Unfortunate news for all the hardcore Nuzlockers out there (looking at you Pokemon Challenges) but a new leak suggests the more competitive 'Set' battle mode has been removed from Pokemon Scarlet & Violet.
Set battle mode turns the AI trainer matches into something more akin to competitive player vs player fights. Rather than producing a prompt letting you know which Pokemon your foe is switching to and giving you the same option (Switch mode), Set mode sees them just chuck the 'mon out.
Obviously, you can still play by hardcore Nuzlocke rules by just pressing the B button and staying in regardless of what your foe sends out, but it takes away from the experience a bit. If the leak is correct, this shows Pokemon is leaning even more into its casual appeal – it is a kid's game after all.
Still, this kind of simplifying an RPG by removing optional systems is fairly common when trying to appeal to as broad an audience as possible. It happened with Fallout 4 when skill points were removed altogether.
Hardcore Nuzlockes of the Pokemon franchise have surged in popularity among streamers and YouTubers in recent years. The challenge's roots can be traced back to a single creator, but the rules have been adapted to make the infamously easy children's game more appealing to those who prefer more strategic gameplay. This change will mean these challenges contain an extra step, but they're still very much doable.
In other Pokemon news, some upcoming anime episode titles have fans thinking Ash may be retiring at the end of this season. The current favourite to replace him is Goh. but there's been no official word yet.
Newly announced Pokemon Great Tusk and Iron Treads are believed to be Donphan evolutions. The elephant 'mon hasn't seen much love since its Gen 2 debut, so a new evolutionary line could breathe some new life into the stoic beast.
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