If you’re a Pokémon fan like me, chances are high that you have an active Pokémon Bank subscription where you keep a legion of legendary creatures, rare pocket monsters and maybe too many Umbreons. You’re probably also thinking that once Pokémon Shield and Sword arrive, you’re going to link accounts, transfer over from the new Pokémon Home service a few level 100 beasts that you’ve raised to be nigh-unstoppable and then use them to conquer the Pokémon League.
That ain’t happening. Speaking during the Treehouse livestream after yesterday’s Nintendo Direct, producer Junichi Masuda revealed that there would be some transfer limits in place for Sword and Shield. “Players will be able to transfer their Pokémon from Pokémon Home only if they appear in the Galar region Pokedex,” Masuda explained.
In previous games that worked with the Pokémon Bank service, you were able to–for example, in Sun and Moon–bring over any Pokémon, even if they weren’t in the Alola Pokedex.
But with the transition to the Nintendo Switch hardware, being much more powerful [and] allowing us to be much more expressive with each of the individual Pokémon … at Game Freak we really spent a lot of time thinking about what the best way to move forward was, really preserving the quality of all the different Pokémon while also taking into account the battle balance, having so many different Pokémon available, all within a limited development time so we don’t keep fans waiting too long for every new entry in the series.
And after a lot of discussion, we decided to come to a new direction.
I’m fine with that. You’ve got a gigantic technical hurdle as Game Freak needs to not only craft a new land to explore, but incorporate Pokémon from the past into it as well. Throw in the new Dynamax system, the software needed to make each Pokémon look just right on the Switch and give them a set of moves that ties into the greater elemental strengths and weaknesses gameplay, and that makes for a daunting challenge.
More than that though, you’ve also got to think about the journey ahead. Where’s the fun in starting Pokémon with a massive advantage? Sure, traded Pokémon will only be fully under your control once you do the gym leader challenge in its entirety, but there’s something to be said for raising a team of Pokémon across the entire game, growing them and trusting that they’ll be enough to take on the Elite Four.
That’s where the real magic of Pokémon lies. With current designs for the handful of glimpsed Pokémon looking sweet and adorable so far, I’m ready to take that plunge come November 15. Because you just know that I’m going to have an army of Wooloo that I’ll be sending into battle.
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Last Updated: June 12, 2019