Welcome, PokéFans; glad to see you taking your time our of your sparkling 3D Pokémon adventure. The wait is finally over. But after we’ve nurtured our Mon’ through Kalos for the sixteenth time, we’re going to have to consider it: what is next for the Pokémon franchise? Logically, tradition allows for a third version of the main series Pokémon games to be released, but join me, trainers, as we speculate on the possibilities of many different Pokémon games for 2014 and onwards.

You remember the days of Pokémon Crystal, Emerald, and Platinum, right? We’d come to expect third versions of Pokémon games where new features are added, but it’s just the similar ol’ adventure through a region. Well Generation V shocked us all when we received direct sequels to Pokémon Black and White (rather than possible, uninspiringly-titled Pokémon Gray). With many hailing Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 as the best Pokémon games to date, could we be expecting an X2 and Y2 come 2014? Or maybe X and Y‘s revolutionary approach and axis-theme could imply a math-inspired sequel? Pokémon (X/Y)^2 (squared), or Pokémon Z, anyone? ‘Z’ is certainly a mysterious letter, with connotations of secrecy and mystery that are perfect for Team Flare’s next motif. From new stories to new PokeDex Pokémon, all I would want from these games is more!

But if Gen VI is set to revitalise the arguably tiresome franchise, then will we be straight onto Gen VII after X and Y (too soon, Slowbro!)? Or something else totally original? For example, how does a Pokémon MMO sound?

For me, it’s a dream come true. But sadly, Mr. Masuda has other ideas for now:

Of course, we hear all the opinions we get from our fans about an MMORPG. But right now, we’re still unsure whether this core gameplay at the center of Pokémon – catching the Pokémon and raising them – would really translate well or really match the MMORPG format. Right now we think the best way for the widest possible audience to enjoy the games is the way we develop them now.

He’s certainly acknowledged the idea, but as amazing as it is to imagine a PokéMMO, technically and financially it seems farfetched. Game Freak lacks experience in the genre, and doing so would cause massive financial risks as well as an at least temporary end to main series of Pokémon games as we know it. Transitioning millions of players is complicated as it is, especially with the series’ younger audience that are not statistically MMO players.

I’m sure it would be amazing, but a 3D console Pokémon adventure seems more likely. Furthermore, recent footage may serve to convince us to give this one a closer look. The future of Pokémon has already been hinted at, I hear you cry. And yes, it might’ve been, although the mere three second clip shown at the Pokémon Game Show back in August was confirmed to be “purely conceptual.”

These three seconds spell either of two things for many trainers. One, we will soon get a Wii U Pokémon Stadium/Colosseum/Battle Revolution simulator, which would make sense given how strongly Pokémon Bank is being heavily pushed. Story mode or no, the spectacle of a HD Froakie slaps a huge grin on my face. I wish Game Freak luck rendering over 800 models onto the Wii U!

Alternatively, I think the camera implies that we could be getting a 2.5 Pokémon fighting game for the Wii U. Who wouldn’t want to smack Jigglypuff in another fighting game? Whether it’s fighting type only or not, Game Freak has warmly merged the series with other genres, and these moves have been mostly met with warm reception in return. From the rouguelike Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series to the railshooting Pokémon Snap, a fighting game wouldn’t certainly be out of place. Neither would sequels to beloved spin-offs that have developed into their own mini-franchises, and we’ve already discussed the thoughts on the fan favourite.

However, there is also one set of main series Pokémon games that has been desired since 2010, when Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver were released. Yeah, you guessed it: Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire remakes. Just those five words floods my nostalgia goggles, and my mind instantly fills with thoughts of the vibrant, vast-terrained Hoenn in 3D. You’ll know if you want it…but does the series really need it?

With the series now all for change, does this mean that the tradition of a remake would be broken? Well, Gen V didn’t give us our Hoenn remakes, but that was understandable due to the DS being majorly overshadowed by its predecessor. Yet many expected January 8, 2013 to reveal a third Gen remake instead of the brand new sixth Gen. Disappointed I was, but I loved the new direction the series was taking. X and Y housing 3D environments, eight-directional running, and gorgeous graphics… But all the same, having personally grown up with the third generation, I would love generations to come to relive Hoenn on 3DS.

But there has to be reasoning for a game to be remade, and when comparing graphics of Generation I and II, their aged-graphics deserved remakes. The colourful sprites of Hoenn, on the other hand, still hold-up, as is evident from the amount of players still playing today, and ultimately they do not demand remakes. Alas, Nintendo remains silent. The most we can hope for is that, much as Generation IV implied a relationship with Johto, we may yet find hints for a Hoenn remake in X and Y! Bring on the trumpets!

So whether it’s X2/Y2 or Z, fighting spin-offs, or a revisit to Hoenn…what do you want to see Game Freak doing with the Pokémon franchise come 2014? Be sure to let us know down below trainers, and keep battling!

Pokémon Week is a celebration of the Pokémon series as we enjoy the newly released X and Y. Make sure to stick with us all week long as we examine numerous aspects of the franchise, our thoughts on it, and the way it has impacted us and the world throughout its seventeen years.

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Alex Greensmith
I'm a 15 year old British chap who once played a videogame. Then played many more and decided to write about them for you lovely people.

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