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Missed Opportunities in the Galar Region

Ophie

Salingerian Phony
As for me, I felt the exploration was the weakest aspect of the game, as you have two Galar Mines, and a pretty cool mystical forest, and that's about it. I think the Crowned Tundra will increase this aspect more than the Isle of Armor already has by not only being more diverse than the wild area, but having different landmarks to explore for Regis and whatnot.

I have the feeling there were going to be full-fledged dungeons in the game, but it was an early thing to go in the chopping block. The reason for this is that there is a power plant in Route 3 that Sonia speaks about, and there's a roped-off path that leads there, but it's never mentioned again, and you can never reach the building. Historically, after caves and forests, the third most common dungeon theme in Pokémon games are industrial buildings. The way I see it, that was likely going to be a dungeon with a plot point, possibly with Team Yell admins (which I would say, well, is a missed opportunity, as Team Yell is the first adversarial team you fight without admins--even Aether Foundation had one in Faba).

On the Galar region map, to the very West of the Wild Area (where there's just a cliff wall in the actual game), there's an area beyond a railway bridge that looks like it could've been a little beach where you could catch the likes of Krabby or Wingull, and could lead toward a little bit of sea where you can surf around and catch marine Pokemon. It's a shame there weren't more sea routes in the game other than Route 9, and a bit of the Wild Area with a beach that leads to a sea would've been great. I mean it would've made more sense than Wailmer just being in a little land-locked pond far away from the sea (how did it get there?).

I've noticed that too, and I suspect that was originally going to be a seaside section of the Wild Area that was ultimately cut.

Something else on the hand-drawn Galar map: There is what appears to be a dead volcano to the northeast of Hammerlocke. It's on the eastern end of the gigantic cliff walls. That honestly looks like a major battle would've taken place there, though I couldn't tell you what it could've been. In addition, there appears to be a hole in the middle of the cliffs at ground level that you could walk into. Considering it's a hop skip and jump to Wyndon, this may have originally been Galar's Victory Road.

And while it did make the final game, the Wyndon Eye (or whatever it would've been called) serves no purpose. Considering its location, this may have been some alternate battling facility to Battle Tower.

Honestly I don't think they are hard but I found it had actually strategy with the Totems and smart AI/good movepools. I do think they're the most difficult games but not by a significant margin.

Besides the first-generation games, when Game Freak still had to learn how to control their own games' difficulty, it's Genius Sonority who's in charge of the tougher Pokémon games. The Orre games definitely felt a step up in difficulty, but at the cost of befuddling people who passed on the handheld Nintendo systems and went straight to Pokémon Colosseum or Gale of Darkness as their first games. Of course, Genius Sonority is now relegated to mobile Pokémon games when they're not making Denpa Men games.

I think that's the important takeaway here: Pokémon games, especially main series games, will be many people's first Pokémon game, many people's first RPG, and many people's first video game. I think that's the implication with what Masuda said. These are the people most likely to get frustrated and stop playing.

The precursor to the Just Dance games, for instance, was Boogie for the Wii. It was a HOT seller, yet the game practically plays itself--despite it being a rhythm game where you move the Wii Remote to the directions of the arrows, Boogie didn't care what direction y0u moved the remote or even if you're moving it outside of the rhythmic cues. It cared only if you were moving the Wii Remote at all when the prompt took place. It was very popular among people holding parties, where those who had never touched a video game before could kick butt, or at least feel like they kick butt! The same criticisms for the Pokémon series' difficulty could also apply to Boogie, and the critics tore the game apart for those very same reasons, but Boogie wasn't aimed at the sort of people who read video game reviews, and in a sense, neither are the Pokémon main series games. Both are designed to allow beginners to feel like champs, though Pokémon does still require you at least pay attention to what's going on, unlike Boogie.
 

Bolt the Cat

Bringing the Thunder
The whole game is full of missed opportunities. The short, linear dungeons, the bland design of the Wild Area, Dexit. But there's one area of the game in particular that I'd like to highlight and that's the story. What a massive letdown. There were some elements of this story that had the potential to make it really good, but they completely dropped the ball here. Leon being an undefeated Champion backed by a shady figure that we all assumed would be the villain in Rose really laid the groundwork for a really good storyline with Leon's wins being fixed, and the plot point with Spikemuth being relatively rundown because of the lack of a Power Spot and Marnie and Team Yell fighting back against that really only enhanced that, so it was profoundly disappointing that when it came time for the big reveal of Rose's plans, all it amounted to was Rose trying to summon Eternatus to cause the Dynamax Apocalypse. No plot points about corruption in the League, no explanation about why Leon inexplicably never lost until you beat him, it's just another generic plot with the bad guy using the legendary to do bad stuff and nothing more. This storyline could've been really, really good if they went the right direction with it but they didn't.
 

Spider-Phoenix

#ChespinGang
Yeah, because of that whole "undefeated" thing, Leon came off as a boring and unappealing champion. I don't see anything on his team that makes him any different than his peers like Cynthia or Steven.

At least if we had a plot like Rose rigging the matches, Leon's title would have more credence going for it. But I guess Heaven forbid GF putting a champion - who tend to end up popular characters - being portrayed as even slightly evil or unethical.
 

Auraninja

Eh, ragazzo!
I don't get the appeal of the "Rose made Leon the champion" alt plot idea.

What I liked about the reveal was that Rose isn't evil or really that bad, he just got a big head about how he was going to fix an energy crisis.

It was a decision he made for a practical purpose, but I wish the game went into more of what they were going to deal with the said crisis.

Were they going to to use Eternatus anyway, therefore giving Rose's plan some merit, or were they using the Battle Tower as a way to gather energy?
 

Ignition

Pancakes
I don't get the appeal of the "Rose made Leon the champion" alt plot idea.
It’s something different from the norm. We already had the plot line of “rich and influential celebrity uses a legendary to aid in their initially well meaning goals” before and having the Champion be a fraud would offer a unique experience. It’d be a shocker for pretty much everyone as he was the main motivation for the region to get stronger. Plus having the Pokémon League be corrupt has been a popular idea since the manga introduced the concept. Personally I’m glad they were both genuine but I can see why people would expect/want that
 

Dragalge

Custom title: If specified, this will replace the
Missing Pokemon Ahem...the cities in Galar. Turffield, Spikemuth, and Wyndon are the worst offenders with the middle one especially. The aesthetic is cool but it is just a hallway! Population: Team Yell and a few other random people. I mention Wyndon because the back of the city with all those buildings can't be explored and the roads feel empty throughout.
 

Bolt the Cat

Bringing the Thunder
I don't get the appeal of the "Rose made Leon the champion" alt plot idea.

It's an interesting plot twist, or at least more interesting than most of the drek we've gotten out of this series' stories. It makes the ending a less predictable "face the super powerful trainer" to "take down a corrupt organization manipulating the entire tournament for their benefit". As is, SwSh's storyline is very empty and predictable, it's the same old "beat the gyms, beat the evil team using a legendary to cause the apocalypse, beat the Champion" storyline we've gotten several times now. Hell, this time it's even worse because most games hide the identity of the Champion until you face them, this game and pre-release marketing was upfront with Leon's identity from the very beginning! There's little point in doing that if you're not going to shake up the ending of the game so that Leon isn't the final boss, otherwise it's anticlimactic. There might've been other ways of accomplishing that, but with the information we got during the pre-release, Leon's battles being fixed would've been the most obvious way to do it.
 

Auraninja

Eh, ragazzo!
It’s something different from the norm. We already had the plot line of “rich and influential celebrity uses a legendary to aid in their initially well meaning goals” before and having the Champion be a fraud would offer a unique experience. It’d be a shocker for pretty much everyone as he was the main motivation for the region to get stronger. Plus having the Pokémon League be corrupt has been a popular idea since the manga introduced the concept. Personally I’m glad they were both genuine but I can see why people would expect/want that
A unique experience doesn't necessarily equate to an interesting one, and neither equate to a justified one.

I just don't see Leon, being sort of the big benevolent brother doofus becoming a villian as a well written plot event.

Let's take the plot of Sun and Moon with Lusamine. It wasn't entirely unbecoming for Lusamine to have a bad guy shift. When you first meet her, you find a Nihilego that you have to fight, but she asks questions about it, and the game hints on her hyper fixation of Ultra Beasts, particularly Nihilego. By the time the reveal is done, everything made sense. The cutscene in the beginning meant Lillie was escaping her mother, and she wanted to rescue Cosmog (deemed Nebby) in order to rescue it from her mother's clutches. This along with a few other plot points justify the reveal.

The Evice plot reveal was more out of left field, but it was justified in that we never really bonded with Es Cade too much, and major Cipher officials were coming to his office.

My point with Leon is that the reveal would have to extend to his characteristics. Now, one thing I could see sort-of working is if Leon was unaware about the whole rigging of the League, which wouldn't betray the concept of Leon presented to us at the beginning.

Plus, many people were throwing that in as speculation. It would hardly seem that surprising if that was the actual reveal.
 

Ignition

Pancakes
A unique experience doesn't necessarily equate to an interesting one, and neither equate to a justified one.

I just don't see Leon, being sort of the big benevolent brother doofus becoming a villian as a well written plot event.


My point with Leon is that the reveal would have to extend to his characteristics. Now, one thing I could see sort-of working is if Leon was unaware about the whole rigging of the League, which wouldn't betray the concept of Leon presented to us at the beginning.

Plus, many people were throwing that in as speculation. It would hardly seem that surprising if that was the actual reveal.
It is interesting simply by being far off from what we're used to. Not arguing it's a good plot point or justified (can't see how you can write it off as unjustified if we're basing it off of a hypothetically different plot which would most likely give different aspects of the story to justify it) but I doubt anyone could call a plot that has the usual heroic/role model Champion being involved with the antagonist group uninteresting.

I could easily see Leon being written in that fashion. He puts on the front in order to keep the people of Galar happy. Or he gets too caught up in being the best for everyone else that he goes off the deep end to become stronger. Some of the best villains in media are those you least expect like those who are kind and popular to others. I could easily see Leon being a genuine good guy or a shady guy with connections who puts on a front.

Obviously the game would give focus into what made him like that if this reveal were to happen. I doubt they'd just make him a villain just because as nearly every antagonist has some sort of legitimate reasoning behind what they're doing.

I don't agree with the logic that something being speculated on means it can't surprising. It's all about the execution of said reveal. A lot of people speculated on Lusamine being the true villain and using Skull as puppets yet their team up is commonly regarded as surprising.
 

Storm the Lycanroc

Oshawott Squad
I'd say the biggest missed opportunity is how most of the characters are unlikable.

Hop is that annoying kid your parents tell you to hang out with and who doesn't realize nobody likes him. Personally I like to believe Hop sees me as his rival but I don't see him as my rival. Whenever he hands me his league card I imagine the player character just tosses it behind them.

Leon is such a blowhard because he claims to be unbeatable but I know I'll inevitably defeat him and become the champion. He's so arrogant that it makes me want to punch him in the face. Plus he lacks any modesty or charisma compared to Cynthia or Steven.

Rose worries about an energy crisis that won't happen for another thousand years and wants to unleash Eternatus the same day as the championship match. When the first match was interrupted I was thinking: "Seriously? You couldn't wait one more day?" After reaching the top of Rose Tower I like to imagine after capturing Eternatus I walked up to Rose, slapped him on the face and yelled "NO!"

EDIT:
Bede is a spoiled brat who thinks he's better than everyone else. All because he was endorsed by Rose. I didnt care about his tragic backstory, when he lost the endorsement, or became an apprentice gym leader. I found it very inconvenient and annoying that he barged in out of nowhere to interrupt the final tournament.

Suppose I'd want to change certain aspects of the story to make the characters more likeable. But I don't know how that'd be done...
 
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Auraninja

Eh, ragazzo!
It is interesting simply by being far off from what we're used to. Not arguing it's a good plot point or justified (can't see how you can write it off as unjustified if we're basing it off of a hypothetically different plot which would most likely give different aspects of the story to justify it) but I doubt anyone could call a plot that has the usual heroic/role model Champion being involved with the antagonist group uninteresting.

I could easily see Leon being written in that fashion. He puts on the front in order to keep the people of Galar happy. Or he gets too caught up in being the best for everyone else that he goes off the deep end to become stronger. Some of the best villains in media are those you least expect like those who are kind and popular to others. I could easily see Leon being a genuine good guy or a shady guy with connections who puts on a front.

Obviously the game would give focus into what made him like that if this reveal were to happen. I doubt they'd just make him a villain just because as nearly every antagonist has some sort of legitimate reasoning behind what they're doing.

I don't agree with the logic that something being speculated on means it can't surprising. It's all about the execution of said reveal. A lot of people speculated on Lusamine being the true villain and using Skull as puppets yet their team up is commonly regarded as surprising.
You actually have some good points here. Namely, you listed Leon's desire to keep people happy as a possible character trait for him to be a fraud champion.

Also, the game could hypothetically have different plot points to make that type of reveal more justified.

I guess, personally, it isn't necessarily the plot point I would like.
The story isn't the best in Sword/Shield, but like the Lysandre plot, I appreciated this "bad guy" plot as one with implications.

I named one of my problems with the game is that they didn't necessarily mention (to my memory) on how they would solve the energy crisis.

Another plot aspect I would have liked would be to have more Team Yell involvement.
I also would have liked a Team Yell admin. Marnie sort of filled that role, but I wanted someone actually in Team Yell who upheld his duty.
 

Bolt the Cat

Bringing the Thunder
I don't think Leon would be the villain in that scenario, more that he'd be manipulated by Rose. Leon is a blowhard and is infamously bad at directions, so he doesn't seem like he'd be all that intelligent. It's easy to believe he'd be tricked into going along with a plan that makes him a fraud champion.
 

Mr.Munchlax

Great Ball Rank Trainer
I don't think Leon would be the villain in that scenario, more that he'd be manipulated by Rose. Leon is a blowhard and is infamously bad at directions, so he doesn't seem like he'd be all that intelligent. It's easy to believe he'd be tricked into going along with a plan that makes him a fraud champion.
The only villainous thing I can see Leon doing is endorsing the protagonist only so he could use them to push Hop as a trainer (essentially trying to put the player in the rival/bad guy position to help make his brother stronger). Since the character for my Sword playthrough is based on the Scottish trainer, I pretended that Leon was using her like that to help Hop, but as the game progressed he starts respecting her own skills & struggles because he realizes how he was wrong to do something like that :p



Personally, I thought it would've been interesting if Oleana had more of a role by trying to get the player to collect Wishing Stars for her after Bede was kicked out of the gym challenge. Also, since two of the main themes of the story were dynamax power and preventing a future energy crisis, I would've liked to see how the Power Spots in the various towns helped keep each city thriving. Since Spikemuth was the only city in Galar without a Power Spot, they could've pushed this theme with some flavor text & background elements to show how they kept the other areas of the Galar region so clean, bustling, & efficient aside from being popular gym spots
 
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Ophie

Salingerian Phony
Missing Pokemon Ahem...the cities in Galar. Turffield, Spikemuth, and Wyndon are the worst offenders with the middle one especially. The aesthetic is cool but it is just a hallway! Population: Team Yell and a few other random people. I mention Wyndon because the back of the city with all those buildings can't be explored and the roads feel empty throughout.

Something some people are speculating (not predictions or leaks) is that there may be an Expansion Pack area planned later on that will cover the northern areas of Wyndon as something of an urban Wild Area. I'd like to see how that's done, but having all those Max Raid dens in an urban area would be out of place.

I don't think this is going to happen, but it would be a pretty fun thing to have.
 

Mr.Munchlax

Great Ball Rank Trainer
Something some people are speculating (not predictions or leaks) is that there may be an Expansion Pack area planned later on that will cover the northern areas of Wyndon as something of an urban Wild Area. I'd like to see how that's done, but having all those Max Raid dens in an urban area would be out of place.

I don't think this is going to happen, but it would be a pretty fun thing to have.
I kind of ignored that rumor once the DLC trailers came out, but that would be a nice addition to go along with the Galar All Stars Tournament that takes place after the Crown Tundra
 
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janejane6178

Kaleido Star FOREVER in my heart <3
Seriosuly, Ive been playing X for the past few days and the routes r so long with so many places to explore, with backtracking (using HMs). Also, so many cities and towns... caves, puzzles.... so much fun.
Galar is SO BLAND compared to this. Look at the dark gym city/grass gym city for example - NOT A SINGLE BUILDING TO ENTER. Its embarrassing. The routes r so short and barely any caves. NO PUZZLES AT ALL. NO BACKTRACKING.
Also, in previous games we got extra places for the bad guys fights (like the power plant or pokeball factory or Lysandare cafe etc in XY ). We have no such places AT ALL in Swsh. The "bad team" grants, Yell, just meet u in the middle of the routes u walk in anyway. There is not a single place with puzzles etc where u encounter them.
 
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Carina

Plasbad!!
I always find myself wishing for the VS Seeker. It was a great idea that made you go back to those little paths and areas to find particular trainers again.

Anyway, this was such a straightforward game. It seemed that every time there was a chance to do something other than battle gym leaders, I was told "Eh, don't worry about it. You focus on that one goal". That was weird, like there was a party I wasn't invited to.
I don't think I've finished a Pokemon main story so quickly before.
 
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