Twitter is full of calls for Game Freak to #BringBackTheNationalDex. 

When the newest generation of Pokémon games, Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, were announced in February, fans were pretty excited for a whole new generation of Pocket Monsters to meet, train, and adventure with. With the release of the official trailer, which was filled with beautiful scenery, interesting gameplay, and adorable new Pokémon, our anticipation grew exponentially.

But after recent announcements that certain beloved aspects of the series will be omitted from the new games, fans have been left feeling disappointed and deflated, leading some to even call for a boycott.

▼ Sword and Shield trailer

For one, it was announced that there will be no Mega Stones or Z-Crystals in the new games. Mega Evolution, introduced in Pokémon X/Y, and Z-powers, brought to us in Pokémon Sun/Moon, will no longer be an option for powering up your Pokémon against strong opponents. Presumably, they’ll instead be replaced with the ability to make your Pokémon giant and super-powered, called Dynamaxing, which we caught a glimpse of in the trailer. But, while many adult fans probably won’t mourn the loss of either Mega Evolution or Z-Powers, many are wondering, why waste resources on introducing something new when there are already systems in place?

That also ties in to what fans are really upset about: the fact that the games will not have a National Dex, and you won’t be able to play with all of the Pokémon in the series. That means, unlike previous games, you won’t be able to catch all of the Pokémon and complete your Pokédex, but more than that, it means that fans won’t be able to bring over their favorite Pokémon from older games, via the Pokémon Bank, to use in Sword and Shield.

This isn’t exactly new for Pokémon games, since older games did not always have the technological capacity to import Pokémon from earlier generations, but Nintendo and Game Freak have since made great efforts to make it possible to collect every Pokémon in each of the last few games, so fans have come to expect the same experience from the latest installments.

Producer Junichi Masuda and director Shigeru Omori, who spoke about it on stage at E3 last week, said there was logistical reasoning behind what was a “difficult decision”:

“Since we switched to the Nintendo Switch, we’ve been able to design even more lively Pokémon with even more beautiful graphics than ever before, but on the other hand, compared to other games, it’s taken us far longer to do so. With the new Pokémon and the new forms of old Pokémon, we’d be required to design over 1,000 characters. Because of that, it was very difficult to strike a balance between making quality designs suitable for the new hardware, designing a fresh and lively reflection of each Pokémon’s personality in battle, and creating compatibility within the game. Those were the circumstances behind this decision, and we came to the conclusion that it will be difficult for future games from here on out to have all of the Pokémon make an appearance.”

Said Director Masuda, but many fans think the explanation is a cop-out. Many said they would rather have all 800+ Pokémon in the game than a new power-up like Dynamaxing, and others criticized that Game Freak isn’t efficiently using their resources; they believe they already have the models for the old Pokémon, so they might as well use them. Others complained about the quality of the “high quality designs” featured in the trailer:

Perhaps intending to make up for it, Nintendo is planning to release another game, called Pokémon Home, which will apparently be like a new Pokémon Bank, into which you will be able to import Pokémon from Sword and Shield, previous 3DS games like Sun and Moon, and Pokémon Go. But fans are still not pleased with the development, and have turned to Twitter to express their dismay:

“I understand that developing games is difficult, and I’m thinking that it can’t be helped…but I do think it’s sad that we can’t use certain Pokémon, including Megas, in the game. If I can’t use Mega Lucario then that essentially means I won’t see my favorite Pokémon in the new game.”
“There’s talk of all the work and yadda yadda, but I was hoping they would recycle the resources they used to make the Let’s Go games and Pokémon Quest.”
“It’s a tough problem, but if they were going to limit the Pokémon they might as well have just gone all in and done only new Pokémon.”
“Even if they don’t make it in time for the release date, it’d be nice if they could have DLC where you could play with all the Pokémon eventually.”

Though Japanese fans were also displeased with the news, fans from other parts of the world were the most vocal about their disappointment, and Twitter has been full of criticism, including intentions to boycott the new games, using the hashtag #BringBackTheNationalDex:

Whether or not Game Freak will listen to the pleas of its fans remains to be seen, though judging from the weighty consideration that went into the decision, it doesn’t appear likely that, at least for the upcoming games, there will be a chance to complete the National Dex. True, there could be DLC in the future, but at the moment, Director Masuda has said they have not decided if there will be any, so maybe it’s best not to get our hopes up.

Well, perhaps we’ll have to wait for Pokémon Home, which is planned for an early 2020 release, to see if it makes up for this important missing piece. In the meantime, hopefully the beautiful graphics and new gameplay of the Sword and Shield games, which come out in November, will be worth the sacrifice!

Source: Hachima Kiko, Hachima Kiko, Famitsu via Hachima Kiko, Hachima Kiko, Twitter/#BringBackTheNationalDex
Featured Image: Twitter/@MaruPCocoa

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