Gotta catch ‘em all? Pokemon Sword and Shield breaks expectations
By Bethany Spence
Last month (NOV15) saw the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield, the two newest games of the long-running series, in an exclusive launch for the Nintendo Switch.
Despite being a popular franchise since it’s conception in 1996 due to the appeal of a variety of cute and cuddly “pocket monsters” or Pokémon, there has been widespread controversy over the exclusion of popular Generation One fan favourites and the first case of a limited National Pokédex, a method of registering your in-game catches.
As a series that has always toted the catchphrase “Gotta catch ‘em all!”, this has caused many fans to criticise creative studio Game Freak’s choice to limit their ability to do just that. The introduction of each new generation of Pokemon game has always traditionally led to new regions and animals for the player to explore and capture, from Kanto to Johto, and onwards to the new Galar region.
With this slow expansion of the number of available monsters increasing from the original 151 up to the whopping 807 Pokemon across seven generations – with the eighth generation rumoured to bring the total to almost 1000 – limiting the amount of Pokemon the player could catch was always going to be a hurdle for the future. However, by removing all starters bar the fan favourite and money maker Charmander evolution line, and the introduction of the Gigantamax feature has caused some die-hard fans to lose part of their enthusiasm for the upcoming game.
Pokemon enthusiast Joshua Marvin, who started the series at the age of 5, said; “At first I was excited but the more I heard and the more information that was released, the less enthusiastic I became. From a young age, my goal has always been to catch them all and I had grown attached to certain Pokemon, so to hear that they’re no longer being included almost makes it feel like it isn’t the same game anymore.”
Joshua continued: “For now, I will not be buying the game, but perhaps during a price drop after the release and seeing how other reviews have gone, I might consider adding it to my games collection.”
Due to the controversy over the limited PokeDex, many people took their concerns and criticisms online, with some extreme fans even resorting to sending death threats to the developers at Game Freak. These are being handled by Twitter moderators in conjunction with the authorities.
When asked about the outpouring of hate from the more negative members of the community, casual fan Vikhil Parshotam, 21, said: “Honestly, it’s shocking to see how negative some members of the community have become. Nobody deserves this kind of hate for issues we all knew would arise, and frankly, it makes me feel rather ashamed to admit I am a fan.”