‘#GameFreakLied’ – Pokémon dev under serious fire
Game Freak – the hit developer behind the classic Pokémon franchise – has come under fire from fans, triggering a social media storm.
Sword and Shield – the latest in the series – is set for release on the Nintendo Switch this Friday. However, the build-up to November 15 has not been without controversy, with hardcore Pokémon fans venting their concerns over what appears to be a final product falling short of Game Freak’s promises.
The hashtag ‘GameFreakLied’ has been trending globally this week after disgruntled enthusiasts posted screenshots, video clips and concerns over the apparent below-par effort.
One furious Twitter user even compiled a list of the problems and posted them online.
Perhaps one of the biggest issues many have taken is the developer’s decision to cut 64% of the Pokédex – effectively removing the same percentage of pocket monsters created since the first generation.
Firstly, there are only 10 routes in the game when previous entries have had a vastly greater number of paths to traverse. Though, a separate user was swift to highlight that the game does encompass a large ‘wild area’ which might explain the absence of extra routes.
Secondly, 144 moves have been cut from the game, limiting the amount of variety players have at their disposal.
The ‘Elite 4’ are also void from Sword and Shield, which is interesting because they have long been a staple of the franchise and overcoming them represents the pinnacle of the main character’s journey.
The gym leaders now only have a maximum of three Pokémon to use, which is once again a serious deviation away from older games.
Early fights with gym leaders typically didn’t feature many pocket monsters, but later encounters always boasted more.
The cities are apparently empty and sparse while people are reporting the story is just 10 hours long – woefully short of typical Pokémon standards.
Finally, there appears to be a significant lack of post-game content leaving little to do once the main story has been completed and the massively reduced Pokédex filled.
>10 routes in the entire game
>64% of the Pokedex cut
>144 moves cut
>no Elite 4
>no post game
>all gym leaders have a max of 3 Pokemon
>story is only 10 hours long
>cities are empty
>game costs $60 with less content than a $40 game#GameFreakLied
— Wilfre Nakamoto (@WilfreNakamoto) November 13, 2019
Another issue people are taking with Sword and Shield is that Game Freak stated they would be rebuilding all of their models and not reuse previous ones.
However, side-by-side images have revealed that may not be the case.
— CLANG GANG (@extendedfreezer) November 13, 2019
There has also been controversy surrounding cut-scenes and animations causing the game to bug. One video portrays the player climbing a ladder and, while they do so, the surrounding world freezes.
This is evidenced by the two non-player characters (NPCs) playing with a ball which pauses mid-air while the ladder is being climbed.
— NickB🦆 (@Nick_b0209) November 13, 2019
Despite the fans’ outrage, Pokémon Sword and Shield will still be released on November 15.
Junichi Masuda, a member of Game Freak’s board of directors, has been contacted by eGaming Desk for a comment, but we are yet to receive a response.
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