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Is Pokemon getting too easy?

Forum User Emeritus
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Mega Evolution definatly sped the game up for me, literally swiping nearly every gym leader. However, before I got it, the Exp share actually made the game more fun...instead of a swiper that's level 50 and the rest is level 10, you end up with an evenish leveled team. Made the game a little more fun.
 
Akira is an okay movie.
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Considering that Masuda thinks "people get bored with challenging stuff" you might as well just say goodbye to Challenge Mode. And it's a shame because i wanted to try it, but that key system of BW2 was terrible.
That's why they should go with making it 'optional'. Make it so that people don't have to use it, and if there people looking for a challenge, activate it to their heart's desires.
^This

Heck, even though this would be impossible. I would love it if they had the Smash Bros. intensity system.
The Smash Bros intensity system? They ripped that straight from Kid Icarus: Uprising.
Did they? Never really know much about KI:U except it is made by the same guy who made Smash Bros. Though if (chances are Ultra Mega Slim though) Pokemon had the Intensity system, that would be about 90 difficulty levels to choose from and the idea that when you lose, intensity drop can really showcase a players skill level.
You should play KI:U. It's awesome. A bit short, however.
 
The Fallen
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To me X/Y and AS/OR do feel easier than the earlier games but the player's choices effect that more than the AI.

The Exp. Share is probably the most significant factor effecting my gameplay personally because it quite a bit overtrained me for all the gyms from the point I'd received it forward as I'd leave it on. A Pokemon that out levels a gym leader's, or any trainer's for that matter is not going to have too hard a time even with a type disadvantage but type still plays such a role that a single pokemon can be the difference between a easy and a difficult experience.

Let's examine my Wattson battle in Alpha Sapphire as an example. Wattson's entire team here has a secondary type of Steel, I'd begun with Torchic, a fire type which evolves with fighting as a secondary type both type advantages to steel. Once again the Exp. Share had me arriving in Mauville about two levels above his strongest pokemon, as a result of all three of these factors I'd taken his entire team out in under five moves with my Cumbuskin alone.
If I'd done a few things differently I can imagine it being a bit more of a difficult battle. Because the Torchic line is pretty useless I have a feeling my Cumbuskin would have fallen very behind in level had I not had that Exp. Share turned on or not received it at all. Just as out leveling your opponent can cancel out a type advantage so is true the vise versa, an under leveled pokemon can also cancel out the opponent's type disadvantage. If I'd played with the same team but had chosen to begin with Treeko, even with the use of the experience share to over level me I might have once again been in trouble because said team did not really have an electric or steel strength and to ice the cake had a fair bit of electric weakness. I could however have possibly mimicked my real experience in the hypothetical Treeko scenario with the choice to capture and train a geodude which is immune to electricity. Considering however that rock is weak to steel that geodude might have still failed had I not used the Exp. Share to over level it.

There can be cases of poor execution on the AI's part, I'll admit. Flannery may have had a chance against my over leveled Seaking had she not started out each of her Pokemon using Sunny Day (though not too likely since Princess took them each out with one Water Pulse/Waterfall hehe) and moving down a generation to Soul Silver/Heart Gold Whitney's changed tactic to spamming Stomp instead of Rollout caused her to do a fair bit less damage. With some moves they use it's a case of rolling the dice though. The first time I battled Whitney in SS she never once used Milk Drink but the second time I did when I restarted the game she did once, maybe twice (it's been a while) and might have even used super potions which totally didn't happen the first time. This also leads me to another example of how different choices in pokemon used can change the experience, the second SS Whitney battle was a bit more daunting than the first without an Impish quagsire to take all the stomps with barely a dent.

In the end it's still all about choices even when the AI changes things up on you and with remakes like AS/OR the fact that we know what to expect can also effect those choices or even our perception of the battles.
 
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Monoceros
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To me X/Y and AS/OR do feel easier than the earlier games but the player's choices effect that more than the AI.
Pretty much this.

When I did my initial run-through on Black, I had two gyms leaders nearly kill me: Elesa and Clay. I had no good counters for them and they kept laying out members of my team like they were nothing. Then I started my game on White and sent over a nice, sturdy Ground type. I beat both of them in under ten minutes, no lie. But I knew what to expect and planned accordingly.

The same held true with OR: when it came to Tate and Liza, I had a Ghost and Dark type on my team and took down everything their Gym threw at me with no real problems. If I hadn't it may have been another story. But being prepared made the difference in that case.
 
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I think the magic of Pokemon is that it can be easy for the new beginners, I remember as a little kid really struggling with the Elite 4 and Champ in the past, but haven't really felt that way in a long time.

I went back and played Gen 3 before ORAS, and actually it was about the same difficulty as ORAS, perhaps Oras is slightly easier if you turn on the exp share, and accept the free Mega Legend they randomly give you, but I found it's just as easy to set myself a challenge in these games too.

And don't forget the maison, struggled with the Battle tower in Ruby (only recently got Crystal) and struggle with the Battle Maison in XY, so I'd say it's about the same difficulty.
 
Explore.
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I think it just depends on the player's experience in the games and their strategies. With me, Crystal and the original Ruby/Sapphire were my hardest because I didn't quite understand type-advantages/disadvantages back in that time. But by the time I got playing Colosseum/XD and Emerald, I had a better understanding, and it kept getting better with each passing game. I remember struggling horribly with the Pokémon League in Sapphire, but now in Alpha Sapphire I had wiped out nearly every single 'mon with only one move(I partially blame Super-Training for this). The only real struggle that I had this time was when Steven brought out his Mega-Aggron.
 
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It's always been one of the easier rpgs to play, the accessibility is part of what made it so popular.
 
The Possibly Fake
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Adding on from my earlier comments; not only has my younger brother still not touched his Omega Ruby game, but he's now moved on to more strategic games like Clash of Clans.

When I played through Pokémon Y last year, I had to really restrain myself just to make the game remotely challenging (such as turning of the Exp. Share, being under-levelled, only using the same number of Pokémon as the Gym Leader etc) and I still found it to be a relative pushover. In the last two generations, I have defeated Gym Leaders without losing a single hit point and I just find that ridiculous. During my Alpha Sapphire playthrough, I would have beaten Tate & Liza in a single turn if not for Solrock just barely surviving a hit!

In regards to the accessibility issue, I would love it if GameFreak added in an optional hard mode. Keep the default difficulty the level it currently is, but have the option to make the game more challenging for those that want it.
 
Nepgear is cute.
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I feel as if someone needs to tell Masuda that not everyone wants the game to be super-easy, and that part of the reason people are moving away from the franchise is that he's not giving us a decent amount of content to last their fans.
 
Absent Silhouette
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I think a lot of people are overlooking how much impact move sets make on the game. If you were to pick up a Gen 1 game, more than half of the Pokemon you could use have less than 10 moves they can learn via leveling up. Yes we had TMs but they're limited and not all are useful. Now first stage Pokemon have access to very strong moves, for example fighting types with Power Up Punch.

Try playing the newer entries with some of the restrictions of the older ones and you'll see how different they are.
 
Ey b0ss
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If I, a person with a 1 in 4 success rate in rated battles, can do a Nuzlocke on hardcore mode with only 2 useless Pokemon dying in ORAS...

Then yes, the games are pathetically easy.
 
Monoceros
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And don't forget the maison, struggled with the Battle tower in Ruby (only recently got Crystal) and struggle with the Battle Maison in XY, so I'd say it's about the same difficulty.
Yeah, the Maison can give you an actual challenge, more so than the story.

Granted, I understand why some people wouldn't like it, as the Maison is geared more towards the metagame. But it can be good challenge for those who like that sort of thing. (Just don't get cocky--the Maison loves to kick you when you feel confident. I've learned that the hard way while playing X.)
 
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The games have always been easy, older fans are just getting better and better at them. When I first played SS, my team was underleveld to the point I had to grind just so Lugia wouldn't crush the entire team. When I re-played it last year, however, my team was more or less at the same level, since I had only three real team members.
You can easily make the games harder by just not using certain items or Pokémon, or just by accepting bad natures or abilities (My Togekiss in Platinum has Hustle instead of Serene Grace, but he still did just fine).
 
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^IIRC, I had this problem in Colosseum as opposed to XD. Most of the Shadow 'mons that I caught and made as my official team in the first half of Colosseum weren't really all that great.
 
Dieter
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So Sapphire might be my favourite game in the series (though tbh I very much enjoyed all of Gen III. Biased though) and I've played it many times (and Emerald as well). As I got older, and understood the mechanics better/was able to plan out better strategies, the games got easier. But that was simply because I knew what to expect and what to do

Now let's move to Gen VI, which I kinda skipped, only getting Y a few weeks before the release of ORAS (cause it was on sale). I still haven't beaten it, but most of the game felt too easy for me (though the changes made to the type chart, the new type and some other things did make it a bit more challenging again)

Then ORAS on the other hand was a mixed bag. Unlike in Y I turned off the Exp. Share, but at times the game was still easy. On the other hand, I've still had Pokémon faint in Gym Battles, and especially the later gyms and the E4/Champion weren't exactly push-overs either. Even though I roughly knew what to expect, so I was quite prepared

I think an important part of the fanbase feeling like the games as a whole are getting easier is because they are getting older
 
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The games have always been easy, older fans are just getting better and better at them. When I first played SS, my team was underleveld to the point I had to grind just so Lugia wouldn't crush the entire team. When I re-played it last year, however, my team was more or less at the same level, since I had only three real team members.
You can easily make the games harder by just not using certain items or Pokémon, or just by accepting bad natures or abilities (My Togekiss in Platinum has Hustle instead of Serene Grace, but he still did just fine).
Same for me, during my initial playthrough I don't care about IVs or natures at all. Even for the Latis I didn't bother soft resetting for a good nature iv set as I have both games and eon ticket on each so I can always get another one of each. It's only in the postgame when I start to breed and actually care about natures and ivs, and at that point I want them perfect lol.

I think an important part of the fanbase feeling like the games as a whole are getting easier is because they are getting older
Yeah this, I remember parts of the story I really used to struggle with now being a walk in the park even in old games.
 
Dieter
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Same for me, during my initial playthrough I don't care about IVs or natures at all. Even for the Latis I didn't bother soft resetting for a good nature iv set as I have both games and eon ticket on each so I can always get another one of each. It's only in the postgame when I start to breed and actually care about natures and ivs, and at that point I want them perfect lol.
true that, cause the in-game challengers don't have mons bred to perfection. Though I do occasionally bother getting a specific nature when it's a game with contests XD or if i really want a certain pokémon with a certain nature cause i think it matches (cause i'm weird like that)

regarding the fanbase getting older though, is this just the core/a pretty small part, or is it a significant part of the players? i wish there was a way to find out, cause if most players actually are older now, you'd expect the games would cater slightly more to them (by adding difficulty levels and such)

i mean, it wouldn't be weird, i think, cause the whole marketing for videogames in the 90's was set up in such a way it could grow with the target audience (so, the first systems were aimed at say ten year olds, while the next system a few years later was more aimed at 13 year olds, so they could stay with the same fanbase)
 
MEGA F'ING AMPHAROS!!!
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In my opinion, I believe that Game Freak is intentionally easing up on the difficulties of the past few Pokémon games.

In X/Y's case, you are pretty much given every type combination of Pokémon even before you reach the second gym. There are plenty of options you have to take down a Gym Leader, and the Gym Leader's Pokémon are not particularly difficult to defeat at all. In addition, quite a few of the Pokémon (i.e. Grant's Amaura and Clemont's Magneton) have very glaring 4x weaknesses to common attacking types and don't have much in the way to counter those weaknesses. Exp. Share also exists so that even a recently obtained Pokémon can catch up to the rest of your squad with very little time or effort.

As for ORAS, the same principle exists, except you have a very narrower selection of Pokémon from which to choose from. In addition, said Pokémon are very low-leveled just like their RSE counterparts relative to the levels of the trainers on routes. Even so, you have access to Exp. Share and other resources to power up those Pokémon.

In addition, the earlier Gym Leaders are slightly weaker than their RSE counterparts, and they tend to specialize in typings that your early route mons can counter with ease. In Roxanne's case, Treecko/Mudkip/Lotad/Shroomish are available even before you enter the forest. As for Brawley, you have Ralts, Mawile, Sableye, Taillow, and Wingull. As for Wattson, you have Marshtomp, Combusken, Geodude, and Makuhita. As for Flannery, you have Numel, Marshtomp, Marill, and Sandshrew. Granted, the chances of any player obtaining all of these Pokémon is very small, but many of the Pokémon I mentioned cover very wide type spectrums and good players will still catch them anyway.

Because of the Exp. Share and DexNav, you can level up your lower-leveled mons without much effort, unlike RSE.

But I feel this is Game Freak's intent. Some developers like Masuda have remarked during interviews that people don't have too much time to play video games; the main series games may have been "dumbed down" in difficulty to accommodate the needs of this generation's gamers.
 
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They really are. When I played Gen. 1, It was challenging. 200 hours for me just to beat the Pokemon league. Now? 42 hours into ORAS and beat the Pokemon league.
 
MEGA F'ING AMPHAROS!!!
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Speaking of the Pokémon League, I feel that, in XY's case, the Kalos Elite Four and Champion had very substandard Pokémon compared to their prior-gen counterparts. It also doesn't help that many of these Pokémon have horrendous typings and 4x weaknesses.

Malva
- Talonflamw: Has Flame Body instead of Gale Wings, glaring 4x weakness to Rock. It is fast and has two great STAB moves, but it is frail and any bulky Rock-type can survive against it.

- Pyroar: Annoying because Noble Roar lowers your Pokémon's attacking stats by 1 stage. Again, Rock-type Pokémon resist its two STABs. At least it has Wild Charge to cover Water-types. Not particularly difficult.

- Torkoal: Has a good movepool but lacks the offensive stats to back them up. Generally bulky Pokémon that may be required to be 2HKO'd. More annoying than difficult.

- Chandelure: Great Pokémon, but unfortunately it has a movepool designed to annoy rather than completely stop your team. Confide doesn't stop physical attackers, and a simple Full Heal can get rid of Confuse Ray's effects.

Wikstrom:
- Scizor: 4x Fire weakness, but may be difficult if you are trying to fight it with a neutral Pokémon.

- Probopass: 4x Ground and Fighting weaknesses, albeit it has Sturdy so not much can 1HKO it; it is more annoying rather than difficult to take down

- Klefki: More annoying than difficult to take down. Really only used to set up Spikes

- Aegislash: Only mildly difficult Pokémon on his team, but all of its attacking moves are physical. As such, physical tanks are very useful here..

Siebold
- Clawitzer: Good Pokémon overall with a great movepool but is generally slow so any Grass- or Electric-type Pokémon that can reliably outspeed it has a good chance of OHKO.

- Starmie: Great pokemon. No complaints here.

- Gyarados: I'll admit it is a difficult Pokémon to stop if it has already set up. Otherwise, just focus on defeating it with Electric-type moves.

- Barbaracle: Horrible weaknesses to Electric, Fighting, Ground, and Grass. Also rather slow with bad Special Defense so again any fast special sweeper can reliably 1HKO it.

Drasna
- Dragalge: Very bulky on the special side, but for the most part you are going to attack it with Earthquake. Can be difficult if you are attempting to defeat it with a neutral special attacker.

- Altaria: Can be annoying with Sing and Cotton Guard, but otherwise a single Ice Beam can stop it.

- Druddigon: Terrible movepool but is very bulky so OHKOs are unlikely. But Fairy-type Pokémon are immune to its Dragon Tail and resist Revenge.

- Noivern: Really fast and high-powered Pokémon, but can fall rather easily to an Ice or Rock-type move.

Diantha
- Hawlucha: High-powered Pokémon but is very frail and has common weaknesses. Easy to stop but be wary if it already set up.

- Tyrantrum: Great movepool and attack power, but it is rather slow and has very common weaknesses.

- Aurorus: 4x weaknesses to Fighting and Steel. It has dual screens and STAB Blizzard, but its horrible defensive typing makes it very unlikely to even pull off the moves. Easy Pokémon to stop.

- Gourgeist: A one-trick pony that attempts to maximize the damage you take from Phantom Force. It is rather bulky on the physical side, but any special Fire- and Ice-type Pokémon should defeat it.

- Goodra: Very good Pokémon with great coverage moves. No complaints.

- Mega Gardevoir: Again, excellent.

Compared to the likes of, say, Lucian of the Sinnoh Elite Four who had the likes of Alakazam, Espeon (Platinum only), and Bronzong (back when it only had 2 weaknesses); or Marshall of the Unova E4 (who had bulky Fighting-types like Conkeldurr and even some high-powered ones like Mienshao and Sawk [with Sturdy]), the Kalos E4 had underwhelming members.

And even though Diantha has two or three difficult Pokémon on her team, it does not compare at all to Cynthia or even Steven's pre-credit teams in their respective games. So you do question if the E4 is purposely made easier as well.
 
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