Pokemon Character Customization Still Has A Long Way to Go

There are many causes for Pokemon followers to sit up for Pokemon Good Diamond and Shining Pearl. The Sinnoh area looks like it should be getting loads of love within the coming months between the remakes of these DS games and Pokemon Legends: Arceus, which is nice for followers of Gen 4 and all it has to supply. One characteristic making its strategy to the remakes that wasn’t featured within the unique Nintendo DS video games is the power to alter the participant character’s outfit. Whereas customization within the mainline Pokemon entries has come a good distance from the place it began, it nonetheless has an extended strategy to go to be as inclusive as potential.

It looks like in the latest entries within the Pokemon sequence, character customization has grow to be an enormous precedence. Ever since Pokemon X and Y, gamers have been capable of customise their outfits by buying new clothes objects, and Sword and Defend featured essentially the most choices obtainable by far. That mentioned, from what Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl seem like providing, there aren’t going to be any new inclusivity milestones reached within the remakes.

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Breaking the Mildew of the Gender Binary


Though it would appear to be a fairly simple query to some, the basic “are you a boy or a lady” query that Pokemon professors ask at the beginning of most video games provides some individuals pause. Gender is not at all times as simple as being both a “boy” or “woman,” and loads of video games with character creators have begun dropping the binary query in favor of a extra inclusive “decide a physique sort that most closely fits” mannequin. Whereas latest entries like Sword and Defend have stopped asking flat out, the video games nonetheless have gamers select from an inventory of eight completely different fashions, 4 boys, 4 women, differentiated by pores and skin colour, permitting for extra races to really feel included within the video games.

Whereas that type of racial inclusivity is unquestionably good, if nonetheless just a little missing by way of hair types, Pokemon titles still fail to recognize anyone outside of the traditional gender binaries. Pokemon Good Diamond and Shining Pearl are not breaking any new floor by way of that. Primarily based on the fast view of the completely different trend parts within the trailers, there are separate types obtainable to gamers relying on which gender they select at the beginning of their playthrough, that means that sure beauty content material can be gated off primarily based on the participant’s chosen gender. Though that has been the norm for the Pokemon sequence and loads of different online game franchises previously, there is no motive the following Pokemon sport should not embody extra inclusive choices to deliver extra gamers in.

Including extra inclusivity to the video games may very well be so simple as offering a couple of completely different physique varieties for gamers to select from when beginning the sport and permitting them to alter it at any time both via settings or a clothes/fashion store. In any case, individuals’s our bodies change, and it appears odd {that a} element like that’s locked by a alternative made on the very begin of a roughly 25-hour RPG.

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Styling a Pokemon Coach’s Hair


Hair is one other vital a part of how somebody would possibly establish themselves. Typically talking, there are extra hair choices for Pokemon trainers than ever earlier than in Sword and Defend, however they’re nonetheless missing in a couple of completely different departments. The choices for hair are fairly restricted for these exterior of an East Asian and Caucasian vary. Sword and Defend featured one braided coiffure for every gender, however it nonetheless feels missing when in comparison with the remainder of the customization choices. Hopefully, future Pokemon games will embody much more types for non-white, non-East Asian gamers to decide on.

In relation to gendered hair, the Pokemon series is also dropping the ball. Hair size/fashion and gender have lengthy been related collectively each out and in of gaming, however as extra individuals have began to acknowledge that the 2 aren’t at all times correlated, so have some gaming franchises. Loads of in-game character creators permit for gamers to decide on each female and male hairstyles no matter what their character’s gender is. It is a nice strategy to interrupt down the arbitrary partitions separating what’s thought-about masculine and female, and Pokemon would do properly to permit for gamers to decide on no matter coiffure they need no matter gender.

Permitting Gamers to Really Select Their Clothes


Just like hair, Pokemon gates off clothes choices primarily based on what gender the participant chooses at the beginning of the sport. As many individuals have identified, garments are merely what one chooses to put on, and haven’t any inherent gender assigned to them exterior of what cultures resolve. Permitting gamers to have the ability to decide from all clothes choices looks like a simple strategy to make Pokemon much more welcoming than ever by breaking down more arbitrary walls associated with gender.

Pokemon’s Way forward for Inclusivity


As many followers of the Pokemon sequence can attest to, it has a tough time with change, and it typically occurs incrementally. Primarily based on the trailers for Good Diamond and Shining Pearl, the video games appear to be sticking with plenty of the normal Pokemon parts each good and unhealthy, however hopefully the way forward for inclusivity within the franchise will change with Pokemon Legends: Arceus and whatever comes next. Though these types of choices may appear inconsequential to some, it means much more to many individuals, and if Pokemon really needs to attain the mass attraction it appears to be going for, the franchise might want to implement a couple of modifications to make its character customization extra inclusive.

Pokemon Good Diamond and Shining Pearl launch on November 19 for the Nintendo Swap.

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