By JACOB RAMOS
GRAPHIC BY DEVYN KELLY
Preceding the release of the Pokemon franchise’s eighth generation games Pokemon Sword and Pokémon Shield, a hashtag by the name of #GameFreakLied popped up all over Twitter’s trending page, full of Pokemon fans upset over various issues within the upcoming games’ debut. Most of the issues regarding Pokemon games were inherently minor and fixed instantly or merely overlooked within weeks, due to the game being otherwise well done. Unfortunately, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are going on a much more difficult road to forgiveness
At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), an annual video game convention and trade event, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield were revealed to the public for the first time, ready to debut as the first main series Pokemon game ever to be available on the Nintendo Switch. Immediately, concerns arose from longtime players over the announcement of a cut of the Pokédex, an index of the monsters created since 1995. Part of the overhaul not only included an inclusion of multiple Pokémon, but an exclusion of over half of the previous generation’s monsters. With those half including some of the series’ most famous and loved Pokémon (including all but one starter line), outrage easily became the most popular reaction from fans on social media.
Predictably, the explanation as to why the cut to the dex is reasonable consisted of new animations that would be put in place of the old Pokémons. The change appeared to be of massive nature, but with time, many assumed that the Pokémon games would transcend the original problems, due to the new animations and sheer excitement of a new game being added to the franchise.
Sadly for developers, chaos ensued on social media just days before release. The hashtag #GameFreakLied went viral with data miners, hackers who find patterns in code to create predictions about games. Miners found out supposed new animations and models replacing over 500 Pokémon were simply reused from previous games. Even though GameFreak was doused by angered fans, there was no shortage of defenses from loyal Pokémon fans, who retaliated in the form of defensive tweets.
Possibly the worst part of the ordeal is how the developers not only reused designs and models, but also imported them from another system, the Nintendo 3DS, which has significantly less storage opposed to the Switch, which the game was originally made for.
Definitely though, the aspect of the new games that upset the most fans is the fact their favorite monsters were taken out for what now seems like no reason, due to the fact that the games models are largely the same. The new scandal in the Pokémon community has been hilariously coined Dexit, a spin off of the United Kingdom’s attempted split from the United Nations. Surprisingly, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are based off of Great Britain, furthering the humor of the entire situation. Graphics were also ridiculed on Twitter in comparison to Breath of the Wild 3, another game slated for release around the same time as Pokemon Sword and Pokémon Shield. While the former game has bright, vibrant trees and landscapes filled with non-player-characters you can interact with, the latter seems utterly empty, lacking in characters over vast, barren landscapes. Players will be accompanied with no Pokemon which can travel beside them, a feature teased in previous generations, leaving them alone over large stretches of the game.
Understandably, it is entirely possible that the Pokémon franchise will block out the negativity and produce a quality game. But simply due to these issues, the game’s shortcomings may ultimately spell the end of the Pokémon franchise if players continue to disagree with GameFreak’s decisions.
With all controversy aside, post-release craze has certainly begun, with Pokémon fans worldwide ready to challenge and critique GameFreak’s ever changing franchise.