Author Topic: Gotta Catch Some of Them!

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Losfer

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Gotta Catch Some of Them!
« on: November 26, 2019, 07:19:11 PM »
Hi guys!

I have played about 10 hours of the new Pokemon game and have some thoughts.

Take a look here: https://youtu.be/9kkfrUwtBKk

Big love

Los <3
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Gregosa

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Re: Gotta Catch Some of Them!
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2019, 07:06:33 PM »
Great video.

As a hardcore pokemon fan since Diamond and Pearl (I actually started with Blue but Gen 4 made me a lifelong fan) I'm conflicted with this gen. While it has been a fun journey  a lot of my faves got cut (i.e. Breloom and Volcarona), megas replaced with dynamax, z-crystals absent, many viable competitive moves got scrapped and the wild zone felt like a missed opportunity. As for highlights I'd definitely include the soundtrack, the fact story important battles are in arenas made things more akin to the anime and were hype too, some of the new forms were cool and many of the end game battles were exciting.

Overall I'd say it was very enjoyable but it felt like a dip in quality based on what I've experienced from the DS and 3DS eras of pokemon.

Hathen

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Re: Gotta Catch Some of Them!
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2019, 08:54:55 PM »
There's a main Pokemon thread already, but I guess the site just put out their own review so I guess we can talk a little more about Sword and Shield in here.

"It's a fine game by itself, but I'm still kinda disappointed" would sum up my feelings on the Pokemon games starting around XY or so I think. A lot of people like to say that Pokemon was always a low-effort franchise, and while that's true to a degree, I feel like an exhaustive statement like that isn't terribly useful to understand why some people aren't so happy with this game.

I am actually okay with them cutting Pokemon and moves, but in order to justify the series-first Pokedex cut (probably the most notable thing left over that distinguished Pokemon from other JRPG franchises), they needed to put their best foot forward in the other aspects of the game. To me it feels like they were trying to do that and then they got forced to release it when they were halfway done.

I think my biggest issue is that the routes are the simplest and shortest they've ever been, and there's only technically 2 "dungeons" in the game which are pretty much just straight lines. Not even a final "Victory Road" style dungeon. The Wild Area is supposed to make up for it of course, but I feel like it's really half-baked. It doesn't feel like it fits naturally into the world at all and there's really nothing to genuinely explore in it, it's a wide open field with multiplayer battles. For some people I think it'll grant countless hours of play, but personally I'm just not that impressed. There's no landmarks that are visually interesting and gameplay-wise I can get much better open world experiences in almost any other game making the attempt. It also poorly integrates into your typical playthrough of the game since the game encourages you to quickly get the badges so you don't get blocked out of catching Pokemon too high level for you.

Other lesser gameplay-related complaints I might have- No Battle Frontier or an equivalent was somewhat expected, but even the Battle Tower that is back again is even more stripped down. There's less modes to play it in and there's not even any boss battles every x amount of battles like there is with XY or SM. The lack of GTS is also a massive headscratcher. Easily worked around sure, but it just feels like a removal of a feature that's been around for over a decade for no good reason other than to be inconvenient.

Then you have the presentation of the game, which feels like they put all their effort into the first 15 minutes or so (especially that first starter cutscene), a couple key "scenic" moments (The Slumbering Weald, for example, is beautiful), and a handful of cool attacks, most notably the Starter signatures. Then you have things weird things that stick out and feel like placeholder assets, or the pop-in for things further than about 10 feet from your trainer (which is actually a gameplay issue as far as the Wild Area goes). The story also feels like an afterthought (I realize story in Pokemon isn't exactly paramount, but BW and SM at least felt a lot more substantive). These things might be nitpicks on their own, but they just stack up continuously while I played the game and I can't help but feel that it was pushed out months before it was actually done. It doesn't help that Pokemon has a history of never patching content and instead releasing essentially a patched version at full cost down the line.

I understand from Discord that a few of you might be tired of hearing a laundry list of minor complaints about the game that obnoxious people spam on Reddit or whatever over the past few weeks, but I don't feel like the majority of the grievances themselves are unjustified. They're all there. Like I said though, Pokemon as a game is just a formula that works, so at the end of the day the game is fun to play despite that. But there's no reason that they should be cut slack when they could do so much better.

The Pokemon designs are still as good as ever though (except for those crime-against-nature fossils I guess). Frosmoth might be my favorite this generation.