Pokemon fans are criticizing Yamper’s butt animation.
Pokemon Sword and Shield has been dogged by controversy ever since it was revealed not every Pokemon from past generations will be coming to the Nintendo Switch. Also known as the National Pokedex, the removal of the popular feature has turned off a lot of longtime Pokemon fans, to the point where not even the recently revealed puppy Pokemon, Yamper, is immune to online haters.
To be fair, it’s not so much Yamper itself that is receiving criticism, but Yamper’s animation work. Earlier this week, The Pokemon Company released a new Pokemon Sword and Shield trailer that, among other things, debuted the new electric Corgi-type Pokemon. In the video Yamper shows off a few moves, including Tail Whip. Or maybe it’s more of a tail shuffle?
The problem with Yamper’s butt whip is that it’s not so much of a whip at all. Instead it just looks like Yamper is being moved left to right a bit. That’s enough to criticize considering one of the reasons why Game Freak said it was unable to add the National Pokedex for Sword and Shield was because the developers needed to focus on the higher quality animations for the Pokemon actually appearing on the Nintendo Switch.
This was a specific reason Pokemon Sword and Shield producer Junichi Masuda gave to USGamer during an interview at E3 2019. But fans who saw Yamper’s Tail Whip are asking: Where exactly is that higher quality animation?
It might be unfair to judge Pokemon Sword and Shield’s animation quality based on a single attack, performed by a single Pokemon. But the criticism over Yamper’s Tail Whip is really part of a much larger pushback against Game Freak’s decision to not add a National Pokedex, which players used to earn at the end of past Pokemon games.
Online, Pokemon fans are already making memes about Yamper’s Tail Whip. Videos are being created comparing Yamper’s Tail Whip in Sword and Shield to Flareon’s animation from Pokemon Stadium, a game that was released on the Nintendo 64 back in 1999 and seemingly has better Pokemon butt animations.
And to be fair, Yamper’s butt shake could use some work. “It’s really more of a shuffle,” IGN’s Brian Altano noted after seeing Yamper’s butt movement. “My National Pokedex died for this animation,” syndication editor Armando Torres said.
The criticism regarding the lack of a National Dex has been such that Masuda issued a public statement on Pokemon.com about its absence. Masuda hinted that even if a Pokemon from past games is not immediately available in Sword and Shield, “that does not mean it will not appear in future games.” But Masuda’s statement has done little to quell the frustration some longtime Pokemon fans feel about the lack of a National Dex.
Some have argued that not having a National Dex for Pokemon Sword and Shield is contradictory to Pokemon’s motto of “Gotta Catch ‘Em All.” Others are saddened by the fact that they might not be able to transfer over Pokemon they may have caught years ago in an older Pokemon game to the newest title on the Switch.
Pokemon Sword and Shield Release Date, Gigantamaxing
Pokemon Sword and Shield are Nintendo Switch games and have a release date of November 15, 2019. Check out our explainers on some of the new features that are coming to Pokemon Sword and Shield like Gigantamaxing and Dynamax Raids.
Matt Kim is a reporter at IGN. You can reach him on Twitter.