National Dex, Round 2: Fight!
As we all know, Game Freak dropped a bombshell on us at E3 this year, noting that not every Pokémon would return in Sword & Shield. For those of you who don't partake in the massive worldwide phenomenon, this concept is referred to as the "National Dex," a listing that unlocks after you beat the game, with the ability to store every existing creature from previous games. Given that over multiple decades the list has grown expontentially, there has been speculation that Game Freak would nix the idea of a massive list: that cutoff begins at Pokémon Sword & Shield.
Having covered the controversy for many months, it's clear that the vast majority of folks aren't happy about it. But by that same token, no amount of petitions are likely going to overturn Game Freak's decision, as Sword & Shield is nearly out, and there's been no discussion about including a National Pokedex. Game Informer even caught up with studio boss Junichi Masuda, who shared some new thoughts on the story.
Re-iterating why they doubled down on it, Masuda noted: "Going forward, thinking about the future of Pokémon, we want to prioritize all those new gameplay ideas, new ways to enjoy the game, and want to challenge ourselves at Game Freak to create new ways to enjoy the game. That’s really what drove the decision for this new direction." He also clarifies how they chose the ones they did, explaining, "I think one example of that is figuring out the Pokémon that would make sense for the setting of the game the most; these Pokémon look like they could live in the Galar region. We really spent a lot of effort deciding which would best fit the setting of the adventure and the features that we wanted to implement. I think players will be satisfied. There’s quite a few Pokémon that you’ll encounter in the Galar region Pokédex, so I think players will have fun seeing all the Pokémon."
But what about the future? It seems like those cut creatures will get their chance to shine once again...at some point. Masuda states, when asked about cut characters: "You can look forward to seeing Pokémon that don’t appear in these games appearing in different regions in future games. I think Pokémon Home, for a lot of players, will serve as a launching pad to gather them all there and then embark on future adventures."
Is that explanation going to be good enough for a lot of people? Of course not. But I think at this point Masuda has dished on it more than sufficiently, and at this point I just want to see first-hand what "new" ideas Sword & Shield can bring to the table to make up for it.