An animation from Pokemon Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire went viral after wowing fans with its intricacy. The Gen VI scene re-opened the debate about whether Sword & Shield was a step backwards for the series.
Pokemon Sword & Shield has been a major success story for Game Freak. In August, reports revealed that the eighth generation RPG has already become the third-highest selling title in the franchise’s history.
Despite its success, the games faced backlash before release for scrapping the National Pokedex and re-using old assets. The debate over its quality was re-ignited when an animation from 2014’s Omega Ruby & Alpha Sapphire went viral online.
Pokemon animation sparks debate over Sword & Shield
On December 7, a cutscene from ORAS featuring Team Magma leader Maxie went viral on the r/Pokemon subreddit. User ‘Syom_chris’ uploaded the clip and said, “Perhaps my favorite animation in all of Pokémon”
Fans of the series were wowed by how intricate the sequence was in the 2014 RPG. The scene shows the antagonist character flustered and scrambling to fix his glasses before composing himself and flashing a smirk.
The quick fluid motion of the animation was a hit with players. “They put more effort in this animation than in all of the NPCs on Sword and Shield,” one person wrote.
The detailed cutscene re-ignited criticism about Sword & Shield. “This animation has more budget than the entirety of sword and shield,” another fan exclaimed. “Unfortunately gamefreak doesn’t seem to really like giving things animations,” someone else replied. “Still better than all of Hop’s animations combined.”
Despite the wave of criticism, not every fan felt that way. A few pointed out that Trainers and Gym Leaders who lose in Sword & Shield often feature an intricate animation that showcases their anger or disappointment in losing the battle.
Graphics and reused assets aside, Game Freak has appeared to win over most players as the Nintendo Switch title is on track to become the second highest-selling title in the franchise. Although the viral ORAS scene shows that some in the community still expect more out the RPG franchise.