Pokemon Sword and Shield have finally been unveiled, here are some things that I hope to see in the next installment to the Pokemon series.
The announcement of Pokemon Sword and Shield yesterday has everyone hyped up for the eighth generation of Pokemon. After watching the teaser and seeing the content for myself, I believe that these upcoming games are going to be groundbreaking to the series. They will be the first core series Pokemon games for the Nintendo Switch, marking the first Pokemon games ever to be released on a console that is not strictly handheld. Here are some things that I hope to see out of them.
Stick to the basics.
One of the things that has made Pokemon great over the years is that it has stuck to the principles that made it great to begin with. To me, this means starting with a low level Pokemon and progressing through the game while catching, leveling up, and evolving Pokemon. Every game tries to add new content to distinguish itself, and while this is good, I think recent generations have deviated from the original formula.
While I thought some of the “trials” in Pokemon Sun and Moon were fun, I hope Pokemon Sword and Shield return to the gym format. The trials felt very dull and easy overall compared to the gyms, which often had cool puzzles and multiple trainer battles. I would also like to see the return of a “rival” figure. Ever since generation three, Pokemon has tried to promote a more friendly rivalry. I miss the intense battles against a rival who you genuinely dislike and want to beat.
Keep it challenging.
I think that the biggest complaints I saw about generations six and seven were how easy the games were. I understand that the games need to be kept child-friendly, but I also would like the game to feel a little more difficult and slow paced. I don’t want to have an endless flow of money and items being given to me, and I don’t want to be able to beat gym leaders and the elite four without ever having to train my Pokemon.
Pokemon Black and White were probably the most rewarding games for me to play through as an adult. I constantly felt challenged, I blacked out many times, and the games did not feel like a walk through the park. I remember losing the fight to Ghetsis at least three times before being able to complete the game. I didn’t even mind getting lost in Castelia city. I am hoping that in Sword and Shield we see more challenging content that requires players to train and think harder.
Mega-evolution was introduced in generation six as a way for Pokemon to evolve past their final form. This completely changed the competitive meta game, as well as helping to give a lot of weaker Pokemon a chance to be stronger. Pokemon like Mawile, Lopunny, Venusaur, and Charizard who were on the weak side in the competitive meta got a chance to shine. It also gave interesting strategic choices, such as choosing which Pokemon to mega-evolve.
I would like to see more mega-evolutions. I think that this mechanic was a lot of fun, and it was cool seeing the new evolutions. There are plenty of viable candidates for new mega-evolutions, such as starters from other generations as well as other Pokemon like Mawile who do not have any other evolutions. There are also the new Pokemon that will be released in generation eight to consider.
A bigger world.
It seems to me that Pokemon games have gotten progressively since generation five. In generations three, four, and five, there were multiple legendary Pokemon to chase and a lot of content after becoming the champion. In generation six and seven, the game felt very small after becoming the champion. Even in Ultra Sun and Moon, the end of the game lacked the thrill of exploring the world to find legendary Pokemon and other secrets.
Seeing as this is the first game on the Nintendo Switch, which is far more powerful than the 3DS, I hope to see a bigger and more beautiful world filled with exploration secrets. This is perhaps the biggest thing for me. One thing that I think is appealing about open world games to so many players, is the freedom to explore. While I understand and believe that Pokemon should not be an open world game itself, I really do hope that Galar is an expansive and fun world to explore.
Regardless of what Game Freak and Pokemon decide to do with the games, I am very excited for them. This will be the first new generation since 2016, and being the first new generation to release on Switch only makes it more exciting. Be sure to stay up to date with us on all the upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield news!