2. A Return to Sinnoh
In the same vein as the next generation, Pokemon series remakes have become another staple of the last decade or so of the series. Back in 2004, when the series was in the thrall of its Game Boy Advance generation, The Pokemon Company remade Pokemon Red & Blue into Pokemon FireRed & LeafGreen. Eventually Gold & Silver would follow suit, reborn as HeartGold & SoulSilver on the Nintendo DS. The GBA’s main entries, Ruby & Sapphire, would eventually show up at the 3DS’ Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire in 2014.
As such, it seems natural to many that some kind of remake for the series’ fourth generation must be coming somewhere down the pipeline. 2007’s Diamond & Pearl were well-received, especially after a previous generation which caused many players to fall off the wagon for a bit. There’s also been a fair amount of theorizing that previous games have been trying to foreshadow the remakes. A decent part of Sun & Moon‘s post-credits Ultra Beasts storyline revolved around distortions in space-time and the like, and Diamond & Pearl‘s mascots happen to be the Poke-verse deities of those two exact concepts.
However, there’s a counterpoint to be made there on diminishing returns. The first two generations of remakes were well-deserved, taking original Game Boy games and giving them the overhaul of a leap into the future. Now that we’re getting into the DS-era games, though, the question becomes whether the remakes can be justified on a development end like the old ones did. Are we going to be expecting X and Y remakes in another decade? We’ll see if Nintendo decides the remake cycle is worth keeping up for much longer.
3. Is it just me, or is it getting Pokken here?
Like with Sun and Moon, this is one that actually wouldn’t be taking us too far back at all. Pokken Tournament was released on the Wii U in March 2016, as a Tekken-like fighter featuring a variety of Pokemon duking it out with more finesse than was ever possible before. Our own Anthony Spivey quite liked the game, and plenty of other reviewers did as well. Unfortunately, the actual player base for the thing was tiny. The Wii U’s negligible numbers combined with the fact that, by 2016, a lot of people weren’t paying attention to the system any longer anyway. Rumors have been humming around lately that suggest we just might see a resurgence.
That said, there’s been some solid effort put behind Pokken Tournament to release new characters periodically since its launch. Characters like Empoleon and Darkrai made their way to the fairly popular arcade version that exists in Japan, but never elsewhere. It seems reasonable that content such as that would find its way into a Mario Kart 8 Deluxe-type package for the Switch, maybe even with a few new Alolan monsters thrown in for good measure.
And again, this makes sense more than a straight-up sequel because (1) it hasn’t been long at all since the first game pummeled its way onto shelves, and (2) the first game never really got a chance outside of Japan. With the popularity of the Switch, Pokken Tournament could get a mega-evolved surge of new life its way.
4. A New Colosseum, Brick by Brick
Here’s something one could describe as a fun fact. Did you know there have only ever been two console Pokemon games with full story campaigns, on top of the series’ traditional turn-based gameplay? There have only been two, and they were both on the Gamecube. Pokemon Colosseum, and it’s later sequel, XD: Gale of Darkness, were successors to the Pokemon Stadium crown, taking the then-novelty of 3D Pokemon battles and pairing it with a proper story for the first time. The games were a bit strange, with a story centering around an evil organization bent on corrupting Pokemon into Shadow versions of themselves. It found a loving niche, though, and the interest is still around.
Here’s why this list features the Colosseum games in particular, as opposed to Stadium. As mentioned above, Pokemon Stadium and Pokemon Stadium 2 were successful almost exclusively because seeing your pocket monsters clash in the third dimension had not been possible any other way until then. That’s not the case anymore; Pokemon games have been in full 3D since 2013’s X and Y, and so the novelty is gone. If people want a proper successor to the Stadium/Colosseum line, but not quite something as by-the-book as a main series entry, the more unique world of the Colosseum games could be a great place to go.
What made Pokemon‘s time on the Gamecube unique was that it spawned two Pokemon games with very few opportunities to catch wild Pokemon. In fact, it wasn’t until a couple places in XD that the option even existed. The Colosseum games took place in the mostly-desert Orre region, where the protagonist stole and liberated corrupted Pokemon directly from their evil masters. One can only pray that a protagonist for a modern successor would have a bit less of an edgelord look, but the somewhat grittier spirit of Colosseum could easily find a place on the Switch.