Nintendo’s E3 Direct was full of surprises and exciting new games for fans to enjoy: the announcement of a Breath of the Wild sequel, Banjo Kazooie, Dragon Quest characters entering Super Smash Bros, and new information on the now 2020 Animal Crossing release. There was also some information afterwards in the Nintendo Treehouse about Pokemon Sword and Shield. From a new Gym Leader Nessa, to two new Pokemon in Yamper and Impidimp. Nintendo even showed off the new Wild Area, Max Raids, and Dynamaxing; however, there was one piece of information that shadowed the entire reveal – information that would start to trend on Twitter for all the wrong reasons.
Following the press conference in late May, Junichi Masuda added a little detail about the Pokemon Home service, which will replace the 3DS Pokemon Bank. He explained that Game Freak has been thinking about battle balancing, as well as developer time constraints. Because of this, only Pokemon that appear in the Galar Region Pokedex (the mix of old and new Pokemon that can be found in-game) can be transferred from Pokemon Home onto Pokemon Sword and Shield.
Needless to say, the community was not happy. Serebii.net owner Joe Merrick tweeted that this was “pretty bad,” and that “nobody in the Pokemon community is going to like this.” He also suggested that maybe Game Freak will add the Pokemon via periodic patches, similar to how they introduced Mega Stones in Sun and Moon, as well as Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. There are rumors going around that both Mega Evolution and Z-moves are to be scrapped starting from Sword and Shield.
Hashtag #BringBackNationalDex was started and trended for several hours after the announcement, with some fans even going as far as to cancel their pre-orders entirely! Some fans were also wondering that once a Pokemon is in Pokemon Bank, if they cannot be transferred back out unless directed to Sword and Shield. Does the player have to pay for Home/Bank to keep their Pokemon for future games where those Pokemon may be able to be transferred. This question remains unanswered, but I seriously hope they either don’t charge for Pokemon Home or at least don’t let your Pokemon ‘expire’ like they can do in Pokemon Bank.
Several people have been asking for the game to be pushed back to allow time for the Pokemon to be included. After all, Animal Crossing has been delayed to 2020, and most recently, the Sonic movie has been delayed to allow the CGI artists time to redo the Sonic model after public outcry. As Joe Merrik pointed out, the video games are not standalone. With them comes the Trading Card Game (TCG), the anime and the twenty-third movie; already likely in pre-production. Game Freak cannot simply delay the game. Unfortunately, will be how the game is released. What they can do is post-launch patches, which is what will likely happen.
In my personal opinion, this sucks and will put a mark on the game. Is it avoidable? Possibly. I think that Let’s Go Pikachu Eevee was a big waste of time and Game Freak should have taken an off-year from releasing so they could put two years into Sword and Shield instead. Do I think this is the end of the world? Not at all. It will have several implications, such as the possibility of no Ditto breeding and not being able to use Pokemon you may have hatched; raised and trained specifically for the Video Game Championships (VGC). But as long as either post-game patches or some type of free Pokemon Home is available, I don’t think this is going to be a flaw that ruins Pokemon Sword and Shield.
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