Pokémon Sword and Shield looks set to be the biggest Pokémon release to date. If you discount Let’s Go, which was a remake rather than a truly new game, it’s the first real Pokémon release on the Switch; in fact, the first main series title on a home console full stop.
Added to this, the likes of Let’s Go, as well as Pokémon Go and Detective Pikachu, seem to have reignited the sense of mainstream appeal to a level the games might not have enjoyed since Gold & Silver.
However, it hasn’t been smooth sailing. While there’s still plenty to get excited for, there’s already been a fair few controversies muddying the water ahead of the game’s release. Pokémon is a colossal franchise when it comes to sales, but there’s no doubt it’s been trading on name brand value alone for a while.
Some bickering amongst the fanbase, some minor grumbles dampening the vibe, and some deal breakers for the more committed fans mean that while Pokémon Sword and Shield will likely sell well, it's put a lot of unnecessary obstacles in the path.
Most of these aren’t going to have too big an impact on gameplay itself, but they’ve definitely left fans deflated.
10. The Gimmicks
They’re just a bit meh, really, aren’t they?
Each generation brings with it a new set of gimmicks, but with Generation VIII’s Sword and Shield, Pokémon looks set to miss the mark. There’s three main new features, and two of them especially are very shrug inducing.
First off: Dynamaxing. Like Megas but worse, these make a chosen ‘mon grow to Godzilla-like sizes and get a massive power boost as well. They lose the new design, potential for new typing and evolutionary nature of Megas, but do gain some benefits too.
Dynamaxed Pokémon only last for three turns, which seems worse but does invite more depth to combat, so that can be a plus. It also extends to every single Pokémon as opposed to just the chosen few Megas, which fits the central idea that you should build a team of favourites.
As well as Dynamaxing, the Nintendo Direct for Pokémon made a lot of the fact you’ll be able to freely move the camera this time around. In 2019 though, so what? Did you guys hear it’ll be in colour this time too?
The only positive gimmick is the Max Raid Battles, and even they’ve been airlifted from Pokémon Go.