Pokémon Kanto Week: Kanto Games Reviewed

In finishing my review for the Pokémon DLC “Isle of Armor”, I found that what better a way than to review the rest of the main series games! Now it would be quite a long challenge to go through and review each individual game, especially since most of the ones from the same generation are pretty much the same game. With that in mind, I am going to be focusing on each individual region for my game reviews. I will also be focusing on one region each week with various posts that are all connected to that specific region. In this case and for week 1, I will of course be reviewing the Kanto region games, giving my opinion and overall thoughts of all of the games released for this region from Pokémon Red to the Let’s Go games. I will not be reviewing the Kanto region that we see in the Johto games, that portion will be thoroughly reviewed next week when I cover Johto. Now let’s carry on to the original games released in North America, Red and Blue.

Red and Blue and Yellow

Thankfully I was born in the 90’s and lucky enough to have an older brother that wanted a Gameboy Color. I can’t exactly remember if I asked for the game or if he already had it, but I remember starting my Pokémon game journey off with Pokémon Red version. The reason I liked Red so much over Blue was simply the fact that I thought Charizard was much cooler than Blastoise. I still feel the same today (sorry Blastoise). I didn’t think much of it at the time, but one issue I have with these original games is that there really isn’t much difference between these two games unlike in all of the others where you get a version exclusive legendary. There is of course a Green version with Venusaur that was not released in North America, but again it wouldn’t have mattered all that much.

I did go back to looking into some of the version exclusive Pokemon since I couldn’t exactly remember what they were and haven’t played the games in a while, but even with the exclusives I still stand with my choice of picking Red over Blue. The biggest standouts for exclusive to only Red are Growlithe/Arcanine, Scyther and Electabuzz. This was a time though when they were just finding their footing as far as how to actually make each game unique while also having them be very similar.

I have seen several videos on the glitches or just general issues that these games had like how the psychic typing was very overpowered and overall stats issues, but personally I just don’t get into all of that. I have always been the type of player for these games where I just casually enjoy the journey and challenge of beating the champion tow in the game. I don’t do any competitive battling so I just take the games as their put in front of me and these first games really set the stage for what would become my love for the series as a whole. It is simple enough to get into for the younger age while also still being challenging and enjoyable for the older fans like myself. I think the simplicity is rather refreshing when going back to play after being used to the newer games like Let’s Go or Sword and Shield.

It’s hard to narrow down the best parts of these games because it all just works so well. I have some very fond memories of playing Red over and over and over again, not getting enough of it until generation II was finally released. I think some of my most fond memories were that of going in the Safari Zone and trying to catch all of the Pokémon in their which at times was more challenging than catching the legendary Pokémon like Mewtwo. I think the story works well without being too complicated and also has my favorite villain in Giovanni. It also has the best rival with Blue, but these original games as I said, really set the stage for what the series would become and cemented my love for the series as well as many others. Heck, not even the graphics are enough to deter me away from going back and playing it again.

I’ll touch on Yellow real quick since it’s not entirely different from Red and Blue. The biggest difference being that it seemed to fall more in line with the anime where they start you off with a Pikachu rather than allowing you to choose between the three you normally got to choose from. You do however will have an opportunity to accept each of the three starters later on in the game in the same way Ash does in the anime. It was cool to see slight updates to the game from the previous ones and for them to give us an entirely new journey while also staying very close to what we had before. It was all familiar, but giving us a different journey. You also got to have Pikachu follow you and show its emotion which was a nice change that even now we as fans want more of and are starting to get with Pokémon following us again in the Isle of Armor.

Fire Red and Leaf Green

The release of the first remakes in the series being Fire Red and Leaf Green was also the first time that I was getting to play through the Kanto region with my very own copy that I got for Christmas. Did I “accidentally” find the game hidden somewhere in my house before Christmas? Maybe. Was I extremely excited when I got to open it on Christmas day? Hell Yes. Not only did I get this game, but I also upgraded from a Gameboy Advance to a Gameboy Advance SP, the blue version. It is probably one of my most memorable moments in my Pokémon Game playing career and I will always remember it.

I was just coming off of playing Pokémon Sapphire and couldn’t have been happier to relive the memories I had of playing Pokémon Red with the updated graphics that we had for the Hoenn games. There really isn’t too much to say about these remakes that really changed my overall opinions from the original games. If I was more concerned about the stats or typing issues then I would say that these games are soooo much better, but I never worried that much about those issues so they were a bit of a non-factor. The updated graphics were definitely a plus for these games along with the addition of the post-game story. We got to visit the Sevii Islands along with being able to interact with both Johto and Hoenn Pokémon, so another plus is the expanded Pokedex this time around.  

Really I just don’t see any negatives for these games at all. Any negatives that I see for Fire Red and Leaf Green would be just personal negatives like version exclusive issues. It’s a personal negative though because every game has version exclusives and I don’t see that ever changing. It just made it hard though because most of my friends also got Fire Red so I didn’t know anyone that could get those version exclusives from Leaf Green to trade with. Another issue I have that I didn’t bring up in the original games was the inclusion of trade evolutions. I understand the thought process of wanting players to connect with each other to evolve these Pokémon like Kadabra and Machoke, but I just hated that it was the only way of evolving them. Overall though, I really do love Fire Red and Leaf Green and see them as the ultimate perfect Kanto game that we have had.

Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee

Finally, we get to the more recent release and latest remake of Red and Blue being Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee which now that I think about it are actually a remake of Pokémon Yellow. Now I didn’t actually play both, but I did end up getting Let’s Go Pikachu. I’m not actually sure if I am in the minority of my mixed feelings about this game compared to the previous ones. On one hand, it’s the first main series game on the Nintendo Switch which is a far superior console than the 3DS so of course overall it was going to look better visually along with the mechanics being heightened. While I was expecting these games to feel like a true updated version of Yellow or Fire Red, it was actually disappointing to see that the focus was more towards the younger kids.

I know that all of the Pokémon games in general are kids games, but these especially felt more kid like and I wasn’t a huge fan. The catching mechanic was also changed in a way that was closer to that of the mobile game Pokémon Go and less like the traditional way. I am not a fan of this at all and felt that typical style of catching Pokémon being a major miss for this game. The other big issue is that they replace the rival Blue with Trace who just doesn’t compare to Blue at all. Outside of these issues though, the games really do hold up as good updates on the Kanto region, but tend to feel a little too easy and not challenging enough for myself.

On the other hand though, this was technically in generation VII so we got the inclusion of mega evolution, Alola forms, and the introduction of Meltan if you had Pokémon Go on your phone. Unfortunatley though, even with this game being in generation VII and having hundreds of new Pokémon available, it limits you to only Kanto Pokémon outside of Meltan and the Alola forms. There were some cool new mechanics like riding Pokémon or even having a Co-op mode,  but they felt more gimmicky than actually useful. There also wasn’t any kind of post-game which in this modern age of coming as far as we have in the Pokémon games, makes this game feel somewhat hollow and incomplete. Overall, I am just mixed about how I feel about these games when they could have done the remakes justice and fell more in line with Sword and Shield. Because of the decisions they made, Let’s Go stands as being my least favorite of the Kanto games.

Ending

To wrap up my overall opinions of the Kanto games, I just want to reiterate that I love the Kanto region for all of my fond memories. These games set up what we have come to know and love for the series as a whole and have gone through changes from Red to Fire Red to Let’s Go. Fire Red stands as being my favorite of the three different generation versions, but all of them have aspects that someone will like or dislike. These aren’t my favorite games in the whole series, but they will probably stay in my mind as being the most cemented in my memory.

Looking towards the future though I think it would be great for a future game, maybe Sword and Shield, to use the Kanto region as a DLC of some kind to allow us to travel and explore the region with the graphics introduced in Sword and Shield. I would love to see the region to come back in play in the future, but it needs to be paired up with something else. A “Let’s Go Johto” or a remake again of Gold and Silver would bring us back to Kanto and that would also be ideal, but I feel that where we are right now with Pokémon games, the Kanto region as we see it in Red, or Let’s Go Pikachu is just too simplistic to stand as its own remake and I think it’s very evident in Let’s Go Eevee and Pikachu.

That does bring to a close my overall thoughts of the Kanto games that have been released thus far and also kicks off Kanto week where I go in depth with various things relating to the Kanto region. There are a lot of great things to look forward to like my team that I typically use and even my ranking of favorite and least favorite Pokémon among other things so stay tuned!

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Pokemon: The Isle of Armor Expansion Review

Pokémon has released its first DLC for a main title game on the Nintendo Switch being The Isle of Armor expansion for Pokémon Sword and Shield. With the announcement coming several months ago, I wrote a post about how it can be good and bad to have DLC’s for these games. I wasn’t entirely on board, but also suggested some advantages they could have and different ideas for where they could go with it, but overall I was skeptical going in. It wasn’t until a few weeks before its release that I was reminded that it was coming out so soon and began to get excited again. The last few months leading up to this expansion, I actually hadn’t been playing that much having mostly found myself being a bit bored.

The few days before the release renewed my excitement and I began playing again. It was the anticipation of having an expanded world in the game that got me so excited into playing again. I really didn’t read that much into the expansion before release and really only knew about the addition of Kubfu the new legendary Pokémon that was to be gifted to you with two different Gigantamax forms. I was super excited to get my hands on this new Pokémon not only because it was a new legendary but I love the design of both.

The expansion came and I began playing. The first thing I noticed was how simple it was to get to the Isle of Armor. You update the game after buying the expansion of course and then as soon as the game boots up it informs you of the update and lets you know to go to the rail station to travel to the new Isle. After arriving, travel becomes easier as you are able to simply fly to and from the rest of the Galar region and the Isle of Armor. They could have easily gone the more complicated and senseless route of making all of this more complicated but thankfully they didn’t and I appreciate that a lot. It’s just easily accessible as long as you have the expansion.

The word “expansion” is interesting because it can mean just about anything. It’s not specific to like adding new Pokémon or actually adding story or even specifically a post-game story like we typically have for many of the main series games. It seemed that going the route of DLC’s rather than releasing a sequel like Black 2/White 2 or Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon meant that maybe we would just expansions that did give us more story and more game to actually play. That was my biggest worry because I wanted something that was going to make me stay invested into the game that I had grown somewhat bored of.

Thankfully there is a story in the Isle of Armor, albeit not one that take entirely long to play through but at least it wasn’t just a new place to find newly added Pokémon. It actually made you work for that new Pokémon Kubfu which on one hand I just wanted them to give it to me because I was so excited to train it while on the other hand I felt like it was smart to actually make you work for it, so I count that as a win. The story doesn’t take entirely long as you have to complete different trials by Master Mustard (weird name) and then eventually you get a Kubfu. After that you have to train it and gain a friendship with it until Mustard says you’re good to go and then you get to pick one of the towers to train in.

I feel like this decision was one of the better decisions that they made because rather than forcing you to only be able to evolve it into a game specific form, you actually get to choose which one you want with it be the Fighting/Dark or Fighting/Water typing. I feel like this is a unique decision that could be more interesting to play around with in future games. I understand the advantage profit wise of wanting to have two different games for each of the box cover legendries but it would also be cool to see them allow you to choose which one you want while also giving up the other. It just poses some interesting questions as to where you could actually take that concept in the future and it could have some implications of what to expect in the next expansion The Crown Tundra. We know that there are two new “Regi” forms that could also serve as a means to allow you to choose one and give up the other or it may be that you actually get both, so we’ll see which is the case in a few weeks.

Before you can actually go into the tower though, there is a suggestion that your Kubfu be at least Lv. 70 before entering. I’m not sure if it prevents you from going in if you’re under that level because I trained mine to about 73 before I tried to enter, but even still it sets it up as being  difficult challenge especially since you don’t get to take any other Pokémon with you. Now training of course carries over from the rest of the game where you can train normal or just use the candies that you get from raid battles to just level it up quick. The candies are the quick and not as fun way of leveling up so I suggest the grinding way just to go back to the old days when you had to do that. It does however bring up the issue I have of the NPC’s on the Isle.

Despite everything this expansion does have, the one thing it doesn’t have is actual trainers to battle outside of Mustard and Klara/Avery. I feel like this is a missed opportunity to give us a chance to go back to the old ways of grinding to level up by going through various trainers. I also wish that in the expansion there was some sort of inclusion of re-battling trainers. It could have been the perfect place for us to have a spot to continuously battle trainers to train rather than the easy way out of just using the Exp candies. With the theme being a dojo it just seemed like it was a missed opportunity to do this.

That does bring me to the theme of this expansion being the dojo and the inclusion of the new outfit which I personally really like and continue to use now. I wish there was more customization to the outfit, but either way I really like it. The theme doesn’t reach much further after you get through the story part as it resorts back to just being a new “Wild Area”. This is what I mean by missed opportunity though. If their intention is to put a lot of focus on these game and expanding upon them then they should have put more effort into really making this unique to the dojo/ martial arts theme. As in, they should have made it the ultimate training spot, not just full of new Pokémon and Raids, but also plenty of NPC trainers for you to continuously battle to level up your Pokémon.

It even would have been awesome to see some cameos from some past trainers known for martial arts that are visiting to train their Pokémon like Chuck, Bruno, and many others. Rather than having that inclusion, we have a new form of battling being the type restricted battling at the dojo. While it is cool and does pose a challenge, it does bring me back to the worst part about the Battle Tower or other things that follow that model being that you don’t actually get experience for your Pokémon which ultimately sucks. To me, it’s about training your Pokémon and I feel like outside of the raid battles and the raid candies, they don’t give us enough to actually do that which sucks. I want strong trainers in-game that are difficult to battle and that will give us experience for our Pokémon.

Once you defeat Mustard and evolve your Kubfu into Urshifu then you get another side mission of finding a specific item that will be used to allow your Urshifu to Gigantamax. It’s a cool little side final mission that brings you back to Hop, but ultimately doesn’t allow you to actually battle Hop at any point which is a real shame. Another missed opportunity for a great rival throughout the game. You don’t get to spend a whole lot of time with your Urshifu after that point unless you really like it because it’s already almost at level 100. For me, I still use it a lot because I like the Pokémon, but I see others throwing it in the boxes and forgetting about it at this point.

After finishing the final side mission, you have a few other things you can do like upgrading the dojo, finding all of the Alolan Diglett, or exploring the new isle and the added Pokémon. It does bring in question again the issue everyone had with not including the National Dex because while they do bring in various new Pokémon that we all love, it still leaves much to be desired as far as all of the missing Pokémon. Some of which are being included in the next Expansion, but the others are still out there waiting for inclusion in the new games. I will say though that I like the Isle of Armor more than the Wild Area due to the uniqueness of the design and how fun it is to just explore the island. I also enjoy how open world it seems like being able to go out to the ocean and explore smaller islands. The biggest surprise for me was when I first showed up and there was just a giant Wailord in the ocean which was a pretty sweet visual that I think they intended on doing to make some sort of statement.

Ultimately, after playing through the expansion and logging several hours, I have come to the conclusion that yes the Isle of Armor is worth it to buy for the expansion itself, the new Pokémon and the effect of making you go back to the game, however there is still much to be desired. A lot can be made up in the next expansion, The Crown Tundra, but as of right now I think that Game Freak needs to focus more on giving players a reason to stick with it rather than just capturing players for a few days or weeks. The expansion offers a lot for someone to come back to, but doesn’t give you much reason to continue after you complete the “story”. We do get some new Gigantamax forms for Venusaur, Blastoise, and the other Galarian starters, but even that isn’t enough to save this from being something that I will soon forget about and become bored of until the next expansion.

Pokémon needs to focus on expanding the games to a point where there is so much to do in these games that it gives players plenty of reason to not grow bored after defeating the main story. The DLC’s are indeed an opportunity for them to keep players engaged and sticking around, but more can be done to make it successful. At this point I feel like people are very much engaged, but with the relatively short amount of time between the expansions I think they will be fine in keeping people invested, but it will be after the next expansion where I start to get worried about the interest staying high. I am excited for The Crown Tundra, but for now if you have played through The Isle of Armor than let me know what you think and if not then definitely give it a shot to see if you like it.

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The SWITCH Port I want!

The Nintendo Switch is probably the best video game console of all time (at this moment. If you’re reading from the future say hello from your mountain tops as I have surely drown on the coastline). It’s blend of high quality titles, backlog to older games, easy portability, and perfect handheld mode have put it above and beyond its competitors.

None of this is new. It has gotten tons of ports as well based on how well the system has sold. These ports come either 3rd party teams like the Digimon Cyber Sleuth games, Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, Collections of Mana, and more. These have all found amazing success on the platform. They also got me thinking of the game series that I think would make the best sense for the Nintendo Switch. That series is Megaman.

I am not referring to the classic platformer series or its sequel series Megaman X, but instead the overlooked and under appreciated Megaman Battle Network and Star Force titles.

It may be weird to many, but Megaman Battle Network, and its TV series NT Warriors was my introduction to the blue shooting boy. I always thought of Megaman as a digital avatar that fights other avatars and viruses alongside his partner Lan (oh, I just got what his name meant. That is really bad and silly. I love it). That was what Megaman was. Now, with the times changing and people wanting the classic platform shooters back it feels like this old turn based RPG is being forgotten when it doesn’t have to be.

Battle Network and Star Force were the main Megaman titles for Nintendo’s handheld consoles, the Gameboy Advanced and DS. They each followed their own protagonist as they meet a blue friend and fight enemies. They also copied Pokémon by having two different versions of the game release that have swapped content and a different villains/powers. That should have been the death of it, but Battle Network classic got six games, and it’s sequel series Star Force got three (and had low sales, but that hasn’t stopped people from liking the game). It was a juggernaut.

The story and battle mechanics for those games were very original for the time. A game that focused on school kids with a digital partner fighting off cyber crime (that’s just Digimon. Shhhh, it’s cool cause it’s not Digimon) in an explorable world was great. The characters all had life and fun personalities. The grid and card based battle system was unique. It gave you the option to pick from a wide range of moves to attack your foes, but also gave you mobility. Star Force changed it up with a perceptive shift. Either way, those types of battle mechanics just were not common outside of those games. They were just so fresh and fun.

Battle Network evolved into Star Force as the team moved hardware. Those games are also still fun and unique. The avatar designs got crazy and cool in just the most edgy way. Even with that, and additions like internet connectivity they just did not sell and Capcom ended the series.

Only, Capcom ended all of Megaman, not just this sub series. That has changed however.

Megaman has been getting a lot of ports recently. In the last few years, and now going into this year all the classic, X, and ZX games have been getting collection ports. It’s time to add the handheld sweet heart to that list, and satisfy everyone because it makes perfect sense.

Megaman Battle Network and Star Force were handheld games. The data that could fit on a modern Switch cartridge would be massive. It would be easy to place a version of all Battle Network 1-6 onto a single cartridge for cheap and sell affordably. I could see problems considering many of those games have two versions. That would have to be accounted for in some way. In fact it has for Japan. In Japan a couple of the games, 4 and 5 got a completed version with the divided content put together. Using ports of those would be an easy solution. For the other games, I don’t like being caviler, but it would not cost too much space or manpower to have two versions on the same port.

The Star Force games might be trickier due to the dual screen nature that came from, but easy menu manipulation and tweaks could fix that. I’m not say that is easy, but it isn’t a total hinderance.

So, it’s is technically possible. But…

They also should be on the Switch because of their handheld history. They defined a generation of Nintendo portables. Their big pixel art, easy to grasp mechanics, and stop and start nature make them easy to pick up and go for any time like a good Switch port should have.

Finally, they should exists to preserve their history. Gaming at large has a problem getting people to remember, care, and keep older games. It does not help this series case that you can only play them legally through outdated consoles that are only sold second hand. They will not stick around if they don’t evolve and move (I know people love Golden Sun. I never played it, but that has a big fan base I’m sure they feel the same as I do) onto bigger things.

The main reason I got a smartphone (originally) was to get an app that emulated GBA games. That has since left the iPhone and I miss it. I want to be able to play these games as easily as I did when I first got them and would spend long car rides engrossed in that world. The Switch is the best place for that dream to be realized.

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Pokémon DLCs could potentially give us an unfathomable amount of content

Pokémon DLCs could potentially give us a long sustaining continuous game that keeps interest for years to come. 

In doing my article for why the announcement of the Sword and Shield DLCs aren’t necessarily a good thing, I started to think about how the DLC concept could be utilized and perfected into making a long sustaining singular game. All of this stems from the fact that the new DLCs will utilize the train in the Galar region to take you to the new locations introduced in the expansion passes. 

The Pokémon games have always had a repetitive formula to releasing games. New title with new Pokémon, then remake or sequel, then back to new title new Pokémon. Of course it’s a formula that has worked forever and will continue to work, but I’m proposing a way for them to give us everything while also keeping up with making the money they would on releasing an entirely new game. What if I told you that there was possibly a way where we could get every single core Pokémon game in one? 

It seems impossible because there would be too much data to have in one single game, however there may be a way to pull this off through DLCs. It is widely assumed that with the core games moving to the Nintendo Switch that we will eventually receive remakes of Diamond and Pearl. If we follow the remake release schedule, they would be the next ones due for a remake. There are many people that are excited for this potential, but some who wish they would remake some other region for the Switch which ultimately puts you in a spot where you can’t please everyone. Well, there could be a way. 

Now to start off, this idea could work with the release of a new game entirely to support this idea or if possible you could have Sword and Shield be the basis or launchpad for this idea to work. Bear with me if this isn’t the clearest explanation but I’ll try my best. I’m also not going to go too much into how or if this could work with data and various other reasons but I’m going to just assume there could be a way to pull this off with the announcement of the DLCs for Sword and Shield being made and showing part of the point I’m going to make. 

I’m going to start this with a connection to the Kalos region. Many people have made a connection with Galar and Kalos saying that they could be sister regions similar to that of Johto and Kanto. They both have a train system that could potentially take you from one to the other and some of us were escorting or hoping that they would take advantage of this. My theory takes this into account and proposes the Kalos region as being the first step in this new ultimate Pokémon game. 

The new DLCs are essentially a sequel addition to the original Sword and Shield. I think it’s safe to say that if they had decided to release sequels this year, that this is most likely what we would have gotten, but instead of spending the time to develop all new games, they created DLCs for the content to simply be added rather than split those who play the original with those who wanted the sequels. This keeps all of your fans that purchased the originals without losing any going into the sequels. That’s one of the most important points to make here. It would benefit them more to build off of one game rather than have an original, a sequel, and a remake of an older game because not everyone is going to want to have to purchase a new game to have to play through it again for some extra content. 

Again, I don’t know if this is actually possible but what if instead of just releasing some new content at a $20 price tag, they released an expansion at a $59.99 price tag, the cost of an entirely new game. Now you’re wondering what kind of content would warrant the price of a new game. What if that expansion pass was not just an expansion of new content, but instead the expansion of the Pokémon world through Sword and Shield. If possible, they could release an expansion with the Kalos region in its entirety which would of course warrant the cost of a new game. 

The new DLCs coming out have shown that you don’t have to buy them for the Pokédex to expand and allow new Pokémon to be available and this can be utilized here as well. Releasing a Kalos region expansion would give you access to that region as a Switch remake that would give you the opportunity to play through a whole other title in the series while also expanding the Pokédex for those who don’t buy it or don’t buy it immediately. 

This may sound a little confusing at first but I’ll break it down some more. You would buy the expansion pass for the Kalos region which would give you essentially a train ticket in Sword and Shield that would allow you to travel to the Kalos region. I know many of you are thinking about what would be the point in playing through it with your Galar Pokémon that are all overpowered for a new region. Well I have an idea for that. There could be a type of region lock that would be in place for when you go to the Kalos region. Essentially you would get on the train and leave all of your Galar Pokémon behind so that you could start over from scratch like you would any other game. Once you get to Kalos you would pick a new starter and play through like you normally would until you defeat the champion. 

The champion would essentially be the point where the region lock would become unlocked. Once you defeat the champion then your boxes would allow full access to all Pokémon for both regions. You may be asking about “what if I want to take a break and go back to Galar?” Well then you would simply get back on the train and back to Galar where your Galar file would come back with those Pokémon but not carry over your Kalos Pokémon until the champion is defeated in Kalos. 

I like the concept for several reasons. Not only would we get a remake of a previous game, but we would also still all be connected through Sword and Shield. You wouldn’t lose anybody that didn’t purchase Sword and Shield and you could gain more fans who want to play through older regions. It makes the game overall more expansive and larger while also appealing to those who don’t want to purchase the expansion. Like the new DLCs, the Kalos expansion would still open up the Pokédex in Galar to allow those players to still be able to receive those Pokémon via trade or other means. It also gives players a chance to start over in a new region while putting in many hours of gameplay and the chance to build some incredible teams. 

I started with Kalos because it’s the one that seems to connect the easiest to Galar, but it wouldn’t stop there. Kalos could be the year one expansion, while year two could include Kanto or Sinnoh for example. Each year if it was possible could include a new region for you to explore through and old Pokémon to encounter. It would keep all of your fans of the original Sword and Shield while also bringing in those who wish to play through the older regions. 

Ultimately the only hitch in this idea is whether or not it would actually be possible to pull off a project this big through DLCs. It would make the Pokémon games one of the largest connected set of games through one singular game that it may be impossible. Having the titles now on console does make this a little more possible though. I wasn’t exactly sure how I felt about the DLC announcement at first, but now I see a lot of potential in where they could take the series going forward. 

I worry that their process of making new games every year is a way for them to lose fans, but it was the DLC announcement that really sparked my curiosity of what they could potentially do if it is possible. It would be a win for the fans and for the company because we would get plenty of extraordinary content in what would be a first for the industry and they would still get their profits off of selling the expansions at a full game price. 

Of course this is just a speculative theory that may have no merit or possibility of happening, but it is something I’ve thought about and think could be a huge leap ahead for the Pokémon game franchise. If you all have any other thoughts or suggestions, comment below and let me know what you think. 

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Pokémon DLCs are great but leave a bad taste

A new Pokémon Direct aired this morning revealing not only a new Mystery Dungeon title but also two DLC packs for their new releases Sword and Shield. This was always something that seemed likely to happen given the lack of a full Pokédex and overall feeling of a glass half full kind of game. I wasn’t expecting the announcement however or what exactly would be coming with the first DLCs but we now have that information. 

I always assumed that they would use DLCs to bring in new Gigantamax forms by introducing them in raid battles and possibly some unavailable Pokémon from previous generations. It appears that they went through with that and then some by also announcing more Galarian forms, new characters, and some entirely new Pokémon. 

Breaking down the Gigantamax forms is relays enough with most of them being expected. We will be getting new forms for Venusaur, Blastoise, and for each of the new starter Pokémon. On top of that we’ll be getting two different forms for the new Pokémon Urshifu. Now we don’t have official artwork yet but we do have some screenshots to go off of. It looks to me like the new Urshifu has the coolest looking forms with the rest being somewhat bland or almost a ripoff of forms we’ve seen before. The most noticeable one being Blastoise who looks almost exactly like the Drednaw Gigantamax form. Overall I’d say I was a little disappointed overall and I was expecting to see something that just looked more appealing and cooler. Regardless it’s nice to see that we are and will be getting more content and more forms for other Pokémon in the future. 

The Galarian forms are the real highlight for me with some big surprises. Slowpoke doesn’t seem to be too different aside from some slight color change but Slowking who we don’t get a great look at, does appear to have a significant shane in appearance. The real highlight though is that we’ll be getting Galarian Forms of Moltres, Zappos, and Articuno. All three look amazing with Articuno maybe being my favorite by design. 

Finally we were introduced to a few new Pokemon, Kubfu who evolves into Urshifu and Calyrex along with two new Regi Pokémon who were unnamed. I don’t care for the look of Calyrex all that much but I am excited for Kubfu and his evolution and the new Regis. I was surprised by the Regis the most but regardless I’m just excited for the addition of new Pokémon. 

With that being all of the new Pokémon information released, it was the overall DLC content that had me the most excited. They could have easily just dropped the new Pokémon in locations we already have but instead they’re introducing new locations and what appears to be two new stories. One for each of the two DLCs. It makes it a better investment for anyone looking for more out of their game and quests to complete. 

It isn’t clear whether there are version exclusives but it seems safe to assume that there likely will be. Surprisingly I’m most excited for the inclusion of some older Pokémon that weren’t previously available, most notably the Gible line, but of course there’s going to be something for everyone and is an exciting step for where this series could go. There is a downside though. 

The worst part about this announcement is that we’re having to pay for more content. I’m not against DLCs because they’re so common now fit most games, but in general I’m not a fan of companies doing it. It’s a way to keep the games fresh by introducing new content, but more a way for them to get more money out of the fans. Pokémon has never gone this route with their core games and there was a lot of controversy with what was left out when Sword and Shield were first released. We can speculate whether or not they were capable of including more Pokémon or having a better post game story, but honestly it appears that they may have intentionally left content out for the DLCs and to make more money. 

I have a problem with this because it’s not how they’ve always done things and is kind of a right hook to the fans. For example, if the national dex wasn’t always included in most of the games then it would make more sense, but since we have had the ability to catch all of the Pokémon in almost all of the games, it seems more like a disservice to make us have to pay for DLCs to get them. I might be looking into it too much and maybe there were other reasons for doing this, but on the surface I don’t like the approach they’re taking.

Despite my feelings about not liking their approach, I am very much excited for the new DLCs and will likely end up getting both of them. It really is an opportunity to keep the games fresh and to keep players coming back to it. They didn’t take a lazy approach of only giving us Pokémon but rather including new side stories to complete. Overall I’m very excited for the release of the expansions and hopefully they live up to what appears to be an exciting new future for their games.

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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon RETURNS!?

Watch the trailer: https://youtu.be/2R_1HEbxYhA

Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is coming to Switch!

The announcement came in the Nintendo Direct on January 9th. It is a remake of the first series of games Red Rescue and Blue Rescue team. The game is called: Rescue Team DX!

Based on the trailer, it is a full HD remake of the game. The art and background design looks stellar. It uses great looking 3D models for each of the characters. The backgrounds have an amazing water color look. It makes that whole world pop. The story and game play seems to take pretty much wholesale from the older games. The tweaks come in with more cutscenes to build the game up, and dynamic battles.

This was a really great surprise to get at the beginning of the year. It feels very fresh and like they want to mix it up while keeping true to those first games. That includes keeping only generation 3 and below Pokémon available.

More updates to come if there is a big enough announcement.

Early reaction is that this will be played and definitely reviewed after release on March 6!

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