As expected, Pokémon Sword and Shield are runaway hits. According to businessinsider.com, Pokémon Sword and Shield "sold more than 6 million copies worldwide." Interestingly enough, Pokémon Sword is outselling Shield. This could be attributed to better exclusives, but either way, each game contains the enchanting Galar region waiting to be explored.
Even with all this success, Pokémon Sword and Shield aren't perfect. With near-instantaneous loading times, Pokémon Sword and Shield provides an immersive experience that is hard to replicate. With all that said, there is still room for improvement, and the Pokémon series has yet to reach its potential. These are 10 improvements Pokémon Sword and Shield need to make.
10 Better Graphics
We want to see a game that harnesses the power of the Nintendo Switch, pushing it to its limits. Looking at the photograph above, we can see a few things that are out of place. The mountains in the distance have texture issues that make the scene appear bland. Furthermore, the grass is an open field and the game doesn't render individual blades of grass. The Pokémon Company may have decided to go with flat terrain to distinguish regular ground from tallgrass. Tallgrass contains Pokémon, but they could have added more detail than what is shown. The graphics are subpar for the Nintendo Switch.
9 Spoken Dialogue
The series has come a long way since its heyday, but the Pokémon series still has a ways to go. The Pokémon Company has, for the most part, played it safe with their main series games. They are careful about making changes, and this can get in the way of creativity.
Pokémon Sword and Shield are outstanding for fans of the series, but it might be hard to draw new players with dated gameplay mechanics. Please, add spoken dialogue as many other role-playing games do. Unfortunately, reading numerous text boxes is eye-straining and tiresome.
8 More Role-Playing Elements
Fallout 4 may not have been the Fallout game that many people were hoping. Yet, the game did a few things right such as adding spectacular role-playing elements. The amount of customization (with or without mods) makes Fallout 4 an excellent example for Pokémon Sword and Shield.
Pokémon Sword and Shield need an overhaul to its role-playing elements. Give us a player-driven story where the player can influence the results of the game. The same old Pokémon story is charming, but we're yearning for change. It's what we should have seen when Pokémon came to the Nintendo Switch.
7 Improvements To The Combat System
The combat system of Pokémon Sword and Shield introduced Dynamaxing to the series. Although the idea of giant Pokémon is both entertaining and true to the anime, it's a trivial change.
The Pokémon main series games are part of the turn-based strategy genre. It would be hard to make changes to Pokémon without changing the genre. Giving the game fluid combat would result in something similar to Pokkén Tournament. Still, if the Final Fantasy VII remake can add fluid combat, then Pokémon should be able to as well.
6 A Less Annoying Rival
Blue Oak was the original rival, and it's been over twenty years since the release of Pokémon Red and Blue for Game Boy. Fast forward to Pokémon Sword and Shield, and not much has changed. The rival still lives next door, and he's set on becoming a Pokémon Champion.
Hop is not the antagonist we hoped for. While Blue Oak was the classic snide character we grew to love, Hop doesn't do much to earn our appreciation. Give us an antagonist we love to hate. As a rival, there is not enough depth to Hop's character. Hopefully, in the next games, the rival will be unique and worthy of admiration.
5 A More Intriguing Story
Whether you were fascinated by the story of Pokémon Sword and Shield or not, the story wasn't as riveting as story-driven games like The Last of Us or God of War. The story is very linear without twists or turns of any kind. The Pokémon Company needs to take chances if they want to appeal to more players. A more intriguing story would be the first place to start. Thankfully, the game doesn't leave senseless cliffhangers, but it might benefit from a change.
4 A Realistic Goal That's Not "Catching 'Em All"
Trying to "catch 'em all" was a secondary objective in the early Pokémon games. Pokémon Sword and Shield together contain 400 Pokémon—the most in any Pokémon game. Sadly, the goal of catching 'em all is now nothing more than a dream. Only die-hard fans could accomplish such a task.
Naturally, the Pokémon Company should introduce new goals for the player. Sure, there is stuff like catching legendaries, hunting for shinies, and the Battle Tower, but none of these are as enchanting as trying to "catch 'em all."
3 An Immersive Open-World
The leaps that Pokémon Sword and Shield made with their Wild Area is an improvement for the series. Being able to rotate camera angles and combat mighty Pokémon and trainers in this area is fantastic.
If only all areas could take after the Wild Area, where players could freely explore and look around. A more expansive Wild Area would result in a more immersive open-world. If games like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim can do it, why can't Pokémon?
2 Stop Reusing Animations
It's a well-known fact that animators reuse the same animations from previous movies and games to save time. We thought, however, that Pokémon Sword and Shield would be a breath of fresh air with mostly original designs.
Pikachu, Pokémon's iconic character who appeared in the standalone movie Detective Pikachu has a reused animation from a previous game. One argument to justify reusing animations suggests that the Pokémon Company can allocate resources elsewhere. Be that as it may, it hurts to see a clone of Pikachu recycled for a new game.
1 The Pokémon Camp Feature Needs Improvement
The idea of camping with Pokémon in Pokémon Sword and Shield makes us want to gather our marshmallows and folding chairs. It's a neat idea that hasn't fully reached its potential. To witness unique animations of Pokémon, players can head to a Pokémon Camp. The Pokémon Camp is undoubtedly a cool concept. It just needs to be worked on, so it becomes something players want to return to, over and over.