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I have to get something off my chest concerning Pokemon sword and shield

LuxerHusku

The Unlucky Husky
My thoughts: Yes, some of the hate for it is absolutely unfair but some criticism of it is well-deserved. And you can't compare Sword & Shield only to previous Pokemon games, you also have to compare it to non-Pokemon contemporaries on the market too.

One of the big criticisms is the limited battle animations -- and let's be blunt: the individual Pokemon basically just perform "spellcasting" gestures while the rest of the attack plays out as independent particle effects. This isn't a bad system (nearly every RPG ever has done it to some extent!), but Pokemon moves are more than just "spells" and the repertoire of gestures each creature has access to is extremely limited compared to the array of attacks it can legally perform (especially with Copycat/Mirror Move users). Some Pokemon have signature moves with entirely custom animations (which look amazing) but this can only be feasibly animated per individual matchup of specific Pokemon and specific move (which theoretically has not just thousands of permutations, but tens of thousands).

Another large criticism is the overall level of difficulty -- and again, let's be blunt: to a seasoned Pokemon fan, Sword and Shield are easy. The average Pokemon battle is won even before it begins, just based on Pokemon matchup, moveset and individual stats. Per-turn tactics are almost moot. And with EXP always being shared across the entire team, it's extremely easy to over-level your team. If you put in the work to keep your team relatively level-matched with the next Trainer battle then the difficult curve is actually fine, but again, most battles can be won with relatively little thought beyond which Pokemon you bring in and what their default movesets are.

Speaking of movesets, that's another big criticism: 90% of Trainer battles use only Pokemon with default level-up movesets and a simplistic default AI that knows basically nothing beyond elemental type matchups. Certain movesets do lend themselves well to this default AI but high-level strategies require actual scripting, which just isn't feasible on a large scale.

I could go on (and for a long time), but the bottom line is that Game Freak's relatively small team size just isn't able to keep up with its contemporaries on an HD-tier console platform -- they have the financial backing of a AAA developer but just isn't making full use of it -- and THAT's a criticism well earned.
Those aren’t really fair criticisms as this has always been with Pokémon. The animation had been the same as it was ever since. So had the difficulty to the games as well. More accessible, yes, but Pokemon had always been an easy game. I say people had their hopes up too high, expecting the game to look more like Breath of the Wild, but it’s actually the dex cut that really made them upset and now saying that the things GF had done for years is a problem?

As I said, I really enjoyed Sword & Shield and they things GF done to that games made me appreciate it much more. For example, third versions and impossible kind of Pokemon are gone. I always hated that third versions exists and wish GF would make their extra content DLC, so I am really happy my little wish came true. But my issue with third versions isn’t really a criticism. Haha
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
Those aren’t really fair criticisms as this has always been with Pokémon. The animation had been the same as it was ever since. So had the difficulty to the games as well. More accessible, yes, but Pokemon had always been an easy game. I say people had their hopes up too high, expecting the game to look more like Breath of the Wild, but it’s actually the dex cut that really made them upset and now saying that the things GF had done for years is a problem?

As I said, I really enjoyed Sword & Shield and they things GF done to that games made me appreciate it much more. For example, third versions and impossible kind of Pokemon are gone. I always hated that third versions exists and wish GF would make their extra content DLC, so I am really happy my little wish came true. But my issue with third versions isn’t really a criticism. Haha

I disagree. The animations have not always been the same - pokemon being in 3D is a newer concept, - and it hasn't been fleshed out enough to compare to older titles. While yes, pokemon moves have always had particle effect animations the worry of the actual pokemon moving didn't matter much back then as a lot was left to the imagination. Now that pokemon are fully animated in battle, it's not unfair at all to expect some decent animations for them instead of a hop or a skip. Some pokemon animations in S&S are broken (as in they freeze or don't play). I won't go into too much detail as the videos I linked beforehand show this in both video and photo examples while explaining it. So I'll just direct you to scroll back and watch those if you want to see what I mean there.

Beatemups pointed out a lot of flaws in his videos as well.
But also a lot of good points were made.
Figured both would be worth sharing.

As far as pokemon always being easy...you clearly haven't played any of the earlier titles. Pokemon Fire Red, Pokemon Emerald, and even Pokemon Platinum all had pretty challenging moments. Some more than others, mind you, but still challenging. Pokemon Platinum still reigns supreme as having one of the hardest Elite Four Champions. There are several Trainers in Fire Red that will curb stomp you if you don't keep your pokemon trained, not to mention your rival is pretty much always a fun fight (versus the easy to beat rivals in newer games). And Emerald? Well, Emerald gives me PTSD for reasons I refuse to go into lest I bring back that sleep paralysis demon. When compared to older titles, newer titles are definitely dumbed down for children, and while Pokemon itself has always been a child's franchise - it had content that kept adults happy as well. Now, it seems that content and edge is being chipped away with each new release. You can't blame long time fans for feeling sad about that. It isn't just the unfortunate part of growing up - people do go back to the older titles and STILL experience that challenge, even as more experienced adults. There's not much of an excuse for it outside of the developers clearly wanting the game to be easier for an even younger audience, and that's fine in theory...but it's worth noting all the same as a change that fans might not appreciate.

In regards to people expecting Breath of the Wild...I didn't see anyone comparing Pokemon to that game, but I can see why someone would as they run on the same console and have a somewhat similar artistic design. I don't think this was an overarching demand from Pokemon Fans though. I think they just wanted Pokemon to look like Pokemon, without repeating and/or broken textures and limited frame animations. Not sure what GF stands for or what it has to do with pointing out game flaws - but what another game does doesn't really matter, since as said prior, no one expected Pokemon: Ocarina of Time. They Expected Pokemon: Sword & Shield.

I'm glad you enjoyed the game, but refusing to acknowledge anything wrong with it isn't something I'd think a fan who cares about the future of the franchise and where it goes would do. That's just my opinion, though.
 

Cockynoob666

Im a noob?
Banned
i played competitive pokemon a few and i know the basics of proper team making like having a sweaper, a special/normal tank, having a beatstick, a support/ status user. and a special attack beatstick and making sure to prioritize on improving their best stats and giving them items to help with their weaknesses, (like focus sash on sweaper to protect it against a super effective, or leftovers for a tank to constantly be a wall) i think thats the stratagy pokemon was made in mind
 

LuxerHusku

The Unlucky Husky
I disagree. The animations have not always been the same - pokemon being in 3D is a newer concept, - and it hasn't been fleshed out enough to compare to older titles. While yes, pokemon moves have always had particle effect animations the worry of the actual pokemon moving didn't matter much back then as a lot was left to the imagination. Now that pokemon are fully animated in battle, it's not unfair at all to expect some decent animations for them instead of a hop or a skip. Some pokemon animations in S&S are broken (as in they freeze or don't play). I won't go into too much detail as the videos I linked beforehand show this in both video and photo examples while explaining it. So I'll just direct you to scroll back and watch those if you want to see what I mean there.



As far as pokemon always being easy...you clearly haven't played any of the earlier titles. Pokemon Fire Red, Pokemon Emerald, and even Pokemon Platinum all had pretty challenging moments. Some more than others, mind you, but still challenging. Pokemon Platinum still reigns supreme as having one of the hardest Elite Four Champions. There are several Trainers in Fire Red that will curb stomp you if you don't keep your pokemon trained, not to mention your rival is pretty much always a fun fight (versus the easy to beat rivals in newer games). And Emerald? Well, Emerald gives me PTSD for reasons I refuse to go into lest I bring back that sleep paralysis demon. When compared to older titles, newer titles are definitely dumbed down for children, and while Pokemon itself has always been a child's franchise - it had content that kept adults happy as well. Now, it seems that content and edge is being chipped away with each new release. You can't blame long time fans for feeling sad about that. It isn't just the unfortunate part of growing up - people do go back to the older titles and STILL experience that challenge, even as more experienced adults. There's not much of an excuse for it outside of the developers clearly wanting the game to be easier for an even younger audience, and that's fine in theory...but it's worth noting all the same as a change that fans might not appreciate.

In regards to people expecting Breath of the Wild...I didn't see anyone comparing Pokemon to that game, but I can see why someone would as they run on the same console and have a somewhat similar artistic design. I don't think this was an overarching demand from Pokemon Fans though. I think they just wanted Pokemon to look like Pokemon, without repeating and/or broken textures and limited frame animations. Not sure what GF stands for or what it has to do with pointing out game flaws - but what another game does doesn't really matter, since as said prior, no one expected Pokemon: Ocarina of Time. They Expected Pokemon: Sword & Shield.

I'm glad you enjoyed the game, but refusing to acknowledge anything wrong with it isn't something I'd think a fan who cares about the future of the franchise and where it goes would do. That's just my opinion, though.
I am a big fan and I have played every game in the series. I can definitely tell you that they’re not really hard games at all. Many people say they were hard all because they were probably a lot younger. Especially the whole thing about Cynthia being very difficult when I wiped her team pretty easily the second or third time I played Pearl.

As for the animations, do you really want to have an animation of Double Kick? Honestly, if they animated mostly all of the moves, that would be awesome...for a couple of minutes before everyone starts to disable the animations, like I’ve seen in competitive play and even regular gameplay.
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
i played competitive pokemon a few and i know the basics of proper team making like having a sweaper, a special/normal tank, having a beatstick, a support/ status user. and a special attack beatstick and making sure to prioritize on improving their best stats and giving them items to help with their weaknesses, (like focus sash on sweaper to protect it against a super effective, or leftovers for a tank to constantly be a wall) i think thats the stratagy pokemon was made in mind

Competitive pokemon makes me cry. I get swept every time. x3
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
I am a big fan and I have played every game in the series. I can definitely tell you that they’re not really hard games at all. Many people say they were hard all because they were probably a lot younger. Especially the whole thing about Cynthia being very difficult when I wiped her team pretty easily the second or third time I played Pearl.

As for the animations, do you really want to have an animation of Double Kick? Honestly, if they animated mostly all of the moves, that would be awesome...for a couple of minutes before everyone starts to disable the animations, like I’ve seen in competitive play and even regular gameplay.

It's not that they needed unique animations for everything, just more varied (and working,) animations.
If they weren't going to give any, why have a 3D pokemon game...? :/

I'm glad you find the older games easy. I think something to keep in mind in those cases, is that most people who find a champion easy likely grind their teams to higher levels versus going in and using strategies to win. Either play style is acceptable, but people who look for a challenge or want a challenge don't grind to 100 to defeat the purpose of a challenge. All adults know how basic leveling and type match ups work. Few games offer challenges in both categories for those who maintain a consistent but not overpowered leveling. This is obviously relient on whatever type of player is playing the game though, so I digress. If you maintain consistent levels in older games, they're challenging. In newer games, things are as easy as if you over-leveled when it really shouldn't be. That's my complaint. -_-;
 

LuxerHusku

The Unlucky Husky
It's not that they needed unique animations for everything, just more varied (and working,) animations.
If they weren't going to give any, why have a 3D pokemon game...? :/

I'm glad you find the older games easy. I think something to keep in mind in those cases, is that most people who find a champion easy likely grind their teams to higher levels versus going in and using strategies to win. Either play style is acceptable, but people who look for a challenge or want a challenge don't grind to 100 to defeat the purpose of a challenge. All adults know how basic leveling and type match ups work. Few games offer challenges in both categories for those who maintain a consistent but not overpowered leveling. This is obviously relient on whatever type of player is playing the game though, so I digress. If you maintain consistent levels in older games, they're challenging. In newer games, things are as easy as if you over-leveled when it really shouldn't be. That's my complaint. -_-;
They do have really great animations for some of the moves, so I am fine with that. As for the difficulty, I skipped the wild areas and wild battles to only fave against the trainers and their teams were on level or even a level or three higher than my team, which gave me some challenge. It was easier for me in all of the games mostly because I fight every Wild Pokemon I encounter for some Exp. boosts. Haha
 

Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
They do have really great animations for some of the moves, so I am fine with that. As for the difficulty, I skipped the wild areas and wild battles to only fave against the trainers and their teams were on level or even a level or three higher than my team, which gave me some challenge. It was easier for me in all of the games mostly because I fight every Wild Pokemon I encounter for some Exp. boosts. Haha

Actually!
Yes you make a really good point that I forgot about, the Wild Area Battles were great - I wish there was a few more trainers scattered about, but I did enjoy that there were little difficulty spike challenges in the Wild Area....in fact, save for the occasional laughable tree texture or ground glitch, the Wild Area is basically my favorite part of S&S. The new pokemon encounter system, the camp, the new berries system.......*chef kiss*

Unrelated Side Note: That was a quick ban.
 

Stratelier

Well-Known Member
Those aren’t really fair criticisms as this has always been with Pokémon.
Are they not?
(I also have a general practice of not immediately replying to someone who immediately replied to me, in other words not starting a two-user back-and-forth posting party)
The animations have not always been the same - pokemon being in 3D is a newer concept, - and it hasn't been fleshed out enough to compare to older titles. While yes, pokemon moves have always had particle effect animations the worry of the actual pokemon moving didn't matter much back then as a lot was left to the imagination. Now that pokemon are fully animated in battle, it's not unfair at all to expect some decent animations for them instead of a hop or a skip.
I would have made this exact argument myself -- Pokemon battles on the Game Boy were abstractions of actual battles, but somewhere along the way began a trend (an evolution?) away from abstractions towards depictions of actual battles. Which, not coincidentally, leaves current-gen Pokemon right in the uncanny middle ground between abstraction and realism.

Pokemon Fire Red, Pokemon Emerald, and even Pokemon Platinum all had pretty challenging moments. Some more than others, mind you, but still challenging.
How about Ultra Necrozma in Ultra Sun/Moon? At a point in the game where you should be Lv.50, Ultra Necrozma is Lv.60, has some of the highest attacking stats in the series and starts with +1 to all stats. Even Totem Ribombee (Lv.55 with +2 to all stats) is easier to take down.

And let's not forget how back in G1, when you faced Brock that battle went one of two ways, based almost exclusively on your choice of starter Pokemon? Because the local wild Pokemon selection of the day was extremely limited, with almost no viable options against a Gym full of Rock/Ground typings.

They do have really great animations for some of the moves, so I am fine with that.
Even ignoring signature moves (which are uniquely animated for the individual user), certain Pokemon gestures do pair very well with certain attack scripts. Braixen performing Ember in XY, for example, syncs up so well that you might think it was uniquely animated.

Competitive pokemon makes me cry.
Yeah, competitive discussions only ever end ... in tiers. :D
 
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Raever

Chaotic Neutral Wreckage
Getting rid of mega evolutions was a war crime in my eyes.

Yeah, as much as it felt like a ripoff of Digimon evolutionary lines...it was awesome that they amped up some otherwise underrated pokemom. And gave the classic beloved ones a new badass look...usually. x3
 

BennyJackdaw

Don't worry, I'm a friendly rat.
I actually liked the Dynamax and GigantaMax feature, especially since my favorite overhated Gen 5 Pokemon got a Gigantamax form... even though they didn't give any to a single Pokemon otherwise outside the first and current generation, unless you count melmetal. At least Galarian forms aren't limited to Generation 1 Pokemon, like they were in Sun and Moon.
 

Tyll'a

Stubborn Caracal
I actually like Sword and Shield! After the disaster (to me at least) that was Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, I was just about ready to swear off not just Pokemon, but Nintendo as a whole. I'm glad I didn't!
 

Stratelier

Well-Known Member
I like Sword & Shield on average ... but I don't "love it". I haven't really seen much of a "wow factor" in the game's systems, and found relatively little trouble making progress through the storyline (even purposely trying to keep my team about level-matched to the next Trainer battle).

Ah, another criticism: The games feel slightly rushed and unfinished. I say "slightly" because these are things you probably won't even notice unless you're paying fairly close attention (or somebody clued you in on what to look for). The biggest one, to me, occurs after finding Leon atop Rose Tower -- Sword & Shield have a lot of scripted cinematic segments, even when all they do is an exposition dump (like your first train ride, from Wedgehurst to the Wild Area). But for some reason, this particular exposition moment gets presented to you in a storyboard format -- static illustrations accompanying the NPC text. It stands out mainly for being the ONLY time the game uses this method.
 
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