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Why Pokemon hasn't really changed - Masuda

Game Freak director compares Pokemon to football

Junichi Masuda has explained why Pokemon's core gameplay hasn't changed a great deal since the series started with Pokemon Red and Blue back in 1999.

The Game Freak director compared Pokemon to sport, arguing that the game doesn't need to change too much to be enjoyable.

"Finding that balance every time is very difficult," Masuda admitted in an interview with Gamasutra. "But when you think about games, just like playing, for example, soccer and basketball, they're games that have been around for a very long time. The core gameplay of those - the core of how you play basketball and soccer - hasn't really changed. Over the years, there's regulation changes or rule changes to those games, but the core gameplay doesn't really change for those, and that's how we kind of feel about Pokemon as well."

He's got a point but we'd argue that Pokemon has changed over the years. Go back and play Pokemon Red or Pokemon Blue now and then play Pokemon Black or White to see how the series has evolved. You may still have to beat gym leaders on your way to defeating the Elite Four and becoming the Pokemon champion but it's wrong to say that the series hasn't moved on.

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The next episode in the Pokemon saga continues next week with the release of Pokemon Black and White 2 in the UK. Here's our Pokemon Black And White 2 review.

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  1. King Slazo Tuesday 2nd Oct 2012 at 10:08

    I actually did play Blue over summer, and the changes these days are phenominal. Its not even that they're bad games, they just feel a world apart despite only being 12 years old or so. It makes you wonder what the games will be like in Gen 6, 7 and beyond, and whether we'll feel the same way in another decade.

  2. dannyboy04 Tuesday 2nd Oct 2012 at 10:20

    well there have been some large changed titles over the years like pokemon ranger which still kept the find the pokemon idea but not with a battling way. Was also the pokemon Colosseum and pokemon XD which were about shadown pokemon and purifying them and also using them in battle. So there have been some different titles that aren't to do with gym badges and the elite 4 (though would love to see more shadow pokemon games)

  3. Gapa Tuesday 2nd Oct 2012 at 16:11

    well there have been some large changed titles over the years like pokemon ranger which still kept the find the pokemon idea but not with a battling way. Was also the pokemon Colosseum and pokemon XD which were about shadown pokemon and purifying them and also using them in battle. So there have been some different titles that aren't to do with gym badges and the elite 4 (though would love to see more shadow pokemon games)

    I think you have kinda got the wrong idea. What Masuda was talking about was the main series, which includes games like Red and Blue, Leafgreen, Firered etc... What YOU were talking about is the spin offs, which isn't what Masuda was talking about.

  4. GsAnimated Tuesday 2nd Oct 2012 at 16:19

    Over the years, I've realised that the pokemon battle system is a lot more complex than meets the eye. So I'd imagine it would be a nightmare trying to create a new one from scratch. But with that in mind, where do they go from here? Is the series just going to spiral off into more generations of new pokemon?

  5. LewiiG Tuesday 2nd Oct 2012 at 20:10

    Mmm. I don't even want it to change. Drastically anyway. I am one of those who can do the same thing forever if I like it. I really liked AC1 in that way. I have been replaying Red over some period of time. Yeah, it has changed a LOT from back then. I hope Pokemon can continue going on. 10 days till BW 2!!!

  6. BanksLad Tuesday 9th Oct 2012 at 12:38

    649 pokemon really is enough. The only thing I really want now is a Pokemon world game. One that lets you travel to every region, get every badge, beat every elite four and champion, get every pokemon and actually become THE pokemon master. On Wii U or 3ds, or both with some sort of connectivity like they're planning with smash bros. Sick.

    They could even do the orange islands as DLC and a level 100 battle with Red. Oh, the possibilities.

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