Thread: Kanto Remake
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Old 06-01-2016, 10:53 AM   #46
Nebby. Back into the bag.
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I didn't manage to get in on this conversation back when it was being hotly discussed last August, but that doesn't mean that I haven't wanted to. Reflecting on the 20th anniversary of Pokémon, I'd like to write down some of my thoughts that I've been sitting on for months.

I would welcome a Kanto remake. I'm going to distinguish that statement from "I would like to see a Kanto remake," because I'm not terribly hungry for a remake of Gen 1 but if they were to remake it I'd become excited pretty quickly. There's a reason for this, though, and deoxys echoes similar sentiments to my own I'm about to share.

I would not like to see another Gen 1-faithful remake of Kanto. We already had that with FRLG. I concede that FRLG are much older today in 2016 than RGBY were in 2004 when FRLG launched in the West. However, if you're playing for story-based reasons then either RGBY or FRLG will do you fine and if you're playing for latest-game-that's-caught-up-with-the-meta reasons then it doesn't matter what Pokémon game you're playing, it's going to be rendered obsolete within two to five years.

I would love to see an aesthetic overhaul of Kanto. In this I include the regional layout, the cities and towns' looks and features, the story, and yes, even the graphics and music and other cosmetic touch-ups that were already looked at by FRLG.

The biggest thing I want from a Kanto remake is for Kanto to receive "the Kalos treatment." That is really what I want. I want for Kanto to look and feel like the Pokémon world's equivalent of the Tokyo metropolitan area instead of looking and feeling, as it currently does, like a bland world devoid of culture or history. GSC is magical for Japanese players because of all the subtle nods to Kansai language and culture. Later generations invite players from all corners of the world to share in the magic with much more obvious parallels between Poké-architecture and landmarks and the real-world equivalents that clearly inspired them. People got excited with Unova because of the Poké-Statue of Liberty, the Poké-Brooklyn Bridge, the Poké-New York City sewers, and more. I was enchanted by Kalos with its wonderful execution of a Poké-Versailles, Poké-Louvre, Poké-Gare de Lyon, Poké-Arc of Triumph, Poké-Eiffel Tower, and more. It is such fun, such a wondrous mix of Easter egg and loveliness, to have these tie-ins with the real world featured in our main series Pokémon games.

So about Kanto ... Kanto, being the first in the series, lays the foundations for what has since become a hallmark property of the franchise but does so very sparingly. We all know that the map of Kanto loosely matches the map of Tokyo Bay and the greater Tokyo metropolitan area. We all know that Celadon City is a crude match with Shinjuku (shopping district) and that Vermilion City is a crude match with Yokohama (seaport). But it becomes harder to pinpoint the other cities without a map. And even Celadon and Vermilion could use some improvement.

I want to see famous landmarks, like the statue of Hachikou in front of Shibuya Station. I want to see at least one Japanese castle. I want to see at least one Buddhist temple. I'd like to see roadside shrines. Students wearing gakuran and sailor fuku. Porygon shouldn't be sold by Team Rocket in a casino, he should be sold in a store in the electronics district (real-life Akihabara) by a nerd who claims to have created the world's first digital Pokémon. Let's see a fish market. Let's see a restaurant that has a maneki neko in front except it's a Meowth.

Kanto is free to be filled with fantasy and departures from reality. Perhaps you include a landmark but place it in the wrong city. Perhaps you merge two real-life towns into one, or split one real-life supercity into several. But I'd just like that when I set foot in Kanto, I can tell at a glance -- "This is Japan. " Kalos gave us that with France, and I adore it for it. I'd like to have the same from a second Gen 1 remake.

Other things I'd like to see ...

Don't be beholden to RBY. Don't pull another ORAS. With ORAS, you were beholden to RuSa and you dashed fans' hopes. Fans didn't want RuSa with better graphics. Fans wanted an overhauled RuSa. "Fix the leveling!" "Fix the water routes!" Some things you fixed, some things you didn't. Largely, you left the games intact. And that disappointed most players, from what I have gathered. I can tell you right now that it would disappoint me if you were to re-remake Gen 1 only to have it picture perfectly match RBY aside from graphics and the inclusion of modern items, creatures, and game mechanics. You can't do that to us. If you're going to remake Gen 1, you're doing it for us. Listen to us. Listen to what we're asking you for. A lot of people make stupid requests, but there are some pretty solid core requests that the fandom is practically united on. Be intelligent, be discerning, separate the wheat from the chaff, and give us a remake worth owning.

Develop the story better. You've never been a studio known for its storytelling, but in recent years your aging fandom has hungered for deeper and richer stories from you. And you've lightly delivered, with Gen 3 being a lot richer than Gen 1 and with Gen 5 being a lot richer than Gen 3. Bit by bit, generation by generation, you're spending more time having NPCs show up to talk to the player and develop a story. This needs to happen in a Gen 1 re-remake. You need to go back and, while keeping the core plot intact, develop it a lot more. Conversations between Red and Giovanni, your rival, Professor Oak, and other gym leaders should be fleshed out. Take notes from Pokémon: the Origin.

Compose new music for certain towns, cities, or routes. There should be far fewer copy-pastes than there are. You used to do this a lot, but you've finally knocked it off (mostly) by the time we reach Gen 6. Every town and city in Gen 6 has its own unique song, and while some aren't very pretty to listen to, they're all unique. In older gens, you'd have gym cities sharing songs. That just can't happen. If you need to compose new music, it's fine. Do so. If you really hate that idea, a fine alternative with your modern hardware would be to include different arrangements of the same song, and to give one city one arrangement while giving the other city the other arrangement. At least that way they'll sound somewhat different. But really, I'd prefer you to compose all-new music where necessary. No repeats.

Make things less square. You got better about this by Gen 4, but your earlier generations are really rigid/square with the routes and the world map. Don't be afraid to drag a few cities up/down/left/right to make room for new towns and cities based on the Tokyo metropolitan area that you didn't include before. (For example, if a town exists between Cerulean and Saffron, don't be afraid to drag Cerulean upwards so that you have room to place the new town.)

Give the gym leaders larger teams. Giovanni should have a team of six fully-evolved Pokémon. Koga, Sabrina, and Blaine should have at least four fully-evolved Pokémon, and a fifth Pokémon on top of that would be nice.

Fix certain teams. This gets too wordy and long to explain in general terms, so I'll just give one cherrypicked example: fix Agatha's team. Like I told you: don't be beholden to RBY. You have more Ghosts now. Make use of them. I don't want to see creature repeats like two Gengar. I don't want to see thematically-inappropriate inclusions like Arbok. (If you want to make the E4 have general teams like players have, instead of type-restricted teams, that's fine, you just have to apply it across the board.)

Alright. That's more than enough for now. Thanks if you took the time to read it all, I understand if you didn't.
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