Waiting for Lucario: Pokemon Fans Await Deliverance of Promised Features in New Series

The new Pokemon Sword and Shield games are some of the highest-selling versions in the series and are among the highest-grossing games ever sold for the Nintendo Switch system itself, despite controversies preceding its release. 

Many rumors and leaks preceded Sword and Shield’s release, which caused long-time Pokemon fans to think twice before purchasing the game. When gameplay was released, people online found out that animations of the pokemon in the game have actually been used from installments as far back as Pokemon Stadium from 1998. It would not be such an issue if Game Freak, the studio that makes Pokemon games, had kept their promise of new and improved animations that made the game’s characters move better. Game Freak had also promised new models for the pokemon, but again, they were reusing models from older games like those in the Sun and Moon series.

Sword and Shield also included a significantly smaller amount of pokemon than in previous editions. Usually, you’re able to send pokemon from previous versions to newer games either by trading or through the Pokemon Bank application. The bank service allowed games like Sun and Moon to have approximately 800 pokemon. The issue with Sword and Shield is that the ability to transfer the pokemon that you’ve trained and leveled up from a previous game is now gone, limiting the available pokemon to 400 currently. However, Game Freak is expected to make the full 800 pokemon available this spring. Pokemon from older games have to be moved from the Pokemon Bank application to the new Sword and Shield-compatible Pokemon Home application Game Freak is developing in order to make the pokemon available in this new series.

There are two students at Blake that represent both kinds of Pokemon fans: the one who plays occasionally and knows a bit about the game series, and the other who is very skilled and knows Pokemon and its quirks inside and out. Sophomore Charlie McFadden represents the people who don’t exactly pick up every game, but play every once in a while. Junior Lior Sadan represents a different side of Pokemon fans that understand every bit of the community. Sadan says, “[Game Freak] should have been a lot more open because they said they had to create all new models when that was found out to be false.” 

Game Freak is a company that has left a mark on many people and seeing the company become less trustworthy to its fans is a bit upsetting. McFadden, on the other hand, sided more with Game Freak. McFadden says, “Game Freak only said what the fans wanted to hear [and] falsely advertised the game.” However, he also brought up a valid point that adding new models of every pokemon in the newest game, new pokemon moves, and new animations are hard to do, which is true. Had Game Freak gone with their original plan, there would have been 807 different pokemon that needed to be modeled before the game was made available to the public, delaying the series’ release. Seeing that the Pokemon games would be released first and then eventually having the full “PokeDex” is understandable. It’s just unfortunate that Pokemon fans have to wait longer than expected before they would get what they wanted.