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I think Pokemon Sword/Shield has the worst story I have ever played through (SPOILERS)

Splader

Member
Feb 12, 2018
1,896
Ignoring the aggressive title for a second, I really, really had a great time with this game. I didn't think I was going to like it at all, but a few hours in and I was loving it. The world, the camera angles, the customization, the new pokemon, the music, the gym battles, all of it was so damn well done. The Wild Area as well felt like an entirely new game (kinda) that I mostly avoided early on not to overlevel my pokemon. The gym battles were also very well done and memorable. My only initial complaints were with exp share (which ended up working out well actually) and hop interupting me ever 3 seconds.

And then I hit the last leg of the game.

I was already irritated over the whole "hey you do your kid stuff we'll do the important stuff" crap the game kept feeding you, but whatever, the gym challenge was fun so I didn't really mind. This started to get worse and worse though as more interesting things were happening off screen, and then you had that weird as hell completely out of place moment trying to find a key? And the entire chase is literally useless (and why not just take it from him after we beat him?) when you make it to the top and they go "oh, just joking, go back to sleep."

It was one of the most jarring things I've seen. Complete tonal shift and for no reason I can see. At this point I'm already losing my fire and passion to keep playing but I enjoyed doing the gym trainers again (though how the heck does someone just walk into the stadium without anyone stopping them lol?), and then of course the conclusion of the story starts when literally all I want to do is fight Leon (something they've been building since 10 seconds into the game).

And... It's completely out of the left field. This "Eternatus" has zero backstory/buildup, the adults are all of a sudden completely useless, your character is incapable of having any kind of self thought (and don't even get me started on the less than useless "options" you get in game). The chairman is made out to be some kind of tragic character (or they try to anyway) when all I want to do is screw all of these guys and just leave ("oh, save the chairman!" "Yeah, no I'm good.") At this point I still have no idea how this comes into play into saving the world (a thousand years in the future?!!) and for some incomprehensible reason the chairman can't afford to wait one day lol? After waiting who knows how many weeks the entire challenge took?

Like seriously, just evacuate the town, bring the strongest trainers, and then summon the pokemon. This isn't rocket science. One day in 1000 years is goddamn negligible.

The fight itself was well animated, though I once again felt like a complete side character as the legendary pokemon did the entire battle on their own. There was no suspense in catching Eternatus and at this point I cared so little about the game that I just went and put it on my team for my duel against Leon.

Okay, sorry for the long post and yes there is some nitpicking here, but it was a sum of all of the above (and more I didn't mention) that really soured me on the game.

It went from an 8 -8.5 straight to a 7.5-8.

I would still recommend the game though. Barring the terrible story, the game is a lot of fun to play through, especially if you haven't played Pokemon in a while.
 

Joseki

Member
Nov 5, 2017
6,568
The step down from SM to SwSh is insane. SwSh may very well be worse than XY, that at least cared enough to not kept you away from anything interesting that happened.




It's infuriating how many times you are told "don't worry to check [INTERESTING EVENT HAPPENING], just beat the next gym".
 

Linkark07

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,430
Haven't played it, but nothing can beat Fire Emblem Fates Conquest. The story of that game is insultingly bad.
 

lvl 99 Pixel

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,556
sounds like standard Pokemon fare tbh
great regional design work that's dragged down by the writing
 

Soap

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,356
It is pretty bad, but the barebones nature of it seems as rushed as everything else.
 

SpokkX

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,836
Hmm pokemon stories are always awful - is this worse than usual? Is that possible?
 

Kegels

Member
Jan 24, 2019
2,389
Its fucking terrible. I heard pokemon black has a good story and I just cant believe it so im playing it
 

Yuntu

Member
Nov 7, 2019
357
Germany
I really don't agree. X/Y is the only entry where the story is ... wait what even was the story in X/Y?

Sword and Shield seem very harmless because it really doesn't focus much on it.
 

unholyFarmer

Member
Jan 22, 2019
391
Have you ever played XY though? While SwSh story is certainly bad (just character arcs are decent), XY story is probably the worst one I've seen in a rpg. Even small kids should find that stuff offensively embarassing.

A shame since SuMo was heading in the right direction in terms of story, they just had to remove the handholding, speed up the pacing and give us better rivals/side characters.
 

Ryuelli

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,612
they somehow went from Sun and Moon, to this.

I don't know how they did it, but damn
I don't think S/M was all that great either, it suffered from the same "You're not really relevant to the story" thing that Splader brought up. The player character was just along for the ride, Lillie was the main character.
 

Rosebud

Member
Apr 16, 2018
6,725
I don't think it has a bad story because... it doesn't have a story, like almost every Pokemon game.

It's fine by me. I always thought they should focus in Pokemon/regions lore instead of a traditional story.
 

Greywaren

Member
Jul 16, 2019
1,744
It's not good, but most Pokémon storylines aren't good. The main focus of the series is catching and fighting Pokémon, the story is an excuse for everything else.

That being said, I think it's pretty average for the series except for a couple scenes that are really bad.
 

Yuntu

Member
Nov 7, 2019
357
Germany
Also a lot of people complained about the story being there too much in Sun/Moon, GF probably took that a bit too far and didn't focus the game on its story at all.
 
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Splader

Splader

Member
Feb 12, 2018
1,896
Have you ever played XY though? While SwSh story is certainly bad (just character arcs are decent), XY story is probably the worst one I've seen in a rpg. Even small kids should find that stuff offensively embarassing.

A shame since SuMo was heading in the right direction in terms of story, they just had to remove the handholding, speed up the pacing and give us better rivals/side characters.
I haven't, I should mention that in the OP actually.
The last pokemon game I played seriously was Platinum, though I was in the process of making it through the intial 3 hours of Sun (somehow a gargantuan task) when I picked up Sword instead.
There's still like an hour of story stuff to go.
Oh really eh? I'll go ahead and finish that today then. Thanks!
 

Annabel

Member
Mar 22, 2019
661
I still think they should've just fully focused on the Gym Challenge. It was the first time in any Pokemon game where the Gyms actually felt important and like a real sport. It was always at its strongest when they focused on that.

Leave the Galar lore stuff for the post game or optional sidequests. Gold and Silver didnt utilize Lugia or Ho Oh in its main campaign and it was just fine.
Its fucking terrible. I heard pokemon black has a good story and I just cant believe it so im playing it
BW1 has an alright story.

Its basic Pokemon but with a lot of fluff truths and ideals talk. I'd almost say it's trying too hard to be a more "mature" game.
 
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Splader

Splader

Member
Feb 12, 2018
1,896
how is this possible? I am intrigued now. Is it the same shit about you being a kid and winning against other trainers as a base?
Not sure about the other games, but in this one they refuse to let you do anything because you're a kid. You get a few lore dumps here and there and it isn't until the very end where they're like "oh, yeah I guess help out maybe." Bah
 

Moist_Owlet

Avenger
Dec 26, 2017
2,275
Have you ever played XY though? While SwSh story is certainly bad (just character arcs are decent), XY story is probably the worst one I've seen in a rpg. Even small kids should find that stuff offensively embarassing.

A shame since SuMo was heading in the right direction in terms of story, they just had to remove the handholding, speed up the pacing and give us better rivals/side characters.
I think SwSH would have been better with no story
 

Ryuelli

Member
Oct 26, 2017
4,612
I still think they should've just fully focused on the Gym Challenge. It was the first time in any Pokemon game where the Gyms actually felt important and like a real sport. It was always at its strongest when they focused on that.
Definitely agree. I loved how relevant gyms felt again and gym challenges while simple, were pretty fun. My only real complaint is that dumb uniform you had to wear.
 

Linkark07

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,430
Conquest ain't as bad as Revelations, though.


Yeah, Revelations is that bad. SwSh is up there too
Revelation is bad, that can't be denied. But Conquest is completely nonsensical.

Dad tried to kill me, but I will still return to Nohr. Dad is obviously a Saturday morning cartoon villain, but I will still be loyal to him for some weird reason. Oh, look that dancer with the black dress that looks similar to the white dress Azura wears and long blue hair ... I don't know who she is.

Dad is a literal monster, so let's attack Hoshido, kill who knows how many people, including my real family, so my Nohr siblings realize dad is evil and a monster.

At least the gimmick of Revelations was that we can't say anything about this weird kingdom, so I hope everyone trusts me and join my army. While it is bad, is inoffensive compared to Conquest.

Only positive thing I can say of Conquest is it is the best route when you only consider the gameplay, maps and difficulty.
 

Joseki

Member
Nov 5, 2017
6,568
how is this possible? I am intrigued now. Is it the same shit about you being a kid and winning against other trainers as a base?
The thing is, in the past games you at least get involved with the plot of the bad guys. You get to explore their facilities, stop them in some cities.

Here the plot goes as usual, except every time there is any event of this sort, a NPC will come and tell you "don't worry about that, just focus on beating the next gym" and essentially all the story happens off-screen.

You just happen to kinda be at the right place at the end to stop the legendary Pokémon (not the cover Pokémons, the 3rd in the trio) again after NPCs already did all the shit needed (and you never see any of that).
 

RochHoch

Member
May 22, 2018
5,206
It obviously was not finished.

Feels like they honestly did not have enough time to even make more cutscenes to flesh it out, so they hurried to move the player to all the necessary battles and then called it a a day. It's like when you have an essay due the next morning but have barely worked on it all, forcing you to scrap together something presentable the night before.
 

Yuntu

Member
Nov 7, 2019
357
Germany
The thing is, in the past games you at least get involved with the plot of the bad guys. You get to explore their facilities, stop them in some cities.

Here the plot goes as usual, except every time there is any event of this sort, a NPC will come and tell you "don't worry about that, just focus on beating the next gym" and essentially all the story happens off-screen.

You just happen to kinda be at the right place at the end to stop the legendary Pokémon (not the cover Pokémons, the 3rd in the trio) again after NPCs already did all the shit needed (and you never see any of that).
It felt more like a Pokemon Movie than a Pokemon Anime series with how its handled the plot.

Does that make sense? I dunno but thats how it felt to me lol
 
OP
OP
Splader

Splader

Member
Feb 12, 2018
1,896
It obviously was not finished.

Feels like they honestly did not have enough time to even make more cutscenes to flesh it out, so they hurried to move the player to all the necessary battles and then called it a a day. It's like when you have an essay due the next morning but have barely worked on it all, forcing you to scrap together something presentable the night before.
Definitely felt like some of the padding was just there to level your pokemon before you faced the next trainer. The whole league staff thing before the gym battles and the gym battles again before you face leon.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,608
Rubber City
I was more engaged with the angst and competition between all the challengers and how they've made it into a televised "season" than I was in the Rose stuff. Just zero tension in that stuff. The post game stuff is wild and feels like it was part of the main quest then split off into their own thing late in development.
 

Joseki

Member
Nov 5, 2017
6,568
I was more engaged with the angst and competition between all the challengers and how they've made it into a televised "season" than I was in the Rose stuff. Just zero tension in that stuff. The post game stuff is wild and feels like it was part of the main quest then split off into their own thing late in development.
The post game is essentially backtracking and boss rushing non stop.
 

Nightbird

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
3,097
Germany
If the story would have stayed being about the Gym challenge it would have been much more enjoyable.

This game really didn't need the sudden world ending threat that came out of nowhere
 

ffdgh

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,326
The Mushroom Kingdom
Revelation is bad, that can't be denied. But Conquest is completely nonsensical.

Dad tried to kill me, but I will still return to Nohr. Dad is obviously a Saturday morning cartoon villain, but I will still be loyal to him for some weird reason. Oh, look that dancer with the black dress that looks similar to the white dress Azura wears and long blue hair ... I don't know who she is.

Dad is a literal monster, so let's attack Hoshido, kill who knows how many people, including my real family, so my Nohr siblings realize dad is evil and a monster.

At least the gimmick of Revelations was that we can't say anything about this weird kingdom, so I hope everyone trusts me and join my army. While it is bad, is inoffensive compared to Conquest.

Only positive thing I can say of Conquest is it is the best route when you only consider the gameplay, maps and difficulty.
Azura could have saved everyone and Hoshido a lot of trouble if she took the royals on a quick trip to the giant chasm in Nohr.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,608
Rubber City
The post game is essentially backtracking and boss rushing non stop.
I'm talking about the end game antagonists mostly but some of the mechanics like the raids at the gyms feel like it could have been intended for the main game. I could see how the two could have a Jessie/James Team Rocket vibe and be placed around the main game, or how the raids were part of some aspect of confronting the gym leaders.

If the story would have stayed being about the Gym challenge it would have been much more enjoyable.

This game really didn't need the sudden world ending threat that came out of nowhere
1000%
 

ILikeFeet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
25,406
I don't think S/M was all that great either, it suffered from the same "You're not really relevant to the story" thing that Splader brought up. The player character was just along for the ride, Lillie was the main character.
that's not a problem. the story is still coherent and you actually see shit happen. in SS, there are gaping holes where there is supposed to be plot, there are things that happen for seemingly no reason (Rose building), no reasonable character motivation (everything chairman Rose), and shit popping up out of nowhere because of the lack of build up.

not liking the fact the PC doesn't have any relevancy is fine, but everything logically followed. here, it sure as hell doesn't
 

rainbowjet

Member
Aug 28, 2019
20
China
The game is, at most, half-done. It needed another 6 months in the oven, but Nintendo needed a big game in November, and GameFreak isn't competent to make a JRPG of any scale with the team they have and the schedule they have.

People saying that all pokemon stories are trash, this is true, but here's the caveat: you participate in those stories. You meet, fight, chase, and stop the bad guy. You thwart their plans, and while they're somewhere between JRPG villains and Scooby Doo villains, you interact with them. Since the GBA games, you had involvement with the villains, they had plans. First few hours of Platinum, you meet an Interpol agent hunting down Team Galactic, you meet the villain of the game, who is learning about the myths of Sinnoh as you go along. Then, turns out, Team Galactic has kidnapped some dude to steal his honey, so they can attract more Pokemon for them to use, and they've also kidnapped a guy at the wind power plant to steal energy for their whacked out dimensional plan. You stop them and save the man so the ghost balloons will come back. That shit's stupid, but you're in the game, not getting told that they couldn't fucking finish it on time. That's more incident, stakes, and story than happens in all of Sword and Shield.

Anyway, GameFreak is unique in that they have more money than god, ownership of their key IP, and a highly profitable relationship with a platform holder. However, their talent and output has been constantly declining in quality this decade, their ability to adapt to industry standards like "a 3D game" and "an HD game" is pitiful, they get slave driven by TPCi, and won't staff up or intervene to prop up the quality of their franchise in any meaningful way. They're not lazy, but they're not to be pitied for making games of declining and barely acceptable quality. They're in an impossible position where expectations for their projects are unmeetable given timetables and management.
 

DNAbro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
8,163
Yeah it’s not great but definitely not the worst I’ve played.

I played YIIK this year and boy does that game make almost any other feel like a masterpiece
 

Moirayn

Member
Nov 7, 2018
918
Yeah, I'm still enjoying Sword & Shield for other stuff, but it's basically a non-story. It's either an F or like an I for incomplete, b/c clearly it was an afterthought. That said it has some of the more charming characters in recent memory (as far as pokemon games go) which helps a bit.
 

GuacamoleM10

Member
Feb 26, 2019
655
I don't think you are allowed to critizice GameFreak. Era appearantly bans everyone immediately because they don't want to hear the truth. At the end they destroyed the franchise and the story after gen 5.
 
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Splader

Splader

Member
Feb 12, 2018
1,896
I don't think you are allowed to critizice GameFreak. Era appearantly bans everyone immediately because they don't want to hear the truth. At the end they destroyed the franchise and the story after gen 5.
I think the game itself is good to great at times. There are so many things that it does well, the gyms especially.
I just don't understand how it was saddled with this story. Like how did it get past the draft page and into the main game?
 
Oct 27, 2017
15,479
they get slave driven by TPCi, and won't staff up or intervene to prop up the quality of their franchise in any meaningful way.
Where is the proof of this? Please, if even one person can provide evidence of this being the case. Because I truly believe the problem is mismanagement. Masuda refuses the staff up. He claims he wants to keep the company small, but presiding over 1000 employees, with hundreds being contractors is far less manageable than if they were full time, so the excuse really makes little sense. I believe they have the resources (ie. money and position within TPC) to develop good games, I just don't think they're managed (from a project management perspective) well