Video: Game Freak on player freedom vs. story in Pokemon - Nintendo Everything

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Video: Game Freak on player freedom vs. story in Pokemon

Posted on August 11, 2017 by (@NE_Brian) in General Nintendo, Videos

The next piece of content from Game Informer’s month of Pokemon coverage is live. The magazine chatted with Pokemon series producer, director, and composer Junichi Masuda as well as Pokemon Sun/Moon director Shigeru Ohmori about why the Pokemon RPGs need a story and whether the team would ever make a game as open as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. View the video below.

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  • MagcargoMan

    They’d never make a game as open as Breath of the Wild because that would require effort beyond making each sequel have only the slightest gameplay differences from the last one.

    • Auragar

      Ding ding. Got it in one. Somebody here is actually using their brain. GameFreak is super lazy that is all there is to it.

    • Billy Bob Throrton

      Zelda is action,exploration and puzzle solving and somehow they all compliment the others to make them better together than individually and BOTW is tailor made for that. Botw is a big game,in Pokémon,it would just be endless themed tiles where you run into Pokémon

      • MagcargoMan

        There’s such thing as open-ended turn-based RPGs. It’s perfectly doable.

  • theFooFighter

    Maybe open world fatigue is finally starting to get to me but I don’t want a BotW style Pokemon. Something similar to the first xenoblade would be nice. Big and expansive but still structured and story heavy

    • Auragar

      That sounds perfect I don’t like open world but Xenoblade felt open and still had a great narrative. That would be absolutely perfect.

    • RoadyMike

      I think that’s the best course Pokemon could take. One thing I didn’t like about BotW was that the story was told mostly in flashbacks and minigames were pretty much gone. It wasn’t very exciting. A big world with Xenoblade Chronicles pacing including the many other activities from past Pokemon games would be amazing

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  • Roto Prime

    Yes, massive Pokémon game would be so amazing, I want to see Pokémon in there natural habitat….

  • Reggie

    You can have a game with a great story and player freedom.

    One of the things I hated about Sun/Moon was how ridiculously interruptive it was, especially on the first island. There were nonstop cutscenes, sometimes another one after taking only a couple steps. Many of the cutscenes were just there to point you to the next direction or remind you of your objective. I hated it. It was extremely limiting to my freedom and sense of independence.

    • Kalmaro

      I think you mostly had an issue with the game being linear as a whole, despite seeming like it should be open.

      It did have a lot of cuteness, like the game had an exact idea of what it wanted you to do. I actually didn’t mind too much since I was just shocked that a Pokémon game had a story that didn’t make me roll my eyes… Too much. I still hate your ‘rival’.

      • Reggie

        What are you talking about? All Pokemon games are linear. They always have been since the first game. I’m fine with that. My problem was the sheer frequency of cutscenes and the hand holding.

        Sun/Moon are my least favorite games in the series. Period. Nothing is going to change that.

        • Kalmaro

          Well yes and now. They are linear in the sense that you could only go some places, but the story was always kind of… Like a side note. If was never forced on you that much. Lately they’ve been putting more story in. Like, comparing sun/moon to gold/silver. Bother were linear but story wise, gold/silver had almost nothing in the story to tell you where to go. It was just “Oh, there’s a roadblock” and then you’d have to figure out what to do.

          In sun/moon, they’d probably give you some skit showing you tm the roadblock, then another skit when you leave the area, showing you just where to go, and then another skit when you find it, etc.

          These new games seem to want to limit your ability to kinda find a solution, it’s all done for you in a way. I can’t think of a single time I’m sun/moon where I was stuck wondering where to go, there was always your dumb rival mentioned something or your rotom dex.

          • Reggie

            Oh so you were agreeing with me? I thought you were disagreeing.

          • Kalmaro

            Yeah, my bad. My wording was off. I was agreeing with you. I was just trying to say that they made this game even more linear than previous games that were already linear. This time around you don’t even get to figure out what you have to do. They do everything short of moving your character for you.

            In the older Pokémon games you better hope you remembered to check every house to find that one guy with the water can to get past that sudowoodo

        • Devlind

          I agree with you. It seems it was intended for kids. I stopped playing it for days after all the hand holding in tutorial island. Even when Black and White were “story heavy”, it didn’t feel restrictive like SM.

        • キロ

          I did enjoy how the first generation allowed you to do the gyms in different orders after Brock. It was pretty nifty! So something like that could be fun.

          • Reggie

            Yeah that was nice. There was still a kind of linear path in the game though, mostly facilitated by the use of HM moves.

          • キロ

            Yep of course! Just meant that little bit of freedom in comparison was pretty nice. : )

          • Velen (Not WoW)

            Mind explaining to me how you did Lieutenant Surge before Misty?

          • キロ

            Sorry, sorry, meant Misty. I forgot its 3-6, now 2-6 xD

    • Toni

      definitely agree and one of the reasons I didn’t get it, not buying another Pokemon with that many limitations, technical issues were another one, it didn’t even run properly on the normal 3DS

      • Reggie

        The unfortunate reality with pushing the handheld to its very limits. They should have made it a New 3DS exclusive, yet that would have angered a lot of fans.

        • Toni

          it would have also reduced their sales a lot when barely anyone had the new 3DS at that point, but I’m expecting the switch game to do more than just sun/moon HD, if it happens to be that tutorial/handholding-heavy I certainly will pass on it again… there is no point in all that hand-holding when you have like 95% adult fans, I don’t see how gamefreak is so blind to that

          • Reggie

            I think saying 95% are adult fans is false. Plenty of children play the games.

          • Toni

            they already gave us a statistic and it showed how barely kids play it, most fans were kids and stick to it, that’s the truth of how it sells 15 million within months

          • Reggie

            Did the statistic only account for the US or all of the world?

          • Toni

            That I don’t remember anymore but it would be interesting to know, I believe it was a world-wide statistic through financial year reports

          • Reggie

            Unless you can find the statistic and link me to it, I’m skeptic. The games are still chiefly marketed to children.

          • Toni

            they are marketed to kids but have a look at this:
            http://www.siliconera.com/2014/12/01/pokemons-audience-growing-older/ where the majority of buyers are 19+ and that increased even further with X/Y and even further with OR/AS
            then there is this: https://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/187276-pokemon-sun/74302335 it’s just gamefaqs you could argue, but it still shows 97% of sun/moon players there are 14+
            I was still wrong about the 95%, sorry about that, the actual statistic I meant was about switch sales I guess: http://www.siliconera.com/2017/04/28/nintendo-ceo-talks-switch-sales-sales-outlook-u-s-user-demographics/
            which shows 98% of buyers are 13+

  • Princess_Eevee9

    I think what we need is Orre Region and just go from there. Or you know, just make a game that’s more exploration yet you still have a objective. Be A Pokémon Master, Co-ordinator, Breeder, Chef, Talent Scout, or Actor whatever must give us what the Anime keeps teasing us with.

    • Auragar

      Orre is not a good starting point that was very limited. But the idea of having the ability to do whatever you want would be pretty awesome.

      • Princess_Eevee9

        I want the Shadow Pokémon back, Pokémon Colosseum series one of the best. Perhaps I should’ve just said I want more Orre and then I want my other idea.

        • Auragar

          Shadow Pokemon were neat but eh… though there was Shadow Mewtwo in Pokken… so… eh?

    • I would like they do the first Pokemon kinda TV Tokyo special something simple but open world, that’ll be fantastic! Side note: I wonder if you would like be in my discord server mostly users from NE.

  • Tlink7

    All Pokémon games are basically copy-pastas, so I don’t think they will do anything different with the story in Pokémon Switch (still laughing at “Stars” by the way)

  • glauca

    An open-world Pokemon game would not work with the current mechanics of the series. Monolith Soft or an internal team at Nintendo could handle an open-world Pokemon title with GameFreak assisting (GameFreak x Monolith Soft Project). I would love for Pokemon to shift to the past, which would make it easier to craft a massive world! Honestly, it could be done for the series!

    Also, I doubt the Switch title would be a massive “open-world” people want. The world will be bigger, but still contain linear elements. This is completely fine by me though, I just want to see what GameFreak could do with some powerful hardware. Still, it would contain elements from open-world titles to enhance the gameplay.

    • Auragar

      I dunno about being done my Monolith but take design cues from them sure.

      And eh I don’t think it will be all that explorative it will probably be extremely linear like Sun/Moon.

  • nekoknight

    All I really want is a traditional Pokémon RPG in HD with two different versions.

    • Auragar

      You mean one version so it isn’t a middle finger to the consumer. Anyways that is exactly what you will be getting with Pokemon Switch.

      • nekoknight

        But one of the fun things about Pokémon is trading with other players. Being able to find all of the Pokémon on just one version wouldn’t be much fun. But alas, I digress.

        • Auragar

          It is more fun to me to have everything in one game costing less money and making it less of a chore to complete stuff.

          • RoadyMike

            ?? You don’t have to buy both versions though..
            2 of the core elements of pokemon has always been trading and battling with friends. It was never much of a chore;especially not now, where everything is wireless and online. It’s easier than ever to trade and battle with friends or strangers. Heck Pokemon in general has become pretty easy to complete and do stuff like EV/IV train and breed

            If there’s a pokemon not available in my version, I can go to the GTS to trade my version exclusive pokemon for it. I can breed my starter and trade for the other 2. If all people are looking for are nothing but lvl 100 pokemon, Poke Pelago makes leveling up hands free. All this at no extra cost, except maybe time

          • Auragar

            I know it has been about trading and battling and such but there are people like me who don’t like to do that and would much prefer being able to get every Pokemon in one game rather than 2.

          • RoadyMike

            …Like I said, trading and battling has become incredibly easy.
            Pokemon has come a long way since gen 2, which is the gen I started with. We no longer need cables or wireless peripherals, everything is built in. We no longer have to meet up in person with someone who has the other version to trade or battle, we can do that all online from home

            Like I said, you DON’T NEED to get the other version to get the rest of the Pokemon.

            I can understand battles, but If tapping the screen a few times to trade pokemon is too much of a hassle, frankly, Pokemon is not the game for you. These 2 are the core elements of Pokemon. Always has been, always will. To dislike both means you just don’t like pokemon as a whole

          • Auragar

            I like the main Pokemon games but I dislike certain aspects about them and they were clearly put in their just to make more money.

          • RoadyMike

            Which I can understand. I do sometimes find it annoying to have to trade for certain pokemon. However, like I’ve said 3 times now, trading has become anything but a hassle. I got every starter pokemon so far within 2 days and that’s only cuz I sometimes forget to check the GTS.
            But battles? How do you intend to advance in the game? What are you doing post-game? Almost everything you do in the games are for battling. If you mean online battles, that’s perfectly understandable and I completely get what you mean, but battling in pokemon is pretty much unavoidable m8

          • Auragar

            I just play through the campaign and would like to be able to get any and every Pokemon without trading even if that is the (money grubbing) point of the game since release.

  • Auragar

    Basically translates to we are too lazy to try to actually make something the fans want and will continue to put in minimum effort.