Pokemon is one of the largest gaming franchises that has achieved success on a variety of platforms and hardware of many generations. Its origins on the Game Boy were modest, but having gained momentum in the early 2000s, the franchise developed by Game Freak has never looked back. 26 years later, he’s stronger than ever, and Pokemon Scarlet and Violet are due out in the near future. Fan expectation seems to be at an all-time high, as the property has listened to consumer feedback after a somewhat tepid reception of the previous major games, Sword and Shield.
The aforementioned games have done nothing to promote the same formula that the series has used for decades. With the increased aesthetics and new perspective resulting from the Switch being a hybrid of a home and portable console, expectations were huge and the games just didn’t live up to the hype in many critical ways. However, earlier this year, the release of Pokemon Legends: Arceus seems to have moved the needle in a positive direction. There is reason to believe that Pokemon Scarlet and Violet will continue to develop, providing gamers with the game they always wanted, and the game that Sword and Shield should have become.
The problem with the sword and shield
Pokemon Sword and Shield are pretty much victims of their own hype. A couple of games were highly anticipated as they were the first mainstream games introduced on a home console, and fans were salivating at the freedom this design change brought. The problem was not helped by the promotional materials that promised the Galar region, which would be diverse and extensive, and although his inspiration in the United Kingdom made him feel unique, there was nothing to do in it. This was disappointing, as the linearity of the land was intrusive, and players were only allowed to move the camera and feel freedom in the wilderness.
This space gave the Galar region less of a procedural feel, but since the only real activity in the area was catching Pokemon, it quickly became clear that it was actually just to fill in the Pokedex after the main story was completed. Changes have been made to the Wild Area so that the returning player stays involved, but those who are not in favor of finishing don’t really have a reason to come back, since before that the whole game seems to be on rails and really only serves players who want to catch them. everything. Sword and Shield’s game design isolated many players and made them want more. Those who cut their teeth on games like Ruby and Sapphire or Gold and Silver craved a franchise that grew with them, but the 2019 release proved they had no real intention of doing so.
The potential of the Pokemon Open World
The biggest problem with Pokemon in general — not just with the Sword and Shield — is not in its simplified combat mechanics and not in the often abused visual style, but in the complete absence of non-linear levels. Open—world game design is the flavor of the future, and the more Pokemon avoids it, the older it feels. Sword and Shield, which are already three years old, are far from vintage games, but they often feel that way because the whole experience lacks the smoothness that an open-world formula can provide. Pokemon Legends: Arceus succeeded by introducing some genre mechanics to the franchise, but it failed to offer the same degree of freedom as its counterpart The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
It is confirmed that Pokemon Sword and Shield is an open—world experience, which revived much of the expectation that Sword and Shield spoiled. This reveals the huge potential of the franchise, as hunting cute or powerful pocket monsters has always been at the center of its success. Finding a pack of fairy-tale characters hidden in a corner of the world, or replenishing PokeBalls from a traveling merchant would be a pleasure, instead of arriving at PokeCenter according to a template when history requires it.
Changing what Pokedex reflects
Although it is unlikely that it will feature all the available Pokemon at the disposal of Game Freak, Scarlet and Violet can fix one significant drawback of the Sword and Shield. Fans were disappointed not so much by the number of available characters, but by the lack of favorites of the series. Pokedex was littered with forgotten creatures, and although there were a few outstanding ones, most of them probably won’t leave such a huge legacy as Charizard, Snorlax and Jigglypuff.
With “Catch them all!” being the slogan of the entire franchise, “Sword and Shield” immediately finds themselves at a disadvantage when none of the Pokemon feels worthy of capture. However, satisfying older fans will not be the key to attracting a younger audience, so a balance must be struck. Scarlet and Violet have the opportunity to highlight other types and create something new, but it is equally important to refrain from abandoning the very characters that made him so special. swear