The du-Rant with Viger Issue #7 “Story Time, or Lack There of”
Welcome to the newest issue of the du-Rant with me, Viger. Haven’t done one of these for a while, but you know what happens when I don’t have enough news to talk about. I get a little testy, and I need to vent that with the only thing that makes sense to me. That’s where the du-Rant comes in.
Now we know what I do with this series: I pick some aspect of the Pokemon franchise, no matter how small and insignificant it is, and inject some hardcore logic and reasoning into it. This time, I’m going big, and I taking a look at a core part of each and every game that the Pokemon Company has made.
We all know that the main series of Pokemon games are very well tuned and crafted as turn-based strategy games. Each players finely raises the perfect creature to put on a team of six perfectly trained Pokemon with all the perfect IVs, moves, and stats. (Shiny for good measure.) Then they do battle with another trainer who has done the same thing. Mind games, strategy, and a dash of good luck, and a winner emerges. That is Pokemon in a nutshell. But how does a trainer get to this point of grinding out the best Pokemon? What steps go into finding the best creatures to put on your team? Well, there is a first step, and probably the most asinine one for the whole process….
You have to complete the campaign of that current generation.
Completely forgettable and the most boring part of any Pokemon game in the eyes of a seasoned trainer, almost every Pokemon campaign is ignored and left on the side of the road as trainers Flare Blitz there way to the post-game grind in order to bring all their previous Pokemon over to the current generation and to begin working on the next ideal VGC team. All the characters, plot, and climax of the story itself are forgotten and discarded, only briefly brought up in the TCG whenever a Trainer Card for that specific part of the story comes up, but then ironically, quickly “discarded”.
This is a shame if you ask me. As a gamer, I thrive for a good story. I need reason for why I am doing the things that I do, and I need to relate to the character through those actions. Halo, Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, all those games’ stories had me connected. Pokemon’s story has never connected me at all to the character, as my trainer simply stands there smiling as the evil team leader explains their diabolical plot to rule the world. This isn’t engaging when I’ve seen it done at least four times.
But every so often, one game has “Mold Breaker” and does something completely different that its predecessors. For Pokemon, this was the Fifth Generation. For the first time, a Pokemon game had me interested in the story. It introduced Team Plasma, a team not bent on crime and/or ruling the world, but taking a philosophical stance and asking the big question of whether capturing Pokemon is a good thing or not. An actual dilemma was at play. An actual reason existed as to why the evil team was doing the things that it was doing. They weren’t doing it because its “evil”, like a bunch of Saturday morning cartoon villains, they were doing it because they thought it was truly the right thing to do, despite everything that proved it wasn’t right at all. If you ask me, that’s true evil, and that’s why I will always claim Team Plasma to be the most evil team in all of Pokemon.
However, once Generation Six started, all that depth and complexity to the story of a Pokemon game fell back into the trough of ignorance as Team Flare, fresh out of Commander Cobra’s Academy of Gifted Criminals, took to the stage and became easily forgettable, with a story fit for an early Saturday morning.
To its credit, Sun and Moon tried something to add depth to the story, mainly with the character development between Lusamine and Lillie. However, with it being too late in the game, along with Hau being…..Hau, I couldn’t stay invested in the story as long as I did with Black and White.
It is truly sad when you think about it. Each time, a new Pokemon game comes out with a brand new region, characters, and story to show to the player, something that had taken quite some time to make, and that someone put a lot of time, effort, attention, and care into creating, only for it to be tossed aside by a majority of the players as they make their way for the post game grind. This is where I take my stand.
WE NEED ANOTHER GREAT STORY IN OUR POKEMON GAMES!!!! WE NEED A PLOT TO GET US INVESTED AND A REASON AS TO WHY WE FIGHT THE EVIL TEAM!!! NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE “EVIL”, BUT BECAUSE THEY ARE OPPOSED TO WHAT WE BELIEVE IS RIGHT!!!!
Let’s not leave the stories to just the Manga and Anime, let’s get the Pokemon games to have a great story too. Just saying.
And that will do it for me on this end. What do you guys think? Should their be another great story in Pokemon games? Let me know in the comments below. And with that, I see you guys in the next issue!