Whether you love or hate the changes, it’s hard to deny that Pokemon Sword and Shield aren’t making a lot of significant alterations to the franchise’s traditional formula. One of these major overhauls comes in the form of the games' National Pokedex being scrapped for the first time in the series, which is a big blow for players as the feature allowed them to carry across their favorite Pokemon from previous games to the newer titles. This was naturally very controversial, and the game’s producer has sought to clear the air in a recent interview.
Speaking with VG247, Junichi Masuda commented on if the negative response to the team scrapping the National Dex has made Game Freak reconsider its approach with Sword and Shield, stating “it’s not necessarily that it’s made us rethink things per se, but what we are always looking at for the future is what we can do to make the most interesting game possible.” He continues, “This time around we can also give people a greater attachment to the Pokemon that are in the game, which is something we think is very important.”
Masuda finalizes his comments by reminding players that, “In terms of having Pokemon that you had in previous games, we do have Pokemon Home that’s coming out – and that’s another place where everyone can gather all their Pokemon from previous games and enjoy a different way of playing with them there.” The producer’s comments seem to highlight that the decision to get rid of the popular feature was in service of the games' new Pokemon, allowing players to get to know the new set of creatures rather than depending on the series’ tried and tested collection of familiar faces. It’s not hard to see why either, with the franchise’s overall number of adorable pocket monsters nearing the thousand mark.
Of course, to some hardcore Pokemon fans, the lack of a National Dex will remain a big disappointment going into the games. However, with Sword and Shield implementing so many new unique and interesting Pokemon to catch and interact with, the games will hopefully have enough fresh faces to make up for the lack of returning ones.
Of course, this isn’t the only controversy surrounding Pokemon Sword and Shield’s new alterations to the formula. Changing the use of EXP share to mandatory has been a big conversational point between fans, with many finding the change to be disappointing. We won’t have to wait long to see if the games' majorly affected, however, as they release in just over a few weeks’ time.
Pokemon Sword and Shield launch on November 15, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.