For a series so devoted to the concept of evolution, Pokemon sure is content to change as little as possible from generation to generation. In a lot of ways, the Pokemon series is Nintendo's own Call of Duty - changing little from entry to entry except some minor mechanical and aesthetic differences. They have a successful formula - why fix what ain't broke? Except it is sorta broke - the games have gotten a little stale after 15+ years, and it's about time to "teach it some new TMs", if you catch my drift (like, new moves, basically. Ahem). Here are 8 things we think Pokemon needs to change.
We've all been there - there's a big, empty cave with nothing in sight, but we're frozen by fear. Because even though there's absolutely nothing we can see, we know the cave is swarming with invisible Zubats. And with practically every other step, we're going to be forced into a battle with a low level, little experience, annoying flying bat that's probably going to confuse our Pokemon into punching themselves in the face. And if we run out of Repels, may god have mercy on our souls.
As with countless RPGs before it, Pokemon has relied on random encounters - being attacked by an unseen enemy just because of the area you're walking (think Bruce Wayne's parents in Crime Alley). But unlike many other RPGs before it, Pokemon has never seen fit to dump this annoying, difficult-to-avoid game structure for something more sensible and enjoyable: actually seeing your enemies on the screen. Sure, they would probably need to reduce the number of Zubats in a cave, or the number of Watchogs in the grass, but you could actually strategize about paths to take, whether to jump into a battle or whether to avoid them, and the game world would become that much more immersive. Of course, if they didn't reduce the Zubat count, the game would probably overheat and explode.
Ever since that fateful day Red walked into Professor Oak's lab and the good professor gave him a monster to maim other monsters with out in the wild, the starting choices for Pokemon have always been the same: the fire-type, the water-type, and the grass-type. The beauty in these three is that each one is strong against one and weak against the other - it's a perfect "Rock-Paper-Scissor" metaphor, except for some reason plants hurt water?
The issue is - it's boring. There are so many other types of Pokemon in the games - from ghost to psychic to dragon and on and on. And there are other types that could also mimic this RPS circle of destruction. So why not mix it up a little? Psychic, Dark, and Ghost? Dragon, Ice, and Fighting? Really, anything else would be a nice and INCREDIBLY easy-to-implement change. Plus, I'm sure all those grass starters that never get picked would be way happier to get to live in the wild for once.
HMs (or "Hidden Machines", although who knows why they were called that) were introduced for a pretty clear reason: the game didn't want you wandering into areas you weren't ready for, so made it so that you had to get an item before you were able to get there, and if you were able to get this item, you must be at the right level to get to the area. Okay. Fine. But the problem is, you had to dedicate a precious, 1-in-4 move spot on one of your Pokemon to use it. A spot you could never get back. And for a move that you usually didn't really want.
So - why do we still depend on these? Wouldn't it be simpler to have Pokemon gain these powers as some extra "special ability" slot instead of taking up a move spot? Because, let's face it: you need a Pokemon with Fly with you at all times, but that means you need to get a crappy bird to force the HM upon, since you don't want to waste a movespot on your Articuno. Just make it so that once you gain the 'Fly' HM, all of your Flying-type Pokemon can now fly. Same with Surf and Water-type Pokemon. Because, seriously, my poor Samurott got stuck with nothing but HMs and was the Pokemon equivalent to a butler.
And now to check the comments to see ten thousand people explaining in detail why these moves are called HIdden Machines.