Pokemon

5 things Pokemon Sword & Shield needs in 2020

by David Purcell

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Pokemon Sword and Shield has introduced the brand-new Galar Region, a fresh Pokedex jam-packed with fresh characters, and a story like no other – but there are still more things that we would like to see added in 2020.

The new Pokemon adventure looked like it could receive a rough reception from  the community following Game Freak’s controversial decision to scrap the National Pokedex, but fans have mostly been enjoying it since it was released on 15 November.

With that initial honeymoon period now over, though, there are a number of things that need to be done to improve the game in the next year. Here are five ideas that will make for a better Pokemon Sword and Shield experience in 2020.

The Pokemon Company
The Pokemon Company
Players have been exploring the Galar Region since Sword and Shield were released on November 15.

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1. Introduce some events

The most popular games in 2019 really capitalized on the thrill and anticipation of building towards events that truly provide a pay-off for players.

The developers of successful titles such as Fortnite Battle Royale and Apex Legends have delivered some incredible events, with crossover partnerships enabling Epic Games to break boundaries by introducing famous characters from Star Wars and Marvel's Avengers to their shooter.

Why can’t Pokemon do the same? After all, Nintendo owns the rights to some of the biggest video game characters in the world, including Mario and Link. This, as well as themed events for seasonal festivities, could be an element that leads to greater longevity, something that  the developers will surely be striving for.

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2. Add downloadable content

Pokemon players always want more post-game content to keep it fresh.

By the same token, the introduction of downloadable content could also keep people interested. Without sounding like a broken record, battle royale games are so popular because there’s always something for players to do, buy or explore.

Downloadable content would be a great way for Game Freak to generate more revenue from their project which they invested two years into building – they could then reinvest profits into developing more new content.

There would also be an incentive for players to keep playing the game after completing it, with fresh chapters in the story of the Galar Region being uncovered over time. Maintaining a steady stream of cosmetic items for its in-game store would freshen things up, too.

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3. Improve the animations

Pokemon / Nintendo
Pokemon / Nintendo
Yamper’s Tail Whip animation is one of the worst in the game.

The quality of animation has long been a topic of conversation in the Pokemon's online community.

Many animations look far too basic for a game released in 2019, and some fans have even argued that those used in Pokemon Stadium (released back in 1998) are actually a little slicker. The one that has drawn significant criticism is the Tail Whip action from Yamper.

If there's one in-game feature that players would want to see improved in the coming year, this might well be it.

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4. Change the Mystery Gifts

Pokemon / Nintendo
Pokemon / Nintendo
Eggs could be the best way to include Pokemon in Mystery Gifts.

Mystery Gifts are available to redeem in Pokemon Sword and Shield, allowing fans to grab themselves some free stuff – if they have the correct codes to type in.

Well, at the time of writing, there have been three different codes made available, with a variety of different PokeBalls being unwrapped by trainers since the game was released.

In what would be an interesting twist, we would like to see actual Pokemon being added to the Mystery Gift list, even if they start out as eggs that people then have to hatch.

5. Introduce a Battle Pass

For a video game that has such a huge emphasis on battles, the absence of an actual battle pass with regular rewards is remarkable.

A number of developers that have never used a battle pass system before have now adopted it for their projects, including EA Sports and Infinity Ward with FIFA 20 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

Activision
Activision
Most of the biggest games around now include a battle pass. Why can’t Pokemon?

With a vast array of different places to visit across the new Pokemon region, plus all the easter eggs and rare species, there’s no doubt that a feature that encourages trainers to make the most of exploration would be welcomed with open arms.

There is a huge opportunity for Game Freak to add features that have already worked for other franchises to Pokemon Sword and Shield in 2020.

To make those changes authentic, there are ample ways that new quests, battles, secret clues, challenges, and rewards could help make these titles still feel fresh in 12 months’ time. These five things may just do the trick.