All right, Nintendo. You’ve had your fun. You got to bilk Zelda fans with a Gamecube port. You managed to cobble together a sequel to Super Mario Galaxy with leftover code from the original. Hell, you managed to turn Metroid into an emo Ninja Gaiden blast-o-thon.
And while I’m not saying these games are bad (quite the contrary, as all three are/were/appear to be fantastic), it seems like the primo developer from the Land of the Rising Stock Value has, in its success, overlooked several opportunities to give its fans a reason to buy new pants.
Before you start whining about the oversaturation of MMOs, just think about this: What is the #1 thing that makes Pokemon* games fun? If you answered “beating the shit out of your friends’ pets,” you are absolutely right. So, one must ask oneself, “What is the only thing that could make this experience better?”
Beating the shit out of the pets of millions of strangers around the world.
Imagine how beautiful it would be: You boot up your Wii (or 3DSi, or… even… PC?), sign on, and you’re wandering around Pokeworld with countless other trainers. Instead of random battles against poorly-themed NPC opponents, you’re throwing down against adolescents and twenty-somethings the world over (FACT: no other age group plays Pokemon). Earn enough credits and you can open your own gym where, every day, trainers would visit to learn from you, challenge you, or attempt to steal your account password by posing as a Pokeworld Administrator. It would be awesome.
Now, the reality is that Nintendo hates the Internet. It hates and fears the Internet with an intensity rivaled only by the frenzied devotion of its Pokemon fanbase. I shouldn’t really need to offer any evidence, but if Friend Codes, DLC management, and Super Smash Brothers Brawl aren’t enough to convince you, I don’t know what is. A Pokemon MMO would therefore be anethema to everything Nintendo stands for. Hell, they already shut down a functioning, fan-made version. Dammit.
But if there’s one thing Nintendo loves, it’s guaranteed profits. And if you can convince yourself that World of Pokemon and all of its 31 add-on expansions wouldn’t be the highest grossing videogame in the history of the industry, you’ve got a serious case of being completely wrong.
There is simply no reason this game shouldn’t already be in the hands of Wii-owners everywhere. Yet it appears the title isn’t even in development. If there’s ever been a missed chance to reap the rewards of millions of nostalgic man-children the world over, this is it.
Sure, the Gamecube attempst at Starfox weren’t met with great success, but frankly, nobody owned Gamecubes until Resident Evil 4 came out. Let’s skip back a generation and see what made Starfox 64 the archetypal super smash hit.
- Cinematic single player campaign with immense replay value
- Jump-in-and-play, crack-level-addictive local multiplayer
- Some of the worst most cherished lines in gaming history
- Simple, intuitive controls that rewarded precision
See that list? That’s a list of 4 things the Wii does or is capable of easily delivering. And how awesome would it be to map flight control to the Nunchuk and lock-on shots to the Wiimote IR pointer? With the built-in Wiimote speaker, you can even have Slippy’s inane pleas for help in the palm of your hand. Hell, they don’t even have to make a new game. Revamp the graphics, add a stellar mediocre online mode, and come up with awesome Wiimote controls and you’ve just created a masterpiece.
Until this game is made, you’ll have to settle for this tasteless parody (filmed through the roof of my car):
*I refuse to insert the accent aigu into every use of the word Pokémon.