A recent retrospective video of past Pokemon games ended with a tantalizing glimpse at an unreleased title that hinted strongly at being a Wii U release. While innocuous enough, many pondered if the image signaled a Pokemon Stadium or Colosseum type of Pokemon game. I personally would enjoy either, but then I began thinking something totally radical; what if Game Freak developed a 2D Pokemon fighting game?
It might sound crazy at first, but it’s a lot more natural of a fit than many of the Pokemon franchise’s other spin-offs. From photography to pinball, Pokemon has been successfully wedged into a variety of different types of game genres and play control types. A fighting game would actually make quite a bit of sense for a series that revolves around battling. Pokemon has come close to this before with Pokemon Stadium 1 and 2 and Pokemon Battle Revolution, all three of which focused on pure Pokemon fighting. I say it’s time to turn the skirmishes more Street Fighter than Dragon Quest.
I see a game where you have a massive roster of Pokemon fighters to choose from. Rather than bog the game down with too many unique character move sets, create classes of fighters based off of traditional Pokemon types, like Steel, Electric, etc. Individual classes would have a base set of moves that could be modified to reflect a particular Pokemon within that class. For instance, Pikachu is known for being small, so it would have a higher base speed within the Electric class and a single attack/move unique to it. The roster of characters would all be designed like this, so that the developers won’t have to create hundreds of distinct moves for multiple characters.
To keep things feeling distinctly Pokemon, though, the traditional weak/super effective relationship between types should be incorporated. If the game is set up with teams of Pokemon (let’s keep it at 3 like in the Marvel Vs. Capcom games), it would add a layer of strategy going into a fight, with the player having to create balanced teams that can confront different opponent variations. This does raise the question of what disadvantage a Pokemon would be at fighting against an overpowering type. Increased damage, perhaps? A special move that activates only when a super effective is possible? There are numerous ways to tackle (a pun!) this, all would be potentially fun to experience.
As far as the “why” of it all is concerned, seriously, what more excuse do you need to take control of your favorite Pokemon and duke it out like never before? Giving the command to use flamethrower is great, but imagine how much better it would be controlling the flamethrower yourself. If Smash Bros. has proven anything, it’s that real-time Pokemon fights can be incredibly entertaining. If My Little Pony can have a fighting game, Pokemon can, too! While I’m sure Game Freak has something good up its sleeve, I’d love to see Pokemon mashed up with Street Fighter!