Pokémon Sword and Shield Developers Receive Backlash for Game’s Animations

Game Freak, the developers behind Pokémon Sword and Shield, are receiving heated comments revolving around the game’s animations. According to fans, based on the gameplay they’ve seen, Game Freak did not take full advantage of graphics for the Nintendo Switch and are not releasing a game that lives up to its full potential.

At the time of this writing, the hashtag #GameFreakLied is the top trend on Twitter, which stems from Sword and Shield‘s animations and graphics. The trending tweets detail show screenshots and video clips of the game, some comparing them to current Nintendo Switch titles, such as Dragon Quest XI. Previously, the mainline Pokémon games have released on Nintendo’s handheld devices, like the Nintendo 3DS.

Sword and Shield marks the first chance for Game Freak to expand its development capabilities, since the Switch is significantly more powerful than past handhelds. However, fans feel the Sword and Shield graphics more closely align with previous titles.

To provide an example of this, one Twitter user compared the recently released Dragon Quest XI to the upcoming Sword and Shield animations.

Another shows a Pokémon battle where a Pokémon barely jumps up and down to perform an attack. There’s also a brief clip of a trainer wandering around the world, observing wild Pokémon that are moving through a field with limited animations for movement.

Game Freak has been mired with controversy, starting when players learned there was not going to be a national PokéDex in the game, which would include Pokémon from every generation up to Sword and Shield. Instead, there’s roughly 400 Pokémon in the game, with over 800 spanning the entire series.

Despite the overall fan criticism, the reviews from several websites, such as IGN, Gamespot, Game Informer, and GamesRadar, have been positive. We’ll need to wait until the end of the weekend, and a little bit into November, to learn how much the backlash hits Game Freak’s overall sales.

Players still have the option to pre-order Pokémon Sword and Shield from Nintendo’s eShop ahead of the release.