Pokémon Sword and Shield Fans Critizing Leaked Reused Assets

Game Freak are being called liars by angry fans after leaks seem to show reused assets, contradicting an earlier statement.

Pokémon Sword and Shield is due to launch this week, but ahead of launch, there’s already an angry hashtag trending within the walls of Twitter. The hashtag has sparked a large number of tweets calling developer Game Freak liars after leaks surfaced apparently confirming that the game reuses Pokémon models from previous games.

It’s worth noting, if you don’t want to see spoilers, don’t click on the links below that I’ve tagged with (Spoiler).

Earlier this year, a hashtag #BringBackTheNationalDex trended on the social media website Twitter after irritated fans of the Pokémon games learned that not all Pokémon would be transferred to Sword and Shield. This sparked a response from Junichi Masuda who didn’t seem to be showing any plans to reverse the decision saying “this was a very difficult decision for me.”

A month after that statement, in a Famitsu interview with Junichi Masuda, it was explained why Game Freak had to cut the Pokémon roster. “I wanted to be able to bring every Pokémon if I could, but it was also a decision that I had to make eventually. In the end, I had no choice but to prioritize quality.”

In that same interview, Shigeru Ohmori stated “Even in Pokémon Sun and Moon it was quite the difficult situation to bring in every Pokémon , but then we switched to Nintendo Switch and the models had to be rebuilt from scratch”

Fast forward to today, users on Reddit who appear to have early copies of Sword and Shield have released images (Spoiler) of some character wireframe models that seem to indicate the models are identical. The Reddit post compares the Sword and Shield models with 2016s Sun and Moon models from the 3DS. There are more examples here (Spoiler) where “most of them are identical in both number of tris and appearance”.

Fans are voicing their anger stating that reusing the assets contradicts Game Freak’s statement in Famitsu. Essentially the overall tone of the hashtag is, “Game Freak said they were going to make the models from scratch and now you’ve lied to us!” Others are annoyed at leaked footage (Spoiler) which shows “wonky” animations that they aren’t impressed with.

Others have been mentioning the reused assets are just another problem as popular features veterans liked (Spoiler) don’t appear to be in the game. It was also said that apparently over 100 moves from past Pokémon games will not be returning to Sword and Shield.

In October, Game Informer ran an interview with Junichi Masuda who mentioned that cut Pokémon would be returning in the future and mentioned that Pokémon Home will be a key first step to that.

Pokémon Sword and Shield still has not officially launched and leaks usually aren’t anything to go by in regards to judging the overall quality of a game. There hasn’t been an official statement from Game Freak surrounding the angry hashtag, but on a lighter note, fans have been trending #ThankYouGameFreak as a way to fight back against the negativity surrounding the game’s launch.

What are your thoughts surrounding this? Do you care if Game Freak reused older assets for whatever developmental reason, even with an earlier statement claiming otherwise?

Pokémon Sword and Shield is due to launch on November 15 for Nintendo Switch.

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Ben Bayliss

Based in the UK and adores venturing through FPS horrors and taking photos in pretty much anything with a functioning photo mode. Also likes car games.

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