North Texas Daily

New Pokémon games show laziness of developers

New Pokémon games show laziness of developers

New Pokémon games show laziness of developers
October 10
23:28 2019

“Pokemon! Gotta catch em’ all!” Or better yet, gotta catch some of them.

Despite the popular franchise rooting itself in this slogan, it will soon become an impossible feat.

On June 11, 2019, Junichi Masuda, a leading director at Game Freak, announced that the new games, “Pokémon Sword and Shield,” would no longer allow players to transfer over all of their old Pokémon. Instead, players can only transfer forward Pokémon that are in the new game’s Pokédex.

This was a devastating blow to Pokémon fans all over the world. Transferring Pokémon from older games into new ones has been a series staple for the past 20 years. Now with Game Freak, the studio that develops the main series Pokémon games, removing this beloved feature, fans have retaliated harshly.

The “#BringBackNationalDex” movement was born and the online war between upset fans and Game Freak’s defenders reached frightening levels. Some unpleasant vocal minorities went as far as harassing various Game Freak developers and even making false rape accusations against Masuda. 

Obviously this issue was heated with many fans and some acted inappropriately, but how could the removal of a single feature spark so much backlash?

Well, this incident was not a random occurrence, the removal of the National Pokédex, or the Dex Cut, was the last straw for many Pokémon fans. This was the latest in a long list of evidence that suggests Game Freak is getting progressively lazier with new Pokémon games.

Firstly, Masuda claimed the reason for the Dex Cut was so they could create “higher quality animations.” Immediately, the game’s animations shown in recent trailers came under scrutiny. Fans pointed out the game’s lackluster graphics, the stiff movement of humans and Pokémon, along with static battle animations.

I mean, an art school student created a more realistic Pokémon animation in 24 hours.

Moreover, several comparison videos have shown a large number of the new game’s animations are recycled from the 3DS Pokémon games.

There is even speculation that the new games are using the same Pokémon models from prior games. 

Recycling animation isn’t offensive by itself, but Masuda presented it as a decision of quality over quantity and these comparisons make it feel like we’ve received neither. This speaks to the larger issue of Game Freak gradually removing content from each new Pokémon game.

Past Pokémon games have had brilliantly fun game mechanics that have been beloved by fans including the likes of Pokémon walking beside you, Mega Evolutions, Z-Moves and the Battle Frontier.

All are exciting gameplay mechanics that were abandoned shortly after they were introduced. Interviews with Masuda concerning the removal of content reveals a concerning philosophy that because kids have shorter attention spans these days, that it is okay for them to put less effort into their games.

Masuda presented the Dex Cut as something they can’t fix whereas it’s probably more of something that they don’t want to fix.

They have so few employees that most of the Pokémon models were outsourced to Creatures, Inc. What’s more baffling is that if the new games are using the same models made by Creatures Inc., then Game Freak already has access to a model of every Pokémon for the new games. It just screams laziness.

Game Freak is most likely restricted by time constraints and delaying these games is impossible. Pokémon is a franchise, so the game releases need to coincide with the new anime, card games and merchandise. 

Game Freak may be sympathetic in that regard, but it’s frustrating for us fans who have to pay $20 more than previous Pokémon games only to receive less.

Game Freak has also not communicated its position at all to its fans. This lack of communication is only a detriment. Masuda did release a statement regarding the whole issue but didn’t really resolve it.

The Dex Cut is not the real issue with Pokémon, though.

Similar game series like Digimon and Yokai Watch have already done the same. The real issue is that Game Freak is failing to meet their fan’s expectations and continuously removes content from Pokémon games.

The new Pokémon games release on Nov. 15 but we’ll see then if there’s enough content present to make up for some much of what we’ve already lost.

If you’re interested to learn more about this issue as a whole then watch YouTuber Gnoggin’s discussion here.

Featured Illustration: Jeselle Farias

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Matthew Payne

Matthew Payne

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