Are You Game: Part III

My last two posts have looked out games which have already been made. Today I’m going to look at games I think should be made.

The Concept

The game I propose is, thankfully, not another shooter. Much as I enjoy playing them, I’m going with a different franchise. Pokémon.

I know, I know. There are plenty of games in that franchise already. They have even announced their first ever 3D games, Pokémon X and Y. However, these games are only available for the Nintendo 3DS, and their graphics retain the anime-style of all previous games. But I think Nintendo are missing a trick by not utilizing the larger consoles such as the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, as well as full HD graphics.

Imagine it, a full-length Pokémon game on your console in hi-def. I’ve listed below a few of the key points of my game proposal.

  • Completely open-world, in the style of Assassin’s Creed or Skyrim;
  • RPG elements to your character as well as your Pokémon;
  • The game focuses on the original 150 Pokémon;
  • You control your Pokémon during fights from their POV;
  • Online multiplayer gives players the chance to challenge other humans;
  • Players of a certain level or higher can assume Gym Leader positions on a server; and
  • Your Pokémon completely refuse your orders unless you have a gym badge above their level.

Taking the example of controlling your Pokémon during a battle – I think this could be accomplished by designating the X, A, B and Y buttons (that’s square, circle, X and triangle for PlayStation) for one attack each. Battles will not be turn based, with movement/evading attacks achieved by the analogue sticks.

The plot itself can be as simple as young man/woman ventures into the world for the first time to become the best Pokémon trainer. Or it can explore the idea of leaving home and the effect that has upon the protagonist’s character as they travel. The need to catch more Pokémon just to have sentient company and dialogue with other characters could be used to highlight the difficulties of leaving home.

The world around the characters can be further detailed by the small things, like evidence of Team Rocket’s wrong-doings, even if you don’t meet them until later in the game. Or chatter between NPCs about how they have dealt with being away from home, and their recent experiences in battles/gym fights.

Of course, there are still plenty of issues with this game, both in concept and in details, but it’s one that I would love to see developed.

A long time ago, in a game developer far, far away…

In other news, Disney announced yesterday that they are closing games development company LucasArts, after buying them in October 2012. LucasArts was behind every Star Wars and Indiana Jones game ever, the good and the bad, as well as other cult hits Day of the Tentacle and Monkey Island. Disney’s reasoning was this:

“After evaluating our position in the games market, we’ve decided to shift LucasArts from an internal development to a licensing model, minimizing the company’s risk while achieving a broader portfolio of quality Star Wars games.”

While many of their games received mixed critical reviews in recent years, LucasArts had somewhat reinvigorated the Star Wars Franchise with The Force Unleashed I and II. However, they were to prove the final gems in the franchise, with Star Wars Kinect failing, both critically and financially.

This closure means that Star Wars 1313, which was under development, has been put on hold. It is yet to be officially cancelled, but with this move, you have to wonder if 1313 will ever be completed.

Personally, I have mixed feelings about the closure. Obviously I feel sorry for the staff who have been made redundant. But on the other hand, the company had already tried outsourcing to other companies for some of their games, and their games since the ‘90s, with the exception of The Force Unleashed series, have been fairly generic. With LucasArts staff now no longer involved with the Star Wars games some fresh blood will be introduced. This could be exactly what is needed to improve the series. Of course, it could also turn out to be a disaster and ruin Star Wars games for a generation of gamers. Only time will tell.

So are there any games that you feel the world is missing? What are your thoughts on the LucasArts closure?

NK

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