Just this week the news broke that a new Pokémon title will be coming to the Wii U; however, the announced Pokémon Scramble U is nothing more than the next installment of the downloadable Pokémon Rumble spin-offs.
The franchise has dominated handheld gaming for decades, but gamers still wait for Pokémon to really embrace home console gaming. Six Generations into the series and it really is time because the Wii U is the perfect home console for Pokémon to make an impact on.
Pokémon is not a stranger to home consoles when it comes to spin-offs, yet it has never ventured into any serious console gaming. Pokémon’s home console past consists chiefly of the photo game Pokémon Snap; the Pokémon Stadium, Colosseum and Battle Revolution series; the mini-game-adventures in Poképark Wii; and the closest thing to a serious game in Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness.
The Wii U has the ability to provide these spin-off titles better than ever before, as well as something more. Consider the potential of a new Pokémon Snap that utilizes the Gamepad as the camera. The game could also be available and interconnectable with a 3DS version, because the 3DS cameras and gyroscope are a dream for Pokémon Snap.
A new home console also usually calls for a new Pokémon Stadium equivalent. In the past these titles haven’t performed too well as they have largely been very shallow experiences, such as with Pokémon Battle Revolution on the Wii. Battle Revolution failed to fully realize its potential with its DS wireless connectivity and online play. A Wii U version can fix that.
The Wii U Pokémon Stadium-equivalent has the potential to make console Pokémon both relevant and enjoyable. Players can connect with their 3DS Pokémon games easily via wireless. They can even play with their 3DS’s to easily hide their selections from other players, which the Gamepad can also provide.
The Pokemon Stadium spin-off series could potentially be a Pokémon-specific equivalent of Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Around the simple battle system there is the potential to build a game that truly does justice to the overall series. The Wii U is more than capable of that; however, instead of a purely battling game, why not actually develop a proper console Pokémon game and make the Stadium-gameplay an additional mode?
Imagine how the Wii U could provide a proper full-scale home console Pokémon RPG. It would be a massive step for the franchise, but one that attracts a new group of gamers and appeals to long-time fans that have grown-up into a more hardcore style of gaming. Just imagine Pokémon playing out in a 3D world; a HD world, there on your television.
Imagine Pokémon on a Xenoblade Chronicles-inspired level. Something that takes the concept of Gale of Darkness and amps it up several notches. Routes could become expansive locations. Cities can tower over players. Battles can be realized in real-time allowing for all new strategy and combinations of moves. We could properly see battle animations, and see the affects of combining our Piplup’s Whirlpool with a Pikachu’s thunderbolt, just like in the anime.
Granted, a lot of these changes and advancements could occur with Pokémon X and Y on the 3DS, but we can’t ignore the possibilities for the Wii U and interconnectability between the two consoles. The handheld consoles have also seen plenty of their own spin-offs with Mystery Dungeon, Ranger, Pinball, Trading Card titles and more, but how the handheld console interacts with the Wii U in Generation VI will be even more telling.
What can really make any Pokémon spin-off title relevant is a rewards system for players. Through playing spin-offs there should be benefits to your genuine Pokémon game. Let players train properly and keep their progress on their 3DS file through the next Pokémon Stadium.
There is an abundance of potential for Pokémon on the Wii U, but for now all we’re getting is a revamped Rumble. Let us hope that Pokémon will not continue to disappoint for the rest of the Wii U’s lifetime.