Pokemon Legends: Arceus is out now, marking a new era for the iconic franchise. It also means that for the first time since February 26, 2021, we have no clue what’s next for the mainline Pokemon franchise. The idea of the unknown is exciting, as the latest game has opened up a plethora of paths for Game Freak to take next. Let’s talk about where we’d like to see the Pokemon games go after Legends: Arceus.
An open-world game set in modern day
The open-world format in Pokemon Legends: Arceus was a refreshing take on the universe, seamlessly weaving together exploration, battling, and capturing Pokemon. While the Hisui region is full of diverse Pokemon, interesting characters, and secrets to uncover, it’s far different from what we’ve come to expect from the series. Keeping with the same design philosophy, we’d love to see a Pokemon game that feels like Legends: Arceus, but in a region with trainers, gyms, and an established Pokemon League.
It would be a beautiful way to marry the classic Pokemon formula with all of the new ideas introduced in Legends: Arceus. Previous Pokemon games are more or less quite linear in world design, so this would be an excellent opportunity for Game Freak to step outside of that box and create a world that players can tackle at their own pace. Imagine having the freedom to challenge gyms in your preferred order, or having access to an entire region from the start of your journey.
Explore other regions’ pasts
The Hisui region gave us an early look at the land that would later become known as Sinnoh. Set long before the events of Diamond and Pearl, Pokemon Legends: Arceus dives deep into the region’s lore. It would be amazing to see other regions get this treatment. Pokemon X and Y teased an incredibly deep lore for the Kalos region, one that’s ripe for an exploration in the same vein of Pokemon Legends: Arceus.
A game set in the early days of Kalos could teach us more about the war that we hear about in X and Y, or even take a closer look at the origins of Mega Evolution. The Unova region is unique in its New York-inspired setting. A game set in that region centuries ago could give us Pokemon’s take on old America.
This format would also provide a way to revisit classic locations in a worthwhile way. Game Freak could also take us back to the Kanto region, without doing yet another remake of Red and Blue.
The return of old features
While Pokemon Legends: Arceus introduced new features and mechanics, it also did away with series staples. Abilities, Held Items, and the nursery are all features that could definitely exist in this new style of Pokemon game without compromising what it’s trying to do.
There’s a deep level of strategy that comes with Abilities and Held Items that could beautifully compliment the new Fighting Styles. Being able to breed Pokemon again and receive eggs would also eliminate the frustration of searching for a Pokemon whom you already own the evolution of. A new game in the style of Legends: Arceus that sees these features return would feel like a much more rounded Pokemon experience.
A sequel to Pokemon Legends: Arceus
Though it’s rare for mainline Pokemon games to get proper direct sequels, Pokemon Legends: Arceus certainly leaves the door open for a direct continuation of its story. We’d love to see a game that shows us how the Galaxy Expedition Team fell and became Team Galactic, the mustache-twirling villains that we meet in Diamond and Pearl. It could also show us how the Diamond and Pearl clan’s relationship with each other and their respective Legendaries evolved over the years.
If there was a time jump, we could even look at the establishing of the first Gym Leaders, Elite 4, and Champion. We could see the relationship between people and Pokemon evolve as more trainers begin to appear in the world, creating new challenges and opportunities. Our most ambitious wishes include a sequel that takes us away from Hisui, visiting other regions during the same time period. There’s already references to regions like Kanto and Alola, so we know that they’re already civilized at this point. We’ve already created the first Regional Pokedex, why not set out to create the first National Pokedex?
Those are 4 things we’d like to see from the Pokemon series after Pokemon Legends: Arceus. While the game has a lot to be happy about, one of the most exciting things is all of the possibilities that it opens up for the future of the franchise. We’d love to know what you want next from the Pokemon games in the Chatty below.