One of the biggest attractions in the Pokémon franchise has been the ability to collect such a wide array of creatures. In fact, the tagline “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” has encouraged that behavior for years. It is true that most games in the series don’t have all the hundreds of Pokémon available to catch in the wild. However, after defeating the Elite Four for each region, players would usually get access to a National Pokédex. This would allow them to trade from previous games to collect every single one.
That is not the case in Pokémon Sword & Shield. Only around half of the total number of Pokémon are available in the new games. What this means is that many fan favorites are missing from the franchise for the first time. Monsters that players have trained and traded across multiple titles are now no longer useful. Although it may have been impossible to include all 890 Pokémon, at least these examples below should have made the cut.
We’ve already discussed The Best New Pokemon in Sword & Shield. Now here are the missing Pokémon that should have been included in Sword & Shield.
Only Charmander and its subsequent evolutions are included in Pokémon Sword & Shield. Every other starter from across the franchise is no longer present. This is arguably the biggest problem with the new games. After all, the starter Pokémon are generally the ones that players will become most attached to. They are the first of the new batch of creatures that we get a glimpse of in each new game. The fact that Bulbasaur, in addition to Ivysaur and Venusaur, is missing is a genuine shame. Especially when Bulbasaur played such a big role in Detective Pikachu.
Pokémon Sword & Shield is the first time that the mainline series has come to consoles. It would have been the perfect time to re-imagine classic Pokémon such as the legendary creatures from the original games. Perhaps the most recognizable of these are the legendary birds from the Kanto region. While Zapdos and Moltres are both great designs, Articuno is the biggest miss thanks to its distinctive Ice and Flying types.
Jigglypuff may not be the best fighter or the Pokémon of choice for many trainers. Yet, it is still one of the most popular creatures in the franchise. Alongside Pikachu, fans consider it a major mascot for the series. In fact, Jigglypuff is easily one of the most recognizable Pokémon in existence. The character has even had important roles in other Nintendo games. For example, it is one of only a few Pokémon that Super Smash Bros. consistently includes.
Although there are several notable examples from the second generation, Lugia is the most prominent absentee in the new games. The legendary creature was the mascot of Pokémon Silver and is widely regarded as one of the best designs in the series. Along with its counterpart Ho-Oh, Lugia is incredibly popular and has important roles in the anime and movies. With its lack of inclusion in Pokémon Sword & Shield, players face a severe limit in the legendary Pokémon available to use.
Castform may not be a particularly popular Pokémon. However, it does have a unique ability that would have made it ideal to include in the new games. That’s because according to the weather, Castform can change its form. It has a sunny, rainy, and snowy form, each with its own unique design. Considering that Pokémon Sword & Shield introduced some novel weather mechanics, it would have been interesting to see Castform included. It may even have been able to have some extra forms or abilities.
Of all the Pokémon introduced in Generation III, Torchic is perhaps the one that should have made the cut. The Fire type starts off as a cute bird and has even been used by major characters in the anime. It is also a starter in Pokémon Ruby & Sapphire, two of the more popular titles from the series. Yet, the real issue with its lack of inclusion is that players also miss out on its evolutions. Combusken is not exactly great but Blaziken is one of the best designs outside of the original 151.
Out of all the Pokémon in the series, Mewtwo is perhaps the only one that you could consider a villain. Although that label may be misplaced, the Psychic type has remained an iconic and instantly recognizable Pokémon. It was an elusive legendary in the original titles and has had starring roles in multiple movies. That includes the recent live-action Detective Pikachu. With Mewtwo being such an important figure within the franchise, it is a mystery why the developers excluded it.
Squirtle is one of the most popular Pokémon of all time. As one of the three starters for Pokémon Red & Blue, the turtle-like creature has been a constant companion. Fans often see it as the quintessential Water type Pokémon and it is an effective fighter. Even more importantly, Squirtle has had a starring role in several episodes of the anime. Plus it eventually evolves into Blastoise, who is easily one of the best Pokémon and final evolutions in the franchise.
Which missing Pokémon do you think should have been included in Sword & Shield? Sound off in the comments below!