Now that the much-anticipated Pokémon Sword and Shield is out, not everyone is satisfied with the game. Disappointingly enough, the game has been rushed in some aspects—and it shows.
While the game definitely has its advantages, there are still some things Nintendo needs to improve on. How could’ve Pokémon Sword and Shield been better? These improvements would make the game much more worthy of playing.
1. Bigger Pokédex
Perhaps the most disappointing part of Pokémon Sword and Shield is the limited Pokédex. Pokémon Sword and Shield have a total of 400 Pokémon in its Pokédex. Although it contains the most Pokémon out of all other games, it only has slightly more Pokémon than Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon.
Having a Pokédex of the same size just doesn’t make sense, as there are currently over 800 different Pokémon in the entire National Pokédex. Pokémon Sword and Shield is on a bigger and better system, so why don’t we have more species of Pokémon to catch?
To make the whole Pokédex situation worse, players can’t even transfer in all their favorite Pokémon from previous games. You can only transfer Pokémon that are found in the Galar region. Otherwise, your non-compatible Pokémon from other games just go to waste.
2. More Refined Graphics
Pokémon Sword and Shield doesn’t look like a game that came out in 2019. It looks more like something that came out for the GameCube—only the Gyms look refined. Compared to other RPGs released on the Switch, Pokemon Sword and Shield looks subpar.
Not only do the textures on the grass, mountains, and trees lack detail, but other things are just plain glitchy. Wild Pokémon often seem to pop out of nowhere, and some Pokémon spin around in endless circles.
Game Freak couldn’t even get the surrounding environments right—the backgrounds during battles sometimes make no sense. For example, when you encounter trainers on a bridge or dock, the background during the battles is a grassy field. This makes the laziness and lack of time put into the game quite obvious.
3. Voice Acting
It’s been over 20 years, and Game Freak still hasn’t added voice acting to any Pokémon game. Sure, the Pokémon themselves make noises, but it’s obviously not the same as having a voice actor read out dialogue.
Voice acting is a sign of a polished and refined game. In this day and age, spoken dialogue is expected in video games. A voice actor brings life to a character. Plus, listening to spoken dialogue can give your eyes a break from reading paragraphs of text.
4. Better Storyline
The storyline in Pokémon Sword and Shield comes from the same generic roots of every single Pokémon game. Like most titles, you begin in a small town where you live with your mom. You’re quickly introduced to your biggest rival, Hop, and then get to pick out your starter Pokémon. What happens next? You guessed it—you must defeat all eight Gym leaders to become the Champion.
I’m not suggesting that Pokémon games should veer drastically from this storyline. After all, this story arc is what makes a Pokémon game, a Pokémon game. Still, I’d like to see a little more variation—I want the game to make me feel something. Instead, I feel like a robot going through the repetitive motions of catching Pokémon and fighting trainers.
5. New Animations and Models
One of the biggest controversies surrounding the release of Pokémon Sword and Shield was Game Freak’s alleged reuse of animations and models. Unfortunately, that allegation turned out to be true.
While several games reuse animations and models, it put the nail in the coffin for Pokémon Sword and Shield. It goes to show that Game Freak blatantly lied about the quality of the game. The company clearly saved time by reusing animations, but why didn’t the developers use this time to improve on other aspects of the game?
More Time Results in a Better Game
It’s common sense: the more time developers spend on a game, the better it turns out. If Game Freak just spent some more time (whether that’s months or years) on improving Pokémon Sword and Shield, this game could’ve been the amazing Pokémon title we’ve been hoping for.
Pokémon Sword and Shield is the result of strict time constraints and overworked employees. This is just part of the reason why AAA games are failing.