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Should Pokemon be Linear?

Discussion in 'General Pokémon Discussion' started by epicninjask123, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. HammerPatriot

    HammerPatriot New Member

    I think that the linear nature of the games definitely leads to a better over all story. It allows for the game developers to put more encounters with npc's into the game. N was an awesome character because there were so many conversations developing the story. However it also important to note that there was far less sense of adventure.
     
  2. DjangoCribbs

    DjangoCribbs Well-Known Member

    Some interesting thoughts here, some good and some not so good. Got a whole load of ideas myself on what could make an amazing, more open ended, more adventure-focused Pokemon game but now's not the time.
    What I really want to get off my chest is this idea of HMs. I hate it. It's my least favourite aspect of all the games, I dread them. Because it's the number one thing that breaks a player's ability to really pick and choose and specialise their team along an aspect, before the starter trio.
    Some are un-necessary but useful. I'm sure every player loves that point in the game where they finally get Fly along with the appropriate badge. But you don't need Fly, ever, to advance in the game IIRC. So one is totally free to develop a team with NO Flying type should they so choose.
    Others are quite non-specific. Cut is a Normal type move and can be taught to a wide range of 'Mon. In most if not all games it's among the first HMs obtained and, in battle, isn't too bad early on.
    What about Surf? Supposing someone really really wants to do a playthrough, assemble a team, of only Fire types. I believe even an attempt at Grass would have a couple of options but it is impossible to get through any game collecting only Fire types and that seems wrong.
    It breaks immersion in another way. I cannot believe that the only way for people to get to Cianwood is to have a 'Mon that can Surf and is also strong enough to fend off all those Tentacruel. People are unable to travel from Cerulean to Vermillion unless they have a 'Mon with Cut? What's with that? How the hell does this world function?
    I think that each game, reasonably early on and certainly before the first gym, should give you access to every major population center without any need for random encounters or trainer battles in between. I also feel you need to be able to decline a trainer battle but that's another matter...
    The offshoot to this is that people wouldn't be able to rely solely on this. If they did their 'Mon would be denied their main source of training. There would still be adventure. The difference is, you'd be able to choose when and where. It adds a layer for those who like to be tactical. They have more freedom in who they can add to their team early on, to the EV's available (SS is particularly nasty for this; fine if you like Speed). It's just as good for anyone who likes to go on a bit of a whimsy, pick whoever takes their fancy and see where the fun takes them because they have many more options.
    Obviously this affects Gyms substantially. Either ways are crafted to allow cities/towns to be open while certain gyms are made off-limits until a certain sequence is performed a'la current system or, and this would be much more interesting, provide the player with a rather wide range of "sidequests" early in the game, a couple per population center. These help lead the player to various areas, explore the routes and cities in detail, and provide battle experience. Both in the obvious sense of experience and EV but also the more subtle way of providing mini-tutorials suggesting semi-advanced tactics. When G/S came out I was 11, I'd blundered through first gen rather carelessly and I came into second with little more understanding than type advantage good and levels equal win. Then Pokemon Stadium 2 came out, anyone remember Earl's Academy? In one night I became ten times the trainer I'd been. Imagine if those simple lessons and tutorials could be better worked into an actual game. Even experienced players might learn something new. By the time you've visited all the cities, had a look around the routes and done a dozen or so mini-adventures with colourful NPCs dotted around your levels can be coming into the twenties. If you didn't know before then you're aware of all the relevant stat match-ups, of various move/ability combos. Most importantly, you've been set free in a more vibrant and believable world to bond with these creatures as well as train them. The emphasis has shifted from beating boss after boss to going on an adventure with your 'Mon which is what they say to you at the start of every game.
    So by the time you're actually looking at tackling Gyms you've got a team likely around the mid-twenties in level. More importantly, you know what you're doing with them which makes the battles that much more fun. This way all the Gyms can feature leaders with high level, cleverly used 'Mon. Make them the challenge they need to be 'cos a majority of the Gyms in the games so far have been too easy, really, if you're matching levels with them. And that just makes the early Gyms feel under-levelled.
    Maybe that would create something a bit harder for "kids" to get into. But A) screw them 'cos they get spoilt by easier games nowadays, they'll figure it out anyway and they'll be better players for it and B) a whole lotta Pokemon players are grown up now. And the games, great as they still are... are still kinda the same game. That has pros and cons to it. Honestly, I think they could evolve the gameplay significantly without taking away from the core system a tiny iota.
     
  3. IAintObeezy

    IAintObeezy Ban this Trainer

    IKR how dare they put a luck based obstacle in my wa...*sees grass* wait a sec...
     
  4. Wishing Star

    Wishing Star Astral Charm Owner

    I know you're being sarcastic about that. :p

    In all seriousness, you're intended to go through the grass and find wild Pokémon that you can beat to make yours stronger, not go through the grass and find a Pokémon that could potentially maul your team to death.
     
  5. IAintObeezy

    IAintObeezy Ban this Trainer

    *gets mauled to death*
    *ends up in pokecenter*
    No big deal. The game doesnt give you a big enough penalty for this to be a real issue. Now if the game say...actually lets your pokemon die if you lose like a nuzlocke challenge then this would be a problem.
     
  6. Wishing Star

    Wishing Star Astral Charm Owner

    It's only a fair penalty if the player doesn't have enough skill to beat the Pokémon and trainers that they're intended to beat at that point in the game. Going into the grass and encountering a legendary beast fifteen levels above the level at which your Pokémon are expected to be at that point in the game and losing to it is in no way fair, and a player should never be penalized for having bad luck. A player shouldn't expect to white out randomly if they have the skill to defeat the trainers they're intended to beat.

    Let's consider this example:
    So you're in Mahogany Town, going to Blackthorn City to get your eighth badge. Raikou is in the mandatory grass that's there. You walk through it, encounter Raikou. You get pummeled, white out, and end up in the Pokémon Center. You go back on that route, Raikou is there again. You walk through the grass, encounter Raikou again through bad luck. You get pummeled again, white out, end up in the Pokémon Center. Back on that route you go, and bad luck happens again, and you encounter Entei this time. You get pummeled one more time, white out, and end up in the Pokémon Center.

    How is that not a problem? You're on your merry way to your eighth badge, and you make no effort whatsoever in trying to find those level 40 Pokémon on purpose. You suddenly run into them, and you get mauled. You white out three times from something that you had absolutely no say in doing. Tell me how that's not a problem.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  7. DjangoCribbs

    DjangoCribbs Well-Known Member

    You're using a Legendary as an example, I think that's over-doing it. Most 'Mon aren't Legendaries.
     
  8. IAintObeezy

    IAintObeezy Ban this Trainer

    raikou changes location every time you black out/he runs away...I wish i was you so i CAN find raikou three times like that. it would save me the trouble of flying everywhere...
     
  9. Bolt the Cat

    Bolt the Cat Bringing the Thunder

    Yeah, that's a bad example Wishing Star. Here's a slightly better one:

    Let's say you just started FRLG and there's nothing keeping you from exploring Rt. 23 and Victory Road. And let's say there was no way of knowing that you were wandering into an area you weren't supposed to go to until much later in the game, the guards don't exist, and no one tells you the fact that the Pokemon League is in that direction. So you're wandering down that way with your Lv. 5 starter, when all of the sudden you run into a Lv. 40 Fearow on Victory Road. At that point in the game, that Fearow will absolutely destroy you and there's nothing you can do about it, your Pokemon are too weak to defeat it and too slow to run away from it. And without anyone on the route to warn you, you'd be completely unprepared for the battle. That would be unfair to the player.
     
  10. Wishing Star

    Wishing Star Astral Charm Owner

    I was responding to the part that IAintObeezy posted about encountering a legendary roaming Pokémon and having that Pokémon fight the trainer it encounters rather than flee. Specifically, this:

    ...to which I said that finding a legendary roaming Pokémon that fights you instead of flees is unfair for trainers that had no intention of finding the legendary roaming Pokémon in the first place.

    The fact is that Raikou can be in the same location in every attempt that you try to go to Blackthorn City. And if you just happen to have so much bad luck to encounter legendary roaming Pokémon in the mandatory grass on the route east of Mahogany Town with absolutely no intention to, and that legendary Pokémon ends up killing your team three times with no effort on your part whatsoever, there's nothing you can do about it. And that's why it's unfair.

    It doesn't matter if it's so unlikely that it's nearly impossible. Bad luck is still bad luck, and whether it's one encounter with a Raikou or three encounters with one, the fact that you have to black out with no effort on your part at all to encounter the Raikou is unfair.

    Now that would be unfair to the player, there's no disagreement with that.

    Remember that part in Dewford Town where you were allowed to skip from Rustboro all the way to Slateport because of Mr. Briney's ship? By skipping Dewford Town, you effectively skip an entire level range of Pokémon to fight and head directly to a level range of Pokémon to fight that is probably a bit too challenging for your Pokémon. And if you continue up Route 110, into Mauville, complete all the events at Fallarbor, and go to Lavaridge, the levels don't get lower. Unlike your scenario, however, there is indication that you should go to the Granite Cave and such and deliver the letter to Steven before fighting Brawly, which would allow you to fight the Pokémon in the level range that you would've otherwise skipped at that point in the game. It would just be your fault if you decided to skip where you were intended to go next even when you were informed about it.
     
  11. Bolt the Cat

    Bolt the Cat Bringing the Thunder

    The Dewford Town example wouldn't be that bad, as you're just skipping one small part of the game so you won't be that underleveled. I was referring more to the people that are saying "I want to go to the 8th gym right after the 1st" and why that's a bad idea.
     
  12. IAintObeezy

    IAintObeezy Ban this Trainer

    Bolt the Cat explains it better. I understood the point. I was just arguing the example. :p
     
  13. JennaJayfeather

    JennaJayfeather jflkdjkfgjafgaf

    I don't know. The linearity in FRLG was ruined for me when I skipped some Gyms and the badges were still put in the order they were supposed to be obtained.

    It doesn't really matter, though I guess it gives you more exploring, but BW had a story to tell.

    Speaking of Dewford when I skipped it, it was hilarious. I actually forgot to battle it, so right when I got to the story plot, I needed flash for whatever reason (I cant remember why I never needed that HM but deal with it for the story). So I went and got Flash, and realized I forgot to battle the gym so right when whole Hoenn was about to end in mass destruction, I had to battle Brawly for the darn HM. >:/
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  14. Electrolled

    Electrolled Well-Known Member

    I notice a lot of you say the stories get "better" as the games progress.
    Red and Blue. You battle team rocket. Cool. There's a Charizard and Blastoise on the cover.

    Then come the games based on the legendaries. There's Ho-oh, Lugia, then we've got Kyogre and friends, the Giratina trio, and there's the Kyreum krew. Maybe the story being based on the legendaries is ruining the "go wherever you want". In no way were Zapdos, Moltres, and Articuno in any way relevant to the storyline. You could catch or faint them, no problem. Everything seemed to be like that in Kanto. I quite liked it, actually. In Johto, there was enough end-game content that made me think "fine, okay" (they probably should do that more to help with the linearity, FR/LG's Sevii islands helped a lot).

    I don't think my problem is the linearity, the problem with me is the "Legend-based" storyline. It's tiring, and not getting Mewtwo till afterwards with a few notes in the Pokemon mansion made it more mysterious and you had something to look forward to in the end. What's the point if you beat the gyms, the enemy, and caught the best Pokemon you could before the game ended?
    I'll use FR/LG as an example again, since they did such good work. You had to get an in-game thingy (the Ruby and Sapphire) before you could even trade with R/S/E. That was cool. And you could catch Mewtwo, breed Pokemon, and flush out the last of TR. It was all Johto Pokemon, with Johto music. If at the end of B/W, you were shipped to some islands playing music from R/S/E with about 40 Hoenn Pokemon to capture, I'd be happy. But I felt as if end game was an afterthought for the 5th gen in general (and for HG/SS, but that's a different topic). Ruby and Sapphire's endgame content was nonexistent, (and that stupid battle frontier was stupid, though finding the other 2 Legendaries in Emerald was fun--or would be, if I weren't afraid of losing all my Pokemon in my Nuzlocke).

    I believe the end game content is just as important as linearity, and with linear end game (minor, like being able to go to all seven islands but not needing to be on all of them in a certain order), the game just lasts. I can't play R/S/E over and over again. I can play Sinnoh a fair amount of times without being bored, and the sequels to B/W were boring, even though things were changed up (you should have been able to go whichever way you wanted in the first place). I don't think I need to mention because of the pre and end game linearity, I was able to find a diverse team of Pokemon to battle the league in whatever order I wanted to. (Besides the 3 legendary birds and Charizard, there are (for a flying type necessity of mine) Pigeot, Fearow, Farfetch'd, Dodrio, and you can get them all once you get through Rock Tunnel). I could get whatever flying type I wanted early enough in the game to maul Erika.
     
  15. Aenglaan

    Aenglaan Active Member

    The series has been both fairly open ended and linear throughout its entire history. With that being said, the world of Pokemon has so much potential with its concept and design and I feel that a more non-linear structure to how the game is played would really enhance the experience, allowing them to form their own adventure.
    Unova really didn't need to require the whole "8 gym leaders then elite four" routine considering how much the games in that region focused so much on story. It would have been better if it was optional content, seeing as it had little to nothing to do with the whole N and Team Plasma thing. I would say the same thing about Sinnoh, but the region was so vast and interesting to explore, where as Unova needed more of that.
     
  16. Bolt the Cat

    Bolt the Cat Bringing the Thunder

    I don't think Flash is necessary anywhere, but I think it does help you in Cave of Origin.

    The presence of legendaries in the storyline has nothing to do with it, they could show up at the end of the game as usual for no reason and that wouldn't cause problems with linearity. Storyline only causes problems in linearity when it follows a progression of sorts, when events in the storyline need to be experienced in a certain order to make sense. The earlier games lacked this, the events in RBYFRLG and GSCHGSS were usually unrelated. Recent games however, have had more complex and sequential plots that require some sort of linearity. Sequential storylines, however, do not require linearity, it depends on how the storyline is structured, so the storyline isn't really an excuse for the linear regions.
     
  17. DjangoCribbs

    DjangoCribbs Well-Known Member

    No. Just no. I love Pokemon... But the story, every time, is sooo forgettable. And ignorable.
     
  18. randomspot555

    randomspot555 Well-Known Member

    Regardless of if you like the storyline or not, Bolt's point is 100% true.
     
  19. Mr Dragon

    Mr Dragon Crazy Dude

    I don't understand when linearity has ever really been a bad thing. You know what? Have your non-linearity, but think about what that takes from the game, do you want the series to actually progress? If we went back to RBY then well we lose that. I think pokemon as a JRPG is obviously going to be to some regard linear, and that's because of the storyline slant. If you think about it Zelda for example has been going the same way, and Skyward Sword arguably was one of the better Zeldas for it.

    All I would want is that Pokemon doesn't hurt itself through linearity, like Final Fantasy has... where the story has then had impact on the gameplay and the games become superficial for it. I know some people already feel it has, and really Pokemon is not and should not be a visual novel, but nor should it be bent to our will as people who want a western RPG-type Pokemon game, because it would lose part of itself for it (or I would feel that way, I feel like that's part of Pokemon). Maybe Pokemon should have linearity, but strike a balance between the two.
     
  20. DjangoCribbs

    DjangoCribbs Well-Known Member

    It's not a matter of liking or disliking the storylines. Objectively, they are not very good. Not well written. Certainly not complex.
    And his point? You refer to him saying "Sequential storylines, however, do not require linearity"? In that case, also no. Purely because it's a nonsensical statement, "sequential" is a meaningless term when discussing a narrative.
     

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