Game Freak has managed to rub Pokémon Sword and Shield fans the wrong way yet again.
Earlier today, the developer released a new trailer for the Switch-exclusive titles that revealed several new Pokémon to have received the Gigantamax treatment. The feature, which causes creatures able to tap into its power to grow exponentially beyond their normal size, was first unveiled earlier this year alongside the similarly-named Dynamax system. Both have the same size and power-enhancing effect on Pokémon, though only the former is able to trigger additional changes to a ‘Mon’s appearance.
The mechanic has frequently been compared with Mega Evolutions from previous Generations due to the obvious parallels, though the somewhat derivative nature of Gigantamaxing is far down the list of complaints being voiced over its implementation.
The primary point of contention revolves around the perception that Game Freak is pandering to fans of the original games too much and in doing so, ignoring hundreds of lesser-known characters in the process. You need not take our word for it, either. See below for just a sample of the disgruntled reactions on social media:
Exactly…I was really hoping Galarian Zigzagoon meant they were finally acknowledging other regions, but I guess I was just setting myself up for disappointment
Gamefreak: I suppose we can give them ONE non-Gen 1 thing. Just to make it look like we’re not just shoving Gen 1 down everyone’s throats. Seriously; watch the entire Kanto Dex be in.
At this point, Galarian Zigzagoon and MAYBE one other non-Kanto Pokémon will get new Galarian forms. I’m really doubting though we’ll see any non Gen 1 and Gen 7 Pokémon get Gigantamax forms. Just like Z-moves only went to Kanto and Alola Pokémon, I highly doubt we’ll see Gigantamax forms for anyone between Johto and Alola.
Think about how many Cat and Butterfly Pokémon there are and could have been used to diversify Gigantamax through Gens. But nope, Meowth and Butterfree. On the bright side, Mothra.
Man i’m gonna be mad if only charizard gets a gigantamax form and not the other two OG starters. Disappointed and honestly sick of the popularity pandering.
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Honestly, the outrage isn’t without merit. With more than 800 Pokémon to choose from, Game Freak appears to be making a very deliberate decision to revitalize its original 151 creations as a priority. Charizard, in particular, has received the lion’s share of that attention, what with multiple Mega Evolutions and now, a unique Gigantamax form to boot. As mascots themselves, it comes as no surprise that Pikachu and Eevee have received similar treatment, not just in Sword and Shield, but last year’s Let’s Go spinoffs and their predecessors, Sun and Moon.
Will the trend of allowing nostalgia and star quality to dictate which Pokémon make the cut for Sword and Shield continue going forward? Only time will tell, but in the meantime, feel free to let us know in the comments below which side of the argument you fall on.