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Pokémon BDSP Fans Disappointed by Roomba-like Walking Animations

December 1, 2021

One of the most special parts of Pokémon BDSP is the ability to have your Pokémon walk alongside you – but players were unpleasantly surprised by some Pokémon’s stiff walking animations.

The much anticipated Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl brought back Sinnoh favorites along with new cute features for the Generation IV remake. Taking a leaf out of Pokémon Soul Silver/Heart Gold, Pokémon can now walk alongside player characters outside of their Pokéballs.

This feature was one of the Pokémon franchise’s sweetest design decisions, making the bond between the player and their Pokémon all the more real. That’s why, when Nintendo announced this as a feature for Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl, many fans were excited to finally see their Poké-friends in the overworld again.

However, a few players were disappointed by some of their favorite Pokémon‘s walking animations, criticizing the stiff and lifeless movements of the models.

Pokémon | Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Trailer

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Pokémon | Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Trailer
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WHAT’S WITH THE POKÉMON BDSP WALKING ANIMATIONS?

In the game, players can choose one Pokémon from their party to walk alongside them. Most Pokémon have their own unique walking animation, from Arbok’s slither to Venonat’s bouncy steps.

Though, in a Reddit post by user UrFriendlySpider-Man, it’s clear that not all animations received the same level of care. In the video, UrFriendlySpider-Man’s player character runs along a path, followed by a coiled-up Ekans. Instead of a snake slither, like expected, Ekans just stays coiled, stiffly sliding along the ground.

The models’ strange movement prompted many on the r/Pokémon subreddit to point out that Ekans moves more like a Roomba than a snake. Looking at the round, still model, it’s honestly an accurate comparison to the automated vacuum.

Additionally, other snake-like Pokémon unfortunately received the same treatment. Pokémon like Milotic were subjected to floating or sliding static models, leaving otherwise beautiful Pokémon to look lifeless.

Looking at the overall collection of walking animations, it’s strange to see such a wide range of detail. While the serpentine Pokémon were left with balloon-like movements, others like Garchomp or Golem were given multiple unique sequences.

For a game all about creating special friendships and bonds with Pokémon, it’s sad to see some neglected. Part of the joy of these games, particularly this walk-together feature, is seeing the personalities of your player character’s party. So, without equal expressiveness, many of the Pokémon models just remain lackluster in comparison.

Now, it’s unknown whether to not Nintendo aims to address this. Animation, especially on this scale, is no small task, and an overhaul of any kind of Pokémon walking animation would be a massive undertaking.

In the meantime, Pokémon Brilliant Diamond/Shining Pearl is available to play on Switch.

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Natalie Schmidt
@bynatalies

Natalie (She/Her) is a writer and game design enthusiast hailing from way-too-sunny Los Angeles. She loves to dissect game narrative and analyze mechanics, but she doesn’t even want to think about how many hours she’s spent playing D&D or The Witcher 3. Aside from triple-A adventures, she’s passionate about RPGs of all kinds and meaningful representation in games

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