Pokemon Sword/Shield (Switch)



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    I take back all my complaints about the game.



  • @el-shmiablo said in Pokemon Sword/Shield (Switch):

    @axel LOL the excuse of "it doesn't sell like GTA so it shouldn't have GTAs budget" is some ol' bullshit and you know it.
    Each mainline entry in the Pokemon franchise has sold at least 15-20 million, so why does this game that sells more in one entry than some games do across their entire franchise, look like it belongs on the Gamecube?

    A "reason" becomes an "excuse" when the reason is not good enough.

    Source
    Diamond/Pearl: 17.67 million
    Black/White: 15.64 million
    HeartGold/SoulSilver: 12.72 million
    X/Y: 16.42 million
    Sun/Moon: 16.17 million
    Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire: 14.23 million
    Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon: 8.57 million

    Not exactly "at least 15-20 million", but I nitpick.

    Meanwhile, GTA V sold 11.21 million in its first 24 hours, and is at over 115 million lifetime. More than all the games above combined.

    So tell me again why it's bullshit. You're the one who said that as the biggest media franchise in the world it should have more resources/budget, and I explained why the overall lifetime revenue of the entire franchise (games, movies, trading cards, merch, etc.) has nothing to do with the budget specifically allocated to the games themselves.

    Let's say Sword/Shield end up selling about 18 million (which is far from a given), it would be a record for a mainline game since at least the DS days, and the second best-selling game on Switch behind only Mario Kart. How much more could they sell with double, triple the budget, considering the current Switch install base? Not enough to justify doubling or tripling the budget. What they'd need to justify a bigger budget would be to go the Monster Hunter World route and become multi-platform, then they could aim much higher.

    Does that mean I'm happy with the current state of the series? Far from it. Are the graphics my main issue? Far from it. They're definitely not mind-blowing but I'd be more than happy with them if there weren't much bigger issues aside from that.

    My personal gripe is that even with its current resources and budget, the series should be better than it is now. Compared to most other Nintendo franchises that either perfected or revolutionized their formula on Switch, Pokemon is merely trudging along, even regressing in some areas.

    So the last hope is that this being their first HD entry (Let's Go was developed in parallel) they struggled and had to cut corners to make their deadline, and the next games will allow them to fully realize their vision. Let's see if they right this ship in the next few years or not.



  • I would say less nitpicking, and more cherrypicking. Here, let me correct that for you.

    Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow: 59.52 million
    Pokémon Gold/Silver/Crystal: 42.21 million
    Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald: 36.77 million
    Pokémon Diamond/Pearl/Platinum: 25.27 million
    Pokémon Black/White: 24.16 million
    Pokémon X/Y: 16.42 million
    Pokémon Sun/Moon: 24.74 million
    Pokémon: Let's Go: 11.28 million
    Total: 240.37 million

    Even discounting all other merchandise, the games have sold more than the Elder Scrolls, The Witcher, God of War, and Halo franchises combined.
    So yeah. Bullshit.



  • I wasn't cherrypicking, I only included the ones available on Nintendo's website, which include the last 13 years, sorry if that's not relevant enough for you. Also, you combined things like Black/White and Black/White 2 even though they're entirely different games.

    Do you not understand that adding up the lifetime revenue of an entire series is irrelevant to the budget of an individual game in that series? Should the budget of the next Marvel movie be $1 billion because "Hey they made so much money with those previous movies so surely they can afford to splurge!"

    You budget something relative to the money it can bring in, not relative to the money every other product you made in the past combined adds up to.

    Obviously Pokemon has more combined sales than these other series because it has existed for way longer and has released way more titles than these other series. Things add up, go figure!

    I don't understand why you have to be so confrontational when we essentially both agree that the games are not as good as they should be...



  • @axel I mean, the budget of Endgame was certainly higher than the budget of Ironman.
    My point about the sales is that the games are clearly making bank, but all that money never seems to make its way back to giving the consumer a better product and we are just continually given this low effort schlock over and over.

    Like you said, we're both disappointed in these games, and I just want to see them try to compete with their contemporaries, not with games from 1 or 3 generations ago.

    Pokémon is a flagship videogame series, and yet this is what we get? I'm sorry, but at least for me, that is unacceptable and insulting to be asked to pay full price for a game that has pop-in in empty areas less than 10 feet away from the character.



  • @el-shmiablo said:

    unacceptable and insulting to be asked to pay full price for a game that has pop-in in empty areas less than 10 feet away from the character

    Haven't seen any of this personally, unless you mean the Wild Area online, because players can drop into your world from anywhere. It is less pop in, more drop in. Now I have noticed the occasional pop in for towns and routes, but it is always on the edge of your camera, not as close as 10 feet away from your character. Also, it is worth mentioning that the loading between areas in this game is super fast, as games with worse pop in usually suffer that as a result of the decision to make loading breezy, instead of trapping the player on a loading screen until every asset is preloaded into memory. It is a trade I'll take for minimal pop in. We're not talking Xenoblade Chronicles 2 here, where you can load into an area and not even the geometry and floor are loaded. The only thing that really ever pops in and out is NPCs and Pokemon, and again only on the edge of your camera view. You should watch footage from people who aren't making videos to condemn the game or just you know, play it yourself, so you have more informed takedowns, because this game does have problems, just not the ones you're acting like it does.



  • Watched the podcast at your recommendation.

    Agree and disagree with a lot of things they said.
    I agree when Kyle says that the people complaining are right.
    I agree when they all say that Pokémon is a children's game.
    I disagree that this should be an excuse for the terribly poor quality of the games.
    I agree when Ian says that the games have always been low effort cash grabs, and find it odd that people are only just now being so vocal.

    I'm not threatening developers or hashtagging #endgamestop, just sorely disappointed that there is so much wrong with these games, particularly the latest entry, and so many people seem just fine to be fine with the schlock they are charging full price for.



  • @el-shmiablo said:

    I agree when Kyle says that the people complaining are right.

    The thing is you can't generalize that so much. There's people complaining who have zero fucking clue what they're talking about and are way way way off base, but then you also have legitimate complaints mixed in and coming from people who have played the game and understand the things it does poorly or even just lacking compared to older entries.

    I agree when they all say that Pokémon is a children's game.
    I disagree that this should be an excuse for the terribly poor quality of the games.

    I don't agree with Kyle there, because Pokemon primarily targeting kids is nothing new, and the only time that's been slightly different was Gen 5 when they aged up the protagonists to target like teens instead. So, theoretically this shouldn't be leading to a downward trend in quality, unless kids these days are just dumber and more impatient, so the games have to suffer to cater to them more.

    I agree when Ian says that the games have always been low effort cash grabs, and find it odd that people are only just now being so vocal.

    This I don't agree with at all and is honestly a very outside the franchise, uninformed take. The reason there's always been two versions of the games is to encourage trading between players. There's never significant differences between the two versions that'd require you to play both. That includes Sword and Shield as the version exclusive Gym ended up being a joke. In interviews, many times the devs have said they don't expect or encourage people to buy both versions, but they'll sell double packs for families and friends to split and such. Since Gen 4, they've included ways for even people with no friends to trade Pokemon with others, so even they don't have to buy both versions for getting all the Pokemon.

    There's certainly people who can't stop themselves from collecting every version of the games, and of course GameFreak makes a tidy profit off those types in the process, but the two version thing has always been about encouraging player interaction with one another. It really doesn't hurt anybody. I've played since Red. I've never bought both versions. I've never felt like I was missing out either.

    just sorely disappointed that there is so much wrong with these games, particularly the latest entry

    There's lots I've been disappointed about as well, but these games thankfully aren't a total wash. There's lots to enjoy here as well.

    so many people seem just fine to be fine with the schlock they are charging full price for.

    Definitely not schlock, and honestly if the games truly were just terrible, uninteresting, not fun, etc. then they would've ended up like Fallout 76 instead of being the fastest selling Switch games and on track for the best selling Pokemon games of all time. They're just games with an equal measure of good and bad. I'm hesitant to call them swimming in 7s, and they have way more polish than your typical 7, but the general feeling behind that concept applies pretty well to these games.



  • Pokemon is a juggernaut that can't be killed. 6 million copies sold in its first week - a week that only encompassed Fri-Sun sales.



  • I went back to Pokemon X and Pokemon Sun to scratch my itch, turns out there were still things I hadn't done in each (especially Sun, didn't do any postgame stuff). There's some Pokemon I totally forgot I had, it's fun to just rummage through old boxes!

    At this point, since it still sucks to miss a Gen, I think I'll wait for the almost inevitable Pokemon Ultra Sword or Pokemon Flail next year and hopefully get a "definitive", more complete edition.



  • @axel said:

    I went back to Pokemon X and Pokemon Sun to scratch my itch, turns out there were still things I hadn't done in each (especially Sun, didn't do any postgame stuff)

    I had to fire X up awhile back to breed some stuff for someone from Twitch chat playing ORAS, and just remembered how much I enjoyed the movement in that game. Still has that snappy grid movement, except you can break out of the grid with the rollerblades too, which also feel super good to move around with. I honestly wish Pokemon had kept that style going forward instead of going full free movement. I haven't seen anything in Sun and Moon or Sword and Shield that really justifies completely getting rid of the grid. Everything you can do in free movement can be accomplished in grid.

    Awhile before Sword and Shield launched, I also kept trying to go back to Sun, because likewise I basically never touched the postgame, because I was super underleveled for the Elite Four at the end of the game due to turning off the EXP Share, and the problem amplified exponentially in the post game with no good place to grind besides once a day Battle Buffet until you beat a string of super strong trainers bodyblocking the postgame area. Over the course of months, I finally slogged through them and unlocked that area and had almost gotten to the post game battle facility, but that's where I'm left off now. I really hate Sun and Moon's routes, the way the games lag on original 3DS, and the SoS mechanic when trying to catch things, so it just isn't fun at all to go back to like X.

    Overall, Johto and Unova are my favorite regions to revisit, but Kalos is seriously underrated. There's actually some really nice, interesting stuff packed in there, but people got so up in arms over the "no postgame" at the time they've seemed to have forgotten. Also, I love the Emma and Looker postgame questline for XY, so I've just never fully agreed with those complaints.

    think I'll wait for the almost inevitable Pokemon Ultra Sword or Pokemon Flail next year and hopefully get a "definitive", more complete edition

    I really don't think that game is coming, but predicting GameFreak has proven difficult, and honestly if they bungle Ultra SwSh as hard as they did for Ultra SuMo you'd be better off just getting the games out now. I still expect next year to either be Let's Go Johto or to be Sinnoh Remakes. Right now the merchandising slightly points to Sinnoh Remakes. The new series of anime is setup so they can go literally anywhere, and Ash's male traveling companion is straight up named Go and all about catching Pokemon, which suggests that series isn't as dead as they want us to believe it is right now. Sequels to Sword and Shield seem possible too, and usually you miss out on alot with those if you didn't play the games that came before them, but full disclosure the main story of Sword and Shield can be explained in like a single sentence, so you'd miss out on characters evolving between games but not so much be lost with story beats.



  • Finally hit credits. Something new I'm upset about, but I'll save it for the full shakedown after I explore postgame to my heart's content.



  • I'm not the type who plays online battles, but sounds like they screwed those up too: (strong language warning)
    Youtube Video



  • Youtube Video

    Very eloquent and thorough review from the master himself Ben Moore.



  • Finished last night. I really liked it, but I also always like Pokemon games. That central loop will never not be fun to me, and I think this is the strongest batch of new pokemon since gen 4 in terms of design. That said, when all is said and done it felt more like a 3DS game than a Switch game. To be fair, I remember feeling that way about X and Y when they came out - sure, there was a graphical leap, but there were still several sections where your character movement was limited to 8 directions. Here, we got the baby step of having camera controls in the wild area (!!), but we're still limited in how we experience the rest of the world. The gating in this game is also frustrating; I'm not sure why there are caps on the level of pokemon you can catch, or why the only thing preventing your progress through certain areas is Team Yell arbitrarily deciding no one can leave. Call me old fashioned, but I miss the days of HMs requiring you to explore environments in new and exciting ways.

    The most egregious flaws in this game for me have to do with sound - the music has some solid compositions, but the synth quality is BAD. I'm about 90% sure it's the same synth set that was used in the 3DS games, and even then it was starting to show its age. The game needs real instruments. It also needs voice acting. I never thought I'd care about this, but the cutscenes felt really dated without it. Some of the NPCs in this game are genuinely charming and are able to display a surprising amount of personality with a limited set of facial expressions, but they would be much more memorable if they had voices to express their character.

    The scene where Piers saves the day by throwing an impromptu concert could've been a really funny moment, but fell completely flat because there were no audio or vocal cues to accompany his actions.

    The "vocals" used during the gym and championship battles are very unnatural sounding, and annoy more than they inspire excitement. This all added up to me playing the game mostly on silent, opting instead to catch up on podcasts.

    Despite the flaws, I don't think the game warranted all of the vitriol it's received. Yeah, it's a bummer that I can't raise a Meganium, but it felt like there was more variety on a single route in this game than any prior. The developers clearly put a lot of effort into making sure that this Dex is varied, allowing for the opportunity to build a wildly diverse team regardless based only on what you can catch or trade for in-game. I've never been one to complete a dex, but this one actually feels doable to me. I also don't buy the reused models criticism - sure, the wire frames might be the same, but these are designs that haven't changed since the Pokemon were created, so it's fairly obvious to me that they would maintain the same geometric shapes. How they are rendered and animated is clearly very different from what was in the 3DS games - if they weren't, we wouldn't have this gem (

    ). None of this is an excuse for the myriad of other flaws and archaic/simplistic game design, but those ultimately don't detract from the fact that this game is fun to play. If you're a fan of the series or a newcomer, I think it's still worthwhile to play this game. If you were never a fan, well, this certainly isn't going to change your mind. Hope the next one reaches for greater heights, but I'm still happy with my time in Galar.



  • @naltmank said:

    To be fair, I remember feeling that way about X and Y when they came out - sure, there was a graphical leap, but there were still several sections where your character movement was limited to 8 directions.

    I still think 8 directions should always be an option, even if it isn't the default option.

    Call me old fashioned, but I miss the days of HMs requiring you to explore environments in new and exciting ways.

    As much as I hate Sun and Moon, they got it right with Ride Pokemon. They just needed to evolve that, so the Ride Pokemon are actually your Pokemon.

    The most egregious flaws in this game for me have to do with sound - the music has some solid compositions, but the synth quality is BAD.

    I've heard other complaints about the music and reusing classic sound effects for move hits and stuff. Guess it just didn't bother me. I didn't like all the music, but there were tracks I enjoyed, never sounded low quality to me. The only song that did bother me was during a part near the very end where the music just didn't feel like it fit what was going on in the game.

    The "vocals" used during the gym and championship battles are very unnatural sounding, and annoy more than they inspire excitement.

    I enjoyed those too, but maybe they could've evolved more?

    Basically agree with the rest of what you said though. Those camp animations are so fun.



  • @mbun said in Pokemon Sword/Shield (Switch):

    They just needed to evolve that, so the Ride Pokemon are actually your Pokemon

    100% agree. I have this idea in my head where instead of a ride-call system, each Pokemon you catch has innate "field abilities." For example, water pokemon of a certain size threshold will allow you to surf, flying pokemon allow you to fly, etc. That way you still need to build your team to explore the world, but HMs don't take up a spot in your moveset. There could even be more secretive abilities. Imagine if ape-like Pokemon gave you an ability to climb mountains/trees to reach hidden areas and get hidden items, or if psychic Pokemon could let out a pulse to temporarily freeze all Pokemon/trainers in the field to give you safe passage. I feel like that would be a great next step, but it would require a substantial overhaul of the basic game structure.



  • @naltmank Basically Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and yeah it would be sweet.



  • Just started the game. Scorbunny hype!



  • There really is some great QoL stuff for meta endgame. Just dumb they thought that meant we didn't want the game before it.

    But yea, I'm going through weeks of tweets I avoided until I was sure I'd seen all there was to see without getting spoiled, and there's some real interesting stuff:

    Oddly, the official Pokemon site released the specifics themselves on shiny hunting and Brilliant Pokemon (yellow aura) hunting for Sword and Shield. Very much worth the read, and it isn't like any previous game. For shinies, you don't have to maintain a chain anymore, simply chip away at an all time record of catching or fainting a species that forever boosts rates involving that species and can be progress checked in your Pokedex. Fishing does work like chaining sort of, except it no longer boosts shiny encounter, only Brilliant encounter, and it doesn't matter what species you get, just that you keep fishing and fainting what you fish up without messing up.

    Despite having your Shiny Charms, Masuda Method, and extras for boosting shiny encounters such as this info, I kind of like that there's no super easy path to shinies in Sword and Shield like some previous games, besides hacking of course. That'll be ruined once trading comes in though, but still nice to see them better balanced than Let's Go where fucking everyone gets a dozen shinies just for playing to credits. Not showing that a Pokemon is shiny on the overworld was a good decision, even if it makes very little sense, and I love that they went out of their way to code that Pokemon you can't catch yet can't be shiny, so people without enough badges don't get trolled. The new super rare shiny square animation thing is low effort and dumb though, but even despite that, overall they did a good job handling shinies in Sword and Shield. They're still rare and very much not "free", but there's multiple paths you can work down towards increasing your chance of getting one.