Fans of Pikachu and company’s adventures have a few more months before they get their first-ever Pokémon game on a home console; albeit a remake. With word that the “core” Pokémon game promised to us back at E3 2017 pushed back to the end of 2019, and some leaked Amazon UK product listings that seemingly reveal 3DS ports of recent entries into the franchise, it’s time to refresh our wishlist for Nintendo’s first *proper* Pokémon outing on a home console. 

An Open World

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I’ve said it before, and I will say it again; I think Pokémon would really benefit from having a more open, less linear world. Yes, I understand that pulling off an open-world isn’t a simple feat, but when it pays off (Breath of the Wild anyone?), it pays off! Let’s take the trainer’s tried-and-true roadmap and swap it for an exploitative adventure that involves less hand-holding and more gumption. 

Scalable Gyms

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On that note…With an open world, allowing players to go to whichever gym they wanted first and then scaling up from there would provide an individualized experience for all. This scalable gameplay could also lead to players running into Team Rocket (or the baddie of choice) at different geographical points in the game, allowing for more ‘organic’ mayhem to follow the trainer around. 

Pokémon in the Overworld

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Ok, so we all know this is happening in Let’s Go!, but I would like this trend to stay around. By having the Pokémon visible on-screen, it will allow for more time focusing on building up the right party and honing in their stats. Plus, with a promise of better graphic and more “core” mechanics, I can only imagine what type of strategic optimizations the team at Game Freak has up their sleeve. 

Puzzle Solving & Gym Challenges

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I know this seems incongruent with the Pokémon franchise, but adding a robust puzzle mechanic — something more evolved than the “slide on ice” or “find something hidden in a trash can” — to the gyms would allow for an additional challenge. Maybe it’s something as simple as a fetch quest or something requiring you to really explore a particular town’s lore and history. 

A Really Solid Story

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I know this has been on my list since Pokémon Gold and Silver, but I want a fully fleshed out story. I enjoy catching Pokémon and training them to defeat the Elite Four, but let’s add more drama, intrigue and — quite frankly — reasons to care about more than filling out our Pokédex. 

Until the overlords at Nintendo release anything concrete for Pokémon 2019, we can only hope, speculate and drive ourselves mad waiting. What’s on your wishlist for next year’s addition to the Pokémon franchise?