Innovation is the name of the game in the Pokémon series. The Pokémon Company and Game Freak are always trying new ideas, features, and mechanics in each new Pokémon game. One of the most significant new features was the first numbered sequel in the entire series with Pokémon Black 2 & White 2.
Despite these games' overwhelming success and surprising nature, they were the only numbered mainline sequels in the franchise. No other attempts were made to explore a region years after its introduction and the various changes that come with it. However, it is high time for numbered Pokémon sequels to return.
The Only Canon Numbered Sequels to Date
After nine generations of the Pokémon series, there are only two canon-numbered sequels in the entire series. Those games are Generation 5’s Black 2 & White 2. Instead of the traditional formula of a single-third definitive version for that generation, Game Freak broke the trend with direct sequels.
Several years after the first game's events, players returned to the Unova region to see how things had changed after the events of the original Black & White. These numbered sequels were inventive and far more detailed than the somewhat similar approach that Gen 2 did when it allowed players to revisit Gen 1’s Kanto region in the postgame.
Even after Generation 5, Pokémon never returned to the numbered sequels idea, opting for no extra games in the following generation. Even though Gen 7 had two definitive versions, similar to Gen 5, they weren’t sequels but really more improved, alternate tellings of the same story.
After that point, both Gens 8 and 9 opted for the DLC approach, with the removal of the definitive version approach. Black 2 & White 2 remain unique points in Pokémon’s history.
Sequels Renovated The Pokémon Series
Pokémon sequels need to return because the idea of sequels completely flipped Generation 5. These numbered sequels were able to revamp entire systems, introduce new mechanics, and bring back old ones. Difficulty levels, new regions, new Pokémon forms, and more were able to arrive in the game.
Furthermore, players had the chance to see the tale of Team Plasma, the three legendary dragons, and more told to their full conclusion. The most intriguing part was seeing the Unova region from a new perspective as players started in a new hometown, different from the original Gen 5 games.
More Pokémon Sequels Could Help
Bringing back Pokémon sequels could allow the series to renovate once more and try out new features and ideas. It is high time for them to return, and here’s why.
See The Conclusion of Storylines and Characters
For starters, the games are set immediately after the previous titles. This approach allows players to see a new story arc of that particular region and all its characters. What happens to the evil team years after their defeat? What new villains have popped up in the years following?
Who is the Champion of the region nowadays? These and more are questions that the sequel story can answer. If planned, the story could be built on this sequel idea, with only half of the story presented in the original games and the rest in the sequels. This way, players must experience all of them to see the storyline.
It also means spending more time with beloved characters and allowing new ones to shine. Seeing one character fulfill their dream of becoming a Gym Leader or a sudden betrayal as the main character takes over the new evil team would be stellar.
New Pokémon and Forms
There is also the opportunity in numbered Pokémon sequels to allow for new Pokémon and forms. DLC does this, too, but third definitive versions usually only include a couple of new ones. Having sequels means that, perhaps, there is something new that Professors discover with the legendaries of the region.
Perhaps Ultra Beasts invade the region in the sequels, allowing for entirely new Pokémon to show up in the world. There might even be a chance for new regional forms to appear in areas of the vicinity that you didn’t visit in the previous titles. If treated right as sequels, they could add many layers of new Pokémon to the Pokédex, including new ones and even returning ones.
Sequels Are More Exciting Than DLC
The Pokémon Company also underappreciates the allure of Pokémon sequels. The current DLC formula is fine and arguably better than the third version, but they still pale compared to the potential of actual sequels. For the community and many players, full-on sequels are far more exciting than just some downloadable expansions.
For one, there is the fact that players can replay the entire region from start to finish with a brand-new storyline. It’s more faithful to the original storyline and characters, unlike DLC, which usually features a side story adjacent to the main plot.
Then there is the fact that the current open-world format of the Pokémon series works better in this sequel form. Players can start in a new part of the map and explore it in a new way than they did the first time, all while catching new Pokémon to use on their team.
Plus, there is the chance to revamp the experience entirely. For instance, players could play the same character as the original game in a school-based experience like Scarlet & Violet, but in an older grade. Or you could even be a Gym Leader yourself or a professor’s assistant, or any other crazy position.
Sequels don’t have to follow the same old formula as the first games in a new generation, either. They can try something brand new and be more experimental as full-priced games rather than cheaper DLC.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.