This week let’s talk a bit more in depth about Pokémon battles. There is only so much you can talk about when the games aren’t quite balanced yet so I see this as a good time to really jump right in there. My thoughts will probably be all over the place on this one, but that should not come as a surprise anymore. Before we delve even deeper into the rabbit hole let’s take a look at two mechanics added to the Pokémon themselves. The first is that each Pokémon now has an ability that gives them some type of advantage. Some of them can be used in the overworld but most exist to give a Pokémon an edge in battle. Usually a Pokémon can have two different abilities so now there is a reason to catch a Pokémon more than once to try and find the one with the ability you want for your team. The bigger change to the Pokémon themselves I believe lies in them now having natures. Depending on what natu, to xre a Pokémon has, one stat will receive a boost while another will be reduced. For instance a Pokémon with a calm nature will have increased special defense and have decreased attack. Just something to take to take a note of since in a casual playthrough it won’t affect things too much, but the option is there if you want to optimize your Pokémon, but I will get to more on that later. Next up we have a new mechanic.
Now if I’m being honest, which by the way I always am in these posts seeing as how there is no reason for me to want to lie to you, this next mechanic is probably my favorite new mechanic introduced in this generation. That mechanic is team battling. Every now and then you will get the opportunity to fight two trainers and the same time in a two-on-two Pokémon battle. The fun thing about this mechanic is that you can coordinate with your Pokémon to bully two different Pokémon at the same time. Obviously there is more to it than that, but there is nothing more satisfying to me than tag teaming one Pokémon with both of mine as soon as it steps onto the battlefield. They never stand a chance. There is more that needs to be considered in these battles since there are moves that can affect everyone and you can use moves on your other Pokémon as well, presumably to help them out instead of wiping them out. Sorry did I say wipe them out? I meant causing them to faint gently. Always was funny to me that Pokémon could get hit by literal meteors and then just need to rest at the Pokémon center for a bit with no consequences. Can I get some of that for me please? Well at the end of the day I guess I doesn’t make me feel too bad for ganging up on Pokémon during a battle so that they don’t even have a chance to get their moves off. However, I want to address the change in how battles are carried out. You see, in this generation Pokémon becomes a lot more complex which definitely livens things up, but there are certain things you have to pay attention to such as not using Surf on your other Pokémon in the middle of a team battle. It’s more than just that though as pretty much every mechanic is in some way geared towards competitive battling. By adding new variables to the mix Pokémon can grow even stronger and specialize in different styles depending on whether it’s sent out for single or double battles. if you don’t believe yet you will after I talk about EV training.
For those of you who are unaware EV training is the type of mechanic that I won’t even touch in a game. I am a casual gamer, it is literally included in the name of the website. So I don’t rally focus on this type of thing so I don’t really like to talk about it. However, for the sake of argument, that is what I’ll do. Essentially the bare minimum on how it works is that you can fight certain Pokémon to increase your effort values which in turn make your Pokémon stronger since the higher the effort values of the Pokémon stats, the more likely it is to have an edge over those of the same level. Basically it is something you do to focus your Pokémon to be stronger in different areas of expertise. You can achieve double the effect with the Macho Brace item so you can train more efficiently and then to train even more efficiently there is the Pokémon virus which is commonly referred to as Pokérus. This virus also doubles the amount of effort values gained when fighting so it is probably the only virus you ever hope that something contracts. The only problem is that it is exceedingly rare, even rarer then shiny Pokémon. Come to think of it, did I mention shiny Pokémon in Gen II last week? I can’t remember so I’ll just quickly say for the one person who doesn’t know what we are talking about here. Shiny Pokémon are just Pokémon with alternate colored skins. They usually look pretty cool though. They are also quite rare and yet Pokérus is like eight times rarer and it doesn’t have any visual queue when a Pokémon you are fighting has it. Honestly, I have only had my Pokémon contract the virus once and so unless you are really into this kind of training I don’t think it is worth it.
The reason why I bring all this up is because this generation to me was the start of when competitive battling really became a thing. The Pokémon had so much detail added to them and battling became so much more complex to the point where I won’t even dream about touching the competitive scene. It feel a bit weird that by giving all these different things to help Pokémon grow, they end up being used more like tools. Now that the battling has grown more complicated there need to be different strategies going into the game. As soon as the battle system gets fixed, we start doing everything we can to have more entertaining and suspenseful fights. Where does it stop? Clearly not anytime soon since every single generation after this one feels like it needs to tweak the battle system in some way. I am not saying all of these tweaks are bad, but I will say that there is no reason to keep messing around so much. Ever since this generation it feels as though all the games want to experiment with is the battle system. Everything is about optimizing the Pokémon experience. Here’s a thought. Why not just make a fun game? I am not saying Pokémon isn’t still fun, I am saying that there is no reason why I should have to learn about new mechanics every single time a new game comes out in order to enjoy the game. At least in this game, the new additions are optional. In later games though, not so much. So if there is anything I want you to take away from this, it is that even though I like these games, battling has become just a bit too complicated for my liking. Maybe that’s just me though. Oh right, and my starter is usually Treecko or Mudkip. Especially Mudkip considering how much you need to surf in this game. Not that I have ever personally minded that though.