With the next generation of Pokémon finally announced, along with a flashy trailer of the Galar region and the adorable trio of starter Pokémon, there has never been a better time for Pokémon fans old and new alike.
Set in what seems to be the Pokémon franchise’s take on Europe, the Galar region boasts a vast array of landscapes, cities, and countrysides. While Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee whet our appetites for a huge new Pokémon adventure, Pokémon Shield & Sword appears ready to give us what we wanted.
With vast changes in platform, graphics, and gameplay since Pokémon Sun and Moon, we take a look at 5 things we want to see return (and 5 we don’t) in Pokémon Shield & Sword.
10 Want: Pokémon In The Grass
One of the biggest changes to the franchise in Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee was the introduction of visible wild Pokémon in and out of the grass. Despite not being able to fight wild Pokémon (covered later), being able to see Pokémon to scale in the wild, moving around and living their lives was a game changer.
Every now and then running into a herd of wild Pokémon may have been a problem, especially if they were fast-moving and large, however this was only a small issue outweighed by the sheer joy and charm living Pokémon brought to the game.
Despite the charm it brought, it seems as though Pokémon moving around in the wild will not be a thing in Pokémon Shield and Sword judging by the trailer. While this may be upsetting for some, there is still something thrilling about exploring wild grass areas not knowing what you will find!
9 Don’t Want: Not Battling Wild Pokémon
One of the biggest complaints from Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee was the lack of battles with wild Pokémon. While this wasn’t a fully-fledged Pokémon RPG like Pokémon Shield and Sword will be, it still frustrated many fans. This doesn’t seem to be coming back to Pokémon Shield and Sword and we’re very glad of this, sorry Pokémon Go fans!
8 Want: Pokémon Out Of Their Pokéballs
Another innovative addition to the franchise in Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee was the ability to have select Pokémon come out of their ball and walk around with you! This hasn’t been a thing since Pokémon Yellow for the original Game Boy. Whilst this wasn’t shown in the trailer, we hope that not only will we be able to let our Pokémon out to enjoy some fresh air, but also be able to ride specific Pokémon around!
Here’s to hoping that this aspect of the game returns in Pokémon Shield and Sword, including some new generation Pokémon too.
7 Don’t Want: Difficult Evolutions
Evolutions that require specific items, conditions, and even trading is nothing new. We’ve all felt the pain of eeveelutions since the first generation. Do you use a Water, Fire or Electric Stone? What Eeveelution do you want? The answer is usually all of them, which takes a lot of time and perseverance.
Another example, you want Alakazam? You’ll have to trade you Kadabra and then get the other player to give you back your now evolved Alakazam. While these specific evolutions are nothing new, they are becoming harder and harder to achieve. For example, every Pokémon fan will remember the pain of trying to acquire a female Salandit. Its evolution, Salazzle, a beautiful fire/poison type could only be obtained by catching a very rare, female, Salandit. Here's to hoping that the new generation won’t bring in too many tedious-to-evolve Pokémon.
6 Want: Pokémon To Scale
The great thing about today’s insane level of graphics in video games is that we see it applied more and more to decades-old franchises. Look at the original Final Fantasy games against Final Fantasy XV for example.
This translates over to the Pokémon franchise, with ever-increasing graphical prowess over the years, Pokémon: Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee saw all Pokémon displayed (almost) to scale when outside their pokéballs and in battle.
Regardless to if we see Pokémon outside their pokéballs out of battle, the realistic scaling of Pokémon is a fantastic feature and now that we've had it once, we definitely expect it back.
5 Don’t Want: New Evolution Forms (Like Mega Evolutions)
While we’re excited for new region-specific forms of Pokémon, evolution forms such as Mega Evolutions don’t really tickle our fancy. Mega Charizard, especially the blue form, was amazing to look at and provided for a shock factor in Pokémon: Sun and Moon. However, the limited use and infrequent appearance of these super-charged forms left it feeling a bit flat. If mega evolutions are brought back in Pokémon Shield and Sword, let’s hope it provides for more diversity, more Pokémon, and a stronger presence within the game.
4 Want: New Pokémon Forms
We’re finally getting a brand-new generation of Pokémon, which is one of the most exciting parts of a new iteration in the Pokémon franchise. However, Pokémon Sun and Moon introduced new Pokémon forms to the world which were a treat. Seeing some of our favorite classic Pokémon reinvented through different looks, styles, and even types brought a fresh new twist to some of our beloved first-generation Pokémon.
We’re hoping that with a new region, new Galar forms of our favorite Pokémon appear and change up the game.
3 Don’t Want: Forgettable Characters
Pokémon isn’t just about the pocket monsters, it’s about the world and the characters that fill it. As the franchise has grown into the beast it is today, the characters have lost some of their personalized charm. As a result, we’ve had some transparent, forgettable characters. This isn’t to say there haven’t been some fantastic characters with brilliant development, but we haven’t seen a solid full cast of friends and foes since the original game.
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We pray that Pokémon Shield and Sword can provide us with a real RPG story and heavily invested characters that we can really sink our teeth into.
2 Want: Lots Of New Gen Pokémon!
Last, but not least, we want lots of new Pokémon! The charm of this adored franchise is the ever-growing list of Pokémon with their inventive looks, evolutions, and type combinations. We’ve already seen the three new starter Pokémon; Gookey, Sobble and Scorbunny which are all as adorable as you’d expect from the starter Pokémon. The starters stick to the original three types; grass, fire, and water, so we have yet to see what combination of other types there may be and what they will look like.
1 Don’t Want: Predictable Terrain
Pokémon is well known for its fairly predictable routes and terrain. There’s an item over there! But you can’t get it until you get a move much later on in the game. Accidently falling over a ledge makes you want to snap your Switch in two, especially when it takes you back to the start of a route, cave or even city.
While this rage-inducing predictability may hold some charm for the franchise, we’re hoping Pokémon Shield and Sword’s graphical enhancement and new region allows for some new and inventive ways to traverse the world and progress in the game.