Nostalgia is having its heyday this year. With Luigi's Mansion 3 hitting the shelves, and Pokémon: Sword and Shield following shortly after, Nintendo is genuinely riding the wave of "old-school" favorite.
How many of you remember grabbing your Gameboy Color or even Nintendo DS to play the latest Pokémon title? Well, Sword and Shield brings the fun, comical, and downright wholesome experience of "catching them all."
However, while many are praising the newest entry to the Pokémon franchise, others are a bit wary of what the game is offering. Unfortunately, some things just don't make sense.
If you're wondering what wacky things to be prepared for, take a look at the list below.
10 Faulty Animations
Game Freak, the studio developing this game, has been taking some heat for some of the design elements of Sword and Shield. For instance, there are claims that some of the animations are reused from older games, while others are just lackluster. While some of the animations live up to the hype, others fall by the wayside (especially during battle). It is very odd that Game Freak could not ensure the animations within the game are uniformly stellar.
9 All Pokémon Are Not Included
Wait...the whole goal of Pokémon is "catching them all." Right? For this go around, gamers are sadly mistaken. The typical Pokedex includes approximately 800 Pokémon. However, this time, players can expect to only have access to 400, with some major legacy Pokémon missing from the line-up. There are assumptions that this happened because of time and resource limitations, but it is hard to imagine a Pokémon game without all of the creatures being available or viewable. Who made that decision?
8 The Inconsistency Of Random Encounters
This game allows you to bypass training and even gives you the opportunity to travel to various destinations without a long and drawn out loading screen. However, Sword and Shield changed the game regarding how random encounters happen. Back in the day, you could be walking through a field and instantly have to do battle with a Pokémon.
Today, you have a choice. This feature is a great touch but also seems inconsistent. While you can see most Pokémon, there are others that you can only catch through engaging in a random encounter (signified by an exclamation point). Do all players know this? An all or nothing approach might have made more sense.
7 Activities That Make The Game Easier Are Optional
Gamers are creative. That's a fact. We enjoy creating various strategies and developing new ways to solve a puzzle. Yet, it still helps to get a little guidance sometimes. When it comes to Sword and Shield, many things are optional but shouldn't be. Feathers can improve your stats, while Poke Jobs can give you the points you need to level up (which is going to be essential in battle). However, you are not steered toward these and are made to feel they are not necessary when they are. A bit of a heads-up, or making these elements mandatory would be helpful.
6 A Diverse Audience
For over 20 years, Pokémon has seemed almost to define the millennial generation. From the cartoons to the games, the childhoods of those born in the 80s and early to mid-90s was tied to this franchise. Alternatively, this game was made to appeal to a wide variety of audiences. From competitive players to today's children, almost anyone can jump in, understand the game's culture, and have a blast. It almost makes no sense that after two decades, this game is still resonating with many and is a staple in pop culture.
5 The Varying Opinions
Sword and Shield is one of (if not the most) polarizing Pokémon game ever. There are countless reviews about this game, and the consensus is not the same. Some are loving this game, while others are disappointed with the outcome.
There is a subset that thinks the game is "average," but most either love it or hate it. It is amazing that multiple gaming sites are reporting such opposite reviews for this. Some like the animations, while others hate them. Some favor the raids, while others are not impressed. We guess Nintendo can't win them all.
4 Detailed Pokemon
While the jury is still out regarding the battle animations, many fans are loving the individual animations and personalities of the Pokémon. Each Pokémon has a distinct personality that is shown off in how they interact with the character. It is striking that the developers were able to attach a unique motion and reaction to each Pokemon character. For a game that is simple in many mechanics, it almost doesn't make any sense that this game is so detailed in several ways.
3 The Inclusion Of Dynamaxing And Raids
At its core, Pokémon is a story about catching Pokémon and participating in Pokémon battles. Period. It is great to include other features, but they should not take away from the original purpose of the game or story. For many, Dynamaxing feels like a departure from what Pokémon games are truly about.
Now, it is pretty cool to fight a giant Pokémon and even have your Pokémon grow to Godzilla-like sizes to battle as well. However, it is a little puzzling that "raiding" and "three-on-one" battles have become prominent in this space. It may be too much to juggle this with the primary purpose of the game.
2 Why Curry?
Now, don't get us wrong! We love our curry. Yet, we find it a little weird that this is the food of choice chosen for Sword and Shield. What is it about the dish where they decided to select this as the food of choice? Is there an inside story we don't know about? Did the developers have a preference for this dish? There are more than 100 types of curry in the game. Whatever the reason, we are a bit jealous of these guys. Curry for life? That sounds like heaven.
1 The Lack Of Dialogue
We know that in the past, Pokémon games on handheld consoles have lacked in the audio department. It made sense. The graphical capabilities were low, and it just made more sense to focus on other things. However, this game pushed the envelope when it came to the graphics and even animation details. A lack of dialogue and talented voice actors doesn't seem to go with this vibrant new iteration. It was a missed opportunity to add some nuance to the story and encourage more engagement and investment.