The pokemon Sword & Shield controversy that dogged the game’s release has dulled fan enthusiasm a bit, and while Nintendo and game Freak developer undoubtedly played a part in the process, much depends on fans of the series and their expectation of what the main Pokemon game should look like. Pokemon Sword & Shield coming to Nintendo Switch marked an important step for the series, its first entry on a mainstream console, and the initial interpretation from fans was that it would mark a significant step forward in the presentation and depth of the franchise.
After this initial announcement, fans become more and more opposed to Game Freak as a result of the developer’s decisions to develop Pokemon Sword & Shield. That discontent erupted in the week leading up to Sword & Shield’s release, when fans tried to appeal to the President of the United States to pull the game off the shelves, while still others received a crazy hashtag trend online that contained a lot of problematic sentiment. To be clear, pokemon fans certainly had a right to be upset about Sword & Shield – the game makes some questionable decisions, and that frustration is fully justified. However, the pokemon Sword & Shield controversy too often resulted in direct attacks on game developers or companies that created a more toxic environment than was necessary.
Still, from a historical perspective, the pokemon Sword & Shield controversy will mark the first time the franchise has divided its fan base so much, and it’s worth exploring for those who want to learn about the mistakes made by both sides. While there were many more minor events that led to the emergence of the new generation, we will talk about the main contradictions of Pokemon Sword & Shield and how they happened:
NO NATIONAL DEX IN POKEMON SWORD & SHIELD
It was the pokemon Sword & Shield controversy that started it all. Junichi Masuda, game Director of Game Freak and Pokemon Sword & Shield, announced at E3 2019 that future games will not feature all pokemon from the series. Instead, there will be a limited number of them, and it will be possible to meet pokémon from the Galar region throughout the narrative and post-game. Masuda suggested that the reason for this was that the ever-increasing numbers of pokémon that belonged to the franchise as a whole were harder to include overall with each passing generation.
Fans were extremely upset. They felt there was an unspoken promise between them and Game Freak to keep porting pokemon of past generations into new games, mostly because many devoted fans were asking the same pokemon to follow them through multi – generation games-creatures they grew up with. in a sense. In addition, fans felt that the removal of National Dex was the opposite of the Pokemon series as a whole, which always asked players to ” catch them all.”
However, Game Freak stuck to its decision even during some difficult reaction from fans. Masuda doubled down on his decision in an interview and then repeated it later, suggesting that the national Dex being removed would pave the way for new features for Pokemon Sword & Shield and subsequent games. Unfortunately, fans reacted negatively to the idea, leading to the following controversy.
POKEMON SWORD & SHIELD CUTS A LOT OF FEATURES
While Pokemon Sword & Shield adds some nice features to the competitive game, fans were more upset by the fact that it dropped a few past features, which seemed gratuitous. Mega Evolutions, introduced during Pokemon X & Y, forever changed pokemon competition, helping to revive the vitality of some classic creatures like Kangashan. The Z-moves that were introduced during Pokemon Sun & Moon were over-the-top battle options that resulted in cool rollers and were even unique to some pokemon (such as Eevee). Unfortunately for fans of both of these features, Masuda announced that they would not be returning to Pokemon Sword & Shield.
It was also announced during E3 2019, but it took time for fan grievances to develop. In the lead-up to the release of Pokemon Sword & Shield, fans began to discover that more elements had been cut, leading to the realization that Pokemon Sword & Shield moves did not include all elements from the past. It was a messy situation that led to what was arguably the strongest contradiction Between pokemon Swords and Shields of all …
THE #GAMEFREAKLIED POKEMON SWORD & SHIELD SOCIAL MEDIA TREND
When new videos and rumors about Pokemon Sword & Shield surfaced in the final weeks before its release, fans felt that Game Freak had blatantly lied to them about developing the game. When Game Freak first announced that National Dex would not be returning, as a result, the company promised to improve the animation as the company would have more time to devote to each pokemon and their number would be greatly reduced. In the past few weeks, users have been complaining that Game Freak is based on previous pokemon Sun & Moon models, rather than having to remake models from scratch. Although the models still looked marginally improved, fans felt that Game Freak was dishonest, despite animators reusing models and resources being a very common practice in the industry.
Fans also criticized the leaked videos and clips, suggesting that the graphics quality was poor and that what was expected of the game’s appearance on the Nintendo Switch was not implemented. To counter the negativity surrounding this hashtag, fans who were less emotional about perceived dishonesty also created the hashtag #ThankYouGameFreak, leading to dueling discourses for the rest of Pokemon Sword & Shield’s launch.
DID THE POKEMON SWORD & SHIELD CONTROVERSIES HURT THE GAME’S RECEPTION?
While the initial answer seemed an inevitable “Yes,” reviews from major gaming companies told a different story. The pokemon Sword & Shield controversy may have made preparations for the next generation’s release more emotional and negative than is typical of the franchise, but it seems to have contributed very little to its critical reception. At the time of writing, pokemon Sword & Shield reviews put the game on a solid 81 Metacritic rating, which puts it in line with how previous games have tended to work. Critics suggest there is something to like about the game, and it seems that any flaws are complemented by Game Freak’s continued ability to create an immersive Pokemon experience.
With that said, though, the Pokemon Sword & Shield controversy was among the industry’s hottest controversies in 2019, and it’s entirely possible that even a small announcement from Game Freak will ignite them if the Pokemon player base takes it the wrong way. It’s a situation that deserves constant monitoring, and will give Pokemon fans and developers the opportunity to reflect on moving on to the next project from Game Freak.