The news regarding the limited importable Pokemon for Sword and Shield has left passionate Pokemon fans pretty upset – so much so that they have created a movement to #BringBackTheNationalDex.
Whenever there is a new game announced in any franchise, even one dating back for over 20 years, there is always some backlash. The #BringBackTheNationalDex outcry comes within days after Game Freak announced that only Pokemon in the Galar Pokedex could be imported into Sword and Shield.
If a Pokemon like say a Torchic or Entei are not in the Galar Pokedex, those species will have be left out of the game and enjoy a nice retirement. This is a contrast to the previous generations of games where trainers could import their Pokemon into the next game, carrying over stats, ribbons and battle mileage.
This stopped when Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee dropped for the Nintendo Switch in 2018. Trainers were unable to import Pokemon from the previous generations into their Switch, though folks can bring in their Kanto Pokemon from Pokemon Go.
I’ve seen folks put their flag into the ground and proclaim that they “will never support the Nintendo Switch era” of Pokemon games. I said before that this restriction on importable Pokemon won’t stop me from playing Sword and Shield, but I do recognize the passion that fans have for their favorite Pokemon and their fear that they won’t make the Galar roster.
However, trainers are letting their passion turn into ire, calling Game Freak lazy and accusing them of being less ambitious than when they first started making games years ago.
While I do agree that developers could probably use the Nintendo Switch’s hardware to polish Pokemon models and update other aspects of the game, I also remember that developers are making a game, which takes time, dedication and resources.
Creating animation for one character is a lot of work and I bet it’s not easy creating models for 800 Pokemon, let alone the number of Galar Pokemon – which we still don’t know – along with the other characters, buildings and weather in the game.
If trainers don’t want buy Sword and Shield, that’s fine – the older generation of games are still around for them to play. While folks are upset that their favorite Pokemon is not going to be importable into the game, closing themselves off from Sword and Shield prevents them from potentially discovering a Pokemon that could be their new favorite.
To quote the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, trainers shouldn’t panic just yet. There is still five months before the game’s release and maybe developers can make changes to include in the game or future patches. I don’t think Game Freak will go down the DLC route and make trainers pay for to bring their old Pokemon to their game.
Maybe #BringBackTheNationalDex will be the catalyst for Game Freak to delay production with Sword and Shield in order to put every Pokemon. I wouldn’t mind a delay in the release, but would folks who created the hashtag think the same way? Or would their attitude change to “No delay they should include all Pokemon from the start.”
Regardless of the outcome, at the end of the day, Sword and Shield are still Pokemon games, whether they include every single Pokemon in the National Pokedex, or just one Pokemon.