In a shocking turn of events that occurred almost overnight, Pokémon Sword and Shield have gone from one of 2019’s most anticipated releases to the most hated.
Officially announced back in February, the Switch games will mark the first time in developer Game Freak’s history that it’ll be moving away from Nintendo’s handheld consoles for the core RPG series. As a result of that monumental change, Generation 8’s size and scope has received a bump over its predecessors, as too, has visual fidelity.
The improvements in environmental detail aren’t night and day, but pre-release footage certainly shows a wider range of animations for the titular ‘Mons than was ever possible on the 3DS’ modest infrastructure. Because of the opportunities provided by more powerful hardware, however, concessions in other areas of gameplay have had to be made, one of which has gone down like a lead balloon with fans, as the data collated by ResetEra shows.
Following on from a special Pokémon Direct earlier this month, various members of the development team provided additional details at this year’s E3 via a live presentation at Nintendo’s annual Treehouse event. In it, series producer Junichi Masuda revealed that due to the above improvements, Sword and Shield will be forced into breaking a key tradition involving Trainers’ Pokémon collections.
In the past, players have been able to migrate their entire squad between games and across generations. Indeed, the dedicated among you no doubt have storage containers filled to the brim with critters spanning several console generations, but alas, no more. Only those Pocket Monsters found in Sword and Shield‘s Galar region (consisting of all-new and existing Pokémon) will be transferrable from other games. With a Pokédex of 150 entries, the decision effectively invalidates a great big chunk of veteran players’ collections.
Game Freak has yet to comment on the blowback, though I imagine it won’t be long until it’s forced to acknowledge the criticism. As of writing, the Nintendo Treehouse footage in question currently sits at a whopping 62,000 Dislikes compared to a meagre 18,000 Likes.
We’ll be keeping tabs on the controversy as it develops, but be sure to let us know in the meantime your takeaway from the debacle. Will you be cancelling your Pokémon Sword and Shield pre-order, or do you view the change as inconsequential? Sound off in the comments below!