During the latest Nintendo Direct, two new Pokemon were revealed for Pokemon Sword and Shield, Polteageist and Cramorant. Eagle-eyed fans also noticed two more mystery pokemon in the Sword and Shield trailer, with one being a basic Water-type fish Pokemon and the other being a mysterious and presumably Dark-type Pokemon. However, several Pokemon revealed thus far have been criticized for their designs, a common complaint every time a new generation launches, so it's worth looking at how these Pokemon compare to prior generations.
Overall, it seems the reception to Pokemon Sword and Shield's starter Pokemon have gone over well, yet there are a few lingering concerns for Scorbunny and Grookey. Based on its design, many feel as if Scorbunny will take the altogether too common Fire/Fighting approach. Blaziken, Infernape, and Emboar, for example, are the 3 Fire/Fighting starters in the world of Pokemon, with Incineroar still carrying a similar Fighting design (despite actually being Fire/Dark.) If Scorbunny were to follow, that means 4/8 Fire starters would have this type, and 5/8 would have a design based on this idea.
Grookey, on the other hand, is incredibly similar to Chimchar. While they are different types, they are both monkey-based Pokemon who have a tuft of hair on their hand relative to their typing. It's worth adding that this hasn't caused as big as a ruckus as Scorbunny for Pokemon Sword and Shield, however.
Overused ideas are another complaint that have often been hurled at the latest generation of Pokemon, with some claiming that some Gen 8 Pokemon are copies of older Pokemon. While this may or may not hold water in the long run, there are a few Pokemon comparisons worth noting. Vanillite is arguably one of the most criticized Pokemon, as many though its ice cream design didn't make sense, but this design idea returned in Sword and Shield with the introduction of Alcremie.
Aside from the similarities with Alcremie and Vanillite, Duraludon appears to be a complete rip-off of Gigalith. Duraludon is essentially a miniature mountain of ice, while Gigalith is a miniature mountain of rock. So while the designs won't be torn apart by more critical members of the fanbase, many will likely recall Pokemon that they are similar too.
The new Galarian forms haven't had much luck either, though most criticisms lobbied against them are more of the comical nature. When Galarian Weezing was announced, for example, many mistook and joked about how its smoke stacks look like a bong. Obstagoon, the evolved form of Galarian Linoone, was compared to Gene Simmons, to which the famous rocker even replied with brief acknowledgment.
The latest designs, however, seem to have been met with the most lackluster response. Polteageist, for example, is a teapot possessed by a ghost. While the association with tea and the U.K.-inspired Galar Region is clear, it's just a teapot at the end of the day. It may not be as bad as Klefki, which is a keychain Pokemon, but it seems several designs are just taking commonplace items and giving it a Ghost/Psychic touch.
Cramorant's design seems more befitting of a Pokemon, but it falls in the lackluster category as well. As far as Water/Flying goes, it seems Pelipper has a more unique design, and many playing Pokemon Sword and Shield seem more likely to choose Corviknight as a flying type over Cramorant. It may not be the worst Gen 8 addition, but it's a far shot from the best.
One Pokemon that has seemingly leaked is a Pike-based Pokemon associated with Cramorant. Its design appears to be just that of a fancy fish and incredibly similar to Remoraid. Since Remoraid evolves into Octillery, though, many simply overlooked it, so it remains to be seen if that happens with this Pike Pokemon.
The strangest Pokemon revealed so far was also in the background of the latest trailer, and it shows a disfigured bipedal creature covered in spikes and hair. It almost looks like an Ultra Beast, but everything revealed so far suggests that those won't be in the game.
I disagree but more importantly WHAT THE HELL IS THAT IN THE BACK? pic.twitter.com/Y59BBu7lCw— Pehk is taking a break from the channel (@Pehk_n_Kahl) September 5, 2019
While there are a ton of Pokemon that won't hit it off with everyone per usual and many of these won't be hailed as greatest Pokemon of the year, there are a ton of cool new designs that will likely be welcomed by the majority of trainers. The legendary Pokemon, Zacian and Zamazenta, have received a warm welcome like the aforementioned Corviknight, with plenty more likely to be revealed upon release.
Ultimately, Pokemon designs prove to be a point of contention every generation. Gen 8 seems to be no exception, but given the sheer number of Pokemon at this point, this seems to be a given. What's important is how it plays, and that everyone has fun using the Pokemon they like. It won't be much longer until it releases, so for those who haven't pre-ordered yet, here's every Pokemon Sword and Shield pre-order bonus and special edition.
Pokemon Sword and Shield releases on November 15, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.