Pokémon Sword and Shield are NOT reusing animations from older games

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I wouldn’t blame Pokémon game developer Game Freak if they wanted to recycle some assets for their games. When you’ve got hundreds upon hundreds of Pokémon to redesign for the latest game, thousands of moves to inject into the gameplay and a whole new world to develop, the job ahead is stacked to say the least. Which of course, has resulted in fans claiming that Pokémon Sword and Shield has taken the lazy way out.

According to the same fans who presumably want to know why Game Freak can’t just do their job properly and create custom animations for each Pokémon and the attacks they can use which would result in literally thousands of unique animations, the models for this generation’s pocket monsters are lifted straight from the previous 3DS games.

Not so! As reddit proved when it dug up an old Famitsu report from June 13, Game Freak may not be able to include every Pokémon ever at this stage in Sword and Shield (Which when you’ve got near a thousand of them is completely understandable), but the Pokémon that are present within the game all feature brand new models, new and old ‘mons alike.

Game Freak’s Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori further explained back then how the switch to…uh…the Switch, made the development process more difficult when compared to the 3DS era. Higher visual standards and a creeping increase in the Pokémon available resulted in a lengthier development and the decision to trim the National Pokedex was made. Combined with gameplay mechanics such as Mega Evolution and the new Dynamax system and the task ahead was massive for Game Freak.

Even so, the team did manage to recreate every single Pokémon model that is in the game. Some of those models were done multiple times thanks to the Dynamax system, so that Pokémon didn’t look like 360p video on a 4K TV when they initiated their gigantic mode. It’s crazy when you think about it, as a full Pokedex would mean that Game Freak needs to:

  • Have over a thousand Pokémon models
  • Animations for every move that said Pokémon can do
  • Mega Evolutions for applicable Pokémon
  • Regional variants
  • Dynamaxing for applicable Pokémon
  • Specific evolution methods for some tricky Pokémon
  • Balance the wild areas to feature the bulk of them

Honestly, I’m fine with that. Less is more and if the end result means that trash Pokémon such as Bidoof get the boot in favour of newer and cooler critters, then more power to Game Freak.

Last Updated: July 15, 2019

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