I love Pokémon. Despite its faults, the series remains one of the most addictive, satisfying and endearing video game franchises ever. And let's be honest, it does have a ton of those faults. Now, I understand that many of the problems Pokémon games have are a product of the "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentality -- and that deviating from long-standing traditions would anger fans -- but a lot of the issues the series has are just plain cheap and illogical. Even the design choices once intended to maximize profits have long bcome irrelevant since the days of the Game Boy. I've compiled a list of the worst offenders that have stuck around to this day. Please Game Freak, you gotta fix 'em all!
At this stage in the game, Pokémon evolutions have become pretty fascinating. There are tons of ways to transform your animal slave, from using a certain move to being in a certain place to force-feeding them a magical stone. But there's one particular method that's bugged me for years: Evolution by trading.
You know as well as I do how easy it is to get attached to the critters you catch. That's arguably the whole point of the game. I love my Haunter, but I know he needs to evolve to Gengar to reach his full potential. But no matter how strong he becomes, he'll always be a Haunter -- that is, unless I betray his trust and trade him for some other dude's Pokémon. If I want to go that route, I have to find someone who a) likes Pokémon as much as I do and b) is trustworthy enough to trade me back once the evolution is complete.
But what if I don't want to do that? What if I'm an antisocial introvert who plays Pokémon specifically to avoid other people?
You could sort of understand this strategy back when Nintendo needed to sell those infernal Link Cables. The company couldn't very well pass up an incentive to upsell thirty cents of rubber and wiring for nine bucks a pop; it meant a minor inconvenience for the players meant a huge profit for Nintendo. But now? It's all wireless. So why not give alternative means to the lonely and hermited? Those who like trading their Pokémon could still frolic with their "friends" and their "sunlight," but anyone who wanted to jack up their Machoke into a Machamp could still do so without interacting with the rest of humanity.
It's almost as frivolous as...
Listen to this and tell me if it makes any sense: These games encourage you to trade Pokémon with others; at the same time, you are forbidden from re-naming traded Pokémon. The in-universe excuse for this inconvenient "feature" is that the nickname represents the feelings the Original Trainer, or OT if you're nasty.
For a game that depicts the world's children engaged in one continuous cockfighting ring, there's a little too much emphasis on "feelings." If the OT barters away a Pokémon like a stack of baseball cards, they should no longer have say over what it's called. The new trainer is the one that's building a new life with this exiled creature, so why does
And finally, the one thing Nintendo keeps underestimating: gamers' desire to be horrible, horrible people.
There's a little game that 9-year-old chuckleheads like to play, called "Give a Pokémon an Offensive Name and Hoist Them on Strangers." The endeavor became ridiculously easy with the new Wonder Trade feature, which allows a random player to exchange a random Pokémon with a random player. At best, you're going to be stuck with someone's worthless Flabébé. At worst, you're gonna make friends with Butt Plugs the Beedril.
Nintendo does have measures in place, so you won't find any Bidoofs named "Dick McMegaHitler." Problem is, some official Pokémon actually have banned phrases in their names. So Sharpedo is an issue because it contains the phrase "pedo" and Cofagrigus causes problems because, well, the children on this planet are terrible.
The internet always finds ways around vulgarity countermeasures, and without a way to rename your Pokémon, Sh!tBrick the Geodude will mar your roster forever. Unless you decide to set him free. Or the most likely scenario: Dumping him back into the sewage recycling plant that is Wonder Trade.