Pokemon Sword and Shield review bombed after Game Freak controversy

Well, it’s happened again. As it was with last year’s Pokemon Let’s Go releases and several other popular games this release season, Pokemon Sword and Shield is currently getting review bombed over on MetaCritic. The game has had many controversies pre-launch, mostly centering around the removal of the National Dex and support of a good chunk of Pokemon and moves along with it. There are also more recent complaints about some of the models in the game comparing quite well to the 3DS iterations of certain Pocket Monsters.  The complaint to the #GameFreakLied trend on Twitter this past week, as well as some calls to boycott the game.

Scoping out some of the reviews, they complain about cut corners, outdated graphics and rushed design. Other unpopular features include the forced usage of EXP Share in this iteration and the need to find a hidden item as you play to adjust the game’s volume. Pokemon Sword sits at a 3.4 User Score on the site, while Pokemon Shield has a 3.2. Both games achieved an 81 Metascore and a Strong rating on OpenCritic, with generally favorable reviews from critics across the board.

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Game Freak has not directly responded to the ongoing controversies, but they’ve been firm on the various changes. The National Dex was deemed impractical, citing difficulties in balancing close to 900 monsters in the new generation. Similarly, other changes were made to appease newer fans of the franchise, particularly those coming in from last year’s Red and Blue remakes and the ever-popular Pokemon GO on smartphones.

Pokemon Sword and Shield is the first mainline release for the franchise on a home console, as previous games have been exclusive to Nintendo’s handhelds. Only time will tell if any of the former fan’s actions will have a significant impact on the release, which is expected to once again sell in record numbers.