Recently, a statement from last month’s edition of Famitsu, a Japenese gaming site, from Pokemon Sword and Shield developers has made its way to public light in the West. For background, Pokemon Sword and Shield, the newest addition to the franchise, has been met with controversy after controversy. Public reception is mixed about the game for various reasons.
The issue that started the ball rolling was the announcement by GameFreak that the game would not include a National Dex. This means that only Pokemon the developers add into the all-new Galar region are available. An undeterminate amount of the roster will be missing, and fans that have important favorite Pokemon throughout titles will be unable to transfer them into the new game.
Another issue and the one that will be discussed today is the graphics of the game. Few concerns were released following the Nintendo E3 presentation about the overall quality of the graphics for certain portions of the trailer. However, the real scope of the lacking graphical polish was revealed during the Nintendo Treehouse presentation, when unedited gameplay was shown.
As such, perhaps to quell the controversy, GameFreak supposedly released the statement to Famitsu, saying that all of the models in Sword and Shield were made from scratch and not directly imported. Funnily enough, the statement has not been repeated to concerned Western audiences, and it was through a Polygon article that the internet got ahold of it in the first place.
This first and foremost is not an excuse for the poor graphical quality shown in the trailers thus far, or the decision to not include the National Dex. 3D models were made from scratch for Pokemon X and Y, showing that the studio can indeed make 3D models for a large roster of Pokemon. Additionally, GameFreak is splitting its workforce in half with the decision to work on Town simultaneously. Giving this reason as an excuse to cut features that some fans obviously want more than Gigantamaxing and a new franchise unrelated to Pokemon has been devisive among fans.
However, now questions of the validity of the statement are being raised all over social media. Some Japenese translators have been arguing that the article has been misinterpreted, while some say that the translation is in fact correct. Furthermore, several reputable animators have been able to provide evidence that points to the models being reused after all, contradicting the supposed statement.
Does this mean that only certain Pokemon models needed to be remade, and that the translation was off? Or did GameFreak flat out lie about the work needed to make these models? Either way, this is an interesting development in an already tumultuous game release. As the story unfolds, more details will be on the way.