So, I've been playing a shit-ton of Pokemon Let's Go (Eevee because I support my Avatar in training), and I have thoughts. Well, it is more like I have one really big thought that goes on for a journey.
One of the best things about this game is that it foregoes random battles entirely. As someone that loves Chrono Cross, FFXII, and the later Dragon Quest games, this is probably the best thing that could happen in the series. The replacement for this is a mixed bag in my view. While the Pokemon Go capturing isn't seen as abusive as you know, beating the wild Pokemon to an inch of their life and then capturing them, you are still capturing them...
I'm not trying to go completely PETA on this, but later entries of the series has brought it up on themselves. One of the systems that was brought in since at least X/Y (if this was done earlier, I'm sorry, but I've skipped a lot of gens and didn't pay much attention to b/w) was the ability to create bonds with your Pokemon. This was simple (or kinda creepy depending on your perspective) by way of giving you the opportunity to pet or take further care of your Pokemon. This created a bond that was a hidden stat in game. As this stat increased, a bonded Pokemon could easily shake a status effect, dodge an attack (it'll specifically mention the Pokemon heard your cry to avoid the attack rather than it simply missed). It also hinted that a negative hit to bond would happen in battle (if your bonded Pokemon is near fainted status, it will mention that it is about to cry). They have established that you are developing a bond with your Pokemon further than when the series started, but the beginning honestly makes the end game seem like the Pokemon have Stockholm syndrome.
So how would one fix this going forward? A lot of Pokemon Let's Go takes on ques from the anime and I would take on one more going forward. So it is basically a fact at this point that James of Team Rocket is the best Pokemon trainer (at least on Reddit, Imgur, and the 100s of youtubers that didn't source where this opinion first started from). The reason given for this is that in the show he is pretty much only seen as asking for permission for Pokemon to join him. I feel that turning this to a game mechanic would be an ideal way to capture Pokemon in the future.
Is there an example of this working as a mechanic? That I know of? Kinda. The immediate thing that comes to mind are the SMT series (Persona, Digital Devil Saga, Nocturne (Featuring Dante of the Devil May Cry series)) of games. Within this series, randomly if you scare a demon in battle it will start a negotiation with you. In this negotiation, you are asked a series of questions that seem inconsequential, but are really for the demon to see if it could work together with you (do you respect its power, are you willing to cater to it, what type of personality are you, ect). Depending on how you do with those questions, it will then ask for an offering or decide it isn't worth it and attack you. Then based on how you interpret the offering it wants, it will either join you or attack you.
How would this work in Pokemon ? It could go a bunch of different ways. I think in general it would just go straight to a negotiation for most Pokemon. The Pokemon could do stuff like require you've befriended x amount of y Pokemon, have an item they enjoy, show you know something about the species, ect. For legendaries and other special Pokemon, there could be feats of strength requirements, do a specific thing in battle, or survive X turns against the Pokemon itself. There could be opportunities to earn special moveset Pokemon from trainers by figuring out certain battle puzzles.
That long thought process aside, it isn't preventing me from going thru this game. What has been changed from previous games are welcome, but I want a little more from the future.
Well, that was way longer than I expected. I hope you enjoyed my TED talk.