Leading up to its release, Pokemon Sword and Shield received some hate for the Dexit controversy. Developers Game Freak decided to cut many Pokemon from the game to save time. In total, Pokemon Sword and Shield’s Pokedex supports just over 400 Pokemon. That’s less than half of the total Pokedex across all regions. However, my first impressions of Nintendo’s latest JRPG are very positive.
1Pokemon Sword: Dexit Doesn’t Matter As Much As You Think
My favorite Pokemon, Emolga, has been cut from generation eight. It sucks. The question is how much of a negative impact does that have on my playthrough? A little for sure since Emolga is usually a lock for all of my teams. Generally speaking though, I got over it pretty quickly.
Here’s the thing with the Galar region. Many of the new environments are very open and encourage exploration. Actually seeing wild Pokemon roam free is far more fulfilling than just discovering them in grass patches. There’s a genuine feeling of surprise when you see something exotic or unexpected in the flesh.
For example, I encountered a level 32 Haunter within my first hour of playing Pokemon Sword. The idea of a Haunter just roaming around was cool enough, but the surprise of its strength panicked me. I had to find a way out of the battle before it swept my team. Fortunately, I had my trump card. Ninjask.
Ninjask is a bug type Pokemon with a staggering base speed of 160. That makes it the second-fastest Pokemon in the entire national dex, after Deoxys Speed Forme. Despite being less than half the level of the opposing Haunter, Ninjask’s crazy speed let it escape on the second try. Somehow, it managed to tank a Hex to the face.
I’m not saying these experiences couldn’t happen with the entire Pokedex present. Obviously, they could. However, I think Game Freak deserves a degree of credit where due, By sacrificing a large portion of the Pokedex they have managed to find time to enhance the encounter experience. I imagine if we had all 800 Pokemon they’d have just rushed in a generic old-school system instead. The lack of Pokemon sucks but there’s still plenty to fill the Galar region and create experiences like these.