Pokemon is a series that, while at its core is the same as its ever been, constantly evolves. Over the past (over) two decades, the need to come up with new ideas and gimmicks helps keep the games creative and from becoming stagnant. This has involved a lot of ideas that have come and gone. Some worked really well and some didn't, only making it for a single iteration or generation.
But, some of those ideas should have become staples in the franchise and deserve to make a reappearance. So, let's take a look at 10 Features We Miss From Old Pokémon Games (That We Need In Sword and Shield).
10 Pokemon Walking Behind The Protagonist
We can probably place blame for this cute little feature solely on the original Pokemon anime. In the first episode, Pikachu refused to get inside his Pokeball, which became iconic for twenty more years. It was inevitable to have the games add this. Pokemon Yellow was loosely based on the anime, but it followed the Pokemon Red and Blue games' story. It had Pikachu not only as the starter, but outside it's Pokeball, following the protagonist, just like Ash's.
Cut to Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver and we got every Pokemon as a possibility for the feature. In the Nintendo Switch title, Pokemon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee, it resurfaced (with the original 151 and Meltan). But, we see no sign of it returning in Pokemon Sword and Shield. Who wouldn't want Sirfetch'd behind them?
9 Mega Evolution
This one is a bit of a hot topic. In lieu of Mega Evolutions that were used in the competitive scene, Pokemon Sword and Shield is taking on two new form changes: Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing. Dynamax allows Pokemon to grow to very large proportions for a battle of titans. But, Gigantimaxing is even bigger and changes the Pokemon at its core for the fight. Alcremie, for instance, turns from a dollop of whipped cream and berries into a full cake. Even if the new function sounds neat, we'll miss all the unique and awesome looking Mega evolution forms.
8 Secret Bases
Back in the day, a Pokemon technique was used for everything. If you needed to fly somewhere, you used Fly. If you needed to dig, you used Dig. If you wanted the create a customizable secret base where you could stash plushies and hangout, you used Secret Power on that weird looking rock or tree over there.
Starting in Generation 3, secret bases paved the way for more options in later generations. Once players got to Sinnoh's Underground (which also would deserve a spot on this list if we had more room), they stopped adding them in new games. Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire (the Gen 3 remakes) reintroduced them as "Super-Secret Bases" that added a ton of extra features like daily events and trainer battles. Let trainers get creative again with Secret Bases in Gen 8!
7 Pokenav Plus
The Pokemon Navigator Plus is a do-all gizmo that offers tons of functions for players. While the original Pokenav of Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald was a more advanced take on Johto's Pokegear, the Pokenav Plus was a complete enhancement across all of Generation 6. It works for the town map, locations of Pokemon, full Pokedex, and even has a way to track the berries you're growing across Hoenn.
The PlayNav function adds the Gen 6 Pokemon-Amie feature, Super Training, and online functionalities. Speaking on Super-Secret Bases earlier, the AreaNav can also track both your own and your friends' bases. While we get most of it as "just part of the menu" nowadays, all the functionality could (and should) return as an in-universe gadget!
6 Contests And Pokeblocks
Maybe Generation 3 was onto something with all of their gimmicks. The Hoenn games introduced Pokemon Contests. In Generation 4, Pokemon Super Contest made their way into the scene, and aside from the Generation 3 remakes, were never seen again.
In contests, Coolness, Beauty, Cuteness, Cleverness, and Toughness are all judged, with some renamed in Gen 4. These traits could be enhanced using the Pokeblock (Gen 3) and Poffin (Gen 4) systems, which were made using berries and various means like blenders and cooking mechanics. It was a great mini-game and is surely missed.
5 Pokeball Seals And Ball Capsules
Pokemon introduced a fantastic feature in Generation 4 in the form of Pokeball Seals. You see, Ball Capsules were a clear orb that went around any Pokeball. Each capsule could have up to eight Pokeball Seal stickers placed that changed the animation entirely when a Pokemon was released from that Pokeball in-battle.
Players could get creative with letters to make words and add visual effects by placing them a specific way on the Ball Capsule. The majority were able to be bought in large bulk since they were consumable. Showing a specific kid an Unown would grant the respective Individual Alphabet Seal letter. With Pokemon Sword and Shield being so customizable, this would be a great feature to bring back!
4 Pokemon Dream Radar
Pokemon Dream Radar was a full application and separate game altogether instead of just a "feature", but deserves to be named nonetheless. Professor Burnet, which was formally introduced in Pokemon Sun and Moon as Professor Kukui's wife, actually started out as the guide for players in Dream Radar. Working with the AR functionality of the Nintendo 3DS, it allowed players to earn Pokemon and items for Pokemon Black 2 and White 2.
Since the Nintendo Switch doesn't have the same AR functions as the 3DS, a version of Dream Radar could be made into mobile game that works alongside the upcoming Pokemon Sleep or Pokemon Home to transfer to Pokemon Sword and Shield.
3 Event Distribution With Story/Plot
For the past couple of generations, event Pokemon have been somewhat phoned-in. You walk into a Gamestop or a Target and get handed a Mystery Gift code. They unlock and you pick it up in the Pokemon Center in a game, the end. But, there was a time that the Mystery Gift would be an item that set you on a new journey to a previously unlocked island or area to find the Pokemon instead. A notable event is the Spikey Eared Pichu, which was only met by trading over the Gamestop event Pikachu-colored Pichu to Heart Gold or Soul Silver. It was a small touch that fans are dying to see come back.
2 Pokemon Pikachu And Pokewalker
The Pokemon Pikachu (and the sequel Pokemon Pikachu 2 GS) was a little device that counted steps and held a little virtual pet version of Pikachu. The more you walked, the more "Watts" you would earn for gifts to give to Pikachu. In the Pikachu 2 GS, using the infrared of the Game Boy Color could send Mystery Gifts to the Pokemon Gold, Silver, and Crystal games. Watts could be used to redeem items in-game too.
But, it wasn't until Pokemon Heart Gold and Soul Silver came around and really took over with the Pokewalker, which looked like a tiny Pokeball and held any of the available Pokemon instead. You could earn special "roads" and catch Pokemon along the way as well, which could be sent to the mainline games. In recent times, the Pokewalker Plus and Pokeball Plus served as a viable replacement for Pokemon Go but lacked its own screen. Considering how well they worked, it's no wonder fans would want it back.
1 Battle Types: Triple battles, Rotation battles, And Inverse Battles
Competitive fans clamor for new ways to play the game. so, when Generation 5 introduced Triple Battles and Rotation Battles, it became a fan favorite. Triple Battles are exactly how they sound, with three-on-three fights, similar to the recent mobile game Pokemon Masters. Rotation Battles had three Pokemon out at once as well, only being able to attack one at a time. It was all about timing! In Gen 6, Inverse Battles came along as well, which completely turned Pokemon types and weaknesses on their head.
By Pokemon Sun and Moon, none of them were around anymore, leaving the competitive players with an itch to scratch. Maybe Pokemon Sword and Shield, with all of the Dynamaxing and arena games, will bring back different battle types!