"Catch them all"? Not this time, because the Game Freak Studio has not created animations for many of your favorite creatures. The E3 brought a lot of new information on the upcoming Pokemon, though some of it may cause concern. Will the Sword be jaggged and the Shield broken on the new Nintendo platform?
- Developer: Game Freak
- Release date: 15 November 2019
- Platform: Nintendo Switch
- Pokémon generation: eighth.
Fans of the Pokémon series waited impatiently for Nintendo to decide to move the portable version of the game to the Switch, and the apetizer in the form of Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu!/Eevee! just whetted the appetite. Nostalgia aside, the return to Kanto was quite interesting, but gamers were waiting for a full-blown continuation – with more than a hundred new poks, previously unexplored regions and fresh solutions in the gameplay. The news presented at the E3 was, however, too little for us to be optimistic about the future.
The situation was clear – Nintendo wanted to utilize the popularity of the handheld Pokemon Go with the release of Let's Go, Pikachu. That's why, in the first Pokémon game on Switch, we didn't see the monsters fighting, but were rather focused on arcade pokeball tossing. No one was particularly bothered with the fact, because this truly RPG sequel was supposed to appear a little later. After the Pokémon Sword & Shield presentation and listening to what the developers had to say about the game, we're no longer sure of the superiority of the announced installment over last year's spin-off.
Of course, we saw only some preliminary materials, the developers did not disclose too much in the interview, and there are almost six months left until the release. Pokémon Sword & Shield can still positively surprise us, but for, now we want to share a few serious concerns. Here's what we're afraid of.
Pokemon home or pokemon prison?
The problem: reduced number of pokémon;
If it works: fewer pokemons, but the fights will be balanced better;
...but if it doesn't: we'll lose access to a lot of interesting poks.
We start with the biggest controversy, which the die-hard fans of the series still can't come to terms with. In Sword & Shield we will get into a new Galar region, where on huge open spaces we will see various wild pokémons. What kind of monster we meet will depend, first of all, on weather conditions and the time of day, and the use of a relatively small area for the accommodation of hordes of different creatures is also quite ingeniously solved. You have to remember that we currently have over 800 kinds of the pocket monsters, and the new installment should bring in at least another hundred. And this is where the trouble begins.
During the gameplay presentation, the developers admitted that, in the upcoming games in the series, we will not see all the pokemon, but only those who live in the Galar region. The reason is quite prosaic – creating a model and animation for each existing pokemon will be terribly time-consuming. And such a justification makes some sense. The problem is that during the same show, the Pokémon Home service was also presented, which is a way to transfer the captured monsters to the cloud. We will able to keep them all in one place: the colored monsters from Sword & Shield, Go and Let's Go, but also all those collected on the 3DS, i.e. from the games Sun, Moon, X, Y, Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby. What's next? Well, nothing, because according to the information we will only be able to download the creatures into Sword and Shield, and those, in turn, won't even be able to show all of them. And so, Pokemon Home turns into Pokemon Prison.
Not every new installment of Pokemon requires binnign your old roster of monsters and beginning the collection anew. Since the third generation, i.e. since Ruby and Sapphire, we can transfer our favorite creatures into the new game. What's interesting is that if you can manage to push the pet to the sixth generation (Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire), you will receive a special Time Traveler Award.
On the one hand, Nintendo would like to combine progress from different platforms, but on the other – the Japanese giant doesn't seem to have a clue how to actually do it. Maybe Home will be put to better use in the future, but so far, we have witnessed an exceptionally useless service.