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Pokémon Sword & Shield (Expansion Pass Part 1 Releases June 2020)

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The writing was on the wall for this trailer, unfortunately:

  • Gen. I pandering;
  • 40% leaked months ago;
  • 80% leaked this morning;
  • Reminder that Gigantamaxes are individual-specific rather than species-specific;
  • Event-locked Gigantamaxes.

I'm actually very much fine with the direction they're taking with Dynamax overall as a synthesis of Mega Evolution and Z-Moves, but this trailer seems ill-judged.

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29 minutes ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

I actually typically like more flamboyant designs myself as I tend to dislike normal dull things in all aspects in life. I loved the Ultra Beasts from sun & moon games, and I like at least some of the new Gigantamax Pokemon here, especially the Charizard… My problem is because these things are made to be most 1 game gimmicks that it makes them feel kinda pointless and hard to care about in the long run.

It takes all sorts.

It's really hard to tear down exactly what's "good" and what's "bad". It's not like all of the flamboyant/out there designs are bad either. It's the general design principles, and the fact that more and more are flamboyant/gimmicky looking now. This is an interesting video to watch on the starter designs. It talks about how the designs have changed over time. Alternatively, check out this interesting blog that details the designs too. 

This is what the blog has to show for Pokémon proportions:

 

tumblr_inline_pnr5z1m85M1t75rds_1280.png

And this is what the video has for Gen 1 redesigned of the starters:

 

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Images are spoiler tagged for size. I dislike the homogeneity and artificialness of the new designs quite a lot. But the redesigns to make them look like older Pokémon are great. 

26 minutes ago, Soniman said:

I know saying this on a Sonic fourm reeks of irony but BW2 came out seven years ago, if I didn't enjoy any of the games since then, hate their focus, gimmicks, changes, regions etc etc I'd just stop and play something else, but I'm not gonna tell people how to spend their money.  I don't dislike the series obviously, Loved ORAS, and SM is one of my favorites. I 

But after LGPE and now this I really can't even look at Gen 1 anymore, this has gone way to far. I just wanna see new Pokemon 

I honestly really enjoyed LGPE. Every fibre in my body told me I should dislike them, but when it came down to it they offered what I'm looking for and what newer Pokémon are usually lacking, in as much as a remake with no new 'mon could offer. I also don't hate everything about XY; they had a nice region but where just poorly structured as games (story progression, characters) and lacked many new Pokémon. ORAS faired better simply by being remakes of better games. SuMo and USUM are the only games that I truly think are bar on all levels. Although I can harshly criticise lots of the games from for various reasons, so as long as they're fun they'll get a pass. XY are dull. Playable but dull, and that's what makes the flaws more egregious.

BW/BW2 are probably a great example of that. The characters are annoying and stories are dumb and full of clichés (even for Pokémon), whilst the region is way linear and offers little exploration. The difference between them and SuMo though, which shares those problems, is that the basic gameplay is fun. So I'm more willing to look past the issues in Gen 5 because the games are still fun. SuMo are simply awful. 

It's like... I honestly don't think I'm asking too much of Pokémon. I get that as a franchise it's got a huge reach to all sorts of different people. All I want is for the root gameplay to be fun and the Pokémon designs to not all be more varied, more organic and less shallow. It managed that for years. The rest of the fluff may or may not be to my tastes (the story, Pokémon Amie/Refresh/Camp, spin-offs, human characters) but I'm happy to brush it aside.

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36 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

It takes all sorts.

It's really hard to tear down exactly what's "good" and what's "bad". It's not like all of the flamboyant/out there designs are bad either. It's the general design principles, and the fact that more and more are flamboyant/gimmicky looking now. This is an interesting video to watch on the starter designs. It talks about how the designs have changed over time. Alternatively, check out this interesting blog that details the designs too. 

This is what the blog has to show for Pokémon proportions:

I've seen most of those videos before actually, It is a interesting topic. The change in art style over time is both a hit & miss to me. I've been following Pokemon from back in the 90s to now and I never liked more then up to half of the Pokemon in any given game. I don't really agree the new art style is worse then the oldest one nor am I gonna say the new style is perfect. However all those videos & blog you linked and their "attempt" to redesign the starters to look more like gen 1 Pokemon don't do it for me, those fan redesigns look fairly bad to me. But I would agree the 1st form of the new starters could use better designs in general.

And just for reference few of my top fave Pokemon are. Gardevoir, Lurantis, Flygon, Pheromosa, Weavile. One thing I enjoy about the ultra beasts & the Gigantamax Pokemon is the fact they feel like epic boss fights, which is cool to me instead of relying on only trainers and their Pokemon team being boss fights. And I dono about other peps, but often when I play a RPG if I see a cool boss monster... I want to add it to my team. xD

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They should have special recolors for gigantamax Pokemon like Butterfree with Mothra skins. And if there is one for Hydreigon it'll be a King Ghidorah skin.

The Godzilla crossovers that we didn't know that we needed.

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59 minutes ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

I've seen most of those videos before actually, It is a interesting topic. The change in art style over time is both a hit & miss to me. I've been following Pokemon from back in the 90s to now and I never liked more then up to half of the Pokemon in any given game. I don't really agree the new art style is worse then the oldest one nor am I gonna say the new style is perfect. However all those videos & blog you linked and their "attempt" to redesign the starters to look more like gen 1 Pokemon don't do it for me, those fan redesigns look fairly bad to me. But I would agree the 1st form of the new starters could use better designs in general.

And just for reference few of my top fave Pokemon are. Gardevoir, Lurantis, Flygon, Pheromosa, Weavile. One thing I enjoy about the ultra beasts & the Gigantamax Pokemon is the fact they feel like epic boss fights, which is cool to me instead of relying on only trainers and their Pokemon team being boss fights. And I dono about other peps, but often when I play a RPG if I see a cool boss monster... I want to add it to my team. xD

I definitely think the new style is worse, but it's all a matter of opinion. The fan redesigns aren't really supposed to look better either from my understanding. They're more like they're re-interpretations to study the changes. I like the official designs of Sobble, Scorbunny and Grookey individually. However, when they're put together alongside each other and other new Pokémon as well, I like all of them a lot less. 

If we're going to list favourite Pokémon, I'll pick some two my faves from each generation too (ignoring starters): Gengar and Arcanine, Teddiursa and Ampharos, Gardevoir and Cacturne, Buizel and Weavile, Galvantula and Chandelure, Meowstic and Phantump, Lycanroc and Salazzle. That's by no means exhaustive or in any order - I'm just trying to get a variety in there. Surprisingly picking just two from Gen 5 was especially difficult! And we actually like some of the same ones (but I have to say that I used a Fomantis in Sun and dumped it in the PC the minute I evolved it).

One thing that I don't give Ultra Beasts credit for it feeling like epic boss fights, and that probably because they're mostly removed from the storyline and aren't characters. They just sort of pop into existence and relevance for long enough to engage you (a pawn of a character) in a quick battle and then they toddle off again. If I'm going to harp on Pokémon stories, one thing I'd focus on is that it's boring and cliché shallow human characters taking centre stage and the Pokémon not really doing much. Like, I honestly couldn't be much less interested in some idiot plot to expand the sea, erase time and space or Lusamine's ridiculous take on bad parenting.

 

like oh my fucking god lillie shut up and stop being in such awe of a totally characterless protagonist who exists only to smile blankly in every situation

 

and jesus christ trevor/tierno/shauna/serena i just met you im not your friend and stop calling me that annoying nickname you interrupting little cunts i just want to play pokemon

 

and to everyone living in unova why the fuck are you even listening to a word team plasma says it makes no sense and if youre dumb enough to listen to people who kick their pokemon in the name of liberation maybe youre too dumb to actually be trainers

*Ahem*

The other issue with Ultra Beasts besides the lack of much relevance until the end of each game is that their designs are just really rubbish. They don't look cool, clever or interesting. They just look messy and ugly to me. Monstrous and beastly sure, but not in a good way. Gigantamaxes all look like jokes. I'd feel differently in some ways if they were looming threats or characters in their own rights. Let's say Alola was in danger due to Ultra Beasts being the antagonists over the entire game and not an evil team... that would immediately be more palatable to me on just about every level.

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I think some new designs are better than some older ones, and vice versa. There's no real universal rule on what's "better" because I can probably name a Pokemon from every Generation that I like.

I've just acknowledged that the series has changed. Whether that's a good or bad thing, I can't say. But I try to appreciate these games for what they are and not what I'd prefer them to be.

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27 minutes ago, Blue Blood said:

One thing that I don't give Ultra Beasts credit for it feelling like epic boss fights, and that probably because they're mostly removed from the storyline and aren't characters. They're just sort of pop into existence and relevance for long enough to engage you (a pawn of a character) in a quick battle and then they toddle off again. If I'm goin to harp on Pokémon stories, one thing I'd focus on is that it's boring and cliché shallow human characters taking centre stage and the Pokémon not really doing much. Like, I honestly couldn't be much less interested in some idiot plot to expand the sea, erase time and space or Lusamine's ridiculous take on bad parenting

We may not exactly agree on Ultra Beasts/ Gigantamax / Mega Pokemon. But I agree with you that I wish Pokemon took the center stage plot for the stories more often instead of the human characters that never do a good job making me feel invested in them. I personally like the more simple story telling style of the old gen 1 & 2 Pokemon games as the plot was less in your face and the gameplay was far less hand-holding too. I understand the company and fans wanted more detailed interesting plots going forward, but eh I was not a fan of how they handled it. I instead would prefer to see Pokemon go for slightly more of a choose your own adventure style as I think that is suited better for these games.

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1 minute ago, Lord-Dreamerz said:

We may not exactly agree on Ultra Beasts/ Gigantamax / Mega Pokemon. But I agree with you that I wish Pokemon took the center stage plot for the stories more often instead of the human characters that never make me feel invested in. I personally like the more simple story telling style of the old gen 1 & 2 Pokemon games as the plot was less in your face and the gameplay was far less hand-holding too. I understand the company and fans wanted more detailed interesting plots going forward, but eh I was a fan of how they handled it. I instead would prefer to see Pokemon go for slightly more of a choose your own adventure style as I think that is suited better for these games.

Absolutely! Gen 1/2's basic stories are infinitely better than the rubbish that's come since. In an ideal world the stories would be interesting and involve Pokémon or interesting human characters and Pokémon together, but if that's too much to ask for then I'd just like as little story as possible. If a CYA element could be adapted into Pokémon, or anything that really emphasises that it's your journey with Pokémon, it would be an instant winner.

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I'm just going to sit here and say that I'm glad the plots are trying to be a bit more complex and give me more of an incentive to play that just for the sake of it.

It's far from perfect, but we're kind of passed the point of games needing simple and nonexistent plots.

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When I play a 40 something hour rpg I tend yo like a story with some meat and characters that are actually characters so I guess I'll have to disagree again and say I find the attempts with Gens 4, 5,7 infinetly more engaging and memorable then something like 1,2,and OG 3. Pokemon have never been fully realized characters with arcs in any of the games Imo with the exception of Nebby (which hey, was Gen VII).

Most of the time they're just forces of nature with expository back story with no personal connection to the player. So yeah I look to the people characters to get invested in.

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44 minutes ago, Soniman said:

When I play a 40 something hour rpg I tend yo like a story with some meat and characters that are actually characters so I guess I'll have to disagree again and say I find the attempts with Gens 4, 5,7 infinetly more engaging and memorable then something like 1,2,and OG 3. Pokemon have never been fully realized characters with arcs in any of the games Imo with the exception of Nebby (which hey, was Gen VII).

Most of the time they're just forces of nature with expository back story with no personal connection to the player. So yeah I look to the people characters to get invested in.

We were debating more in favor of a "choose your own adventure" style story. And I am not sorry to say that I especially hated the story in the Black & White games SO MUCH... those stories from that set made me feel as if I wanted to burn those games alive and watch the flames. As for Pokemon not having ties to the player... that is why we were saying that Pokemon SHOULD have more connection to the player, or at least have better ties to the plot and other characters you meet instead of barely existing in a game named POKEMON. If I wanted to play a JRPG for human character focus stories, then I would go play nearly any other JRPG.

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I've said it before, but I'd love the games to include more developed side stories about specific Pokémon important to the region. Take something like Mewtwo in Gen 1 or the Slowpoke town in Gen 2, but make more of them. You can involve interesting human characters and Pokémon alike that don't necessarily have to take centre stage in the larger journey.

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1 hour ago, Soniman said:

When I play a 40 something hour rpg I tend yo like a story with some meat and characters that are actually characters so I guess I'll have to disagree again and say I find the attempts with Gens 4, 5,7 infinetly more engaging and memorable then something like 1,2,and OG 3. Pokemon have never been fully realized characters with arcs in any of the games Imo with the exception of Nebby (which hey, was Gen VII).

Most of the time they're just forces of nature with expository back story with no personal connection to the player. So yeah I look to the people characters to get invested in.

The stories are more memorable only by virtue of the fact that there are stories. Gens 1 and 2 barely had plots, so of course you aren't going to remember them. However, the stories in all of the other games are unbearably stupid or unpalatable, with generic characters and almost no relevant to the Pokémon themselves. And just because it's been that way in the past doesn't mean it has to be that way. For example, I believe there were a few episodes of the XY anime series that dealt with a downright evil group of Malamar. Alternatively, the movies almost all deal with a legendary Pokémon doing something plot relevant and not just being summoned for an end- game battle. Plots that include Pokémon are always the best. You would think that a bit of personal connection and plot involvement should be minimal for the Pokémon series, no?

I just can't stand these stories where human characters talk at you endlessly about friendship and/or destroying/taking-over the world using whichever nearby Pokémon is most convenient. Fucking tell me a story about the Pokémon! Ditch Team Aqua and Team Magma, and instead put me in a region that's literally being torn apart by Groudon and Kyogre so you set off to discover the Legendary (as in, not believed to be exist) Rayquaza to save the land.

There's no reason that a story that's either about or that properly involves Pokémon couldn't be made. And human characters would fit right in there too. I've absolutely no issue with human characters being involved and being important (how would you even tell the story otherwise?), I've just got a problem with them sucking and having no connection or involvement with the Pokémon. 

Lillie is garbage, and so is Nebby. Neither works. I'd rather have no story at all than I would sit through the rubbish that SuMo forces on you.

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I think Pokémon's strongest potential lies in slice of life and episodic moments, which is where I actually think the anime does very well. I never cared for the main plots and it's rather disappointing that side stories like the aforementioned creation of Mewtwo have largely been dropped from the picture. NPCs aren't ever important either, the only reason to talk to everyone in a town is to see if any of them give you an item. I don't think the games even need an evil team or plot-relevant legendary, just giving each town its own mini-plot would go a long way in helping me become more invested in what's going on

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Holy crap, the like to dislike ratio on the trailer is bad. The US trailer is 31K likes to 10K dislikes (just under 25%), and the UK trailer is even worse at 2.1K likes to 1.8K dislikes (just under 50%). Comments all seem to be annoyance at Gen 1 pandering, Charizard pandering with a few remarks about Gigantamaxing looking stupid in general. The negative voices are almost certainly a vocal minority in the sense that these games will sell well and most people like what they see, but it's still kind of nice to see people unhappy with the same things as me.

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1 hour ago, Blue Blood said:

I just can't stand these stories where human characters talk at you endlessly about friendship and/or destroying/taking-over the world using whichever nearby Pokémon is most convenient.

I really feel for you there, that kinda story stuff ranges from dull to painfully cringe inducing regardless if the viewer is a kid or adult. I also feel modern Sonic games suffer from that problem too... That cheesy speech Sonic gave at the end of Sonic Forces really hurt me inside. :V

56 minutes ago, Sean said:

I think Pokémon's strongest potential lies in slice of life and episodic moments, which is where I actually think the anime does very well. I never cared for the main plots and it's rather disappointing that side stories like the aforementioned creation of Mewtwo have largely been dropped from the picture.

The main plots rarely ever feel like something we can relate to or even would want to typically. For sure I think slice of life side story stuff should get more focus in the games, let the player discover on their own tons of interesting side stories of both people & Pokemon tucked away waiting to be found.

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1 hour ago, Blue Blood said:
2 hours ago, Soniman said:

 

The stories are more memorable only by virtue of the fact that there are stories. Gens 1 and 2 barely had plots, so of course you aren't going to remember them. However, the stories in all of the other games are unbearably stupid or unpalatable, with generic characters and almost no relevant to the Pokémon themselves. And just because it's been that way in the past doesn't mean it has to be that way. For example, I believe there were a few episodes of the XY anime series that dealt with a downright evil group of Malamar. Alternatively, the movies almost all deal with a legendary Pokémon doing something plot relevant and not just being summoned for an end- game battle. Plots that include Pokémon are always the best. You would think that a bit of personal connection and plot involvement should be minimal for the Pokémon series, no?

I mean if you dislike all the human characters and all the plots they're involved with were probably gonna have to agree to disagree on this one since I just don't really. Like it or not humans matter just as much as the Poke and we see the world though their eyes because we'll...you can identify with them. I guess it kinda sucks that Pokemon are secondary but...beneath all the flowery words it's essentially people taming animals so I understood why. I kinda figured that's what Mystery Dungeon was for, for the people who kinda want just the Pokemon getting the focus and telling more involved stories with them, even if they have at be anthromorphized to do it.

And the anime is an entirely different beast altogether. It's a different medium that has literally infinite time to flesh out the Pokemon just as much as the people hence why they get arcs alongside them on top of the Pokemon being faar less anamalistic than portrayed in game media usually. Like it would be nice to get that kinda thing in the games because I DO want that as well, but I understand why it would be unfeasable

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Pikachu and Eevee's forms being tied to Let's Go, and Meowth being a timed event is very stupid but also very Game Freak.

I think Mothrafree and Mega Charizard Z Gigantamax Charizard are pretty dope looking, however. Kinda makes me wish they just brought back Megas instead of doing the whole thing with Dynamax and Gigantamax; it's the same function with additional Z-move effects and a time limit. They could've rebalanced Megas to be like that.

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24 minutes ago, Soniman said:

I mean if you dislike all the human characters and all the plots they're involved with were probably gonna have to agree to disagree on this one since I just don't really. Like it or not humans matter just as much as the Poke and we see the world though their eyes because we'll...you can identify with them. I guess it kinda sucks that Pokemon are secondary but...beneath all the flowery words it's essentially people taming animals so I understood why. I kinda figured that's what Mystery Dungeon was for, for the people who kinda want just the Pokemon getting the focus and telling more involved stories with them, even if they have at be anthromorphized to do it.

And the anime is an entirely different beast altogether. It's a different medium that has literally infinite time to flesh out the Pokemon just as much as the people hence why they get arcs alongside them on top of the Pokemon being faar less anamalistic than portrayed in game media usually. Like it would be nice to get that kinda thing in the games because I DO want that as well, but I understand why it would be unfeasable

I think you're really misunderstanding me. I dislike the human characters because they're bad characters with bad stories, not because they're humans. The stories should involve Pokémon more, rather than just being tools to settle arguments with virtually no plot relevance. I don't want Mystery Dungeon stuff; that's a complete aside. It sucks that Pokémon in the story are nothing more than final boss fights. 

I really don't think that this kind of stuff, especially when told in smaller slice of life style plots. Even something little side stories like The Slowpoke Well and Red Gyarados in GSC are nice Pokémon-related plots that only need a little bit more to be fleshed out into something relevant. Some bad people were doing bad stuff to Pokémon. Then you come along trounce them with your Pokémon and... done. You don't help the Red Gyarados or anything. It just faints in battle/lives in a Pokéball forever (same with every legendary). It would be so great to see something like you earning its trust, it choosing to help you out at some point in the middle of the Rocket Hideout quest (double battle where the Gyarados is AI but you can't let it faint or something?) and then you can return to fight/catch it after that plot point is wrapped up. See what I'm getting at?

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Ah alright sorry, I get you,  I guess I just never really ever thought about it since I've always generally gravitated to the humans more than the Pokemon in general.

I still do think there's been a lot of strong, memorable human characters so to someone like me who gets something out out of that content the lack of personal focus on the Pokemon doesn’t bother me as much as those who don’t 

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Strictly speaking, that's a rational decision.  Gigantamaxes are individual-specific, not species-specific.  Evolve your special Gigantamaxing Eevee/Pikachu/Meowth, and you permanently lose access to that Gigantamax.

The decision to make Gigantamaxes individual-specific in the first place - that is stupid and I was confident from the start that it was done largely to event-lock certain Gigantamaxes.  But with that premise established, evolution-locking Pokemon with both a Gigantamax and an evolution makes sense.  You can always get more Pikachus, Eevees, and Meowths, but you can't get the Gigantamax anywhere else.

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