Update: It appears that we misinterpreted this data in our original story, specifically the ‘sentiment’ analysis. After reviewing the findings again, the zero value tweets that display “no emotion at all” appear to include the #BringBackNationalPokedex example itself, which we presumed had been excluded. With the implicit sentiment contained in the hashtag, the picture painted by these findings is more starkly one of disappointment among fans.
We apologise for the error in our reading of these results. We’ve left the original article intact below so as not to compound the confusion.
Original Story: The recent news that upcoming mainline Pocket Monsters game Pokémon Sword & Shield won't feature the full National Pokédex has come as an obvious disappointment to many fans. At the weekend Nintendo Life contributor James Bralant discussed why he believes that everyone will ultimately benefit from the purge, but passions are running hot and you'd be forgiven for thinking 90% of the internet are painting #BringBackNationalPokedex banners, grabbing pitchforks and preparing to storm Game Freak to demand the inclusion of all 1000+ Pokémon (in all their forms).
Well, data scientist Juan De Dios Santos has applied some hard science to the situation in an attempt to get a better read on the feeling of the community. Using natural language processing and other data-based analysis techniques, he looked at a sample of over 2000 tweets and analysed the top nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs being used to discuss the cull, as well as looking at the 'sentiment' of each tweet and which individual Pokémon was mentioned the most.
Sitting in a labcoat surrounded by bubbling test tubes of distilled internet bile (we like to imagine), the analyst studied 2724 tweets using the hashtag #BringBackNationalPokedex. The most frequently used words are hardly surprising: 'game' was the most popular noun, 'know' the most popular verb, with 'old' and 'not' winning the respective adjective and adverb categories.
More interestingly, the 'sentiment' analysis (using Google Cloud’s Natural Language API) revealed that feelings on the subject were almost perfectly balanced according to the samples analysed. Here's a histogram:
Mr Santos explained his findings:
Surprisingly enough, the sentiments are almost perfectly balanced; the mean value is -0.045, with a standard deviation of 0.27. The peak in the center of the histogram indicates that most of the tweets had no emotion at all, and upon manually inspecting the tweets and the values, I found out that these zero-valued tweets are those made of only hashtags, so no emotions at all.
Examples from the extremes ranged from "THEY RUINED THE SAGA!” and “THAT GAME IS SO BRITISH THEY ARENT EVEN LETTING POKEMON FROM OTHER REGIONS IN” to more positive examples such as: "It’s amazing to see how passionate the pokemon community is about the games, #BringBackNationalDex is a true example.”
Finally, the most frequently mentioned Pokémon turned out to be something of a surprise - it wasn't Pikachu. Fifth gen legendary Zekrom beat out Cyndaquil, Blaziken and Swampert, with the yellow mouse coming in a lowly fifth place. In reality, Wingull topped the mentions thanks to a viral retweet at the time, but this was discounted as an anomaly.
So there you have it - internet ire might be quick and loud, but science has shown that the reality of the situation is perhaps more reasoned than you might think. Definitely check out the published article for a more exhaustive analysis.
Where do you fall on the spectrum of opinion? Do you agree with these findings? Share your thoughts with a little comment, if you fancy.
It's actually impressive how balanced it is. That's not a shabby sample size either.
I figured this would be more onesided. Personally, I'm still not too concerned either way since we don't know much yet.
People hating on a game we know so little about is a bit odd.
Grab your popcorn.
It will gonna hit more than 200 posts.
I think you'll find this with most things. Negativity is more publicised than positivity. One man screaming in an empty room would be more noticeable than a temple full of silent monks.
My personal opinions on the whole affair is that I really couldn't care less. There are way too many Pokemon now that this should have happened at each hardware change. I've only ever finished the Gen 1 and 2 Pokedex because it just got too much after that.
Jeez, sentiment analysis. Basically a whole bloody year of a software degree spent on neural networks just so you can tell if a movie review’s positive or negative just from the content.
Yay, let’s milk this controversial cow some more!
As if you hadn’t done enough damage with that travesty of a feature article.
Perhaps some criticism should be leveled at Game Freak for not being more transparent about this earlier, but whoever said “THEY RUINED THE SAGA!” needs to put this in perspective. It looks like a fun game that will include a lot of everyone’s favorite Pokémon in a brand new and possibly biggest world they have ever been in. I see nothing malicious or exploitative going on behind the scenes. Just oversight from Game Freak and blind faith on the fanbase’s part.
#Pokegate will desolve once the game is released and people realize there was no foul play.
@nessisonett So all it does is make computers understand natural language!? What a waste of a year! Should've been on the internet throwing shade!
Just here to say, once again, that I don't care and don't have emotional attachment to my old Pokemon. I want to play a new game. I understand the upset, but I think people should be more understanding. 1000+ Pokemon? I'm fine with 150, but would prefer 250-450. Hopefully there's at least 250!
I'm completely neutral too. #BringBackNationalDex #NoOneCaresAboutEelektrik #Let'sWaitAndSee
Guess it goes to show that the loudest opinions aren't always the majority.
@graysoncharles I was a Pokemon Diamond Master, I never bothered transferring those Pokemon! Would prefer to experience a fresh new game!
I'm relieved that I'm not a Pokemon enthusiast, so I can just watch the drama unfurl.
I was initially annoyed but don't care now. I'll keep my Gen 1-7 living dex separate from my Gen 8 dex, no problemo. If they dissolve Pokemon Bank i'll be annoyed having them sat useless in Home. But either way.
This isn't the reason i'm apathetic about these games.
Er, hold up a sec, there's some spin going on here. Those tweets valued at 0 on the sentiment chart are the ones that didn't display emotional indicators? And the ones that only use the hashtag are lumped into that? What do you think the sentiment behind the hashtag is? I smell a rather large flaw in the interpretation of the data.
If I skip Sword/Shield it won't be because of the national dex issue, it'll be because Nintendo's releasing way too many games between this week and the end of September.
Yeah I was thinking about that too. So only the people who actually commented something aside from the hashtag are evenly split in opinion. Those who want all Pokemon back but only tweet the hashtag aren't taken into consideration.
Game Freak could curb the controversy a bit if they said how many total Pokémon there are in S/W. Personally I think a list of who’s in and who’s out would be nice too but that would be like spraying napalm on the problem
@Alber-san Exactly. Basically, the headline for this article is wildly incorrect, as is the general narrative. It's based on the assumption that the hashtag-only crowd were sentimentally neutral, which cannot be the case because the whole point of the hashtag is to make your sentiment (displeased at best, downright fuming at worst ) known 😂
Firmly in the "don't care" camp. Though this seems like an issue that could be tackled later with an update.
@Jacob1092 I have to agree. It seems more like a "perceived sentimental value of words" based on the data science. When looking at the adverbs and adjectives pulled it seems to be overwhelmingly on the side of the pro-National dex people. I could be wrong.
Plus, the hastag in itself has a pro-National dex connotation anyway.
(Although, I still don't see how having all of the Pokémon, most of which would never be used in tournaments, would constitute a balancing issue.)
@King-X I would love the ability to upvote your comment more than once.
I won't say I don't care, but I'm not going to trash games that looks like a big step forward in the series because I won't be able to import all of my Pokemon.
The lack of support for Pokemon from other regions is unfortunate, but not a dealbreaker for me.
Whatever side of the argument you're on, you can't deny that a 50/50 split is pretty bad.
After all, if there are just as many people who hate something as there are who like it, then there is a legitimate problem. Especially from a franchise that has received fairly consistent praise over the years.
I'm personally more appalled by the 3DS level of graphics than the national dex. Like, is Gamefreak even trying anymore? I guess not, since gens 6 and 7 were pretty mediocre too.
Also whose bright idea was it, out of all the pokemon, to add the icecream and garbage Pokemon?!
@TheHumbleFellow My thoughts as well. Even if it was 70/30 it is still a great concern that GameFreak should at least note and approach carefully.
I don't get how a sentence (used in the hashtag) "Bring back National Pokedex" could be weighed as neutral. It's a message with a clear intention, not an emotionless statement.
THIS INTERPRETATION OF HIS DATA IS SUPER MISLEADING! Outright incorrect even! This is EXTREME clickbait. From the published research: "To understand the overall feeling of the tweets, I calculated their sentiments using Google Cloud’s Natural Language API and conclude that while some people were angry, others were full of hope." The sentiment "split" exists because while some people were hopeful in the their Tweets (that Nat Dex Pokemon may return), others were just upset they were removed in the first place. His research only comments on the positive/negative sentiment of tweets that used the BringBackNatDex hashtag, but this should not be confused with whether or not the tweets were for/against the return of the National Dex. Please revise the article accordingly to clear up this misleading ambiguity.
Excerpt from the published article on the "positive" tweets, which, as you can see here, are all pro-#BringBackNationalDex:
On a more positive note, we have hopeful comments such as: “[sic] Im still gonna get it, but [sic] i have great fears my team wont be in the game and [sic] i really [sic] dont like that #BringBackNationalDex,” “It’s amazing to see how passionate the pokemon community is about the games, #BringBackNationalDex is a true example,” and “We follow your game [sic] atleas 10++ years, [sic] pleased don’t betray us, I buy switch just only for.”
And the "negative" tweets, which are also pro-ReturnOfTheNatDex:
Some examples are: “THEY RUINED THE SAGA!”, “Pokemon fans: BOYCOTT NINTENDO AND GAME FREAK,” and “THAT GAME IS SO BRITISH THEY ARENT EVEN LETTING POKEMON FROM OTHER REGIONS IN.”
Either you play the game or not. Simple.
@Sabroni But it’s boooooringgggg
I don't know, a 50% split of the fanbase isn't exactly a positive takeaway. I think this data might skew harder one way or the other once they release the list of pokemon that didn't make the cut.
I couldn't care less if it had no old Pokemon in it whatsoever, I play new Pokemon games to play as the new Pokemon and don't care for collection 100's of pokemon that I have no interest in using
I don't think the real issue is that Pokemon were cut, it's that nothing was really gained in exchange.
The game looks the same as ever, no significant or impressive improvements were made anywhere.
Sword/Shield looks like upscaled Sun/Moon with giant Pokemon and the wild area.
So you're paying more money for less content.
Your own 52000 vote last week proved the player base doesn’t really care; it just needs something to moan about. Only 130 mon got at least 100 votes. Out of 800+.
I'm thinking there were also quite a few people too busy typing four-letter words to type the hashtag.
If they include 1000+ Pokemon, theres less chance that you'll see / use the latest Pokemon.
People would revert to using a traditional team from Gen1 that they're comfortable with.
The only reason the game isn't Gen8 only is to include Pikachu.
And why is it a problem if someone wants to use gen 1 Pokemon?
This is the greatest problem of SwSh. People wouldn't be so mad if there were improvements to the games, but they are basically like any other game in the series, now with less content.
@Alber-san Pretty sure all of Gen1 is in it.
@Alber-san Because they've put a lot of work into creating 800+ since then, and would probably like people to use them.
Otherwise why create new ones at all?
50% "positive" comments and the positive ones are like "i really hope they reconsider this decision" because "hope" is a positive emotion, and people just saying "bring back the national dex" don't count as anything because they put a # in front of it? This actually shows that a strong majority of the reaction to the decision is at least wary/uncomfortable if not outright negative, and support will drop further when we see the full regional dex and which of our favorites were cut and there's no room for hope anymore.
@King-X "Culling bad designs" (as they deem it, obviously) is literally the only good explanation. Every other explanation stems from cost-cutting or laziness.
I'm still pretty much in the middle on the issue. It sucks that they're now culling Pokemon and all that, but it was kind of inevitable with the sheer number of Pokemon. On the other hand, I can understand fearing that your favorite Pokemon won't make the cut.
The big problem however is the quality of the game based on what we've seen. Nothing we've seen so far warrants culling anything. It looks exactly the same as other Pokemon games, complete with crappy animations in battle. If they're going to cull Pokemon from the game, I think it's reasonable to expect the Pokemon to be more animated like they were in Stadium, XD, and Battle Revolution. Instead we get the usual animation where a Pokemon hops in place and a battle effect bops the opponent.
If Gamefreak wants to calm people down, they need to show how the game warrants what people are calling "the culling". Sure, there'll still be very vocal whiners, but it would go a long way to reassuring everyone that the game is truly outstanding enough to justify culling.
I’m absolutely pokéfumin’!
Why create new ones?? Because that's the main selling point duh. But that doesn't mean you have to force everyone to play only with new Pokemon. Up until now every Pokemon was transferrable onto the newer games, but this didn't stop newer Pokemon from becoming popular, why would this be a problem now?
Um, what. I'm struggling to see the point of this.
Looking at data from people using the hashtag BringBackNationalDex. So basically all these people disagree with GameFreak and want all Pokemon to be in Sword and Shield.
This person just looked into how nicely worded the tweets etc were. Okay. Half the people are angry and the other half are more composed?
This article needs to be considered pseudoscience.
Yes judge it by the poor graphics, low quality animations, half the pokedex, removal of mega evolutions, stale battle mechanics...
But hey they need to cut half the DeX to improve all of the above...
@AyanamiReign right!? Its ridiculous that this is considered science because its using language as a framework for opinion.
“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.”
Guys this is fake news
"I found out that these zero-valued tweets are those made of only hashtags, so no emotions at all"
This compleyely ignores that the hashtag itself expresses an emotion and renders the whole analysis as completely flawed. Please think before you post rubbish as "News".
@Jacob1092 totally what a load of garbage.
@AyanamiReign and the majority just post hashtag as angry lol which counts as 0
Pre-play? What do you think is actually going to change from the E3 showing?
Of course it is a justifiable statement to make about poor graphics when Game Freak are using it as a reason to cut Pokemon. If ther were sincerely improving animations, textures, models then I would not have a problem with the cut. But they aren't. Simple. They are lying and giving us a substandard game because they can get away with it.
If you dont have time for a wingefest then why are you even commenting?
... what's the point of this article? even the positive examples are saying they're glad people are raging for the dex
I'm somewhat ok with the cull, but only if they they don't give us some of the really same pokemon we always get in zones, like I could really use a game without ratatta line, pidgey line, some of the common bug types. I'd rather they create new ones of those and only those are around and then save the older pokemon for more of the ones that are cooler or less common. However I'm also perfectly fine with every pokemon being in there, and it does seem a bit sad to get rid of the gotta catch them all that the game is synonymous with.
I could care less I have the bundle preordered
I don't think someone tweeting #BringBacknationalDex is neutral. In any other context, I would agree that it could be neutral to only tweet a hashtag, i.e. #pokemon, but in this case, the hashtag itself conveys a kind of emotion that the AI ignored because this would be an exceptional case.
I also think it's weird to support a culling. Games before have restricted what pokemon could be obtained at what point via transfer. People wanting a new experience would still get a new experience, the focus would still be on the base pokemon until the main game was complete, and balancing could be solved by simply reducing how powerful pokemon could be upon transfer. Indifference makes sense, but to actually support it seems... intentionally contrarian.
They did think about it and probably understood what you're saying and went for it anyway because this is about pushing a narrative, it’s not about pushing facts. Closer to release expect all these Nintendo sites and YouTube channels to start calling us entitled.
I really get the feeling that as time goes on, the full national Pokedex will get added in via updates. But even if it doesn't... oh well, I stopped trying to catch 'em all in a single title after Gen 2 and instead continued to just work with all the 'mon you can find within each game.
What a pointless article and "study".
I guess this is where we share our hot opinions on the current debacle though, so here's mine: I would somewhat buy their excuse for not adding all Pokémon to the game, if the game in question didn't look like a Wii title at best and didn't use a ton of reused assets. As it stands, it seems like GameFreak are just trying to have their cake and eat it too.
There, I'm sure nobody else has shared this exact same stance, and I'm sure nobody would ignore it and pretend people are just hating because they're meanies.
Hooray for sanity!
I'm getting it used
@King-X i mean unless you buy literally every game that's released ever, you do make pre-play judgments. Even if every game had playable demos, you don't have enough time to play all of them, so you'd still have to make judgment calls on what interests you. And sometimes you can tell without playing a game that it's not going to be what you're looking for. A Pokemon game where I can't have a complete collection of Pokemon is almost as uninteresting to me as a Paper Mario game with no story or characters.
I'm really getting sick of this. Don't buy the game if you don't like this.
Leave the rest of us alone.
Stop using excuses. Even if you dont have a livingdex or are not playing it mainly for collecting pokemons, you have to admit that this is a wrong move from GF side.
Plus the game is not evolving as it should.
Defending GF and making excuses for them is just plain stupid, they should had embrace the opportunity to make something new and make a wow impact one they first adventure of the main series on a home console, but they just made the same game with smal tweaks. So, yeah the uproar is justified!
This is quite clearly a fairly split controversy. I mean, pretty much each comment above me has at least one dislike, if not more. Whelp, time to share my opinion and get some downvotes!
I'm not too concerned about the national dex not being a thing. To be honest, I kind of forgot it even was a thing in some of the newer games. I do, however, understand why others are upset and can empathize with them a bit. Previous generations on much less powerful devices were able to have the 800+ Pokemon available in those titles. Now, for the first, traditional, home console release, we're not getting them all... even though people have been paying for Pokemon Bank and are being offered to pay for its successor, Pokemon Home. Seems a bit lame to me.
Other than that, I think the rest of the game looks pretty good. Nothing crazy, mind you. It does seem like the game, or I suppose the franchise as a whole, is throwing away a lot of the features that made previous titles good or interesting. Things like triple battles, rotation battles, secret bases, post-game content, mega-evolutions, Z-moves, and more come to mind. Why remove those features and give us something bland like dynomaxing? Seems like a slightly prolonged version of mega-evolutions without the cool transformations and additional character models.
All that aside, I am still interested in the games. The wild areas look fun and I really don't think the visual style looks all that bad. I just think GameFreak needs to take more time between main series games. Seriously, they pump out main-series titles each year. Maybe if they took a little breather, we could get trees with better textures or something lol.
While people are allowed to look for to these games if they want to, the fact that so many people are actually trying to justify removing the national pokedex and its associated Pokemon and make up any excuse they can (most already debunked countless times) is just sad (and I defended Let's Go.) Even NintendoLife staff making abysmall articles that was just white knighting. I'm starting to see why people say the pokemon fandom will just lap anything up. :/
Also, reading this article, you're outright lying as lumping in the hashtag comments with "positive" is misleading the readers. Disgusting.
@Grumblevolcano Noooo it'll be because of the issues.
@graysoncharles "In before people that want a full game show up."
@King-X I'll be judging the game on the fact my torterra probably won't be in it.
I don't think you know what a blanket statement is.
@King-X because they will be removing a lot. it doesn't matter if it's half or 300, that's still too many. in fact, NONE should be removed.
@ComposedJam Its not about every Pokemon being catchable in every region. Thats never been the case. Its about being able to transfer and trade old Pokemon and use them.
@King-X great for you. I've spent days of my life breeding Pokemon. A couple of my favourites from each region. I now feel this was wasted effort because its GF to decide what I can use. So its killed 80% of my love of the franchise.
Also the move away from a gradual layering of mechanics to a game by game gimmick approach makes me feel the same. Megaevolutions not returning is just as awful. Like who wants to lose Mega Charizard X/Y.
In short if they wont let my new Pokemon come to the new region then I will stay behind and not buy the game.
@DeathByLasagna I dont care about the Pokedex that much (tho enough). I do care about Pokemon simply not being usable. And you would care if you spent time breeding and training them and feel attachment to them only to be told that these ones failed the cut.
@King-X So you don't care because it doesn't really affect you. You missed out on the best remake HG/SS btw. Obviously the most annoyed will be the most committed that have bought every game in the franchise, pay for Pokemon Bank and double dip (i dont do the last one). Probably not the best people to take for granted.
@King-X if you don't even play anymore, why are you here to object against the people that are upset?
@ComposedJam I like starting again but after E4 I like transferring old ones. Occasionally I've bred my own level 1 starter and brought it in with Bank to have a different experience. Im not a competitive battler I like breeding and gradually growing up a strong multi gen team of my favourites. Its how I like to play the games. Now it feels like theyre making Pokemon and mechanics disposable and I dont know if that stuff has the same appeal. It would be different if they said this is the 1st HD Pokemon and next will have all of them or they'll add them over time. But it looks like a new policy and will be every game going forwards. I could live with lets go doing this but not mainline.
I feel like negative people are just being a lot louder about it. When the removal of the national dex was first mentioned I was pretty miffed, but after thinking it over for a bit I agree it has to go for so many reasons. I'm fairly sure if people just took a step back and thought about it for a moment they'd realise the same.
There are other problems with the mainline pokemon games that're much more pressing (in my opinion, the cheap gimmicks, lazy designs, postgame and the constant removal of the best features to name a few).
There was actually a poll over on 4chan a few days ago where out of 170 votes, 70% of people said they'd prefer a good game without the national dex over a bad game with the national dex.
With such a quick turnaround on games (a problem in itself), I think if Game Freak can stop focussing on getting all 1000+ mons in they might have a better chance at producing a better product.
Oh no... here we go again.
And again and again and again.
Please just stop. We don’t care if or why you are mad, especially since almost everyone is saying the same things. It’s okay to be upset, but dang, a Twitter protest? This is too over the top for a game of cute little creatures being enslaved by 11 year olds and forced to fight each other to the death over and over...
@JellyPop oh yeah forgot about that.
I disagree. In the sense it's far easier to assume people that love anything, regardless of content, or just don't care are the minority because most people realize their input doesn't matter.
I think it's nice, even if meaningless, people are finally taking outrage over something.
I agree they have other issues, but I don't think the negative ones are being more vocal. I've seen just as many people defending Every decision this game has behind it because it's more pokemon.
I like that people are outraged, but it's far too late and they're not even being outraged in a productive manner. They don't care what we want, they never have, and people just need to accept that. This isn't about making a good game, it's about money being made in comparison to effort and people over the age of 14 haven't been the target audience in a long time.
I agree, seeing people defend everything is a bit much, and I do believe it's more about making money than making a good game.
But I do think it's possible that allowing fewer pokemon per game will allow more time for development into other areas.
It seems that arguing for every pokemon and a better game is like asking for two completely opposite things.
I suppose my point is that I don't mind losing the national dex at all, pokemon games which don't contain every pokemon have often been better and maybe the lack of pressure to include every mon contributes to that. So I'd like to see how it goes.
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