Exactly this. I always found it hard to believe that the likes of Giovanni and Ghetsis would simply follow the rules when fighting against the protagonist for the sake of their biggest plans that they put everything in, yet, also found it hard to believe that the fights would follow the thematics of the anime. So when I've first read Pokémon Adventures I thought that was exactly how things worked, both trainers and Pokémon fighting side-by-side in major battles that are not part of the League, while the official battles between Gym Leaders and trainers wouldn't be as static as the one we are used to, but rather a more active version that still respects what we see, and Adventures simply nailed my view on it, also explaining stuff like your character "whiting out" when losing.I always took that as the portrayal of the world being much more that of monsters fighting alongside traineRS in combat versus more pet-like with the anime while still having real time based combat that isn’t an abstraction of the games. Take Red's trip to the Safari Zone where he catchs/fights those Godzilla-sized Kaiju-looking Nidoking who are fighting over a Nidoqueen and almost gets eaten by a living venus flytrap, Victreebel and is kind of beaten up and battle-damaged after the affair because he broke the Safari Zone's rules and almost got himself killed as a result.
In a normal RPG, the protagonist levels up, right? But in the Pokémon games, your Pokémon mature as they travel with you. Why is that?
Sugimori: At one time, the protagonist would fight as well. But then we asked ourselves “If you can fight on your own, what’s the point of having Pokémon?”
Masuda: At first, the protagonist and his Pokémon had a human-pet relationship. When we started making the game, however, we wondered whether it wouldn’t be better if they were more like friends. That’s when the story changed to one where everyone grew up together. Since they were meant to be friends, we made it so that each player could raise a Pokémon and develop its personality. That’s why they can only learn 4 moves. When deciding on what sort of moves he wants his Pokémon to have, the owner’s personality will come out. We designed it so that you’d feel your Pokémon were something that belonged to you, friends to you.