It's fair to say that there are a lot of fans looking forward to upcoming game Pokémon Sword and Shield that comes to Switch later this year. Because it's the first mainline game since the 3DS-era people are, rightly or wrongly, expecting a fair boost in visual fidelity when it comes to the Pokémon visuals.
Now, an interview with Famitsu has recently caused a stir online with Polygon reporting that Game Freak is indeed creating new models for Pokémon in the latest game (which was also picked up by Eurogamer).
Cue Internet drama. Which for once, isn't completely unfounded. Looking around the comments on articles on the subject or YouTube videos, the debate seems to stem solely from the initial translation of the interview (via reddit) which is often an issue when people use a computer-based translation, such as Google Translate.
We figured that it would be worthwhile getting a professional human translation service (in this case gengo.com) to translate the quote again and see what we get back.
The excerpt we picked was the one immediately following the answer that explained that not all Pokémon would be included in the new game.
Considering the quality of graphics in Pokémon Sword and Shield, it certainly would require considerable time to do that kind of work for every Pokémon.
Masuda: I was personally sad about this decision. Of course, had it been feasible, I would have liked to make it possible to bring every Pokémon into the game. However, this was a choice we needed to make sooner or later. In the end, we had to choose quality.
Ohmori: Masuda and I discussed this issue a great deal. Even for Pokémon Sun and Moon, it was quite a difficult situation (to make it possible to bring every Pokémon into the game). Now that we are moving to the Nintendo Switch and remaking the models from scratch, we had to make some kind of choice. That said, despite the limitation on the Pokémon that can be brought into the game, the game's wild areas, story and other content is quite rich. I believe that players will understand that when they play the game.
Firstly, if you've seen the Google Translate version of these answers, you'll instantly notice the difference in quality. Now, we still don't speak Japanese but the translation we received seems to back up the original report by Polygon.
Case Closed? Probably not. Whilst we don't want to claim ultimate authority on the subject, we wanted to share our findings and perhaps it will help clear up the issue until we (or others) are able to get a straight answer out of Game Freak.
We're sure this won't be the last interview that gets lost in translation; if you speak Japanese and dispute this translation please let us know - maybe we can get our money back.
What do you make of this debate? Does it even matter at the end of the day? Let us know in the comments below. Thanks also to Nick Mosier (@N_Mosier) for help deciphering all of this.