Game Freak have experienced some really negative coverage since revealing Pokemon Sword and Shield, but should fans really be writing off the game so soon?
If there's one gaming franchise that has consistently been able to deliver on handheld over the years, it's Pokemon, and their leaps into the world of Nintendo consoles have also been generally impressive.
With concerns mounting in regards to the animations that were presented at the E3 press conference this year, there's an overwhelming feeling that the game's developers are in a hole that they can't really get out of.
Comparisons to the new game, set to launch on November 15, have been brutal to say the least. Some players have already judged the graphics and movement of characters in the game to be as dated as Pokemon Stadium - a game that was released some 20 years ago on the Nintendo 64. Not exactly a compliment, is it?
These criticisms, coupled with the devastating news that the National Pokedex may not be available for completion, has proved to be a lightning rod of debate among the game's online community.
In truth, there's not really a way of discrediting those claims. Fans are very much entitled to their opinions. After all, they buy the games and are dedicated to playing them, but history tells us that that Game Freak will deliver.
The developers have innovated the Pokemon experience on countless occasions, whether it was bridging the transition from handheld to Nintendo 64 and Gamecube, or working with The Pokemon Company to bring many of its new generation of creatures to life - Game Freak delivers.
In the past, Pokemon fans have been given a complementary blend of both nostalgia and innovation with the projects that have been released. Now, the glimpses we were treated to at the Nintendo Treehouse presser at E3 might not have been the most encouraging, but there's something that could work to the developers advantage now - expectation has quelled.
Speaking broadly about the list of latest titles, gamers have been treated to flashes of the future with Mega evolutions in Gen 7, allowing Pokemon to grow much stronger than any trainer imagined, to delivering updates to previously successful titles like Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire.
Zooming a little further up the timeline, Pokemon Let's Go: Pikachu and Eevee has been wildly successful on the Nintendo Switch - having been named one of Amazon's top 10 selling games of 2018 - which should lay the groundwork for a more open world Pokemon game to swoop in with a new feel, a fresh generation, and a very different setting - the Galar region.
Sword and Shield is the next step in the franchise's development and while the general consensus has been chiefly negative in regards to these new instalments, history tells us not to write these games off before we get our hands on them as there's bound to be many more surprises to come.
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