Publication date of the original Japanese article: 2021-12-01 18:31 (JST)
Translated by. Nick Mosier
The Pokémon walking animations in Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl (Pokémon BDSP) are becoming a hot topic among players. In the game, players can call out one of their Pokémon to walk with them in the overworld. Doing so will release the Pokémon from its Pokéball and have it follow the player around.
Walking with a Pokémon also comes with benefits such as the Pokémon occasionally picking up berries. It’s fun to see your favorite Pokémon trying its best to keep up as you run around Sinnoh. In Pokémon BDSP, all of the Pokémon in the game’s Pokédex can walk with you, so there are probably trainers out there excited to see their favorites out and about. But some Pokémon have found themselves on the receiving end of criticism from players.
One user on the message board Reddit posted a short clip of Ekans, the poisonous snake Pokémon, following around the player. The Pokémon has a recognizable coiled up appearance that drives home the idea that it’s a poisonous snake and has been a part of the series since the first generation.
So just how does this Pokémon get around in Pokémon BDSP? Check out the video below for a quick look. It somehow glides along the ground while still coiled up and does so without even moving a muscle. The Ekans fan that posted the video seemed a little shocked, and players in the comments were calling the Pokémon a “Roomba.”
But Ekans isn’t the only Pokémon players are taking jabs at, with many mentioning how larger Pokémon appear too small when walking with the player. While players may have been expecting lumbering behemoths behind them, in the game they’re shrunk down to a more modest size. Especially with Dialga and Palkia, who’s models can be seen looking larger and more intimidating within a scripted event in the game. Seeing them shrunk down afterwards just doesn’t have the same impact.
Another legendary Pokémon that’s receiving criticism is Rayquaza. Besides being tiny, it just floats behind the player without moving its long body. Maybe moving around snake-like Pokémon isn’t Pokémon BDSP’s strong suit.
But it’s not all criticism for these walking Pokémon. On Reddit, there are also Pokémon being praised for their elaborate animations. One of these in particular is Golem. When walking with the player, Golem has two different types of movement. One for walking, and one for running. While running, Golem will tuck its face and limbs into its body and roll around behind you. It makes sense and looks like something you might catch it doing if it were in the wild.
Pokémon that move extremely slow are also getting love from players. The lava Pokémon Magcargo is a Pokémon that both looks and moves like a snail. Players have been having a good laugh at the sight of it not being able to keep up with players speeding away on their bikes.
There also appear to be some unexpected benefits to walking with Pokémon that have been discovered. Hidden items that can’t be seen in the overworld are a series staple. And there are likely players that diligently comb over the map with items like the Dowsing Machine looking for all of them.
However, it appears that Pokémon have collision detection with hidden items that the player can’t touch or see. In other words, if you’re walking around the map and see your Pokémon look like it got caught on something, check there for a hidden item. For players that are searching for everything, this might make the hunt a little easier.
Some players have also been reporting issues around walking with Pokémon. One commonly reported example is Pokémon blocking your path. It looks like when a Pokémon follows the player down a narrow path, it also blocks their way back.
There also seems to be frequent issues with Pokémon positioning, such as when a bridge is overhead. For some reason the Pokémon will be placed on the above bridge and not be able to get down to where the player is.
There have been a number of Pokémon titles that allow for players to walk with Pokémon, including Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Let’s Go, Eevee! where players can walk with every Pokémon in the game’s Pokédex. This of course means Ekans as well, who can be seen slithering along the ground like a snake.
Pokémon Sword and Shield also received an update that let players walk together with their Pokémon. Considering characters in the game are sized completely different than those in Pokémon BDSP, the limitations on the models are likely different as well. But seeing lively animations in past titles could add to the disappointment some players have with Pokémon BDSP’s Pokémon walking animations.
The ability to walk with Pokémon is unlocked after visiting Amity Square in Hearthome City. Why not check out how your favorite Pokémon looks in motion?