shadow moves being added such as weather inducing and status afflicting moves which fleshed out the shadow concept into something unseen in the main games to this day. Shadow Pokemon were recently added to Pokemon GO and has shown to be a great success within the GO community. Seeing this, it’s not out of the question for this feature to return in an evil scheme in a future game, especially now that XD’s art director and Shadow Lugia’s creator James Turner is now the lead art director for Sword and Shield.
2. Varied Battle Facilities
Introduced in Crystal, extra battle facilities for post game content is nothing new to the series but it hit its renaissance in Generation 3 with Emeralds Battle Frontier and Generation 5’s Pokemon World Tournament. Battle Facilities are still in modern Pokemon games but as of X and Y, they have been solely Battle Tower styled buildings with endless battles in different formats rather than the gimmick and complexity of what the Battle Frontier used to consist of. We need more variety to stop us getting burnt out on endless no-thrills battles.
3. Difficulty Settings
This is a unique concept only attempted once by Game Freak in a very convoluted way. Difficulty settings existed within Black and White 2 but were locked behind clearing the game and the key system. What this meant was if you wanted to change your difficulty to easy or challenge mode, you had to first receive the key from another player who had cleared Black and White 2 via infrared and then toggle that mode, as starting a new game erased the keys you had earned too. Challenge mode entailed of having higher levelled Pokemon, better stats, different held items and movesets, an improved AI and the major characters having an extra party member on their teams. Having this as an option in the new games from the beginning would alleviate most players concerns that the games have gotten too easy.