Ready for more Pokémon?


Photo by Screenshot from game by Spencer Schlitz

First encounter with a starter Pokémon, Sobble in the new game for the Nintendo Switch, Pokémon Shield.

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield have just been released on the Nintendo Switch this past Friday, November 15th, and the conflict inside of the Pokémon community has never been greater.

The majority of this controversy stems from the lack of a “National Pokédex” within the games, a staple that’s been included in nearly every other edition in the series thus far. Essentially, this means that every Pokémon ever created is not present, or at least the ability to obtain one, with some being omitted at the developer’s discretion.

This may sound like a big deal, especially with a company slogan like “Gotta catch ‘em all”. This issue is dependent on your preference however, and the Pokémon you enjoy. You may just find yourself liking it for all of its other aspects.

Aside from this however, those that I’ve spoken to are definitely not interested in the purchase the games. Michael Sidey, an avid Pokémon player, refuses to purchase them.

He says “…there’s a lot that Gamefreak (the developer) took out of Sword and Shield that kept me coming back. I always felt like Pokémon was supposed to be tough, but now they’ve dumbed it down…the newer games have become way too story based, which makes the game more linear.”

I took it upon myself to brave this whirlwind of discontent and purchased Shield, finding the inner beauty of the game. Although not perfect, such as the instance of the missing National Dex, the game is wonderfully crafted.

A rather sprawling yet stunning terrain to adventure is one aspect that had me taken aback, along with the presence of new and deeply interesting characters. A lot of the new Pokémon designs are rather remarkable as well.

Other protests by fans include the simplification of the gameplay, a slow evolution the games have experienced over the years. One has to remember that the Nintendo Switch is a family console more than anything else, and by proxy, the game is as well.

Accusations of Gamefreak’s commitment to the game being lackluster have also been swirling around, though the most likely reason for this is Nintendo’s slow drift away from the company themselves.

Pokémon as a franchise is beginning to span other companies such as Niantic, in the form of Pokémon GO.

Gamefreak, in fear of what this means, is no longer putting their eggs all in one basket and broadening their horizons, even developing a separate RPG entitled “Little Town Hero”, which was released on October 16th of this year.

Overall, whether you purchase Sword or Shield, if at all that is, the game exceeded my expectations, and hopefully it will for you too.