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Are You Satisfied with the Direction This Series Has Gone in Lately?

Discussion in 'Poképolls' started by Bolt the Cat, Aug 3, 2017.


Are you satisfied with the direction of this series?

  1. Yes, the series is fine as is

  2. There's some things I'd like changed, but generally yes

  3. No, the series could use a change in direction

  1. Bolt the Cat

    Bolt the Cat Bringing the Thunder

    So I've been noticing a lot of discontent towards some of the recent games lately. There's been numerous complaints about the game being too easy, lacking content, and being too linear, and in general Game Freak's philosophy of making the game accessible to a casual audience. To some degree, this sentiment has existed for a while, but it seems to have gotten louder with SM. So what I'm wondering is are there more people that are unhappy with the series lately or is it just the same people complaining more often?

    So what do you think? Are you unhappy with the more casual direction of the series or are you satisfied with the current direction in the series?
  2. Satoshi & Touko

    Satoshi & Touko Ayla going to the Kingdom! :D

    Basically for me, as long as I have my trainer customization and some other features that keep me playing the series after the main story, I'm content. :3
  3. Mrs. Oreo

    Mrs. Oreo Banned

    I dislike the lack of variety when it comes to the post-game. It's been a growing issue in recent games and a downward spiral. :[
  4. Bolt the Cat

    Bolt the Cat Bringing the Thunder

    Forgot to give my opinion.

    I've definitely gotten sick of Game Freak's casual pandering, it really hinders the experience. What I've loved the most about this series is the sense of freedom and endless possibilities and if you make the game so stripped down and linear it removes that feeling. And when part of the core formula of this game is about adventuring around the region it just feels like the game is missing part of its identity.
  5. Xuxuba

    Xuxuba Well-Known Member

    No, i'm not. I feel like ever since Masuda stopped being the game director, the focus has been on superficial stuff such as the designs and the graphics instead of the content and the gameplay, which does not surprise me at all since Ohmori has worked almost solely on design before becoming a director.
    Now they worry more if people will like a certain pokemon's design than if there is a lot of content to explore and have fun with.
  6. Auraninja

    Auraninja I'm ready to Smash

    There are minor things that have bothered me, but it hasn't made a significant impact on how I enjoyed the series.

    X & Y had an easy E4 (4 Pokemon only?), but I thought it was fine for the most part. On top of that, I didn't like how broken Exp Share is or the hax that affection could give you.

    ORAS missed the mark a tad without the Emerald Frontier, but I liked everything else about the remake.

    Sun and Moon had the "go to point B for narrative". Although I liked the narrative, I wished you could at least wonder at that location without a road block.

    I can somewhat understand why people might not like the recent changes made to the experience, but I still take it with delight.
  7. PrinceOfFacade

    PrinceOfFacade Ghost-Type Master

    The direction Sun and Moon took in terms of new and different gameplay was quite refreshing, and I think it's worth expanding on in the future.

    However, the excessive hand holding and lack of difficulty has got to stop. I'm sure they are aware that the main series' age bracket is 16-24. I don't understand why the mechanics are being designed for players far younger than that.

    If anything, they should offer a difficulty option. That would easily balance the game out for all players, not to mention increase replay value.
  8. windwakemeup

    windwakemeup Bee Prince

    Seen a lot of people whining that it's more friendly to casual players and it's really cheesed me off more than it used to. 6th and 7th gen has made it even easier for me to play the games that I love. I have a lot of developmental stuff wrong with me, and I found the earlier games way too hard; I had no idea where to go next or what to do and that got very frustrating. The streamlining that this series has done has helped people like me to be able to really enjoy and put hundreds of hours into the games, where before I would just hyperfocus on the anime and the pokemon but when it came to playing be "meh" because I'd forget where I was, or I had to grind which to someone with ADHD is akin to torture, so boring!

    This was back when I didn't have guides available to me either. Stuff like gen 1's convoluted map where I couldn't figure out where to go or when to go there, and Sinnoh's... everything map-wise, these things brought me out as a player. And the "handholding" is the tutorial, for kids or new players to understand how to play and all pokemon games had it up until now, even gen 1 (Old man, anyone?) Not everyone has played a pokemon game, and some little kids play it too who might need to be reminded how to play. Not everything should be catered to the 20 year olds who play it, and it will never be.

    I've been a fan since gen 1 so I'm not saying this because I've only played 6th/7th, but I feel a lot of the complaining is being done in a way that's alienating people who actually like the changes made in 6th/7th to make it more "casual." I've seen this in casual conversations about the newest gens and I've seen it in hardcore breeding groups ("Oh GAMEFREAK made it SO EASY TO BREED NOW ANY FILTHY CASUAL CAN BREED A COMPETITIVE MON WEH THEY ARE MAKING IT EASY TO GET SHINIES!!!!") and frankly I'm over it.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  9. Bolt the Cat

    Bolt the Cat Bringing the Thunder

    I have no problem with them keeping some of the handholding TBH, some of it is indeed beneficial. Things like a more detailed map/navigation system and more accessibility in training for competitive definitely help the series. The problem though, is that the handholding is forced on people. You're forced to go through linear region design with little to no opportunity to break away from the main path. You're forced to play the game at a lower difficulty that's mind numbing for older and more experienced players. You're forced to sit through tutorials for things you've already been taught in 10 other games. And this has the opposite effect and alienates the older and more hardcore players. Game Freak really doesn't seem to understand the meaning of the word "options" for whatever reason.
  10. PrinceOfFacade

    PrinceOfFacade Ghost-Type Master

    I say this with absolutely no offense intended, but you can't expect the entire interface of a game to change because you have struggles.

    This is why I say there needs to be a difficulty option. Yes, there are those who could benefit from the ease of difficulty, and there are those who very much need to start off easy to break into the series, but there are many others who lose out from such conditions. There needs to be balance.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  11. Excitable Boy

    Excitable Boy is a metaphor

    the railroading and the unskippable text walls and cutscenes concerning a story I don't care about make it a lot harder for me to actually want to play the game

    a lot of the older games' fun comes from being able to just get at the core gameplay immediately; I can go from loading up a new game to beating Brock within the span of an hour, not because it's easier, but because it's less tedious. the new games pile on unskippable tutorials and drag out the beginning section, despite that being the worst section of any RPG due to the lack of depth available
  12. Emperor Empoleon

    Emperor Empoleon Honor of Kalos

    Not at all. And I think that SM really is a perfect example of what's wrong with the games right now.

    The increased emphasis on story and accessibility, while appreciated in some respect, is making the adventure feel more confined. Trials for example. A really cool idea on paper, but they're held back by railroading. All of them are either an actual joke, or they solve themselves for you. The Rotom Dex. A talking map that you can never turn off, in a game where you can never get lost. SM is already a linear, story driven game filled with cutscenes, dialogue and NPCs that all point you in the right direction, and prevent you from veering off. What's the point? It's gone beyond simply making the game more welcoming for kids, this is completely overbearing. And when you consider that this was a game for the 20th anniversary, it borders on patronizing.

    XYORAS had similar problems with linearity, but they could both fall back on huge advancements in gameplay and multiplayer in particular. Now, much of what made them stand out despite their problems has either been completely omitted or replaced with some stand-in that isn't as good. This is Game Freak's other, rather infamous problem; feature removal. The Plaza is significantly less intuitive and functional than the PSS as a wireless interface. SOS Chaining for rares and Hidden Abilities is a lunatic's replacement for the Friend Safari or DexNav, which served the same purpose. Mega Evolutions have less of a presence so they could focus on their new gimmick instead. And then there's smaller things like the changes made to fishing, the National Dex being Bank locked, or clothing being version exclusive.

    I think this all is why people fell off the bandwagon so quickly. The game has become increasingly limited on multiple levels.
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2017
  13. windwakemeup

    windwakemeup Bee Prince

    Fair enough, different difficulty options would be good. I just feel like this community has become akin to other game communites where they just expect everyone to be good at the game and flip off the rest of the people (Kids and people with developmental issues or people who don't like difficult games) just wanting to play, not caring about difficulty.

    For me, I liked the story of Sun/Moon and honestly wish it would get deeper like gen 5 did. I really didn't feel the "railroading" except in the beginning which I just assumed was because the first island was tutorial stuff.

    "you can't expect the entire interface of a game to change because you have struggles." is something that I'm going to highlight though. Why not? Why does it have to be exclusionary like you are implying? I'm not the only person with the problems I highlighted in my last post. So yeah, I think a difficulty option would be nice.

    Sorry for being bitter about this but... accessibility's become such a dirty word in gaming communities lately, and it's frankly stupid.
  14. PrinceOfFacade

    PrinceOfFacade Ghost-Type Master

    You cannot expect the entire interface of a game to change because it is, as honest as I can be, selfish.

    Remember, there are roughly 20 million annual players of Pokémon's main series. Your initial post stated support for the games' current state of difficulty, which caters to younger players and newcomers, a rather small percentage of players. This is what I want to break away from.

    Yes, the difficulty option is a great alternative, but I want to make it imperative why. When discussing the issues of a game, you have to take all kinds of players into account, not just yourself and those like you. This is why the difficulty option is necessary; all players are accounted for.
  15. Bolt the Cat

    Bolt the Cat Bringing the Thunder

    Yeah, introducing a mechanic like the Rotom Dex would've been the perfect thing to keep the games accessible without restricting them to a linear path. If you have a detailed map of the region with a Navi-like character telling you exactly where to go, then surely there's no need to keep the region linear right? Nope, they just wanted to make it even more handholdy. And honestly it's redundant at that point. If you have no choice where to go, you don't really need a map mechanic telling you where to go.

    This also seems to be related to casualization in a sense. They think that kids won't care about the game if there's not some eye catching gimmick in the game, so they make sure each game is unique enough to sell. To some degree, this is a good idea, but they go too far with it. Thing is that not only do people want something that gets their attention, but they also want to see the games build on each other, which arguably they haven't really done much since they've been on this whole casualization kick. There's been a lot of new features that Game Freak has introduced that did offer significant benefits to the core formula that they just tossed away the next game, such as multiple difficulty modes or the DexNav. Ultimately, Game Freak just needs to be smarter about what features they use as unique gimmicks. Side features like Contests, Secret Bases, etc., certain features in the regional gadgets, things like that are good for giving the game a unique flavor. But mechanics that offer significant benefit to the core formula or things that mess with the battle mechanics like Megas and Z-Moves are things they really should intend to stick around.
  16. Requiem Aeternam

    Requiem Aeternam Dance like an eggplant!

    I'm not happy with the current state of the games at all. SM were just a huge step back from XYORAS with the removal of a lot of cool features and replacing them with far more tedious and time consuming ones instead. SOS is the worst way to catch HA Pokemon as it's far more luck based that hordes or the Friend Safari and it takes so much longer that I just don't see any point in doing it. Pokemon calling for help is far too infrequent and some take an eternity to chain. 2 hours it took me to get to a chain of 10 Drampa, 10! Pokemon also calling for help when I'm just trying to level a Pokemon or catch one makes everything a chore as well.

    The Festival Plaza, while a cool idea, should never have been a replacement for the PSS. Having to go into it just to connect to the internet is such a pain especially when we have to disconnect and leave the Plaza every time we want to access the PC when we could stay connected all the time in XYORAS. It should have been a separate feature similar to Join Avenue from BW2 while the PSS (along with Super Training and Pokemon Refresh) should have been on the bottom screen instead of that pain-in-the-neck Rotom Dex who I wish would just shut up.

    SM's postgame was also seriously lacklustre with there being almost nothing to do outside of the Battle Tree and Ultra Beast side quest which doesn't take long either. The Battle Tree doesn't even allow Triples and Rotation which is a huge disappointment to someone who really enjoys those battle styles. Fishing is ruined and isn't even worth doing anymore. The National Dex being locked to Bank is stupid and clearly angered a lot of people, including me. Alolan Ninetales and Alolan Sandslash both require Ice Stones to evolve which wouldn't be a problem if the Stones weren't so hard to get. What's the point of introducing these Pokemon and hyping them up only to make it so hard to get them? Megas being sidelined the way they were and half the stones locked to events is really annoying when I like using a lot of those Pokemon. The trials were far too easy and the Totem Pokemon weren't even interesting to face. The GTS and WT are clogged with hacks. While the story was interesting the player's static happy expression in all but the pre-rendered cutscenes ruined a lot of it for me turning an otherwise serious moment into more of a joke than anything. Clothing being version exclusive was a massive insult and should never have been implemented. Not to mention the clothing wasn't cheap to buy from other players either and it was always a gamble whether or not you'd be able to get what you want in the first place. The atrocious frame rate on older 3DS models made the game unplayable for me until I bought a N3DS which is bad for those players who don't want or can't afford to upgrade to a new one. Levelling Pokemon for Hyper Training takes far too long for it to be worthwhile especially considering you can level 6 Pokemon up from 1 to 100 in an hour in ORAS with Blissey Bases. Hyper Training would be far more beneficial and worthwhile if there wasn't the level restriction but as it is now, I just don't see the point in using it when breeding for perfect Pokemon is faster.

    What really gets me though is the non-stop hand holding throughout the entire first island. I don't need to be escorted through everything as though I've never played a Pokemon game before. I've been playing since Blue, almost 19 years, I know how to play the games, I don't need to be told how to do everything. In future games I hope they add an option to skip these tutorials and instead have an NPC that will teach them to you if you ask them to like the old man in RBY.

    Honestly, the only good changes I think they made in SM was adding the Judge function to the PC and Poke Pelago. That Judge function is an absolute godsend.

    If Game Freak continue to remove good features and replace them with inferior replacements, and insist on forcing older players to sit through tutorials over and over again, I don't see myself sticking around much longer.
  17. Akkipeddi

    Akkipeddi The Last Kurta

    The first time I played Pokémon Moon, I thought it was something refreshing with Trials replacing Gyms and other new additions. However, as I tend to replay Pokémon games quite many times, I've realised that SM are really boring and are good as only one time games, something that I won't say to other Pokémon games.

    And I think one major reason is gyms. Having played SM a second time, I realised that Trials felt old and boring so fast, something I didn't get from gyms. So yes, I'd definitely like gyms back for the next generation. Gyms and trials aside, I found SM a pretty big downgrade to ORAS actually.

    Firstly, all the features in SM that replaced ORAS pretty much suck. SOS battles are such a pain in the a** and tedious method to try and find high IV Pokémon with HA. Horde Battles did this so much better. Similarly, removing the Super training was another stupid thing. And of course, the last and most major feature removed and replaced was PSS. Festival Plaza is bulls*** and I hate it. I have to specially enter Festival Plaza each time I want to battle and trade, and have to connect out and in whenever I want to change my party. PSS was much more conducive.

    I also miss the Blissey bases for easy leveling up. SM is a huge chore to level up. I know there's rare kitchen level 5, but that's based on luck. They introduce hyper training, but with a stupid rule of having to be level 100 and yet, they make leveling up such a chore in SM.

    As for the game itself, I liked the plot with Lillie and Lusamine, but hated the hand holding from point A to point B. Just have the usual tutorial person at the start explain everything and leave us be after that. And about the future, USM is doing a pretty bad job at hyping me at all, since they don't even want to reveal what is it about. I've never been this least hyped for a Pokémon game before. As for SM, story was decent, but beyond that, it felt like a huge downgrade from ORAS.
  18. Gamefreak has yet to wow me with any of the 3d games. I was willing to forgive XY's lack of a postgame, expecting Z version to drop eventually, but it never did. Because of this, Kalos, a game I was overall really hype for, ended up becoming one of my least favorite regions due to how easy and empty the games as a whole ended up being. All of the previous regions had a sequel or 3rd game to touch up on the region and make it better, but XY never got that and never will at this point.

    ORAS also didn't sit well with me since the Battle Frontier was missing, but was overall an ok game. I still much prefer Emerald Version over ORAS, due to the Battle Frontier and the involvement of both teams to the story, and because of that, I feel ORAS missed it's mark in taking a great thing and making it better like the 2 sets of remakes did before it.

    Sun and Moon took a few steps forward but took more steps back I feel from where XY was. They added a few cool things such as hyper training, but then they made leveling much more tedious and the Festival Plaza was pretty lackluster. Then they again proved that Gamefreak can't make a full 3d game without extensive endgame content. Because of this, so many people I knew stopped playing Sun and Moon very early on since there was nothing left to do. As a long time Pokemon fan, even I found myself left without anything to do and strive for once I beat the main story. The trials were also fine as a one time thing, but they really shouldn't bring them back imo. Also the framerate and load times are worse than they were in gen 6. I personally felt Mega Evolution was a fine concept, but they really seemed to want to pretend that it never existed when gen 7 dropped, with no new megas being introduced and only half of the stones being made available without download codes. They then introduced Z-moves as the big new mechanic, but I feel it didn't really add enough to the series as a whole. I get that they were trying to even the playing field and give every pokemon a chance to hit things really hard, but it really only helps out the pokemon who were already powerful in their own right, like Landorus-T. Almost none of the unique Z-moves are even good either, they're mostly just aesthetic. Also in my personal opinion, they went a whole new direction with the anime that I'm personally annoyed with. XYZ was probably the best series they've made, and to see a continuation of that would've been fine.

    I'm actually going into USUM with low expectations since the 3d games have yet to impress me. I hope they prove me wrong, but I'm not holding my breath either.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
    Denko Sekka likes this.
  19. Scammel

    Scammel Well-Known Member

    Do you prefer Portal or Skyrim?

    Me, I'm a Portal guy. It's a short, sharp, polished, focused experience with great characters and a subversive story. Skyrim has content for months, options out the wazoo and I played it to death in my uni days, but there's no denying that much of it is quite emotionally vapid and shallow. It's great, but these days I much prefer games that feel more like a film, or more aptly, a book. I want something well-defined that I can pick up, experience, then put down.

    With this in mind, Sun is my favourite game since Heartgold. Yes, the cutscenes are bloated. Yes, the first island takes far too long. Yes, some routes are too linear. But SM boasts hands-down the best characters with the best arcs and the best writing. It's much improved for the fact that the focus isn't actually on the titular creatures of the series, which have never had meaningful personalities. I actually smirked for the first time ever at some of the humour. The themes are slightly more mature, Pokedex entries are a little more vicious and some characters express hints of thirst - there's even half-convincing romantic sub-themes.

    Speaking of which, I'll be damned if I didn't pretty much fall in love with Lillie. The game's story is really her story, a positive step considering that the protagonist is a blank slate by necessity. It's her relationship with the only plot-significant Pokémon that matters. Guzma's also wonderfully complex in a way that very few previous characters are, Lusamine is mildly terrifying, Team Skull is delightfully endearing - I could go on. It's especially a marked improvement over the cast of toddlers that made up XY.

    99% of the complaints above seem to revolve around post-game content, which I can appreciate. But I'm no longer the completionist I was. I have Showdown for competitive battles, and helpful friends with lots of spare time if I ever do need something in-game. The story SM had to tell was a great one, and whilst I've barely touched it since I don't feel I have to in order to get my value from the game.

    I'm genuinely baffled by this, honestly. SM are the most difficult games in the series to date, without a doubt in my mind. I've topped multiple Showdown ladders yet blacked out multiple times with Exp Share on. This is partly down to the unexpected nature of particular challenges (Trial Captains have a habit of challenging you out of nowhere) but I'm shocked that anyone could think these games were easier than anything else in the series thus far.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
  20. Earth Wolf-Howl

    Earth Wolf-Howl Nuzlocker

    Personally, I'm pretty happy for the most part. I'm guessing we're talking about mostly Sun and Moon here. I admit, the game has its problems. Festival Plaza is kind of difficult to navigate. I like it, but there's no denying that. I never really liked the reminders of which moves are super effective against the opponent. And the cutscenes can be a little extensive, particularly at the beginning of the game (though later on, when the story gets interesting, I have no issue with them). However- I'd actually say that, so far, the seventh generation is my second favourite generation. I found the region interesting, and definitely felt like it took a lot of inspiration from Hawaii (unlike a lot of other regions). I found the story interesting, found the Pokemon interesting, everything.

    And yes, I admit that the post game is a little lacking. Still, at least it's better than XY's. It's not quite as fascinating as the Delta Episode, sure, but there were at least more things to do, like exploring Poni in its entirety at last. I found myself just as interested by the Ultra Beast arc. And there's at least more battle facilities than the Battle Tree. Still no Battle Frontier, but seeing as the Royal Dome's there now, it's a start.

    The story was definitely an improvement, especially from XY. Story may not be everything, but it sure helps. Let's take XY again. I found the story insipid. Nothing felt like it had any buildup. I didn't care about the characters. I didn't care about stopping Team Flare. Really, nothing about XY's story felt interesting to me, save for AZ's backstory. Every character felt one-dimensional to me. I know there wasn't an emphasis on story in prior games that weren't Gen 5, but there was still character development in places. I mean, sure, maybe not in the first Gen- Blue didn't develop much at all. Still, we had reason to care- he was always one step ahead of us, and we looked forward to decimating his team at every opportunity. In XY, though, the rivals just existed. They never gave you reason to fight them. They just existed as a minor obstruction. But with Sun and Moon, at least I actually care about the characters. Hau at least had some development. Gladion had an interesting story. At least the game kept you engaged that way.

    As for the 'casual' approach you speak of- I think it's one that's perhaps a little too exaggerated. Sure, it may be easier than ever to pick up the games as an absolute newbie, as well as easier to get into competitive battling. And yes, you are often guided from point to point, but I find that having that market is better than forgetting what you're supposed to be doing (which I have done), if that's what you all mean by hand-holding. But like Scammel said, these are not easy games. As someone experienced with the series and rather knowledgeable about battle mechanics, I can't get through the later parts of the game without some bit of a struggle, even when I have reference for what everyone's teams are and even when overlevelled. I've struggled more with these games than any other. And I loved them for that. I liked being challenged when no other Pokemon game challenged me for a long time. If we were talking about XY, then yes, they were far too easy. But considering Sun and Moon are much harder than them, I really have no clue what anyone's talking about when they claim that they're 'easy'. XY were easy. That I get. But Sun and Moon weren't, at least to me.

    TLDR- There should be some improvements, but compared to XY, which I thought were easy and dull, Sun and Moon are a step in the right direction. I can see most of everyone's points, but I don't really agree.

    This is just my opinion, though. Maybe it's wrong, maybe it doesn't even make any sense to anyone else. Regardless, I'm sticking by it.
    Denko Sekka likes this.

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