There's been a maelstrom of controversy over Pokémon Sword and Shield, but that controversy could be fixed with DLC. With Pokémon finally coming to console for the first time and leaving the handheld world for greener pastures, Pokémon fans were expecting the pastures to be, well, greener. However, the graphical upgrades didn't feel up to the switch to a new platform, and when news hit that for the first time in series history, players wouldn't be able to "Catch em All--" players were understandably frustrated.
An argument emerged using examples of Pokémon animation done right, showing bootleg Pokémon games that featured the Pokémon Charizard actually managing to shoot fire from its mouth (with Exhibit A being a trailer of Charizard's fire coming from a foot away from its body) or Blastoise actually shooting water from its cannons for the first time in series history, aside from the occasional Pokémon Stadium appearance.
This camp argued that cutting Pokémon was ridiculous for a move to console and the upgrade to price ($40-$60.00), claimed the budget Nintendo had to work with versus the amount it spent on the games (as opposed to merchandise and the seasonal anime) was insufficient, and that the company wasn't listening to fans. As time went on, Nintendo kept its stance firm, not giving into the controversy.
Another excuse Nintendo gave was that the company was "working on animations and thus couldn't focus on keeping all Pokémon in". People in Camp A immediately took to the trailers, showing examples like the new Corgi Pokémon use the move "tail whip" by... wiggling its butt back and forth, tail completely stationary. In other words, these animations weren't exactly top of the line.
Further criticism stemmed from what appeared to be the same models from previous Pokémon games simply brought over to Sword and Shield, at least according to the trailer, with Wingulls "T-Posing," as the internet called it, over a grassy field, being content to simply hover like a UFO instead of flapping their wings.
For the first time, people seemed to be really looking at Pokémon and taking it for a seasonal release with little to no refinements. Mega evolutions are gone in Pokémon Sword and Shield, and are replaced by making your Pokémon... bigger. That meant no Charizard X or Charizard Y, and no mega stones. That being said, players won't just be able to make their Pokémon bigger... they'll be able to change that Pokémon's form. Aside from the new cake Pokémon aside, the trade off didn't feel worth it.
DLC Fix 1: Distribution Events
It's clear Nintendo doesn't want to shift on these issues, but if they were to, DLC is a huge market for completed games. Nintendo has already implemented distribution events via Gamestop, a WiFI connection and the token "Wonder Trade," which allows trading a random Pokémon for another random Pokémon while in-game, so offering Pokémon at Gamestop that didn't make it in (with special moves) might placate some individuals. There's already an "early buy" bonus of Gigantamax Meowth, a Pokémon strikingly similar to the early Internet meme "Longcat," which is making the rounds via Reddit.
Did the best Pokémon Vaporeon simply not make it in? Easy fix- let players go online and download a level 01 Vaporeon with legendary IVs.
DLC Fix 2: Seasonal events
Pokémon has been criticized for simply handing out legendary Pokémon these days, removing the thrill of battling them. Oddly enough, this has led to people having more legendary Pokémon than regular Pokémon--when all they have to do is go to a GameStop, receive a lottery ticket-style code, scratch it off and enter it into their game, the Pokemon popping into the reward inbox feels anticlimactic. All that's left is rerolling (restarting after viewing nature/IVs) to get the stats you want.
Supporting the game via limited events that take place in the world of Sword and Shield would fix these issues. The Pokémon Victini had a small bakcstory which allowed players to get attached to the adorable Pikachu-esque fire Pokémon. Bringing back these story events, but allowing players to also catch "Forbidden Pokémon" that didn't make it into Sword and Shield on the way to these fabled encounters would appease a lot of people. After all, there's already no way to obtain Gigantamax Eevee or Gigantamax Pikachu without owning Let's Go: Eevee or Let's Go: Pikachu, and Gigantamax Meowth won't be available in late January, so gating off content behind time constraints isn't unheard of.
DLC Fix 3: Just Patch them in.
All of this could be fixed with a simple patch that allows players to access their missing Pokémon in the game. Some have argued that Nintendo's Pokémon games exist to sell merchandise, and holding off on the yearly release (why does a game have to drop every year, anyway?) to refine the game would push back the seasonal merchandise and anime. However you spin it though, once the dust has settled and people have their copy of Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield, patching in more Pokémon as time allows would bring back the good faith a huge portion of gamers lost with this new entry. Time will tell what's next for the Pokémon franchise.
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