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Do you wish Pokemon had more logic and consistency in its world-bulding?

Dec 26, 2014
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Just a brief disclaimer: this thread is coming from somebody who doesn't have a whole lot of direct experience with the Pokémon games, relatively speaking. I played Silver way back in the day and as a kid I collected the cards and watched the show, and then I went on a hiatus with it all the way to X&Y and decided to jump back in with those, and I haven't played another one since, though I'm planning on getting Ultra Sun/Moon. Overall, I always had more of a peripheral interest in the series, keeping up with what was new but rarely diving into it myself.

So recently I was introduced to GAF member Watch Da Birdie's extensive analysis of all the Pokémon, slowly going through it, and among the many things I've learned from it is just how many fundamental aspects of how the Pokémon universe works just kind of don't make any sense when you take them at anything more than face-value. I'm not talking about things like "how do these sometimes giant creatures get put into these little balls to carry around", or "how does this fish Pokémon fight when it's on land" which are the sort of things you just got to roll with if you want to have any enjoyment from videogames. I'm talking more about instances where the lore of the games just don't add up or sometimes even directly contradict how the games work.

One such example of this is how some evolutions work. Some Pokémon have some pretty cool backstories to how they evolve, but these never actually get incorporated into the games in any way, instead just doing the standard level-up or item-based evolutions. Some of these evolution backstories are admittedly pretty hard to implement in any meaningful way, but it's pretty jarring when the actual gameplay just doesn't make any connection to the lore we have come to known about certain Pokémon.

And then there's the Pokedex entries....I have to admit, most of these things are just dumb. It honestly seems like Game Freak just handed the designs they made to a group of people who otherwise had no connection with the game development, and said "ok, come up with some cool facts about each of them". So we get things like "lol this Pokémon is hotter than the freakin' sun!" or "lol this Pokémon can jump a mile into the air!", not to mention other ones that bring into question why some aren't completely quarantined from civilized society due to being capable of bringing mass destruction. So many of them just overcompensate so much. Like, we get it, the Pokémon is very hot. You don't have to make it 5 quadrillion degrees F or whatever to relay that fact.

Then there's some paradoxes of some them, most notably the Cubone/Marowak story, a touching background detail that just crumples apart the moment you start really thinking about it.

In a more general sense, reading about each of these Pokémon, it makes me really wish Game Freak gave more effort into providing insights into how they all co-exist in the world and interact with the rest of nature and with human society. You certainly see this with some Pokémon, serving as pets or using their abilities to help with some sort of human job, but overall they just kind of seem thrown in on top of each other and you're just supposed to not think about how any of them co-exist outside of their battle uses. I suppose in this day and age of over 800 Pokémon, this is just wishful thinking on my part, but there could certainly be some improvement I feel.


All in all, the Pokémon game world/lore as a whole seems to be one with some pretty cool little details and tons of interesting elements when taking individually, but once you put them into the greater context of the game universe, they just don't mesh well and it creates a game universe that feels somewhat disjointed and haphazardly put together. Some of this can't be helped, I perfectly realize. You have almost 1,000 different creatures of various shapes, sizes, and abilities all battling it out with each other, and at it's core that's all that the Pokémon universe really is about. And it does that well. Maybe I'm just asking way too much out of a such a light-hearted, kid-friendly series? After all, nobody really expects Mario games to follow some universal rulebook with consistent and deep lore behind them. You just play them for awesome platforming experiences. Is it the same with Pokémon? I feel like Pokémon is a little different because, for one, it's an RPG, and also, especially with the more recent games, they do actually have relatively in-depth storylines that increasingly add more and more elements that try and fit onto the already established ones. And I feel like, because of that, the inconsistences, illogical parts, paradoxes, and unexplained phenomenon stick out more than they do in, say, Mario.


But that's just me. What do you all think? Do you even care about how the Pokémon universe is supposed to function, or do you just want to catch them, fight with them, an call it a day?
 

Slamtastic

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Absolutely.

I wish it would advance beyond JRPG bog standard design too, to facilitate this. Less animatronics standing around repeating banalities, more scheduled named NPCS who can feel even a little like people.

And I've made my stance on the contrivances used to enforce linearity clear many times.

But, that all would take effort, and it might not be seen as worth it when plenty of the player base is content to ignore the game setting and reduce the experience down to spreadsheets as they mass breed in a eugenics program to get optimal monsters with no emotional connection to them or the world.
 
Mar 8, 2016
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I agree. I think Nintendo did not expect the game to be as huge as it is, considering red/blue(green)/yellow seem to pretty accurately describe Pokémon in a way that makes sense in the lore as well as backstories etc
 

DNAbro

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Nov 18, 2013
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ehh not really. The pokedex entries are fun but I think they just write whatever they want.

I think the actual world building aside from the pokedex of Sun/Moon and the islands is the best in the series and a lot more thought went into how people and pokemon interact.
 

Weiss

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Jan 19, 2013
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Pokemon Sun was the first game in the series where the region felt like an actual place with culture where people lived.
 

Pepboy

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Only in terms of the story. Right now there's no internal consistency to Pokemon, the economy, how things are set up or why they exist.

But I have 100% faith that an indie dev will come along and fix this issue like Stardew Valley did for Harvest Moon. I'd really like to see a world in which pokemon and pokemon battles actually make sense to exist within.
 

User 73706

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Aug 3, 2010
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The Dex entries start making more sense when you realize they're being entered by 10-year-olds. Information on most Pokemon already exists, but if you have every trainer collecting their own data independently, it's probably easier to find patterns and actual information at the expense of wading through the occasional "it has an IQ of 5000!" submissions.
 

woopWOOP

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Sure, I sometimes think about this stuff.

Pokemon world having a peaceful society is kind of bullshit with so many hyper beaming monsters walking around. It's so easy for a criminal group to come together, overpower the local police and summon a legendary monster that can wipe away all of humanity.

And I somehow can accept Pokemon being naturally born with judo outfits and fitting inside some super future tiny capsule ball, but the likes of Dugtrio, Magneton and Exeggcute all fitting in the same ball and Farfetch'd & Cubone taking their leek & skull with them is really bothering me. So more than one being can fit in one ball? Items can be brought in balls? If a Pikachu sits on a chair will both the chair and Pikachu get caught??

In the end, fuck it it's a videogame. A fun one at that
 

User 73706

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Aug 3, 2010
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Sure, I sometimes think about this stuff.

Pokemon world having a peaceful society is kind of bullshit with so many hyper beaming monsters walking around. It's so easy for a criminal group to come together, overpower the local police and summon a legendary monster that can wipe away all of humanity.
I mean, this is literally the plot of like half the games
 

LotusHD

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Aug 27, 2016
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I don't care, but it is fun to poke fun at it every now and then. But it being that seriously bugs me and keeps me up at night, so to speak? Nope.
 

Wamb0wneD

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NPCs that don't just stand around for you to talk to them/get forced to have a fight would go a long way. (Problem is it would make just not fighting to go to the next Pokecenter too easy) When the first game came out there were obvious reasons fgor the NPCs to be like they were, but nowadays you'd think they would be a bit more ambitious with those.

Running into people on different spots, and just getting ask if you want to have a fight instead of forcing you, maybe just missing some because they are somewhere else by the time you walk somewhere would help the world building immensly.
 

Village

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Jan 21, 2013
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Sure

And I think they are trying to do that

That's all I can say on it. They are taking active steps to have more involved stories and worlds, so gamefreak is attempting to solve the problem in their own way.
 

The Lamp

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They'll never bother with the effort to modernize their tropes from the 90s. Why people stand in place with static lives repeating the same dialogue and why homes have no bathroom or bedroom is lazy design that had its place in the limitations of the 90s but has now just become an unfortunate expectation of this series.

I wish it would borrow more of its world building from Persona 5. Dynamic characters with schedules and realistic environmental design instead of cities and villages that have two fucking houses
 

JoeM86

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I mean if you ignore the Pokédex entries, it really does have a lot of logic and consistency.

There's always been the theory that the Pokédex entries are written by the kids who always exaggerate things and overimagine.
 

brinstar

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They'll never bother with the effort to modernize their tropes from the 90s. Why people stand in place with static lives repeating the same dialogue and why homes have no bathroom or bedroom is lazy design that had its place in the limitations of the 90s but has now just become an unfortunate expectation of this series.

I wish it would borrow more of its world building from Persona 5. Dynamic characters with schedules and realistic environmental design instead of cities and villages that have two fucking houses
I thought Sun & Moon had pretty nice house interiors. You could go to a lot of main character's houses and check out their bedrooms and the condition of their beds which got weirdly.... specific.
 

JoeM86

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I thought Sun & Moon had pretty nice house interiors. You could go to a lot of main character's houses and check out their bedrooms and the condition of their beds which got weirdly.... specific.
You would be correct.

They even have a 3D model for the bathroom and garage but chose not to use it.


Also go into Guzma's house and read his diary to hear about how his father hit him.

There's a town in Black & White where stories of Kyurem coming out to eat people caused them to build walls and make it so nobody steps outside at night.

There's more world building than people actually take note of.
 

Bakkus

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Oct 12, 2014
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You mean we can then finally end all the unfunny jokes about how Pokemon are your slaves, nurses are sadists when they say 'We hope to see you again', etc, etc, etc?

YES, FUCK YES!
 

The Lamp

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I mean if you ignore the Pokédex entries, it really does have a lot of logic and consistency.

There's always been the theory that the Pokédex entries are written by the kids who always exaggerate things and overimagine.
It's not logical that an encyclopedia put together by professors is written by kids.

And no, the world doesn't have much logic or consistency compared to other fleshed out JRPGs. Why do major cities have like no residential areas? Why do towns have like 4 houses, and some with no door? Why can I barge into strangers homes and they don't mind at all, with no aware reaction to my presence other than a repeated dialogue segment? Where do citizens buy groceries, shit, go to college to become professors, deal with civic matters? What even is the government of a region? Does the police force even exist in half of these games? Why do gangs of criminals go unnoticed? Do the police have weapons or just Pokémon? Where are the crowds and routines and people (I'm not talking about isolated examples like that one city in Unova with 2-4 generic sprites moving back and forth, where is the commitment to consistent realistic world building?)? What are peoples jobs in Pokémon?

It's so lazy. The Pokémon Center is a perfect example. Its only function is to heal so of course they're not going to design multiple clients, a waiting room, healing Pokémon, or anything to add realistic ambience. No, the PC is a drive-thru where you insta-heal your creatures on a countertop in seconds.

You would be correct.

They even have a 3D model for the bathroom and garage but chose not to use it.


Also go into Guzma's house and read his diary to hear about how his father hit him.

There's more world building than people actually take note of.
It's inconsistent.
 

Kyzer

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Jan 7, 2009
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One of the things about Pokemon is that it created such a strong setting and world that it made it hard for this small dev team to keep up with or adjust to fans dreams of what that world should be. People have been dreaming of a world of pokemon to play in since the beginning of the franchise and as much as the games are the source material, the craving to be a part of that setting makes it so the games only ever serve as a proxy for the experience we truly have been yearning for since before it was even technically possible
 

M3d10n

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People fall on the fallacy of expecting the franchises of their childhood to grow with them, when in reality new kids are born all the time to make up for those who grew out of it so there's no need to complicate or mature things and risk breaking the working formula.

There's nothing wrong in liking things designed to appeal to preteens, just realize that you're not the target audience and adjust your expectations accordingly.
 

The Lamp

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It's changing and expanding as games get newer and they can do more. What more do you want?
Them to modernize better and faster? It's been over 20 years and the world still feels like an illogical mess more often than not. I get sci-fi and fantasy, but basic elements don't add up.

They could always do more with this but they never will because Pokémon apologists and the young fans have rock-bottom standards for this stuff. They just want 100 new Pokémon every few years.
 

nynt9

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I have very little faith in this happening, but I would really appreciate if they could make a world that feels more alive. Not areas that are obviously designed for the player to navigate, but places that feel more open, characters that go about their business, etc. This would mean a fundamental rework of their formula and engine, and I don't see them going that way considering how well each entry sells already. But if they took some cues from BOTW it could be amazing.
 

NormalFish

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maybe gamefreak can start by not constantly removing features first.

I mean I understand your gripe but its kind of the bottom of a huge stack of issues.
 

Sami+

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I would honestly be extremely happy with a soft reboot kind of game that goes back and fixes these things with very few if any actual new Pokemon. I love the idea of region-exclusive variations of Pokémon, more of that and less "this is this region's Zubat but trust us it's really a brand new Pokémon that's totally different for real".
 

SalvaPot

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This is like the "So is Goofy a dog and Mickey's best friend, why is Pluto Mickey's dog?"

This is a world made to be played and enjoyed first, with experiences doctored and content cut for your enjoyment. For several games your house didn't even had a room for your mom to sleep in.

They keep explaining eggs as stuff that just appeared out of thin air.

Consistency suuuuuucks, dumb all over the place logics in my videogames is what I want.
 

Biske

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Apr 5, 2016
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Yes and no.

Pokemon is always going to be a disappointing series one way or another. The story and world is never going to rise to the heights it could.

It's really just filler as you trudge through to the competitive game.
 

Majukun

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definitely would prefer if the game world was as interesting as the battle mechanics... the last pkmn game I bought i resold after a couple of days because outside the battles the game was boring me to death.. especially since most of what people had to say was useless... so you just go around uninteresting places talking to uninteresting people... waiting for something, anything to happen finally.

but I understand it's primarily a children game, so I just accepted that I have outgrown the franchise.
 

VegiHam

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People fall on the fallacy of expecting the franchises of their childhood to grow with them, when in reality new kids are born all the time to make up for those who grew out of it so there's no need to complicate or mature things and risk breaking the working formula.

There's nothing wrong in liking things designed to appeal to preteens, just realize that you're not the target audience and adjust your expectations accordingly.
This, I think, is my fundamental issue with Pokemon. I want it to impress me the way it did when I was eight and it wants to impress current eight year olds. I'm aware it's my problem since I'm the one who's changed, but I can't help sometimes feeling disappointing by it.

It's interesting to contrast it with something like Harry Potter which did age with me and had more edgey plots when I was a preeteen compared to when I was a kid though. So Pokemon could do that; it's just choosing not to.
 

LotusHD

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This, I think, is my fundamental issue with Pokemon. I want it to impress me the way it did when I was eight and it wants to impress current eight year olds. I'm aware it's my problem since I'm the one who's changed, but I can't help sometimes feeling disappointing by it.

It's interesting to contrast it with something like Harry Potter which did age with me and had more edgey plots when I was a preeteen compared to when I was a kid though. So Pokemon could do that; it's just choosing not to.
I mean, it has gotten "edgier" for sure (The latest villain was an abusive mother for example), just again, probably not to the extent you want.
 

JoeM86

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This, I think, is my fundamental issue with Pokemon. I want it to impress me the way it did when I was eight and it wants to impress current eight year olds. I'm aware it's my problem since I'm the one who's changed, but I can't help sometimes feeling disappointing by it.

It's interesting to contrast it with something like Harry Potter which did age with me and had more edgey plots when I was a preeteen compared to when I was a kid though. So Pokemon could do that; it's just choosing not to.
More edgy plots like a mother discarding her son and daughter in order to bring parasitic beasts into the world that she then fuses with? With her company cutting apart Pokémon and splicing them together into a new Pokémon to deal with beasts?
 

Boss Doggie

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Them to modernize better and faster? It's been over 20 years and the world still feels like an illogical mess more often than not. I get sci-fi and fantasy, but basic elements don't add up.

They could always do more with this but they never will because Pokémon apologists and the young fans have rock-bottom standards for this stuff. They just want 100 new Pokémon every few years.
The hell? You people bring up Pokemon tropes... that only apply literally decades ago.

People seem to forget that Pokemon likes to run with the "local legends" aspect. It's why you get shit like "the legend of Alola" or "the legend of Johto". This isn't some big RPG legend tier - they're literally playing up the folklore aspect and making them semi-real. And even then Pokemon has been consistent barring the troll dex entries. And no, they're not written by professors.

Also if you're gonna bring me as an apologist I'm going to laugh at you considering how much shit I give to older games and even SM.

I would honestly be extremely happy with a soft reboot kind of game that goes back and fixes these things with very few if any actual new Pokemon. I love the idea of region-exclusive variations of Pokémon, more of that and less "this is this region's Zubat but trust us it's really a brand new Pokémon that's totally different for real".
I mean, I get your complaint, but Zubat is the worst example since there's only one "expy" it has and it's so divergent that you might as well not call it a Zubat expy. If they want a bat Pokemon they're using Zubat.

It would all have to begin with Ash Ketchum actually aging. Then the rest will follow.
Why do people bring anime and games together again?

This, I think, is my fundamental issue with Pokemon. I want it to impress me the way it did when I was eight and it wants to impress current eight year olds. I'm aware it's my problem since I'm the one who's changed, but I can't help sometimes feeling disappointing by it.

It's interesting to contrast it with something like Harry Potter which did age with me and had more edgey plots when I was a preeteen compared to when I was a kid though. So Pokemon could do that; it's just choosing not to.
Err, the story despite being shallow are still different in its points and aspects, from shit like raising an orphan to be used as a tool, among other things.

Also funny you mention Harry Potter, most of the stuff I hear they tend to hate the later series because of how it ended up in focus.
 

Gravy Boat

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It’s been a while since I last payed attention to a story in a Pokemon game. Do they still expect us to just believe that they’ve only discovered certain evolutions and pre-evolutions very time a new game launches or have they given an actual reason for that.
 

Usobuko

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Feb 3, 2013
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The draw of pokemon for me these days are

- Number of new pokemons
- post game battle frontier like content
- Character customization
- More interactions with your pokemon
- No more redundant OP moves ( Y-moves) / evolutions ( Ultra evolution )

Story, world building and whatsnot I have already given up on that.
 

VegiHam

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I mean, it has gotten "edgier" for sure (The latest villain was an abusive mother for example), just again, probably not to the extent you want.
More edgy plots like a mother discarding her son and daughter in order to bring parasitic beasts into the world that she then fuses with? With her company cutting apart Pokémon and splicing them together into a new Pokémon to deal with beasts?
Excellent points, and I should clarify I don't actually want edgy Pokemon. But the difference for me is a case of timing. Harry Potter aged in lockstep with me in a way that was pure luck and is impossible to replicate. Pokemon is edgier now but it's taken a lot longer to get there and at the moment I secretly want it to be Xenoblade instead.
 

JoeM86

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The hell? You people bring up Pokemon tropes... that only apply literally decades ago.
Unfortunately I see this all to often. People making complaints about Pokémon, valid ones, which have already been corrected or built upon in recent games. They just don't know as they haven't played them.

It's been a while since I last payed attention to a story in a Pokemon game. Do they still expect us to just believe that they've only discovered certain evolutions and pre-evolutions very time a new game launches or have they given an actual reason for that.
We haven't had new evolutions or pre-evolutions since 2006.
 

Fuu

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This is like the "So is Goofy a dog and Mickey's best friend, why is Pluto Mickey's dog?"
This one is easy: Pluto and Goofy are different species of canidae, like humans are a species of primate and we still have apes.