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

Jul 28, 2019
2,460
I actually don't agree with the praise for SuMo's story either. It's better than this, I guess, but it suffers from a lot of the same problems (as well as a nonsensical climax). I will give it props for ambition and better presentation for sure, though. Plus better characters (Lillie and Kukui are great).

I wish it was even more de-emphasized. They were setting up something to do with the legendary pokemon from the first 5 minutes, and they constantly hinting on something big happening behind the scenes. And then they completely siderail the actual fun stuff (the gym challenge) with this boring terrible story. It was front and center.
I agree it should have been even more de-emphasized lol. It's so nonsensical.

Story aside, I am glad you liked the game!
 

nintendoman58

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,481
I really feel like people are exaggerating when people call it "the worst".

It's...more...standard really. Standard in the terms of your average sports movie and usual Pokemon story. It's mostly just predictable. X and Y was way worse.

I definitely see that the game needed more time, especially with the lack of a proper eighth gym challenge and not many dungeons.
 

Zacmortar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,277
Did... you even read the dialoge?

What devastated him about the lost against Bede wasn't him losing, it was Bede telling him that Hop losing was a disgrace to Leon.

And since Leon was basically a godlike figure for him, he started thinking that him losing might taint Leon's image.

That's what got him broken. That after hyping himself up so much his losses might drag down his idol as well.


And it's not even an interpretation, it's straight up said in the story
its not any use arguing with them, the absurd and excessive hate for a good character because he talks to you a few times more than early gens will just fester as they continue to spout how awful he is.
 
OP
OP
Splader

Splader

Member
Feb 12, 2018
1,863
Did... you even read the dialoge?

What devastated him about the lost against Bede wasn't him losing, it was Bede telling him that Hop losing was a disgrace to Leon.

And since Leon was basically a godlike figure for him, he started thinking that him losing might taint Leon's image.

That's what got him broken. That after hyping himself up so much his losses might drag down his idol as well.


And it's not even an interpretation, it's straight up said in the story
Bede was saying stupid things the entire game. I was exaggerating when talking about Hop, other than him interrupting me ever 5 seconds I did like the character. And it was a nice change of pace seeing him do some self reflection, but I don't think he's this really well developed character so many were making him out to be.

Hell his insistence on being the best when he was beaten by me literally every single time alone didn't make any sense.
 

Kanmurukillua

Member
Jan 28, 2019
2,170
If they wanted to make a villain be the central conflict, they should have sprinkled in battles with an actual villainous team throughout the game. Having it all dropped on you at the absolute ending is garbage and is something no Pokemon game has EVER done, so I don't see how it's your standard Pokemon fare like other people are saying. Imagine if you never knew anything about Team Rocket until right before you go to fight the Elite Four in Kanto, or something like that, rather than fighting them throughout the game.
 

VPplaya

Member
Nov 20, 2018
436
I have played every gen and this had unequivocally the worst plot of them by far. The story of the gym challenge was entertaining enough, nothing special but not bad either. It almost seems like they were afraid of fully removing that last chunk of the game involving legends/evil team. The thing is, there were so many ways to have salvaged the plot (it still would have been mediocre, but at least not awful). Humanity today doesn't give a shit about problems in a decade from now let alone 1000 years, so the plot was hard to relate to. Instead, why didn't they just make it so Galar was immediately about to run out of energy? Perhaps the Championship Tournament would have pulled too much Dynamax energy and permanently black out Galar. Add in a segment about actually going to where Eternatus was found, fighting a few more of those Macro Space guys, and it would have been serviceable. Really the only interesting part of the main quest to me involves Team Yell and their motivations. Beef up that plotline a bit and it could have fit more into the immediate energy crisis plot and been pretty great.

Then to make matters worse, the Post game brings in two random, irritating, and awful characters who never once showed up in the main game. Admittedly, their plot and motivations were somewhat better than the main game, but it just feels so tacked on, especially when you consider this is how you obtain the mascot legends. Its especially dumb that they literally just reuse all of the same areas rather than make new ones for you to explore.

I really enjoyed other parts of the game: the new designs are all fantastic, Galar is memorable, the gym challenge was epic. But man they dropped the ball so hard in the story department. For people saying Gen 6 had the worst plot, at least the villain had actual motivations and there was some buildup.
 

Ckoerner

Member
Aug 7, 2019
86
I dunno, I'm liking it so far.
I just got to the part with the tapestries and I'm intrigued as to why there are two heroes but only one represented as a statue. I think that has something to do with Hop and my character's adventure which is intriguing.
 

ResetGreyWolf

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,919
I agree with you 100%, OP.

I genuinely consider it to be the best Pokemon game made so far -- I absolutely love it -- but the story is indeed horrendously bad. It's unfortunate too, because I do believe that it would have had potential if they would have hired better writers. The plot of the beloved Rose becoming a villain is executed painfully bad, but it could have been so good. The music that plays when you fight Rose is great, but the fight doesn't make any sense.
 

gardfish

Member
Oct 25, 2017
547
Can't really agree with the sentiment that X/Y's story is worse than Sword/Shield's--they're both bottom of the barrel as far as Pokemon game stories go, but I feel that X/Y's was at least playing with some semi-interesting concepts (e.g. AZ's backstory), and at least had you...you know...engage with the plot in some capacity throughout the game, lol.

As nonsensical as Rose's plan is, I feel like they almost could've had a decent point with him--like, giving him a viewpoint of "if we keep putting off addressing this upcoming crisis, eventually it'll be too late" could reflect our real-world climate change situation fairly well. The problem being that the crisis is a thousand years off and Leon already agreed to help, he just wanted to wait one extra day, lmao.
 

Zacmortar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,277
I dunno, I'm liking it so far.
I just got to the part with the tapestries and I'm intrigued as to why there are two heroes but only one represented as a statue. I think that has something to do with Hop and my character's adventure which is intriguing.
You really shouldnt be in this thread if you dont want open spoilers
 

WrenchNinja

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,479
Canada
Can't really agree with the sentiment that X/Y's story is worse than Sword/Shield's--they're both bottom of the barrel as far as Pokemon game stories go, but I feel that X/Y's was at least playing with some semi-interesting concepts (e.g. AZ's backstory), and at least had you...you know...engage with the plot in some capacity throughout the game, lol.

As nonsensical as Rose's plan is, I feel like they almost could've had a decent point with him--like, giving him a viewpoint of "if we keep putting off addressing this upcoming crisis, eventually it'll be too late" could reflect our real-world climate change situation fairly well. The problem being that the crisis is a thousand years off and Leon already agreed to help, he just wanted to wait one extra day, lmao.
 
Oct 26, 2017
4,927
Do you all think the story is salvageable in a Sharp Sword and Sturdy Shield? I'm not sure there's anything they can do to really fix it lol
USUM didn't really fix the issues I had with SM, and if anything, it made some elements worse (Lusamine was arguably one of the best things about SM, and then USUM decided it was smart to turn her into a misunderstood character).
 
OP
OP
Splader

Splader

Member
Feb 12, 2018
1,863
I actually don't agree with the praise for SuMo's story either. It's better than this, I guess, but it suffers from a lot of the same problems (as well as a nonsensical climax). I will give it props for ambition and better presentation for sure, though. Plus better characters (Lillie and Kukui are great).


I agree it should have been even more de-emphasized lol. It's so nonsensical.

Story aside, I am glad you liked the game!
Oh yeah, the game itself did so much stuff right. I had a great time with it and I'm happy I didn't skip it as I was planning on.
I really feel like people are exaggerating when people call it "the worst".

It's...more...standard really. Standard in the terms of your average sports movie and usual Pokemon story. It's mostly just predictable. X and Y was way worse.

I definitely see that the game needed more time, especially with the lack of a proper eighth gym challenge and not many dungeons.
No this really is the worst I've played through. I don't play too much pokemon in recent years though, so if there are other pokemon stories that are even worse then I haven't played them.
its not any use arguing with them, the absurd and excessive hate for a good character because he talks to you a few times more than early gens will just fester as they continue to spout how awful he is.
Yes, because completely dismissing someone like this is the better option? People can complain about a character you enjoy, it happens to me all the time. It doesn't mean the complaints are invalid. (Also, it's not "a few times more", this dude shows up and battles you what, like 10 times or more?)

I even liked Hop. Minus his inability to keep his mouth shut and his apparent short term memory loss.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,240
It was a lacking story for sure, but they definitely threw it in your face. You basically had to see a nonsense cutscene upon entering every town and mostly after being gym leaders

SWSH are the first JRPGs where I was actively dreading seeing the next story scenes
That’s true. It’s like the worst of both approaches. The story is barebones and nothing is going on, but the game also can’t resist stopping you to talk about statues every time you get to a new place. I guess I kinda forgot about all that since they were just cutscenes. Whereas in past Pokémon games you’d actually go on a tangent to a dungeon or something. In this game you just keep pushing through the gym challenge.
 

Zacmortar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
6,277
Oh yeah, the game itself did so much stuff right. I had a great time with it and I'm happy I didn't skip it as I was planning on.

No this really is the worst I've played through. I don't play too much pokemon in recent years though, so if there are other pokemon stories that are even worse then I haven't played them.

Yes, because completely dismissing someone like this is the better option? People can complain about a character you enjoy, it happens to me all the time. It doesn't mean the complaints are invalid. (Also, it's not "a few times more", this dude shows up and battles you what, like 10 times or more?)

I even liked Hop. Minus his inability to keep his mouth shut and his apparent short term memory loss.
He is literally at worst average. Theres no huge negative with him. Theres some dialogue, theres a few fights, yet people make him out to be a bane of their existence. It's normal to fight your rival, its normal to talk to your rival, you dont like it, the B button is your friend.

But yes, people can complain, but the complaints stop being valid once multiple people start talking really stupid shit like the above "Granting him a mercy by crushing his dreams now" shit. Where you start personally despising a character for.... being a normal happy character that develops over the game is where it becomes unreasonable.
 

Dary

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,400
The English Wilderness
SwSh reads like a first draft. It has a bunch of ideas that could be good with some more work, and just as many that need cutting. The pieces are there, just jumbled up.

A bit like the fossils.

(It's frustrating, though. They should have made Rose a corrupt showman, like a fusion of Simon Cowell and Vince McMahon, rigging the league behind the scenes for Maximum Profits...and then had him conspire with the Royals to unleash Eternatus, giving him the biggest event ever televised and the royals the opportunity to present themselves as the Legendary Heroes Reborn...but, instead...)
 
Jul 28, 2019
2,460
SwSh reads like a first draft. It has a bunch of ideas that could be good with some more work, and just as many that need cutting. The pieces are there, just jumbled up.

A bit like the fossils.

(It's frustrating, though. They should have made Rose a corrupt showman, like a fusion of Simon Cowell and Vince McMahon, rigging the league behind the scenes for Maximum Profits...and then had him conspire with the Royals to unleash Eternatus, giving him the biggest event ever televised and the royals the opportunity to present themselves as the Legendary Heroes Reborn...but, instead...)
Yo, that would have worked so well with the current political climate, I'm legitimately disappointed they didn't do it.
Especially if they'd also played up the climate change commentary for good measure.
 
OP
OP
Splader

Splader

Member
Feb 12, 2018
1,863
He is literally at worst average. Theres no huge negative with him. Theres some dialogue, theres a few fights, yet people make him out to be a bane of their existence. It's normal to fight your rival, its normal to talk to your rival, you dont like it, the B button is your friend.

But yes, people can complain, but the complaints stop being valid once multiple people start talking really stupid shit like the above "Granting him a mercy by crushing his dreams now" shit. Where you start personally despising a character for.... being a normal happy character that develops over the game is where it becomes unreasonable.
It's not just normal talk though. Ever time I use a supereffective move and he interrupts the flow of battle, where btw the b button doesn't actually do anything. His fights themselves also continuously dragged the flow too. Like I don't care to fight him, I've already fought him 6 times why do I need to do it a 7th?

I agree that the exaggerations can be annoying, but people always exaggerate, especially on a forum. It shouldn't be anything new. He's the bane of the flow of the game, and when the game generally has a pretty good flow (I liked the routes and the gym challenges) something that stops and interferes with that becomes very annoying, very quickly.
 

Kouriozan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
9,140
I really liked Natural Harmonia Gropius, and B/W(2) in general, otherwise yes the Pokémon stories are pretty forgettable. It's a shame GameFreak just can't get it right.
 

RochHoch

Member
May 22, 2018
5,194
SwSh reads like a first draft. It has a bunch of ideas that could be good with some more work, and just as many that need cutting. The pieces are there, just jumbled up.

A bit like the fossils.

(It's frustrating, though. They should have made Rose a corrupt showman, like a fusion of Simon Cowell and Vince McMahon, rigging the league behind the scenes for Maximum Profits...and then had him conspire with the Royals to unleash Eternatus, giving him the biggest event ever televised and the royals the opportunity to present themselves as the Legendary Heroes Reborn...but, instead...)
That's perfect. I had Leon pegged as a (potentially unwitting) fraud and Rose as his corrupt benefactor from the instant they were revealed, but apparently we put 10X more thought into this story within five seconds than Gamefreak did at all.
 

TeddieBear

Member
Sep 14, 2019
367
Totally agree with you, OP.

I was excited to play the game during the first couple of days, but coming back to it after a week break, it just felt so bland to me.

-The story starts off interesting, but then it completely drops the ball after the fourth gym. No real hint to Eternatus, they don’t delve deeper into the problem Galar will face in 1000 years, Chairman Rose being too anxious to not wait even a day to proceed with his plans. Macro Cosmos not posing a challenge at all.

I was disappointed not just by the story, but everything else.

-The Wild Area: It really feels like they just dropped a bunch of random Pokémon and let them roam around. It’s also really laggy during online play.

-Online Play: I can’t believe ORAS feels like it had better online play than these Switch games.

-Towns: the towns not being more interesting or explorable. Spikemuth was such a disappointment.

-The Rivals: Bede’s story was actually pretty interesting. I wish Marnie showed up more and was a better challenge. Hop was completely annoying. Why does GameFreak keep shoving these overenthusiastic rivals down our throat

-The trainer battles along the way feel more like a nuisance than anything else.

This is the first time I’ve felt I may be done with Pokémon.

The direction the anime is taking isn’t helping the case, either (for me, at least).

I don’t even want to bother finishing the post game content (read about it online and just doesn’t interest me at this point).
 

TriggerShy

Member
Mar 26, 2018
1,558
Hell his insistence on being the best when he was beaten by me literally every single time alone didn't make any sense.
I kind of feel like that is just an inherent weakness to rivals in games generally. Blue and Silver were similar in that even if you beat them before, they come back assured of their victory. Blue didn't really act like he lost until the very end and Silver started to change after meeting Lance.

That's just how rival characters are usually, the game demands you beat them to progress the story, but they need a reason to come back to fight you so they have to have a certain level of confidence typically. However, the player still has to win unless they are scripted to lose (and I don't think I have seen too many people enjoy scripted loses in boss fights), so other games mitigate this with cut-scenes after the battle showing that even though you won, you lost, or the fight was really close or that it got interrupted or anything else to convince you that the only rival battle that counts is the last one.

But in those games, rivals are especially unique in the sense that they are boos fights with similar tools to your own which separates them from other bosses, but in Pokémon, they are functionally similar to other bosses, so their appeal is seeing them get stronger along with you, and to show that, they need to be battled more often than other games would make you battle rivals. If anything, Hop's real problem was that he was battled too often and his growth wasn't given enough breathing room between battles.
 

Sou Da

Member
Oct 25, 2017
12,189
I kind of feel like that is just an inherent weakness to rivals in games generally. Blue and Silver were similar in that even if you beat them before, they come back assured of their victory. Blue didn't really act like he lost until the very end and Silver started to change after meeting Lance.

That's just how rival characters are usually, the game demands you beat them to progress the story, but they need a reason to come back to fight you so they have to have a certain level of confidence typically. However, the player still has to win unless they are scripted to lose (and I don't think I have seen too many people enjoy scripted loses in boss fights), so other games mitigate this with cut-scenes after the battle showing that even though you won, you lost, or the fight was really close or that it got interrupted or anything else to convince you that the only rival battle that counts is the last one.

But in those games, rivals are especially unique in the sense that they are boos fights with similar tools to your own which separates them from other bosses, but in Pokémon, they are functionally similar to other bosses, so their appeal is seeing them get stronger along with you, and to show that, they need to be battled more often than other games would make you battle rivals. If anything, Hop's real problem was that he was battled too often and his growth wasn't given enough breathing room between battles.
The thing is I think they had the right idea in making Hop a trainer before getting his starter and having you face him in a 2v1, the game should just continue when you lose to rivals, it'd solve a lot of issues and it's not like there's a ton of text about how you beat them all of the time.
 

Capra

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,284
SwoSh's writing is trash but this weird obsession yall have with personally tearing down happy characters is really fuckin gross, holy shit. Never come anywhere near a real life child.
I'm not actually happy I ruined a fictional character's hopes and dreams. I'm exaggerating for comedic effect. Calm down.

Edit:

But yes, people can complain, but the complaints stop being valid once multiple people start talking really stupid shit like the above "Granting him a mercy by crushing his dreams now" shit. Where you start personally despising a character for.... being a normal happy character that develops over the game is where it becomes unreasonable.
Holy shit you actually took me seriously
 

Charizard

Member
Oct 25, 2017
985
Rose was likely intended to suffer from some form of severe anxiety or a similar illness. He has a lot of the symptoms IMO, the main one being thinking that if you don't do it NOW the world is doomed and that nobody else will take care of the issue if you don't. My bro is like this for example.

So I think he is fine as a concept actually. The problem is that it is poorly explained and written and if you aren't familiar with this sort of thing you will just think he is ridiculous.
 

Maligna

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,417
Canada
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.
This is why I hate that Pokemon makes you play as a ten year old. They can use it as an excuse to keep you out of the more interesting things happening around you. I want the option to play as a young adult.
 

Birdie

Member
Oct 26, 2017
7,045
Worse part is there's not much additional lore to make up for it...

Like ORAS main plot was weak but the New Mauville stuff was some dark shit, and then USUM had a lot of fun little side quests here and there.

Sadly everything in SWSH is limited to the cards (basically the "codex entries" tell don't show) and little details like all the companies that you never interact with outside of Pokemon Jobs.
 

MaximumSpider

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,924
Yeah, the game was great until the shoehorned plot came along. My ideal game would be making the Championship the main pull of the game and develop the rivals of the game further. No legendary scuffle at all. It’s by far the weakest point of the game for me.
 

lvl 99 Pixel

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,503
This is why I hate that Pokemon makes you play as a ten year old. They can use it as an excuse to keep you out of the more interesting things happening around you. I want the option to play as a young adult.
In a recent interview they stated the core of the IP is about being a child going on an adventure. What does that have to do with interesting things happening though?
 

Maligna

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,417
Canada
In a recent interview they stated the core of the IP is about being a child going on an adventure. What does that have to do with interesting things happening though?
The fact that you're a child gave them an excuse to not have to create extra scenarios in the story of the game and just have the adults take care of it off screen.

If you were an adult, I suppose they could still keep you out of the story but they wouldn't be able to justify it as easily.
 

lvl 99 Pixel

Member
Oct 25, 2017
16,503
The fact that you're a child gave them an excuse to not have to create extra scenarios in the story of the game and just have the adults take care of it off screen.

If you were an adult, I suppose they could still keep you out of the story but they wouldn't be able to justify it as easily.
But you defeat entire criminal organizations by yourself in other games. It has nothing to do with the protagonists age.
 

Sterok

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,979
How do we deal with these rivals?

Hop is someone I (and a lot of other people) really don't care for conceptually, but honestly I think he's fine. He gets a consistent narrative throughout the game that closes in the post-game when he steals the other doggo. He's by far the best executed character in the game. Which doesn't make him likable, but he'd be fine with sharper writing.

Bede should've been more clingy to Rose in general. It's clear he wants his approval more than anything and will kick down whoever is in his way in order to get that. Which is fine more of less in the first half, but then he messes up, is kicked out, and disappears until the endgame. Getting kicked out like that was a mistake. He needed to actually do something with Rose.

Marine is the biggest narrative waste in the game. She's got the setup right there as basically the princess of Spikemuth with a bit of a savior complex trying to bring prosperity back to the town. Lean into that more, whether she's trying to hard to her own detriment or if Team Yell's worship of her gets to her head. Just something instead of the nothing she gets.

Oh and the post-game story needs to be incorporated into the main plot. Even with those two doofuses it still felt more coherent and interesting than whatever was going on with Rose.
 

ILikeFeet

Member
Oct 25, 2017
25,324
Sure, and unfortunately Nintendo games trying to tell stories and failing has been a trend this generation (look at Breath of the Wild too). Like I said, I'm not defending the story, because it's pretty nonsensical. I just don't think it's the worst story ever, because I reserve that for a game that tries to tell a story, puts an emphasis on it, and then also fails at it.
Sword and Shield have the decency to keep things out of the way, if nothing else.
Breath of the Wild is in no way on the level of Sword and Shield. nonsense