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Pokemon Fighter

by Justin Nation - September 9, 1999, 11:09 am EDT

Forget that turn-based Stadium crap. Justin discusses his ideas for a tournament fighter starring those lovable little creatures. Kick Pikachu? No thanks, I'll just use a Dragon Punch.

They've taken the world by storm and any game with that little electric rat Pikachu on it is a guaranteed success, so how can Nintendo further capitalize on the Pokemon franchise? One choice for Nintendo in making Pokemon an even bigger craze is to find a way to market it to an older audience and a fighting game would make a good candidate for pulling this off. Armed with an entire universe of Pokemon which are all distinctive and are already equipped with a pre-defined set of powers Nintendo has enough combatants to fill a DVD, and with the elemental basis of Pokemon powers as well as the ability to use multiple Pokemon in a single fight this game could very well begin a new fighting game subgenre.

    Basic Features:

  • At least 50 but hopefully 100 or more distinctive Pokemon battlers who must be gradually unlocked through gameplay

  • Intense head-to-head competition against the computer or a friend as players manage their 6 available Pokemon in battle ala the Capcom vs. Fighters style of swapping

  • A single-player Quest mode that must be played over time in order to accumulate new Pokemon fighters for their own stable. This would be much like the original game with specific areas that have both trainers to gain experience with and gym bosses that must be defeated to move to the next area/league

  • An RPG-like element where some Pokemon unlock new powers through battling and others may evolve

    Extra Goodies:

  • With a writable area Pokemon breeding (as available in the upcoming Pokemon Gold/Silver) could be interesting, including some training modes would also be a plus

  • Let people outright create their own Pokemon once they've completed specific game objectives, naming them, defining their elemental group, piecing together their appearance via a Poke-Editor, choosing their default powers, etc... these would be able to evolve with unpredictable results once they've battled, leading to a number of hidden Pokemon that can only be found through this experimentation and luck

  • Given network abilities people would obviously love to be able to trade or battle with their friends, making the game even more playable in the long term

Justin says: While Pokemon is a big hit it still remains very kid-oriented and a game like this could manage to bridge the age gap for Nintendo, opening Pokemon to a wider audience. The power of a title like this is that Nintendo has an almost obscene list of characters to tap for the game and with the evolution aspects anticipated for Pokemon Gold/Silver there is even more room for randomness and creativity with a title like this. The fighting genre has remained somewhat in slow motion since the initial stages of 3D fighters that hit and something like this could give the fighting genre something new to consider. Giving people the ability to choose their own combinations and even create their own Pokemon eventually could really be an interesting proposition and it would also help personalize people's games a little bit more for themselves. It would be a daring stab at the older market but in this case it would probably profit Nintendo greatly in the end.

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