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Pokemon Sword and Shield: National Pokedex Outrage Explained

One of the most exciting aspects of any new Pokemon game is the discovery of all the new monsters populating the brand-new region you’re exploring. Some wacky designs in the early game give way to cooler and more interesting monsters to pummel and capture by the time you’re approaching the higher levels.

Sword and Shield
Nintendo | Game Freak | The Pokemon Company

However, it seems that in order to squeeze those new designs into the development of the newest titles in the series, Game Freak had to make some cuts.

When the company announced that not every Pokemon from the series’ history would find its way into Sword and Shield, a vocal minority of fans made their disappointment known.

Why Are People Angry About the National Pokedex?

The announcement of some Pokemon being cut from the game altogether incensed many fans. A twitter campaign was ignited, with many blasting any official word on the game with hundreds of “#bringbacknationaldex” tweets. Many questioned Game Freak’s skills as developers, while others accused the company of just being lazy.

On the other side of things, some felt that the outcry was a little overblown. Many accused the “bring back National ‘Dex” crowd of being “entitled” or otherwise blowing a minor issue out of proportion.

The consensus among fans was that they were disappointed in the removal of some of the creatures, but they were excited about the new game regardless.

Recent Leaks Fan the Flames… or Not?

The “National ‘Dex” crowd has had a lot to discuss recently, with a supposed leak of the regional Pokedex for Sword and Shield appearing on popular site Reset Era. The supposed final list shows that “only” 400 Pokemon will be able to be caught in the game. The rest won’t be able to be brought forward from older games, even via services like “Pokemon Bank.”

However, many commenters online have noted that 400 is a huge number of creatures to collect and battle with. While exact numbers aren’t available, it seems as though only a small minority of players have a large quantity of Pokemon from older games they’re constantly importing ahead to each new generation.

Whether the National Pokedex debacle has soured you on the game has a lot to do with your taste for preserving a “Living Pokedex.” However, time will tell what the future holds for the cut Pokemon–and whether Game Freak will release another main-series entry into the franchise that can be home to each and every one of the over 1,000 creatures from the series’ storied history.

Cameron Norris

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