Pokemon Sword/Shield (Switch)



  • @dipset Only the Wild Area is open world, and this is GameFreak's first try at that. Everyone seems to love it, so hopefully they go harder on it next time and get better at putting stuff besides just the Pokemon in it. The routes outside the Wild Area are pretty much the same as Pokemon has always been, except more linear and with less to explore, kind of identical to how Sun and Moon were, which makes sense because same Director as those games, but I'm super disappointed about it because I thought that linear nature was due to 3DS limitations with how the graphics was pushing those games, not the new direction for the franchise.

    Pretty much kills the thing I love the most about Pokemon, and it is frustrating when these games were touted as for the hardcore fans, but they interpret that as simply streamlining tutorial sections and improving the competitive systems and the meta while still keeping in-game super casual friendly with short railroaded routes every player is funneled down and tons of healing opportunities. The whole point of Let's Go was supposed to be a game dedicated to the casual fans, so the next core game could be dedicated back to the hardcore fans, and they didn't really do this unless you only care about battling, but even in that department I've heard most of the routes in the game have less trainers on them and such. I read in a review there's at least one post game battle facility, but it sounds like the boring typical one like what was in XY, except with the ability to use rental teams, which I do appreciate.

    I'm just tired of having identical experiences as everyone else playing. The Wild Area sounds like it'll offer some variation, but that's simply one area of the game. I'm tired of progression corridors for the sake of controlling the player. Make path splits, make dungeons, hide stuff off the beaten path, and trust your players to find and experience that content. You don't have to put us on a theme park ride track traveling through all your content to make sure all the players experience it all. The Sun and Moon / Sword and Shield map updates already should prevent anyone from getting "lost", not that that'd even be a bad thing if it happened anyways. The living world of the games has been feeling more and more like movie set backdrops, and reviews make it sound like these games take that feeling to the next level with lots of grand buildings you can't enter and such.



  • @mbun Dude. You really need to stop excusing mediocrity just because you like the games.
    Pokémon is the biggest intellectual property in the entire world by a large margin, backed by one of the biggest gaming companies in the entire world.
    "It's their first attempt" doesn't cut it when they have the resources resources to make something much, much better than this low effort garbage.
    The Witcher 3 was also a developers first time attempting an open world, and yet that game doesn't look like it belongs on the GameCube, even when you play it on the Switch, and CDProjektRed is a much smaller company with much less resources available to them.

    Unfortunately I have a feeling that none of this will actually matter and this will be the best selling Pokémon game ever, despite all of the huge cuts and shortcomings in the game.



  • @el-shmiablo said:

    You really need to stop excusing mediocrity just because you like the games.

    I'm not excusing shit, and I don't even know if I like the games yet. Reviews are leading me to believe right now I'm not going to enjoy these, just as I didn't enjoy Sun and Moon for the same problems.

    "It's their first attempt" doesn't cut it when they have the resources resources to make something much, much better

    They lack the resource of time. It is always a rush from one game to the next, and the burdens of the franchise around the mainline games means they can't afford delays if something isn't working out. Things have to come out when they're planned to come out no matter what. The price they pay for their excessive resource pool is all the extra burdens of being that top grossing intellectual property. That's not an excuse. That's understanding the struggles the devs have to go through and why things are as they are.

    The Witcher 3 was also a developers first time attempting an open world

    CDProjektRed was able to take their time and release the game when they were fully satisfied with it too. They didn't have to struggle to make a game in one of the shortest development cycles possible and line the release up with other stuff going on with The Witcher. The Witcher in general wasn't even a massive thing until those games led to it breaking more into the mainstream. It is an entirely different case, and I guarantee those games have many more years of development than Sword and Shield were afforded.

    Unfortunately I have a feeling that none of this will actually matter and this will be the best selling Pokémon game ever, despite all of the huge cuts and shortcomings in the game.

    It is already selling super well off of preorders, and while I'm not sure it'll be the best ever because the best ever was due to the Pokemon GO craze at the time, which feels like a special one time event that'll never be repeated, I'm sure it'll still sell super well, but even without the financial pressure to do better than they've done this time, I think at the end of the period the review scores will cause The Pokemon Company and maybe even Nintendo to knock on GameFreak's door and make them figure out the things they're currently struggling with over there. There's also been harassment tier pressure from people over social media breathing down GameFreak's necks, so it isn't even like something they're just not aware of. I'm sure even without all that they weren't happy with the product they were basically forced to deliver, just as the interviews after Let's Go revealed they weren't happy with those games and were struggling to develop for the Switch back then.



  • You're right! It's all about time!
    Maybe they should remove a load of features from the series to save time.
    Oh wait they did that.
    If only they had a massive repository of pre-madr HD Pokemon models and assets to use that could save them a lot of time.
    Oh wait, they do, and are using them despite saying otherwise.
    Well then I guess they should include less Pokemon than usual.
    Oh wait, they did that too!

    Its almost as if the game is incredibly low effort because they realize that Pokefans will eat this shit up regardless of the quality.
    Almost.



  • @el-shmiablo said:

    Maybe they should remove a load of features from the series to save time.
    Oh wait they did that.

    Name them. They didn't remove a ton of features, least not more than the usual from game to game. Mega Evolution and Z-Moves were Regional Gimmicks, and Dynamax is the new one. That's not removed. Camp is the new Amie / Refresh. That's not removed. Don't believe all the lies Reddit is feeding you.

    If only they had a massive repository of pre-madr HD Pokemon models and assets to use that could save them a lot of time.
    Oh wait, they do, and are using them despite saying otherwise.

    They still have to update every single one. Even if the models didn't change on many, the textures did for all of them.

    Well then I guess they should include less Pokemon than usual.
    Oh wait, they did that too!

    Instead of including 1,000 Pokemon they only included over 600 in a three year dev cycle! How dare anyone forgive this outright lazyness! /sarcasm

    Its almost as if the game is incredibly low effort because they realize that Pokefans will eat this shit up regardless of the quality.

    That describes Ultra Sun and Moon, the most blatant cashgrab. That describes Let's Go to an extent, even though part of it was also learning new hardware. I'm not convinced that was the intentions behind Sword and Shield. I think just as things often do during game development, one of many projects didn't come out as strong as they were aiming for.



  • Over 600 is a strange way of saying around 400.

    If you think this level of effort (or lack thereof) is alright then that is fine, but let's not pretend this isn't a laughably bad cash-in. There are plenty of other games with 3 year development cycles with much, much, much less resources available to them that don't end up looking like college fan projects.

    Also, for somebody who "ain't excusing shit" you sure have done nothing but excuse the game's shortcomings.



  • @el-shmiablo said:

    Over 600 is a strange way of saying around 400.

    I also don't have the hard numbers in front of me, because I'm on leak blackout. Unless you pirated the game ahead of time through an illegal rom, you don't know either and are just believing what you're told online right now, whether that's accurate or not. I was estimating based on the number confirmed prerelease plus the typical amount of new Pokemon added. 400 still isn't bad. The largest Regional Dex before these games are Ultra Sun and Moon at 403 Pokemon. Previous to that, 300 was alot for a Regional Dex with BW2 and the original Sun and Moon. Previous to that. they'd be in the 150-250 range.

    If you think this level of effort (or lack thereof) is alright then that is fine, but let's not pretend this isn't a laughably bad cash-in.

    I've already said I don't anticipate I'll be happy with these games though. I just don't think a team of 200 members set out to make "a laughably bad cash-in" when they knew all eyes would be on them with these games seen as the first big console mainline Pokemon games and they themselves spotlighted it years back even. You definitely aren't considering the pressure they must have had put on them, not only from the fans side but from all the partners involved with Pokemon not to bungle these games, despite that seeming to have happened in the end.

    There are plenty of other games with 3 year development cycles with much, much, much less resources available to them that don't end up looking like college fan projects.

    It definitely does not look like a college fan project. You can stop exaggerating. Even other games with 3 year development cycles don't have a ton of outside parties they have to work with and constantly get things approved from before they can continue development and time out the release of their game with and such. I also doubt there's many that are working with 400+ creatures either, especially when nobody seems keen to try and overtake Pokemon at the monster genre. Want to complain about every Pokemon ever not being in the games? Nobody ever attacks Digimon for the same thing, despite them never having done this and always doing what Pokemon does now where they're picking selections from the overall mass of them. So just because Pokemon's devs has clawed their faces off this long keeping that a thing for this franchise, now they're expected to do it until the end of time, no matter how high that number gets, or they're suddenly lazy now? That's fucking horseshit and you know it.

    Also, for somebody who "ain't excusing shit" you sure have done nothing but excuse the game's shortcomings.

    You clearly haven't read the topic then, like not remotely, like not even the last five posts I've made. Because there's things I've outright said they need to work on, things I'm very personally not happy about with these games that I've learned from reviews, and more you're sweeping under the rug to fit your narrative of I'm just forgiving every flaw, when all I'm doing is explaining what should be more understandable that people are blowing out of proportion from the real problems that are getting lost to babies complaining about a tree texture in an open world segment of the game that's clearly more taxing on the hardware than the rest of it from a team clearly inexperienced with making open world sections trying for the first time ever on hardware they're already struggling to get the most out of.



  • Personally I just find it odd that they went thru the effort to make new HD models during the time of S&M, but won't use the majority of them for thier first major HD title, and it's not like you can use that $5 Pokemon bank thing to transfer Pokemon to Sword & Shield.

    And if I remember thier reason for not including every Pokemon Is because they were working on new animations for all the pokemon featured, which so far seems to be a lie. Honestly I could forgive everything looking and moving like Pokemon Stadium if they actually included every single Pokemon.



  • Just looking at the gameplay of Sword & Shield, I think they are making a 2019 3D console game with the mindset of what they are used to. I hope for their next kick at the can, they go back to the drawing board. For example, they can abandon the low angle battle camera with your Pokémon in the left foreground and your rival Pokémon in the right background. It’s like they are latching onto the wrong things from the past.

    I wonder if a problem is that they have a working production pipeline to make a Pokémon game. Like a foolproof setup. This stage first, this stage second, this stage third, and so on. Going back and rethinking the needs of a “true” console Pokémon would require a top down studio restructure where the old production pipeline goes out the window.

    Just speculation, but I think there is so much familiar Pokémon DNA here that I doubt they changed things up too too much when developing this game.

    Like, this may sound crazy, but let’s make a realistic scale of the world relative to characters and Pokémon. You are small time when you walk around the woods but when you catch a Squirtle and upgrade him to Blastoise and swim around the world, you feel like you’re riding a speed boat in a big ocean. You’re big time now because of your dedication to your Pokémon and you’re rewarded with the feeling of power.

    Up that “scale” and make Pokémon feel like a GOTY contender next to some other JRPG or open world game.

    It’s a dream but it would be awesome.



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

    Personally I just find it odd that they went thru the effort to make new HD models during the time of S&M, but won't use the majority of them for thier first major HD title

    This is exactly why this theory doesn't hold water, and there's clearly more to it than people think. If they did indeed have every Pokemon perfectly modelled and ready to go with little to no effort, then why wouldn't they include them all? Why would they purposely piss everyone off?

    There's been tons of assumptions and misconceptions about the development of this game, right now /r/Pokemon will lap up any random conspiracy theory or made up insider leak that confirms their bias, they're out for blood.

    Clearly the game is not up to the standards of other Nintendo titles on Switch (or of other titles, period), on all fronts: presentation, performance, content, scale, design, etc. Whether it's down to limitations in budget, time, skill, direction, unexpected complications, external factors, or all of the above, nobody really knows.

    @El-Shmiablo You're conflating "excusing" and "explaining". What @Mbun is trying to do is just give rational reasons as to why the game is in the state it's in. I also don't believe for a second that Game Freak simply thought "Fuck it, 400 is enough, these losers will buy it anyway!"

    Using the whole "biggest media franchise of all time" argument is meaningless and disingenuous, because it doesn't translate in any way to the budget allocated to the actual game's development, which is the only thing that matters and contributes to its eventual quality. The games sell very well but nowhere near GTA levels. So it wouldn't make sense for them to have GTA's budget either.

    Should this transition to HD have been handled better? Yes.
    Does the series lack ambition? To me, yes, to others, it's fine as it is.
    Should Game Freak get bigger and/or better? Yes.
    Are Game Freak just a bunch of "lazy devs"? No.

    At the end of the day, all we can do is look at the end product being sold to us, and decide whether it appeals to us or not. Some people are disappointed, let's hope the sales/reviews reflect it enough to shake things up. Some people are happy with a new Pokemon game with a formula that will never stop being fundametally fun, let them enjoy themselves.



  • @dmcmaster said:

    Personally I just find it odd that they went thru the effort to make new HD models during the time of S&M, but won't use the majority of them for thier first major HD title

    They were actually made during XY times, actually a little before XY even for the Pokedex 3D App, but most have been slightly updated from game to game since then. The reason some might not work anymore despite being "future proofed" back then is hilariously enough Dynamax blowing the models up even larger than normal. They kind of shot themselves in the foot with that choice of gimmick.

    it's not like you can use that $5 Pokemon bank thing to transfer Pokemon to Sword & Shield

    They always stagger trading Pokemon to the new games by a couple of months, to limit the amount of illegally generated Pokemon in the new games during the first couple months. Whenever Pokemon Home launches, I'll be surprised if there isn't a free trial for a month like Bank had when it came out.

    And if I remember thier reason for not including every Pokemon Is because they were working on new animations for all the pokemon featured, which so far seems to be a lie.

    Actually, Pokemon Camp, the new Amie-like has lots of new animations for the Pokemon.

    looking and moving like Pokemon Stadium

    Stadium looks better at times, because each Stadium game was developed around a smaller number of Pokemon and Moves funnily enough. Again, we need those spinoffs rescued back from the mobile hell.

    @DIPSET said:

    For example, they can abandon the low angle battle camera with your Pokémon in the left foreground and your rival Pokémon in the right background.

    It'd be cool if we could control the camera in battle ourselves or set it to auto like it is now. It'd also be cool if for replays we could play the footage back from different angles like stuff like Mario Kart 8 allows.

    Just speculation, but I think there is so much familiar Pokémon DNA here that I doubt they changed things up too too much when developing this game.

    We've seen a couple major shakeups over time like sprites to 3D Models eventually and breaking out of the grid, but they still want to keep the mainline Pokemon gameplay mostly the same and do other stuff through spinoffs. I think the open world section, the Wild Area, is getting enough positive buzz, that they'll try to find ways to build on that an incorporate similar sections into future games though. Just might not be in the next with the way Pokemon is developed two games at a time.

    Up that “scale” and make Pokémon feel like a GOTY contender next to some other JRPG or open world game.

    I just don't see a risky venture like that happening in the course of a three year development cycle. I'd love to see them experiment more with tackling gyms in different order and such, but you see those concept artists out there posting pictures of Shadow of the Colossus with Pokemon, and it looks cool but it'd make a pretty stupid game if you could catch something that could actually crush citys. I know that sounds silly with Dynamax being a thing this time, but the lore with that is that they're weird projections or some nonsense, and the game only lets you use that in big open areas. Then you have your people who want Breath of the Wild with Pokemon, and I just don't see how a game like that could possibly work. People already complain about Breath of the Wild being too NPC empty. Now imagine that in a Pokemon game. That could be awful. I think the dream of dreams is a game with a bunch of handcrafted environments like Pokemon Snap that makes the world feel super alive with Pokemon, but again I can't see us ever getting that game outside of a spinoff due to just how long that'd take to make.

    @Axel said:

    Clearly the game is not up to the standards of other Nintendo titles on Switch (or of other titles, period), on all fronts

    Real talk. It is on the same level as or even better than Three Houses, except everyone forgives that game because they like the characters.

    Should this transition to HD have been handled better? Yes.

    I'm just not sure who you blame for this. Do you just yell at GameFreak for their project not coming together well? Yell at the programmers for not figuring the Switch hardware out fast enough? Yell at Nintendo for not offering enough support for them? Yell at TPC for pressuring them not to delay the game and hurt the franchise? Yell at them for hyping up these games or yell at the fans for getting expectations out of check? It isn't often GameFreak outright drops the ball, so maybe I am a little willing to cut them some slack this time. It didn't feel like they weren't trying. It just felt like a project that didn't come out right in many ways. That said, there's things I count as design flaws I will still hold them accountable for, stuff GameFreak intentionally did that was really stupid, and I'm upset at them for it like the forced on EXP Share.

    Does the series lack ambition? To me, yes, to others, it's fine as it is.

    For me, that's a title by title answer. I saw crazy ambition in some games like HG/SS, BW2, and as controversial as this probably will be to say, XY, but then you have stuff like Ultra Sun and Moon that felt like just stalling a year on something people will buy anyways that's pretty much the same game twice with a couple new bonus areas and a new throwaway minigame or two to list as a selling point on the box.

    Should Game Freak get bigger and/or better? Yes.

    They've doubled their core team size since Sun and Moon, so they indeed are. It is only feasible for them to grow so fast, and I think twice the size they were last Generation is a pretty fast growth speed, so I don't see reason to get angry at them on this front.

    Are Game Freak just a bunch of "lazy devs"? No.

    You could speculate argue with zero proof that maybe a Director or Producer or such might have been lazy and hurt the overall project as result, but I don't believe two hundred people at GameFreak working on Pokemon's first mainline, core console game were intentionally phoning it in. Also, for as much as we are talking lately about these games as outright failures with no redeeming value, that's not accurate. Even the reviews that scored the game low agree at least that the new Pokemon and the Galar Region itself are charming, as well as much of the streamlining being good direction for the series, so someone in that team of two hundred was doing good work. Other areas of the game just didn't come together as properly this time for whatever reason.

    At the end of the day, all we can do is look at the end product being sold to us, and decide whether it appeals to us or not.

    Like even when I end up hating it, and yes that's where I'm at now, when not if. When I end up hating it, I'm still not going to look for extra throwaway reasons to hate it harder. I'm not going to pretend things that don't remotely bother me are suddenly dealbreakers just because things that actually are dealbreakers made me dislike the game, so I might as well go all in and form some strong case against the games using stuff I don't even really care about! No, that's just childish and silly. I'd rather focus on the high impact issues that were greatly detrimental to my enjoyment of the game in the hopes that GameFreak hears and fixes those things in the future, versus having the next Pokemon games have the prettiest tree textures we've ever seen but still forced always on EXP Share that's actively hurting the game, instead of a tree nobody was ever meant to take a magnifying glass to getting spruced up. The thing about criticism is unless you can keep it constructive and practical, there's nothing a dev can really do with it, so when you just toss lofty expectations at them you're just basically bullying and stressing them out, which is a state that'll just lead to worse games received in the end. Put more thought into why things are as they are, what actually could be changed to elevate the product, and how those things could be improved within the current situation. Or just don't play the games until they do something that appeals to you again.



  • Youtube Video

    Quite insightful discussion.



  • Apparently some people are reporting a bug where the game can crash and wipe not just your save but everything on your SD card.

    Granted, I'm mostly going on hearsay and every instance of this I've actually read on twitter is from Japan and ran through machine translations so I don't know how accurate it is, or if this even affects English copies of the game at all, but still. Consider it a PSA to turn off autosave since as far as I can gather that's what causes it.

    Edit: here's an instance of it happening to someone playing an English copy, so that's not safe either.



  • Just as a heads up since it is technically missable, the NPC that unlocks the extra sound option volume sliders is in the city after your first trip through the Wild Area. Walk back down the path next to the Pokemon Center like the game wants you to for the objective, then past the Onix and the bridge talk to the guy on the right side with a record shop. Not as obscure as people were making it out to be, but the game doesn't force the encounter, and the NPC himself doesn't look particularly important either.



  • Don't look at the bottom line of icons in Y-Comm Profile section unless you want to be spoiled on the types for the Gyms in the game. Really stupid that they did that. All they had to do was include an icon for each type so you wouldn't be able to tell.


  • Global Moderator

    @hanabi The issue is apparently with certain formats of SD cards.



  • I am by no means a big Pokemon fan, but I feel like people are placing emphasis on the wrong things. I think this game does a lot of the core stuff pretty well, and many fans are completely ignoring that in favor of poor visuals and animations. Idk, to me those are the least important parts of a Pokemon game. It bums me out that many people can't look past them.



  • @capnbobamous said:

    poor visuals and animations

    Lots of those complaints are cherrypicking as well, because the game looks pretty decent most of the time. It is no Fire Emblem Three Houses situation, except the Wild Area, which you could directly compare to that.



  • @kristen-rogers serves them right for using homebrew on their system in the first place.



  • @capnbobamous

    I hear you. In the end, Pokémon is getting great reviews so it’s a fun game. But it just feels like such a wasted opportunity. A console Pokémon could be so much more.