Where there's a Will, there's a way
- Mar 28, 2019
- Reaction score
Like a lot of people mentioned, 2D isn't necessarily easier than 3D, but I think that the kind of graphical leap Game Freak are trying to make is too big to be done in such a small amount of time. Zelda BotW took four years to make (? I think?). Sure, we aren't expecting BotW-level graphics, but I think Game Freak would need at least two years to make the graphics in this game the best they can be. Looking back, they really should have made SM for the Switch and maybe release the hypothetical Pokemon Z for the 3DS if Nintendo wanted something to keep selling that platform.
For those who say graphics don't matter and people complaining should shut it - this time around, when the Switch is capable of far more than any console Pokemon has been on, it's not that unreasonable for people to expect more. After all, we've seen large improvements in the graphics each gen so far, with Gen V making extensive use of 3D models mixed with sprites, then XY being blocky chibi-3D, and SM jumping to proper, more detailed 3D. The logical progression of that is Pokemon graphics similar to Nintendo's other franchises on Switch, such as Odyssey and BotW. Reiterating now that it's OK if you don't care about graphics, but other people do and for them it might be a big thing.
I was mostly OK with the graphics of SwSh when they were revealed - they're passable, but don't tell me you don't think something with fancier graphics would be nice. Pokemon has so many cool locations that could be done proper justice in luscious, carefully rendered 3D, and if it's moving to open-world having visually detailed areas becomes all the more important. The thing is that it feels like, to me at least, Game Freak is not getting enough time to focus on the core gameplay because of their busy release schedule and constant push to improve graphics. An open world is nice but who wants to explore it if there is nothing to do there?
This is why people wonder if moving back to 2D would improve anything. Remember HGSS, chock-full of sidequests and post-game content. Fighting Red - Safari - Gym Leader rematches - complicated quests to find Legendaries - Pokeathlon - you name it, it was in there. On the DS and the janky Gen 4 engine, no less, it was such an enjoyable, rich game. Go forwards to XY and you get the Looker quest, which was neat, and a few "collect a bunch of items" type things. That's it for the post game. And you don't have to complete puzzles to reach gym leaders, or fight your way through a maze-like cave to get to Mewtwo. Important items like the Mega Bracelet are just handed to you for free, as if Game Freak couldn't be bothered to code in a battle to make you prove your in-game worth. That makes it feel like less thought was put into the game, and you can't help but wonder if the push to move to 3D caused it, knowing that creating 3D graphics from scratch is significantly more difficult than making sprites.
I don't mind that the games are in 3D. I just wish Game Freak wasn't hobbled by such a tight release schedule. I'm happy that they are improving the stories of the game, even if I don't like their decisions to get rid of the puzzle-like parts and hand things to you on a platter. I believe (this is wild conjecturing, now) that if they weren't tied to yearly releases they would probably bring some of the puzzle like bits back because they'd have time to actually design it alongside creating better 3D graphics.
Just my opinion.