From the moment Pokémon Sword & Shield was revealed, fans were up in arms. From there, things only got worse in the community. What happened?

A main line Pokemon The generation for Nintendo Switch was highly anticipated by fans. Many were hoping they could address the issues that started when the series first jumped to 3D with Pokemon X & Y. Pokémon sword and shield They were finally released in 2019, and controversy followed them every step of the way. The eighth generation of Pokemon It was not the return to the form that many wanted. It would serve as the turning point for the community, a title that received the brunt of its frustrations with the series as a whole. But do the games deserve all the criticism?

Sword and shield introduced over 100 new creatures keeping in mind the return of fan-favorite regional variants. However, the game only featured 400 of the total Pokémon in the series, a problem that was made infinitely worse when fans discovered that the remaining 600 were not programmed into the game. This meant that, for the first time in history, there were Pokémon previously released that could not exist in a main quest under any circumstances. The two DLC packs add an additional 400 or so, but still leave out a lot of fan favorites.

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One of the game’s early controversies came with the rationale for these list cuts. Game Freak claimed that it needed to spend development time creating new high-quality 3D models and animations for each Pokémon. This justification would be understandable if data-miners didn’t immediately discover that the game used the slightly improved versions of the models that have been around ever since. X & Y. This apparent Game Freak deception caused an uproar that would continue throughout the game’s launch and beyond.

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Sword and shield would infuriate fans once again by ditching Mega Evolution entirely. Instead, Game Freak added Dynamax Forms, a mechanic that increases the size of a Pokémon for three turns. Certain creatures would receive Gigantamax forms to use during Dynamax, perhaps in an attempt to make up for the loss of Megas. The mechanic eventually proved himself as powerful as he was unpopular. Dynamax was seen as another stunt in the series that would likely be dropped with the next major entry in the franchise, nothing more.

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Graphically, Sword and shield they do not improve with previous titles, and in certain places they look worse. For a full-price second-hand Nintendo title, the games looked disappointing overall and comically poor at times. The notorious Wild Area trees would become an infamous meme, garnering unfavorable comparisons to the trees on the Nintendo 64. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. That said, the Wild Area was one of the few innovation areas in the eighth generation. The Wild Area is an open field that can be explored with a free camera. It is in this space where the game can feel like a true sequel to what came before. However, even this is clouded by the aforementioned poor graphics, lifeless world Pokémon, and dive-breaking weather changes.

The game’s story is one of the worst the series has had to offer. Pointless, boring and empty, the plot revolves around President Rose trying to wake up Eternatus to prevent disaster from happening 3000 years in the future. The player is hardly involved in the story and is constantly guided around the world by other characters, with each interesting event taking place off-screen. The hand grip that began to grow in previous titles became unbearable here, with players seemingly unable to walk a few feet without an NPC rushing to teleport them to their next destination.

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The Expansion Pass DLC helped the game. The two new wilderness areas in Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra are huge improvements on the original and show the direction the series should take in the future. The addition of the Restricted Sparring battle facility and Dynamax Adventures co-op mode adds a lot to do for fans, building on the now-anticipated post-game offering from the base adventure. With the DLC added, Sword and shield feel the way they should have at launch.

Ultimately, the eighth gen disappoints on many levels. It still offers the same gaming experience, so you can always have a certain amount of fun. But, the games are far from what fans expected or deserved from Game Freak. Titles have potential, and another year of development could well have turned them into something much more.

As is, Sword and shield they are strange cases. They certainly deserve many, if not all, of the criticism they have received, and yet the eighth generation has sold millions in name alone. It is not yet known if these titles are indicative of the future of the franchise, but the next Shiny Diamond and Shiny Pearl Pokémon They have already caused disturbances on their own.

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