Just what the Poke-doctor ordered
We all have our game gripes; those little things that aren't bad enough to quit a game over but still drive us up the wall. We suffer through them every time they crop up, and they can come up way too often in a bad game. It makes you want to pull your hair out, and you would just know it would be awesome to have some Pokemon around to fix these problems.
...Okay, maybe you've never thought that. But you should, because it's a great idea, and here's nine examples that prove it.
The Problem: Your main character can't swim and the terrain ahead is dotted with watery frustration
The Solution: Lapras
Lapras practically has a saddle molded onto its back, with mannerisms to match--this mild-mannered Pokemon is happy to ferry people around without complaint, and in 99% of its appearances it's doing just that. What greater reward could there be for such a Pokemon than helping you navigate the waterways of the gaming world? Altair's missions in the original Assassin's Creed would be much less frustrating if tripping into the canal didn't spell certain doom, and maybe that kid from Limbo could focus on running away from giant spiders without drowning in a puddle. Name the aquatically-challenged character, and Lapras can help--she could probably even keep Lara Croft from careening downstream at high speed, which we'd really appreciate.
Need a locksmith?
The Problem: Your physically capable protagonist can't climb over a three-foot locked gate, forcing you into a rage-inducing fetch-quest for the key
The Solution: Klefki
Klefki's Pokedex entry points out that it "never lets go of a key that it likes," which is exactly what you need. Chances are if you let it loose and wait a few minutes, it'll come back with the key your inept protagonist needs to carry on with their journey, bypassing any mounting rage. Suddenly, Leon could escape being torn apart by zombies in Resident Evil instead of lamenting that he didn't have the right key to open a rusty garden gate. Your Vault escapee in Fallout could even get past that mostly-destroyed steel door. Think of the possibilities!
However, should you encounter an insurmountable waist-high bush, you're screwed--unless you brought a Charmander.
Keep that camera straight
The Problem: You're in the middle of an important fight/chase/basketball game when the camera goes crazy and you can't see anything
The Solution: Fearow
Remember Pokemon: The First Movie? How Mewtwo chose what trainers to invite to his clone-a-thon by sending a Fearow with a camera around its neck to spy on people? ...No? Jeez, now we feel old. Well, it happened, and even if it was only on screen for a few seconds that was a few seconds where the camera didn't end up behind a tree or inside someone's head. Fearow's got all it needs to be a photo master. It can fly all day without a break as a graceful and steady flier, which puts it miles ahead of most AI camera operators. With those skills, Fearow's bound to be a great camera-bird.
Mind bending puzzles
The Problem: You're enjoying your run-and-gun action game, when suddenly you hit a crazy and unnecessary puzzle
The Solution: Mewtwo
Sometimes in the course of a campaign, you just want to cause mayhem--it's why the Halo all-rocket online map was invented. So why is it that some games which cater to that impulse will, without warning, throw elaborate puzzles at you? Even if you love brain-teasers, stopping to analyze Shakespeare in the middle of Silent Hill is jarring. But we doubt it would be for a psychic like Mewtwo, who could probably solve all of Portal 2 while plotting world domination and memorizing pi. With Mewtwo on your side, every door code, every sliding puzzle, and every BioShock-style hack-job would fall before his psychic might. Hell likely turn on you halfway through, but that's the price you pay for victory, right?
The Problem: You're trying to win a race fair and square, but the rubberband AI is making that next to impossible
The Solution: Ninjask
There's few greater gaming cheaters than rubberband AIs, aka NPCs that are always slightly faster than you. The only way to outpace them is to go so fast that the rubber band physics can't kick in properly, and that's where Ninjask comes in. The logistics are tricky if youre playing Gran Turismo, but for Mario Kart or a racing minigame, it's surefire: have Ninjask take your spot in the race (or find a strong rope) and let fly. Ninjask is the fastest of any non-legendary Pokemon, and is so quick that it was once believed to be invisible. With that agility even the most blatant AI cheaters (Im looking at you, Canary Mary) would be left in your pixelated dust.
The Problem: The AI companions youre supposed to be protecting have little sense of self-preservation and keep walking into bullets
The Solution: Jigglypuff
Theres nothing like the controller-crunching fury of a bad escort mission, where your NPC companions have a habit of dying ridiculously when you really need them not to. The idea of knocking them out and carrying them through the level becomes increasingly appealing every time they charge at an overpowered enemy or step in the line of fire. Well, good news: theres a Pokemon for that. Jigglypuff, the puffball Pokemon, is famous for its ability to lull enemies to sleep by singing. In Super Smash Bros., it can put adrenaline-soaked warriors to bed (literally, and then metaphorically), so chances are your incompetent NPC friend isnt going to last past the first note. Just dont interrupt--you wouldn't want to make Jigglypuff angry.
The Problem: "Hey, listen. Hey, listen. Hey, listen. HEY, listen. HEY. LISTEN."
The Solution: Samurott
You know those NPCs that never shut up? The ones that repeat the same thing over, and over, and over, AND OVER, especially in the middle of a hectic battle? They suck. You know who wouldn't tolerate them? Samurott, a Pokemon that possesses the greatest death glare of all time. Though Samurott may look more like an old man with a unicorn helmet than a terrifying beast, a howl or a glare from this Pokemon is so scary that it will make even the most incessant talkers shut their mouths. Granted, it could also be the swords it pulls out of its body that are scary, but as long as we never hear about the Hydra's back again, anything works.
Caught empty handed
The Problem: When you have no health, no ammo, and are about to hit a nest of enemies, the game auto-saves
The Solution: Chansey/Blissey
Chansey and its evolution, Blissey, are practically synonymous with healing in the Pokemon universe. They can be found at virtually every Pokemon Center, and have their own nursing school. Some of their attacks are even healing based, like Aromatherapy, Heal Bell, and Soft-boiled. Plus, they enjoy helping others out--the Pokedex notes that both will heal any injured person or Pokemon they come across. So who better to have on call when an auto-saves kicks in at the worst possible moment and you're left inches from KO in the path of an advancing enemy hoard? In the face of cold and uncaring game mechanics, a giant, compassionate egg Pokemon is just what the doctor ordered.
The Problem: You're pretty sure that empires have risen and fallen in the time it's taken to get through this cutscene
The Solution: Dialga
Unskippable, action-stopping cutscenes are the worst. Gamers aren't hurting for viewing options here--if we wanted to watch a movie, we would, probably with the same machine even. So when we have to put down our controllers for an extended period to progress in the game? That's a problem, and if the developers won't fix it, maybe Dialga will. Legendary Pokemon and Master of Time, Dialga can control time's flow at will, even warping one specific patch of it. Those cutscenes would be over in a flash with Dialga's help, and you could finally get back to playing. It's the sort of problem only a Master of Time can solve. Or you could make a sandwich or something. Whichever.
Everything is better with Pokemon
Though Pokemon probably (read: definitely) won't be appearing in a lot of these games anytime soon, it's fun to imagine all the same. What Pokemon would you like to see in your favorite game? What horrible gaming annoyance would you like to see fixed with Poke-power? Tell us in the comments, because hey, a gamer can dream.