In the advent of the soon-to-be-launching Nintendo 3DS and the fact that I plan to wait for its first revision (thx for infecting me with that idea, sigh), I turned around a gave the existing Nintendo DS-library a closer look. And I figured that there´s enough stuff to keep me well entertained for another 1-2 years. Right now, I´m playing Pheonix Wright: Justice for All and it´s fantastic. Then I´ll start the Professor Layton-series, to prepare myself for the 3DS-crossover. And aside from these older titles, Pokemon Black Edition should bear a near infinite amount of entertainment. Having said that, I thought how great it´d be if the Pokemon-series would see a rather drastic make-over with it´s inevitable 3DS-sequel.
I´ve been one of the biggest complainers about GameFreak´s lazy efforts with past installments of the Pokemon-series, and yet I bought every new generation on day 1. And it seems this weird behavior will continue. But that´s the last Pokemon-game for the NDS, the next one´s going to be a 3DS-game, and Satoru Iwata, boss of Nintendo, himself recently mentioned that a Pokemon-title for the new handheld is underway. Whether that´s a main entry or some spinoff doesn´t really matter. What matters is that 2D-sprites won´t get all the little monsters very far in terms of a 3D-effect, so some kind of more drastic change in terms of visual is to be expected.
However, this could also make for the starting point of new generation of Pokemon-trainers in the franchise´s timeline. Specifically speaking: Have Ash Ketchum grow up! It always felt like a missed opportunity, seeing how the original Pokemon Blue/Red-players have grown up long time ago, yet Ash Ketchum is still the young star of the anime-series. How much more enjoyable would it have been, if that brat actually grew up in a similar time frame as the series´ fans? Anyway, that obviously didn´t happen. But it´d be fine to make it happen at any point in the future just as well. Have Ash Ketchum become a legendary master-trainer that´s told to be traveling the most dangerous, unknown parts of the world. And have there be a new main character, a new boy around the age of 14, who´s the new center of the anime, and will then meet the adult Ash in some of the episodes. “Epic” would be the correct word here.
Why I care? Because whenever I decide to sink into a franchise, I´d like that franchise to evolve, to keep on grasping my fascination. Besides the fact that I´d love the RPG-games feature more of the anime-show´s characters and plots, a “Next Generation” for both games and anime seems like a highly enjoyable event, that´s all. When the RPGs have to change into 3D-games finally, use that to introduce other changes, too. And when that happens, change up the anime, as well. It´s a matter of keeping it fresh, and let´s be real: Both games and anime have lost most of their freshness for a long time now.