Incoming News For Pokemon Sword And Shield At The Upcoming 2019 World Hobby Fair

Incoming News For Pokemon Sword And Shield At The Upcoming 2019 World Hobby Fair
Credit: KnowYourMeme

Whether you’re a casual fan in it for the fun and story, or a diehard battler in it to win it, if you’re a Pokemon fan, you likely watched the showcase at this year’s E3. And likely you also heard the announcement that came from Junichi Masuda’s own mouth regarding the National Dex–namely that there won’t be one.

Masuda has confirmed that not all the Pokemon will be returning in Sword and Shield’s Galar region, only those that would ‘fit’ the region, with some fan favorites. Information about what that actually means remains unclear, as the list of available Pokemon shown making a return seem to follow no set pattern.

Regardless of the ‘sense’ certain Pokemon make in regards to the UK-inspired region, the outcry has been enormous. At the time of writing, the YouTube video showcasing Sword and Shield gameplay sits at 18k likes and a whopping 58k dislikes, one of the largest differences in a gameplay video known.

The hashtag ‘BringBackNationalDex’ is trending on Twitter, and as has been shown via other blogs, Pokemon Sword and Shield was ranked ‘the worst game of E3’, beating out Battletoads and Shenmue III. Adding fuel to the fire is a direct statement from GameFreak that there will be no patches adding in forgotten Pokemon, and that this will be a company policy going forward.

It comes as no surprise fans are upset; for Pokemon’s entire run, the game’s tagline was “Gotta catch ’em all!” and a key theme of the series was forging bonds with your Pokemon, a tradition that was made all the stronger with the third generation of games, Pokemon Ruby, Pokemon Sapphire, and Pokemon Emerald, allowing transfer to games later down the line via various means.

The recently-announced Pokemon Home was speculated to continue such tradition, but following Masuda’s announcement, it seems less of a true home and rather a ‘retirement home’, as not everyone you send to it will be allowed in Sword and Shield. The main argument for the exclusion of Pokemon is to improve the game’s quality.

However, such claims don’t seem to match up with the quality; the gameplay at E3 showed things like a wash-out environment, poor models, low-quality battle animations, and most distressing of all, frame-drops in AND out of battle, leading to much derision of the title. The confusion also stems from the fact that the same Pokemon models have been used since Pokemon X/Y, and still hold up in terms of crispness and quality. The saying ‘if something’s broken, don’t fix it’ comes to mind.

The bad news, sadly, doesn’t stop there. Masuda also confirmed that Dynamaxing, the new mechanic that allows your Pokemon to reach kaiju-level heights and turns their moves into attacks right out of something from Pacific Rim, is to replace Mega Evolution and Z-Moves. GameFreak removing content from Pokemon is nothing new; they’ve done it before; Secret Bases, the Battle Frontier, following Pokemon, Pokemon Contests, the list goes on.

But it came as a shock to many that Mega Evolution, a mechanic that completely changed the game and even gave some Pokemon a new lease on life, is having to be bid goodbye, especially after its inclusion in three straight games. Z-Moves might’ve seen a shorter life, but the flashy moves also became quick staples, giving even more Pokemon greater opportunity to shine in battle.

The removal of both mechanics in favor of one has sparked ire the likes of which hasn’t been seen in a Pokemon game to date, with many voicing their discontent on social media. Even worse, rather than make changes to the existing models, GameFreak has made separate, individual Dynamax models for every Pokemon, leaving many scratching their heads; surely if they can make entirely new models just to make a super-sized Pokemon, they could keep Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves in? Especially since the Switch possesses twice the power of the 3DS.

Many fans are clamoring for the game to be delayed if it means getting all their treasured partners back. In the words of Shigeru Miyamoto, “A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad.”

Now there is an announcement that The Pokemon Company is set to showcase new information for Pokemon Sword and Shield at the 2019 World Hobby Fair. At the time of writing, the release date is slated as November 15th, 2019, but the fair is coming June 29th/30th, and information could be subject to change.

If the Sonic the Hedgehog movie could be delayed to improve quality, and Super Mario Maker 2 could get online play with friends included as a patch, both from intense fan outcry, maybe it could mean hope for Sword and Shield. Time and patience will tell, and in the meantime, stay and play savvy.