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Pokemon Sword & Shield - Nintendo Switch

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Oof.


https://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2019-11-13-pokemon-sword-and-shield-review-a-shadow-of-a-former-great

 

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Sword and Shield's Wild Area is desperately flat. There will undoubtedly be a moment of shivers, if you're a long-term fan, when you first see Pokémon roaming the world and you finally get to gaze around that space yourself. But that moment will wear off when you realise you've already seen it all. And it'll fade from memory entirely when you inevitably hop back on the rails from which you have just at last broken free. What is intended as a great, Breath of the Wild step forward quickly turns to two giant leaps back, and with these games that sad irony is everywhere. Pokémon Sword and Shield project a sense of scale and ambition far beyond any previous ones in the series, but to take it back to those gargantuan new Dynamax forms, the size is merely a shadow. A shallow projection, in place of the real thing.

 

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None of this conversation is new. Anyone who's familiar with Game Freak know they've kept Pokemon very conservative to the chagrin of many, mostly those who casually observe the series from afar. The GBA games were considered unambitious in their look but it was when the DS had 3D capabilities that their limitations first became really obvious and a source of 'debate'. Pokemon stuck to its presentational roots and Game Freak basically completely ignored the platform's new strengths. Since the mid 2000's almost every review has noted the series' safe, stale looks as a caveat and imagined what could be. 

 

I imagine this was rushed and is a bit technically inept and anyone surprised by this is a surprise in itself. Added scrutiny has probably come from the universal attention for the Switch, the first proper move into a big screen 3D world and the fact Pokemon Yellow, a tiny game, was both already half made and slight enough to have detail lavished upon it in its remake. Evoking BotW was a bad move too, from such a firmly un-modern company.

 

TLDR; every generation Game Freak attract astonished commentary for their simple, unambitious, charming and janky series that ignores most of gaming's progress and wins hearts regardless. The background cuts/rush are a step further and a bit of a gift for the guaranteed critics of this generation.

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My daughter's review

 

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Oh Grookey, yeah I like Grookey. Daddy can I have Grookey please?

 

(Based on trailers and not actually played the game)

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7 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

 

To offset the end of this EG piece, I counter with this.  En Garde!

 

I’ve been training pokémon all my life, but I never felt like a true trainer until I walked through a tunnel into a stadium full of screaming fans. - The Verge

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I'm buying for my pokemon crazy 10 year old daughter. As long as she likes it (it is aimed at her rather than me, right?), that's all I care.

 

(I'll play too obviously)

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It's not that I trust all these sites, but it clearly isn't nearly as shit as it was being reported to be.

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13 minutes ago, deKay said:

It's not that I trust all these sites, but it clearly isn't nearly as shit as it was being reported to be.


I think it can be both a game which pleases it’s core audience with a very conservative approach  and simultaneously technically disappointing, with cuts corners in areas there is little justification for. To some all that matters is good character design,  familiarity and basic competency. To others that is lazy. It seems to have broadly won over reviewers, but not all. And based on some of the clips posted above and on social media, you have to ask: what would a Pokemon game have to do to get a less than stellar review from Nintendolife, IGN, Gamespot etc? It’s clearly going to sell just as well as the rest, so little motivation for TPC / GF to step up next time.

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6 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

It seems to have broadly won over reviewers, but not all. 


See also, every other game.

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3 minutes ago, Bojangle said:


See also, every other game.


Obviously, but the complaints made by those bad reviews echo the early impressions of those some were accusing of orchestrating a hate campaign. As opposed to just expressing their genuine opinion based on evidence.

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5 minutes ago, grindmouse said:


Obviously, but the complaints made by those bad reviews echo the early impressions of those some were accusing of orchestrating a hate campaign. As opposed to just expressing their genuine opinion based on evidence.


I think the difference is those reviews all basically say the same things, that technically and performance wise it can feel a little worse than you'd like or maybe expect, but ultimately the core game itself is perfectly fine. Whereas the leaks were just posting very specific, out of context screenshots/gifs and screaming "LOOK AT THIS FUCKING TRASH HOW DARE GAME FREAK DO THIS TO THE GAMERS".

 

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4 minutes ago, grindmouse said:


Obviously, but the complaints made by those bad reviews echo the early impressions of those some were accusing of orchestrating a hate campaign. As opposed to just expressing their genuine opinion based on evidence.

 

But there has been a hate campaign, one predicated on people being unhappy about the National Dex decision and thus deciding to pick out and amplify every single negative about the game while hand-waving away any of its good points. Constructive criticism and expressing disappointment is entirely fair; actively accusing the devs of laziness and lying, and sending abusive tweets and emails not only to the studio but to Pokémon-centric websites like Serebii.net is quite another thing. 

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Just now, Bojangle said:


I think the difference is those reviews all basically say the same things, that technically and performance wise it can feel a little worse than you'd like or maybe expect, but ultimately the core game itself is perfectly fine. Whereas the leaks were just posting very specific, out of context screenshots/gifs and screaming "LOOK AT THIS FUCKING TRASH HOW DARE GAME FREAK DO THIS TO THE GAMERS".

 

GamERs DeSerVE BeTTeR

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35 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

I think it can be both a game which pleases it’s core audience with a very conservative approach and simultaneously technically disappointing, with cuts corners in areas there is little justification for.

 

Pretty sure I've heard almost those exact words about every previous handheld pokemon title.

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57 minutes ago, moosegrinder said:

 

Have you changed your mind about buying it? If yes cool, enjoy the game. If no you've made your point, repeatedly and at length. The game isn't good enough for you and you've told Nintendo and Game Freak with your wallet. But you really don't need to belabour the point like this, man.


I’ll await further impressions but saving this and Death Stranding for Christmas I reckon. If at all.

 

I’m not belabouring the point. The shot of the fogging and pop-in in the wild area is piss poor. No 9/10 review will make that acceptable on a PS360 level console that runs BotW and Witcher 3.

It’s not being a “rabid hater” to point that out. If you love the franchise so much seeing other people rip on it for legit reasons hurts, then I’m sorry.

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