HeartGold & SoulSilver Brought Back Pokémon Yellow’s Best Anime Feature
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver have brought back a wonderful feature first seen in Pokémon Yellow, follower Pokémon that stay outside of their Poké Ball.
Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilverthe Nintendo DS remakes of Pokémon Gold and Silverbrought back the wonderful follower mechanism used in pokemon yellow. Like Ash’s Pikachu in the anime, the player’s Pikachu in Yellow refuses to stay in their Poké Ball and instead follows the player out of battle. The player can also turn around and talk to Pikachu to get their thoughts on the surroundings.
The next mechanic in Yellowthough limited, helped the game feel immersive. Pokemon is a series about collecting and caring for what are essentially animals. Having a pet walking beside you during your adventure and periodically expressing its mood makes the game come alive. This feature has been retained in pokemon yellowof the Virtual Console re-release. Still, the follower mechanic was unfortunately limited to a single Pokemon.
Diamond, pearland Platinum experimented with returning follower Pokemon, but limited the mechanic to just one small area and a strict roster of Pokemon. HeartGold and SoulSilver not only brought back follower Pokemon, but extended the mechanic to all Pokemon in the game. Because the Pokemon following you is the first Pokemon you send into battle, the follower mechanic also prevents the player from accidentally sending the bad pokemon.
Interacting with Pokémon adds immersion to games
HeartGold and SoulSilver continued the ability to interact with your Pokemon out of battle and see how they feel. Much attention has been paid to the logic of the mechanics. For example, Fire-type Pokémon will be unhappy if brought to the beaches, and Grass-type Pokémon will be upset if brought to the Ice Road. Large Pokémon, such as Wailord and Groudon, return to their Poké Balls if the player enters a building, as they are too large to fit inside.
Follower Pokémon mechanic has been removed for Black and whitebut made a comeback years later for Let’s go Pikachu and let’s go Eeveewhich reinvented Gen 1. The let’s go the games featured perhaps the best use of the mechanic, with unique running animations for each Pokemon and the ability to ride certain Pokemon. sword and shield didn’t feature the follower mechanism initially, but brought it back into the Isle of Armor DLCs. brilliant diamond and shiny pearl also featured the follower mechanic, but received criticism for the Pokémon’s shrunken size, clunky walking animations that made Pokémon look like weird followers of Ekans in BDSPand slow tracking speeds.
The follower mechanic will hopefully return in the next scarlet and purple. In the first games, like pokemon yellow, the mechanic was rare and limited because showing Pokémon out of battle required new sets of sprites. But, now that Pokémon games are fully 3D and experience open-world gameplay, there’s no reason not to let the player’s Pokémon follow them, and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver should have been the permanent return of the feature.
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