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Has The Jump to Console Been Overall Positive or Negative for Pokemon?

Has the Jump to Console Been Positive or Negative for Pokemon?

  • Positive

    Votes: 10 58.8%
  • Negative

    Votes: 7 41.2%

  • Total voters
    17

Bolt Strike

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On March 3, 2017, Nintendo released the Nintendo Switch, which was the first ever hybrid home console and handheld gaming system. With Pokemon having been previously a handheld exclusive series (or at least for its main series games), this meant that for the first time ever, the main series would be releasing for a home console. Since then we have gotten four games, Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee, Sword/Shield, Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl, and Legends Arceus. And we've seen massive changes in the series throughout these games, both good and bad. Pokemon in the overworld. The ability to catch Pokemon without battling. Open zone design. Dexit. DLC. Outsourcing games to other studios. Prequels. Overhauls of battling mechanics. So what kind of legacy do you think the jump to the Switch has had on the series? Has it been overall positive or negative? Do you think the games are overall better or worse than they were on handhelds?
 
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Norzan

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Haven't played Legends Arceus yet, so i don't have an opinion on that (even if i like it, it's still negative overall with a 3 to 1 ratio), but i don't like any of the other games. My two least favorite remakes and my least favorite generation are here, so to me the track record has been pretty bad.
 

Bolt Strike

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As for me, I would say it's mostly been positive. SwSh, and especially LA, are the kinds of Pokemon games I've been dreaming of for years. I've always been enticed by the adventure elements of Pokemon, and now in seeing Pokemon games with the vast, explorable worlds that have only been possible on consoles that dream has been realized. LA in particularly feels like the modern Pokemon experience the series really needed. There's definitely been some serious negatives with the console games, LGPE is almost the exact opposite direction that I want out of a Pokemon game, Dexit has seriously hampered the Pokemon selection (SwSh is the only Switch game that I feel has a satisfactory selection of Pokemon), and BDSP were way too similar to the original DP and once again took almost nothing from Platinum. But I feel the positives outweigh the negatives here and we're seeing Pokemon games become so much more than what they used to be. And that excites me because for the last 10 years it's been feeling like the series was becoming less instead of more. So yeah, I would say console gaming has been a net positive.

I also think that BotW in particular is a large reason why the series is headed in a positive direction. The game has seen so much acclaim, popularity, and financial success that it's been impossible to ignore and every developer wants to get a piece of the action. Game Freak is no different, it's really seemed to open their eyes to what kinds of experiences people are looking for on the Switch. I really feel like if it weren't for BotW, we'd still be playing the linear and simplistic games like XY and SM, they did make a statement early on that they thought the Switch would fail because they thought mobile would choke them out of the market. You can really feel the philosophy shift taking place around the time we all saw BotW and the Switch starting to sell like hotcakes.
 

Poke Dragon

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I would say positive since the jump to a greatly more powerful system allowed Pokemon to really do what they couldn't do if they just stuck to the 3DS or mobile, which is to make greatly expanded worlds that Pokemon desperately needed. Say what you want about Sword and Shield, but it's undeniable that those games needed to exist because Pokemon needed to get used to making expanded worlds that eventually led to Legends Arceus being created.
 

Silktree

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I am not enamored with the 3DS games, so other than BDSP there hasn't been a drop in scope. Galar seriously lacks appeal in my book, though. I haven't even been compelled to buy a Switch yet.

They need to take the Legends formula and add a lot of meat to it, and I say that as a vegan.
 

Dorothy

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I think there's been a lot of growing pains with the jump to consoles, and the games have suffered for it. I don't usually struggle to have a good and engaging time with a Pokemon game (even unpopular entries like XY I've always been able to have a good time with - I sunk hundreds of hours into Y back in high school), but Shield was the first time I had a relatively sour experience. Legends has really been a step up though. My hope is that Pokemon ceases to be a yearly franchise and uses the extra time to bring us better, polished games that don't have to sacrifice features and story opportunities for the sake of meeting a yearly deadline.
 

colours

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both

positive in the sense that there are games where pokemon should aspire to emulate in terms of quality that so many people laud (looking at you: BotW). negative in the sense that people's sky high (teetering on unrealistic) expectations has become rather worse over the years and the jump to console has only made the critics and skeptics that much louder instead of giving credit where credit is due. by no means am i saying that pokemon should be given some sort of pass - i think each game has room for improvement like any video game would - but it would be remiss not to acknowledge progress where it has been made. or maybe i'm just more optimistic than the average pokemon player would be about the console games.
 

Bolt Strike

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positive in the sense that there are games where pokemon should aspire to emulate in terms of quality that so many people laud (looking at you: BotW). negative in the sense that people's sky high (teetering on unrealistic) expectations has become rather worse over the years and the jump to console has only made the critics and skeptics that much louder instead of giving credit where credit is due. by no means am i saying that pokemon should be given some sort of pass - i think each game has room for improvement like any video game would - but it would be remiss not to acknowledge progress where it has been made. or maybe i'm just more optimistic than the average pokemon player would be about the console games.

Well again I'm trying to get people's opinions of positive or negative overall. Of course there will be positives and negatives for every generation but I'm gauging whether or not people feel it's more positive than negative or more negative than positive. So just saying "both" is kind of a cop-out answer that doesn't say a whole lot, to some degree everyone could probably say it's both.

I do agree that there's some dangers with increasing expectations, but I also think it's natural to raise your expectations in a tech based industry such as video games. Tech's whole business model is iterative, they come out with an upgraded version of their last product to get you to constantly buy the latest and greatest thing every few years. In order for that to work, they have to show how the new product is better than the last, so that causes consumers to constantly raise their expectations over time. If the next gen game isn't better than the last, why would you buy the new game when you enjoy the old game more? It does cause people to become a bit entitled, but as long as this kind of business model remains (and I don't see it going away anytime soon) it's something we'll just have to put up with.

That being said, I also have to appreciate the progress Pokemon's made already. Compare LA with BW2 and there's a night and day difference to the point where LA is almost unrecognizable to what we knew of as a Pokemon game. And I mean that in a good way. The series has evolved into a much more modern, open, and realistic style on the Switch (and it's continuing to evolve with the reveal of SV that occurred in the time since I created this topic). I do, however, think bulk of the evolution occurred on the Switch, especially SwSh and LA and to a lesser degree you could do the same comparison between USUM and LA. The jump to 3D with XY and SM had some evolution, but in some ways I would argue that those games were a regression with the series trending towards more linearity and less exploration, while SwSh and LA did something of a 180 there and in some ways have gone further than even the 2D games.
 

colours

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but that is my stance, though. i wasn't trying to cop-out or anything, but what i was trying to say is that i feel a mixture of both positive and negative feelings about pokemon's journey on the switch. i suppose if i had to pick one, it'd be overall positive because i think the games (in my opinion, at least) are getting progressively better and are delivering a (mostly) better experience, but simultaneously i can't help but feel that i'm kind of in the minority appreciating that, hence the negativity. or maybe i'm overthinking how internet pokemon fans react to the console games so far, idk.
 

Nicolas721

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  • Let's go: A watered down version of main series games that attracts casual fans first but forgetting what more veteran players wanted. But at least it introduced overworld encounters and the motion controls/co-op make it feel like a console game more...
  • Sword/Shield: It indeed has a bigger world that was Game freak was used to handling, but not necessarily a more complex world, and the mechanics, story, features, etc. are more or less what you'd expect from them coming from Gen 7. However, it did introduced the first Open zone and many of the features were centered around it, and two more defined and better handled zones in the DLC.
  • BDSP: We don't talk about that game, no, no no, we don't talk about that gameeeee....It's just a buggy remaster that makes other handheld games look good by comparison and that didn't even manage to make neither its old and new features into special stuff.
  • Legends: Now this one is good. Battles are revamped, catching is modernized and exploration in open world is finally nailed. Has its flaws but it really feels the direction the games should had taken time ago.
It's hard to pick a side when all games have their flaws, and when there's no current handheld games to compare to. However, I'd say positive if that "casual line" (composed of Let's go and BDSP) didn't exist, they really bring the other games down. I'd actually prefer third versions over having "possibly good but very childish and limited" experiences every 3 years.
 

WyndonCalling

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I think I have to start from the position of the jump (well, hop, given the hybrid nature of the Switch) being a de facto positive for the series because it's been able to continue to exist as a high-profile, mainstream game series; there are no Nintendo handheld devices any more, and while the franchise has enjoyed success on mobile platforms they're a) a far cry from the main series experience and b) developing a reputation for sitting squarely within that FOMO/lootbox/gacha/pay-to-win space. There's not really a trade-off between the series being on handheld or on console; it's a trade-off between being on console or existing.

With that out of the way and boring back into the question of whether or not the console titles are any good relative to their older siblings, I'm confident in saying that the period leading up to Arceus was a rocky one, marked by a general sense of not living up to expectations, perhaps caused by inexperience with the demands of development for console and the timeframes associated with that. I pretty much entirely concur with Nicholas above in their assessment of the individual titles; there's some real yawn-inducers there, book-ended by the one title of the era so far that I'm comfortable giving a ringing endorsement to.

This said, I don't think I was ever particularly down on the franchise's future prospects for much of this period (except perhaps in the window between BDSP and Arceus) because every game had pockets of effort and ambition that made me smile - LGPE's walking animations, swathes of the SwSh dlc and the general attention to art style in those games, the entirety of New Snap. Given these and the fundamental charms of the series, I've very rarely felt that the teething issues of this period are insurmountable given enough experience and lead time.
 
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Gengarzilla

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Hmm... The jump to console came roughly in the middle of what I'd call Game Freak's dark era, where they seemed to become a little more interested in sales rather than quality, so any personal judgement on whether that jump was good will inevitably be coloured by this.

XY, ORAS, SM, and USUM were an alarmingly long string of mainline games which really didn't do it for me at the end of the day, and then we did said jump to the Switch with LGPE and SWSH, neither of which were my cup of tea either. BDSP was something I shockingly found myself enjoying, if only for sentimental reasons, but even that can't blind me to its numerous flaws, Afterwards we have LA which is without doubt a return to form and worth the money.

Has the jump to console been a positive or negative? In the fairest way possible, I guess it's been a mixed bag with some definite ups and downs. I'm open to the hope that LA was the start of an upwards trend which SV continues but I shall be, as always now, cautiously optimistic. And if it isn't, I can just skip the Gen 9 opener and escape to PMD games for another year.
 

KJNanika

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I'd say positive, but that's only because both SwSh and LA have pushed the series into new directions (in some ways), and Let's Go is a pretty good starting point for people new to the series (but nothing more, it's lackluster to a veteran like me)
 

R1ke

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I’m saying positive due to legends, it’s definitely a step in the right direction and makes the future look bright imo. I’m not a huge fan of gen 8 as a whole, but this feels like the proper game they’re sinking their time into. So if we get more of this, it’ll pay off nicely I bet
 

Beer&Nyquil

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I’m saying positive due to legends, it’s definitely a step in the right direction and makes the future look bright imo. I’m not a huge fan of gen 8 as a whole, but this feels like the proper game they’re sinking their time into. So if we get more of this, it’ll pay off nicely I bet
I completely agree that if sv are as good as I hope they are, they’ll retroactively make the last few games better because I’ll see those games more as stepping stones
 

Daenerys

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Mostly positive, at least at first. Dexit was a huge blemish on the franchise that will forever be remembered, but Sword and Shield were okay games if you ignore that fiasco.

BD/SP on the other hand prove that either Nintendo don't know what they're doing, or they just don't care and simply approved the games because they knew that nostalgic fans would buy even terrible hunks of mediocrity like those games. Seriously if someone had told me 3 years ago that there would be a Pokemon console game for the Switch that's 50% DS-esque graphics, I wouldn't have believed it. But fact is stranger than fiction I guess.
 
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