The Sunday Post is something I'm trying out. Every Sunday I will post my feelings on something in gaming. I will try to do this every Sunday but make no promises. This week: Pokemon Rivals.
As I've been playing Pokemon Red & Blue on my 3ds something has occurred to me: Blue and Silver were WAY better rivals than anyone we have now. I mean in X & Y we had Serena/Calem and Shauna and those other two, but they are all totally lame! They are just totally bland and forgettable. Why do I want to become better than them?!?! My answer: I don't!
As players I feel we just aren't given any incentive to want to become better pokemon trainers then them. At most it's just so we're the very best, but that demotes the rival to someone the level of Youngster Joey!!! And the Rival should be so much more than that.
Let's take a look at Blue for a moment. The professor's grandson and complete and utter jerk, we really WANTED to beat blue, if only to wipe the smirk off his face for a second. Not only that but he actually had SKILLS to back up his game, he became the champion before you did! And Silver. Silver wasn't only a jerk, but he started off as a downright villain, stealing all his pokemon. These are both guys we felt compelled( at least I did) to defeat, because we had substantial reason to be fighting with them.
They were RIVALS, not friends. Even Barry felt like more a rival than the dopes in X & Y! If I were the ones making X&Y I would made lots of changes to make Serena/Calem feel like rivals. The game says that they are kid of two fierce pokemon trainers, why not make them feel like it? Make them have actual talent( Maybe there starter is a level ahead of yours in the first fight), make them act like they were the kid of a strong pokemon trainer, i.e. act like a superior turd, and maybe make fights with them losable, rather than sending us back to the pokemon center. Actively show us they were trainers to be feared like blue and silver.
For example when you get to Victory Road in Gold&Silver there are no trainers, unlike usual. Why are there no trainers you ask? Because Silver beat them all! And Blue became the champions before you did!
Basically what I'm trying to say here is that I want a good reason to fight my Rival, not my friend. But I doubt Gamefreak will listen to the ramblings of some guy on the internet.
Also just to give you a idea of what I'm like here's my ranking of all the Pokemon rivals
7.The X&Y crew.