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  • Writer's pictureCJ

The case for expecting better: A Pokemon Rant

Recently I had a dispute with someone over the new Pokémon game. While a great game, that tries new things in a stale franchise, it still has a look of PS2/PS3 about it.

In itself, this isn’t an issue. Graphics aren’t the be-all and end-all of gaming. I play many indie games which either through stylisation or budget do not reach high fidelity in graphics. And they’re perfectly great as they are.

My personal favourite game isn't a graphical marvel

My issue with this in a franchise such as Pokémon is that it isn’t an indie game, far from it. Game freak creates games for the highest-grossing game franchise in the world. The absolute highest. If you think the CEO isn’t taking baths in his Scrouge McDuck treasure vault after work, you are mistaken.

While Arcius can maybe make the stylised defence, it certainly can’t make the budget one.

And no, putting more money into the graphics wouldn’t detract from other areas. They have enough spare cheddar around to not flinch when writing a big cheque. (Or maybe they would, as they seem less than keen to part from spending more than they have to).

And I don’t mean that Pokémon should go for photorealism, just a better quality of the style they have chosen to use.

Would it affect your enjoyment of the game? Probably not. But should a company as wealthy as GF be expected to put in the extra effort because you’re worthy of it? Yes.

It’s not being entitled to want a company that has milked you for years to respect you enough to not just push out the bare minimum. They’re so used to knowing that whatever Pokémon game they put out will sell wildly that there isn’t any financial incentive to go the distance.

And when we don’t criticise their low efforts, and worse, defend them. We are just signing up to more years of consumer disrespect.

It’s fine to enjoy something, to enjoy the hell out of it, but to still push back and say it could and should be better. Buy the game, enjoy, but let those who sold you it know its flaws.

One would hope they would throw the extra million at it for your benefit because they want you to have the best experience possible. But we’ve seen they won’t. As long as the money flows, they don’t really care.

Here’s a game that has stylised graphics and even some similar mechanics to Pokémon. This game isn’t due on the Switch, so I can’t make an exact ‘this is what it should be’. But this game is a lot more fast-paced and particle effect full. But the basics of fidelity could easily apply to a Pokémon game.

An analogy. You go to the market and buy a tomato from the guy at the stall, you take a bite, it’s fine, but not great. You go every day and get a new tomato to eat, they don’t improve.

You go through life never having tried a great tomato. Because the seller doesn’t see a need to stock better produce as you’re buying it and eating with no complaints.

Now, if you complained to the seller, and they next week come back with a better stock of tomatoes, as they want to provide a product you’re pleased with. Your life of daily tomato eating is now improved.

Don’t settle for fine tomatoes. Don’t settle for fine Pokémon games.

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