Alex Phillimore: (alex.phillimore-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2013-05-27 06:25:59
The Return of Hoenn
Do you know what would make Pokemon X and Y (3DS) into the ultimate package? If, after completing the Kalos region, the player was able to board a train and visit Hoenn, the region last seen in the third generation of games. While the chances of it happening are almost non-existent (i.e not going to happen at all) it would be really cool if players got a chance to visit Hoenn again without having to buy an inevitable remake of Ruby and Sapphire.
Hoenn was a pretty interesting environment, with Team Aqua and Team Magma arguably serving as the best villains in the history of the series. They were somehow more sympathetic and original than some of the other villains we have seen in Pokemon games. In addition, the region's big focus on water, particularly exploring beneath the depths, was unique to Hoenn and could look excellent in 3D. I always felt as if Hoenn didn't meet its full potential because of the hardware limitations of the GBA - battery issues with Gold and Silver removed the day and night mechanic, which was something that really made the previous Generation shine.
What Hoenn did have, however, was the Secret Bases, and I think that with the hardware of the 3DS they would be really cool to see making a return. Being able to customise your own little home would now be a lot more detailed, and there could even be online elements to visit other player's homes, in a sort of Animal Crossing kind of way. At the very least, Secret Bases would look excellent in 3D, and I think it would be awesome to see that unique aspect of the Hoenn region make a return in X and Y.
All of this is wishful thinking, because there has been absolutely no mention of Hoenn appearing in Generation 6, and so the actual likelihood of it happening is minimal. But, to entertain this notion a little further, imagine if, with Nintendo's new foray into online DLC, they made Hoenn a downloadable region to add to X and Y for a fixed price. I imagine a lot of players would sink more cash into the game to be able to add additional regions via DLC. It would be excellent to explore both Kalos and Hoenn in the same game, and, after being spoiled by HeartGold and SoulSilver, having only one region per game sadly feels short.
I imagine that Generation 3 will eventually be remade as a standalone title, much in the same way that Gold and Silver were updated on the DS. However, while a modern Hoenn game would be cool, it would be even cooler if Hoenn could appear as an extra explorable region in X and Y. For me, Generation 2 is still the best Pokemon generation precisely because it is the only one that allows you to explore two regions. Until another game in the series offers this same sort of variety, I can't see myself rating them above those classics. X and Y will undoubtedly be good games, but I wonder when it is that we'll be seeing the return of Hoenn.