In the past year GameFreak and Nintendo announced a lot of news about their upcoming games Pokemon Sword and Shield and let’s say those are mostly unpopular. One of the biggest issue was, until the last days, they do not include all Pokemon like it was in all other games before. On top of that they also announced this will be probably the case for future games as well. The reason for that was quality instead of quantity. They wanted to deliver a game with better animations and quality and this wouldn’t be possible when all Pokemon would be included. So far, kind of reasonable and if they would deliver what they promised, for me, also excusable.
But looking at the game presentation at their Treehouse event, back six month ago, first doubts came up if they might lie us straight in the face. The overall quality of the game resembles more a 3DS game than a Nintendo Switch game. And the animation quality of the overworld Pokemons were bad, not to say terrible. The movement of the Pokemon were not really natural, for example the seagull, which didn’t flap with its wings but rather must have said to himself “I am a plane” and hoverd in his static animation over the grass. But at this moment it was still six month until realease and you could possibly excuse the state of the presentation like it was rushed for this event and not the latest build was used and so on. Going forward to today we can say “no it wasn’t rushed”, thats how it supposed to be at this moment. Disappointing so far.
Then the game sadly is also build up like the previous Pokemon games. The only promising looking part was the Wild Area, where Pokemon are roaming free on the overworld. You can decide for yourself if you want to encounter them and the game lets you freely control the camera. But outside of this zone we are confronted with the regular linear level design, random encounters in tall grass and the camera is also set again to a fixed positions. So far hoping for a game revolution, like in Zelda BotW. With more leaks I could also see now some more areas and it kinda looks like there are some areas outside the Wild Area where you could also see and encounter Pokemon as models.
Now a few days before official release, some players already got their version of the new Pokemon game and what they discoverd so far isn’t quite charming. Let’s take a look into some of the things they found out:
- Animation, especially in cutscenes, are simple and lack the quality of modern gaming standards. They are comparable to N64/PS1 & 2 animations.
- The game lacks sound in cutscenes
- The drawdistance for NPCs and Pokemon is to low. You have a lot of pop ins and if you are riding your bike it gets even worse
- Climbing up a ladder freezez the world until you get off
- The game is way to easy, the amount of experience you get is to high. A player rushed through the game in 15 hours without beating all trainers. He also was able to beat a dynamaxed gym leader Pokemon in one hit without going himself in dynamax
- Average playthrough time is about 15-20 hours
- No real endgame content, just some missions and a battle tower with just endless random NPC Battles without any climax
- Battlebackrounds aren’t always correct to their current location. Somtimes they a also lacking
- In the Wild Area the weather is out of control. It can change in just a minute through sunny, to snowy, to sunny, to desert storm
- To adjust the diffrent sounds (Background Music, Pokemon Cries, Sound Effects) you need a special item the “earbuds”.
These problems are collected in this Reddit thread : https://www.reddit.com/r/pokemon/comments/dv438w/complete_list_of_all_problems_known_so_far_in/
What else is to say…to much for now I guess. I will wait until release to see if those problems might be adressed with a day one patch. My version of the game is arriving on friday, but with all those leaks about the problems I am still undecided if I shouldn’t refund it. I will problably wait a week to see if Nintendo reacts and give some proper excuses and promises to adress those problems. But I don’t think they will adress much of it. It’s more likely they will just release an Ultra Sword and Shield Version next year to make double the money with minimum effort.
Since I am really interessted in game qualities and company policys/philosophys be sure you will read again about Pokemon Sword and Shield, Nintendo and GameFreak. This topic is long not closed just because the game is released.
With these last word said, thanks for reading!