if you could rewrite or redirect the plot of any of the games (main series or spin-off) which would you pick?
Hmm… until last year I would have said Emerald, but Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby did a pretty solid job of that with Delta Episode, I think. Black and White are tempting because I think a more nuanced way of looking at their central conflict could have resulted in something absolutely amazing, but the fact is, their story is really good as it stands. I’d probably go with Diamond, Pearl and Platinum, because their flippancy with the whole cosmology has never sat well with me – call me crazy, but I think if you’re going to give the player control of Pokémon that are capable of literally unmaking the universe, you need to be just a little bit more explicit than they were about why that is okay.
I think as it stands the plot implies one of two things: either a) the Red Chain created by Cyrus can control a Pokémon in a much more absolute way than trainers normally do, so that Dialga and Palkia are actually under no obligation to give the player access to their full cosmic power, regardless of your status as their trainer; or b) being captured in a Pokéball somehow ‘seals’ their full power so that they can’t access it, making normal methods of capture useless for Cyrus’ purposes. Option a) seems more in step with the themes of the series, but option b) seems necessary to make sense of the resolution of the scenes on the Spear Pillar, when Dialga and Palkia are thought to be ‘asking’ you to stop them. I think the narrative needs to do a lot more foreshadowing of all this stuff – hint at what the Red Chain is and what it does before it actually appears for the first time, for instance. Also, give us a little more to explain what kind of relationship these Pokémon are supposed to have with the player once captured. It’s an oddly specific level of commitment, I think, when a cosmic entity decides that it’s not quite willing to rewrite reality for you, but it is happy to help you win major sporting events (in fairness, this sort of applies to a lot of legendary Pokémon, but it’s Dialga, Palkia, Giratina and Arceus who make it the hardest to ignore, I think).