Pokemon Sword and Shield largely kept to the same formula of previous games but now it is time for evolution.
A lot was expected of Pokemon Sword and Shield and while the initial trailer left some fans concerned, the game has turned to be a resounding success. Whatever your personal opinions on the game, it is officially the third best selling Pokemon game of all time.
Given the illustrious titles it is up against, this is quite the feat. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop fans of the franchise levying objective criticism as to why the game perhaps fell short in some areas.
Graphics and visuals
The initial trailer left a lot of trainers disappointed that we weren’t going to see a new level of graphics in a Pokemon game. Many even believed they were a step down from its predecessor Pokemon Let’s Go.
In addition to rudimentary graphics, at least in comparison to other Nintendo Switch games, the frames per second were also capped at 30. Gamers are becoming increasingly accustomed to 60 FPS and this is something that will need to be addressed next time around.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild set the bar high in terms of what the Nintendo Switch is capable of. Granted, the development time on Pokemon Sword and Shield was reportedly less, but even so, the Galar region fell noticeably short.
Another thing Zelda on the Switch was credited for, and rightly so, was the fact it is open world. Before Pokemon Sword and Shield was revealed, there were hopes Pokemon would go open world for the first time, too. But this obviously never materialized.
Instead, the game stuck to its linear format in what is mostly confined spaces. This works for Pokemon games but with games continuing to evolve, the question becomes how long can Game Freak and co stick to this formula.
Mainline Pokemon games have stuck with the tried and tested birds-eye view camera. It works, that cannot be denied.
However, many believe now is the time to go on the ground with a first or third-person perspective. Pokemon fans don’t necessarily crave total realism but a more realistic camera, with improved graphics to boot, would certainly make the game more immersive.
The developers of the Pokemon games have the unenviable task of catering to a large demographic. That includes various ages but more importantly what players want from the experience.
Some will be casual gamers who enjoy the story and aren’t worried about the difficulty, or lack thereof. Others are tired of how easy Pokemon games are – after all, you can pick any team and get through it with ease.
There’s no doubt the games fall on the easy side as of right now. This leaves them with the option of trying to find a middle ground or adding much-wanted difficulty options so all players can get the most out of the game.
Get the chance to visit all the different regions so far!
— Constantinos (@FantasyCD1) August 11, 2020
In addition to all of the above, there are even trainers who want to be able to visit all of the previous regions. This might be wishing thinking, especially on current hardware, but it is good to aim high!
Pokemon has such a devoted fan base that it is hard to believe any mainline game they make would be a failure. With that said though, if they don’t start evolving and matching the sheer quality of other franchises then they may well lose some ground.
As of right now, there is no new mainline Pokemon game scheduled for 2020 or beyond. It is looking increasingly likely the next one will be in 2021. The question is what it will be – Pokemon Let’s Go 2, a Diamond/Pearl remake, or something else entirely? Only time will tell.