Pokémon Sword and Shield will not allow gamers to complete a full National Pokédex, which means that Nintendo and Game Freak won’t be cramming the entire compendium of critters into these new titles. Catching them all, in a completist sense, will not be possible in Sword and Shield.
Instead, there will be a curated selection of Pokémon supported in Sword and Shield, mixing old favorites with new faces. You’ll only be able to use Pokémon that are found in the game’s newly-introduced Galar region, and you won’t be able to trade in creatures from other games that cannot be found natively in Galar. This news came as something of a surprise, especially considering that a service called Pokémon Home was recently announced, with the sole purpose of letting you bring your Pokémon together from different games.
If they did include every single Pokémon that the franchise has ever produced, you’d be looking at well over 800 creatures in Sword and Shield. And now, speaking to US Gamer, Pokémon Sword and Shield producer Junichi Masuda has defended the decision not to try and squeeze all of them in.
“There are a couple of different parts to the thinking behind it,” Junichi Masuda explained, “but really the biggest reason for it is just the sheer number of Pokemon. We already have well over 800 Pokemon species, and there’s going to be more added in these games. And now that they’re on the Nintendo Switch, we’re creating it with much higher fidelity with higher quality animations. But even more than that, it’s coming down to the battle system. We’re making sure we can keep everything balanced and give all the Pokemon that appear in the games a chance to shine.”
He continued: “We knew at some point we weren’t going to be able to indefinitely keep supporting all of the Pokemon, and we just found that Sword and Shield would probably be a good point to go back and reevaluate what would be the best selection of Pokemon that appeal to the widest audience while keeping into consideration the balance of the battle system. It isn’t just going to be all-new Pokemon in the Galar region Pokedex; there’s still going to be a lot of favorites that fans will be able to bring over that they’ve adventured with previously. But yeah, it was pretty much just balancing and getting this optimal selection of Pokemon for the adventure we wanted to provide.”
Pokémon Sword and Shield launch on Nintendo Switch on November, 15th 2019, and we’ll keep you posted as we hear more.