No doubt many of you are still enjoying your second trip to the Unova region in Pokemon Black and White 2, or perhaps still battling in ancient times in Pokemon Conquest. This is all well and good for now, but apart from that new Pokemon Mystery Dungeon 3DS game, there's not a lot at all on the horizon for Pokemon fans. No whisper of Generation VI, no hints towards a new spin-off and, perhaps most surprisingly, the Pocket Monsters are absent from the Wii U's Nintendo Land. So, just what do Nintendo and Game Freak have planned for Pokemon? As a lowly mortal, I have no idea, but here are a few things I'd would love to see...
Recently I was tidying my room and I came across a small set of drawers tucked away in the corner that hadn't been opened nor seen the light of day for some time. I opened one of them and discovered, much to my pleasant surprise, that it contained a bunch of old PC games from when I was younger. Among them was the fantastic Zoo Tycoon and its two expansion packs.
For those who may not know, Zoo Tycoon is a simulation game in which you build and manage a zoo. You need to adopt animals, create suitable exhibits to keep them happy, keep them well fed and healthy while also attending to the needs of your guests and gain a profit. Though primarily associated with the PC, two games in the series have found their way on the Nintendo DS.
As I was revelling in nostalgia, it hit me that this sort of game would make for a fantastic Pokemon spin-off. Forget lions, tigers and bears, instead you'll have a whole host of Pokemon to create exhibits for. The more you actually sit and think about this sort of game, the more you realise how well it would work.
Pokemon come from all sorts of habitats that reach beyond the limitations of Zoo Tycoon, including volcanic, urban or even electric power plant-based environments. This leads to a massive amount of variety in the types of exhibits you could create.
Also, you could even experiment by mixing different Pokemon together. For example, a large mountainous exhibit created for an Onix could also house a few Roggenrolla (pictured) and Geodude and you could see how they interact. Mixing animals was possible in the original Zoo Tycoon, but it was never really a big feature, so it'd be nice to put the spotlight on it, especially with creatures as lively as Pokemon.
Evolution could be effectively incorporated into the gameplay too. Say you start out with a bunch of Squirtle in an exhibit. Over time, either through happiness, age, or even fighting each other, they could evolve into Wartortle or maybe even Blastoise. Their needs could change as they evolve, meaning your zoo will be even more dynamic and you'll always be on your toes responding to these changes. Furthermore, there's great potential for you to influence the evolution of certain Pokemon in fun ways, like putting some Slowpoke and Shellder in the same water-based exhibit.
As I'm sure you're aware, there's more to a zoo than just looking at the animals. All the best zoos would have other forms of entertainment and our Pokemon zoo would be no exception. You could create a petting zoo with Mareep and Deerling, let guests dive with the Mantine, thrill them with a mini-stadium for battles or even put on a Pokemon-based musical like the one in Pokemon Black and White.
Last, but definitely not least, Legendary Pokemon. Of course they would be in it. They'd be awesome, but only the best zoo managers would be able to get them as a reward for hard work, high satisfaction ratings and profits. Could you keep Mewtwo contained?