When a classic video game series receives a new installment, it’s never going to be a hit of everyone. Developers need to balance adding fresh new features and graphics while also keeping nostalgia for older fans.
However, Pokémon Sword and Shield’s latest announcements at the E3 video game expo have the majority of longtime trainers furious. For the first time in the series’ history, trainers won’t be able to catch ’em all.
Only a preapproved list of Pokemon in the Galar Regional Pokedex will be able to be sent over to the Nintendo Switch from previous entries like Sun and Moon via the Pokémon Home app.
According to the game devs, the rapidly increasing number of pocket monsters (well over 800 by Sword and Shield’s release) as well as the enhanced graphics and animations are preventing them from putting in every single Pokémon. From now on, only predicted fan favorites and balanced mons will be carried over from generation to generation.
Previously, players could catch a Pokémon and cherish it forever by letting it move from game to game.
Game Freak has yet to clarify whether or not this means it will be possible for some Pokémon to skip one generation then be transferred later.
Many fans feel betrayed that the characters they have invested in for decades may or may not be safe from game generation to generation. Others feel it undermines the spirit of choosing their favorites, no matter how underpowered, overpowered, or traditionally unpopular they might be.
While previous reactions to new gameplay mechanics, visuals, and Pokémon design had been warm, the transfer debacle is quickly overshadowing all other news.
From multiple critical think pieces to resentful memes, Gamefreak’s proclamation has been close to universally panned.
Many netizens compared the oppressive decision to Avengers villain Thanos’ goal to wipe out half the life in the universe to maintain a misguided notion of balance.
The official YouTube video for Sword and Shield has tens of thousands of more dislikes than likes. Data analysis shows that the dynamaxed duo were the most hated games of any E3 presentation this year.
It seems unlikely that the Pokémon franchise will be able to ignore the rapidly swelling wave of criticism much longer.