- Game Freak can surprise players by breaking the rules for Legendary Pokemon in upcoming Johto and Unova games, leading to speculation about remakes or a Let’s Go revival.
- New Pokemon games struggle to stand out, but introducing regional forms for mascot Legendary Pokemon could be the next step in experimentation.
- Breaking tradition with mascot Legendary Pokemon is risky, but the success and attention it could bring outweigh the potential criticism from fans.
Thanks to new gimmicks introduced in recent Pokemon generations, Game Freak can throw its players through a loop by breaking one of the series’ cardinal rules for Legendary Pokemon and its rumored upcoming Johto- and Unova-based games. Following the recent release of Pokemon Scarlet and Violet‘s second and presumably final DLC, Pokemon fans are now turning their attention to what comes next for the series. However, while nothing has been officially confirmed as yet, rumors are already circulating about all-new games planned for Pokemon‘s Johto and Unova regions, leading to sweeping speculation about Gen 5 remakes, a second Pokemon Legends game, or even a Pokemon Let’s Go revival.
But after nine generations of Pokemon, it has naturally become more challenging for new games to stand out and add something new to the series formula. Pokemon Scarlet and Violet went so far as to introduce multiple new gimmicks with the likes of Terastallization and Paradox Pokemon. However, since Pokemon Legends: Arceus already caused a stir when it broke with tradition and debuted regional forms for fully-evolved starter Pokemon, the next experimental step to take would be to go even further than both Legends: Arceus and Scarlet and Violet with a series’ first of regional fake mascot Legendary Pokemon for the prospective Johto and Unova games.
A New Pokemon Legends Game Should Break a Major Franchise Tradition
If Pokemon Legends becomes a true series, it could continue to surprise fans by breaking away from an essential part of the Pokemon franchise.
Pokemon’s Ongoing Push for Breaking Legendary Traditions
The Precedent Set by Gen 8 and Gen 9 Pokemon Games
As controversial as it might initially seem for a new Pokemon game to “reuse” an older mascot Legendary Pokemon with a creative twist, it seems that it could be an eventual possibility somewhere down the line for the series. Ever since Pokemon Sword and Shield’s second DLC, The Crown Tundra, the following Pokemon games have all attempted to experiment with “special” categories of Pokemon to keep them fresh and interesting. With many Legendary trios, pseudo-Legendaries, and starter Pokemon receiving regional forms between Gen 8 and 9, sooner or later this experimentation could shift into even newer territory with convergent forms and mascot Legendary Pokemon.
Breaking Tradition With Mascot Legendary Pokemon is Risky
However, these Pokemon were most likely only chosen to receive regional forms because they wouldn’t detract from the new games’ identity, regardless of how well they were received. But per its namesake, a mascot Legendary Pokemon is a key selling point of any new Pokemon game and how the games are sold to players. Interfering with this by creating a new regional form of a mascot Legendary Pokemon could be disastrous, as it might undermine the original appeal of the old design with potential criticism from Pokemon fans who could see this experimentation as Game Freak running out of ideas and resorting to a nostalgic cash grab.
The Risk of Breaking this Legendary Tradition Has Its Rewards
Despite the gamble this might be, the success Pokemon could see with a revamped mascot Legendary Pokemon could easily exceed what it’s received throughout Gen 8 and Gen 9. Given that new forms for existing Pokemon have never failed to grab players’ attention, a new form for a mascot Legendary Pokemon would be the tradition-breaking peak of the series’ gimmick, especially if the new form’s origins tied into the game’s story, similar to Koraidon’s and Miraidon’s status as Paradox Pokemon. Pokemon could also mitigate any potential controversy if this mascot Legendary was introduced adjacent to the mainline games and was an all-new regional fake to boot.
Pokemon Johto and Unova Games Should Break Tradition
With fans anticipating news of Pokemon Black and White remakes, rumors of two Johto- and Unova-based games have further sparked speculation about what players can expect in the coming year. So, in order to hype up these fans and their interest in new games, whether these are remakes, sequels, or something entirely new, it would be the ideal opportunity to break this Legendary tradition for the shock factor. The ambitious reveal of a regional fake mascot Pokemon for the rumored Unova and Johto games based on Celebi, Keldeo, or Kyurem could virtually guarantee these games start strong and stand out as Pokemon moves toward Gen 10.
Pokemon Scarlet and Violet
- November 18, 2022
- E For Everyone Due To Mild Fantasy Violence
- How Long To Beat
- 31½ Hours