Pokemon Sword and Shield are finally upon us. After lots of hype and scrutiny, they finally launched worldwide on November 15. The games gained a lot of attention quickly, but after the roster of colourful characters was revealed to have been cut in half, old fans were angry. For the first time, Pokemon’s slogan “Gotta Catch Em’ All” won’t apply.
“I’m definitely upset,” said Andrew Turow, an avid Pokemon player. “I’m always excited for new Pokemon to be added, but I’m also excited to use my old favourites, and now I don’t have the option to use my favourites like Crobat, because it’s not even in the game anymore.”
The world you can explore in these new games is based on the United Kingdom, even the dialogue, so it’s to be expected that the sales in the UK were record breaking. Pokemon Shield hit number three on the bestseller list, while the dual pack (both games at a slightly lower price) hit number seven. In Japan, where Pokemon originated, the games sold 1.3 million copies in the opening weekend. But they didn’t sell as much as Sun and Moon, the last mainstream Pokemon games, which sold 1.9 million copies opening weekend.
“I’m loving them so far,” says Reece Themen, a Sheridan student at the Trafalgar campus. “They provide a really fun environment. I’m surprised to find out they didn’t top sales for all the other games in the series.”
As mentioned before, the games received some flack back in the summer of 2019, when it was revealed that not every Pokemon would be included. The hashtag “bringbackthenationaldex” went trending on Twitter three times over the course of 2019, mostly whenever GameFreak, the creators of Pokemon, did a livestream showing off the games.
The new features of the games have changed the way they’re played. One mechanic, called Dynamaxing, where a player’s Pokemon grows to insane sizes and uses extra powerful moves, has received very positive reviews as of late, with people raving over the cinematic battles.
“I think it’s really going to affect the metagame in the long run,” said Wolfe Glick, the 2016 Pokemon world champion, who is popular on Twitter and YouTube for his unique play style and being a well known player since 2011:
“Dynamaxing is something so much different than the last two mechanics added in to Pokemon, mega evolution and Z-moves, but I think it’s going to make the competitive scene much faster and hyper offensive.”
Mega evolution and Z-moves were removed from Sword and Shield. Overall, the pair of games has an average rating of 82, which is very solid for Pokemon.