Pokemon Sword and Shield's hops can shine in scarlet and purple

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Pokemon Sword and Shield's hops can shine in scarlet and purple

Among other additions and new features, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet have done a lot of work for Pokemon's characterization. After several generations of player adversaries and allies that felt a little immature, Pokemon Scarlet and Violet put things back on track, assigning a group of powerful friends to each of the three major storylines. Nemona, Arven, and Penny are so compelling that one of the biggest complaints fans have about the story is that the three rarely appear together on screen. As a result, Scarlet and Violet's text and character designs have been among the most popular in the Pokemon game for some time. We can Buy Pokemon for Scarlet and Violet at pkmbuy.

It's not that the previous games failed in this regard, but their results were more mixed. The quality of the story often determines the reception of opponents and close friends, who directly benefit from participating in a better narrative. The Pokemon X and Y stories featured a large group of friends, plus Pokemon Sword and Shield's lopsided rival trio constituted oft-cited failures in their gameplay plots. On the other hand, Pokemon Sun and Moon's Lilly and Gladion benefit from being deeply involved in their game's impressive narrative. However, this didn't quite extend to Sun and Moon's arch rival, Hau, whose 8th generation successor, Hop, doubled down on Hau's flaws. Still, context matters, and while Sword and Shield may have failed him, Scarlet and Violet may have provided the perfect backdrop to save Hope.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Failed Hop's Great Idea

On the surface, Hop's story in Sword and Shield looks interesting by Pokemon standards. He's another friendly antagonist that's sprouted from Pokemon Generation 3, though he's more motivated than most. Hau of Sun and Moon is related by blood to Kahuna on his island and simply conforms to the customs of the region, while Hop is the younger brother of reigning Galar Champion Leon. It is for this reason that he fights alongside the player in an effort to defeat the Galar League and prove that he is as good a champion as his brother.

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However, things are not going well for Hop. He fights the player more than any other opponent in the series, and loses every time. Pokemon Sword and Shield's Hop also lost to another competitor named Bede, and although he gradually worked his way through the Gym Challenge, he suffered a lot of mood swings along the way. To Hop's credit, he made it to the tournament semi-finals before finally losing to the players, and then took part in a fight against Eternatus, who was using the opposite version of the box legendary. In the end, however, Hop is the only protagonist in the finale who doesn't meaningfully achieve his goals.

While the constant battle with Hop is annoying, it's fun to watch him evolve throughout the game. Being Leon's younger brother, he is arrogant at first, but soon proves his status and descends into fear. He twice swapped out most of his Pokémon team halfway through the game, and ended up with a grumpy personality in the final few fights. Hop proves he's no slouch, especially in his post-match fights with Zacian or Zamazenta, but with his opponents all becoming gym masters or new champions, the trainer realizes he has no future in Pokemon fights. So, out of the blue, he chose to change career paths and become a Pokémon professor instead. Hop found the ending, just not where he expected it to be.

Pokemon Sword and Shield has great ideas for each opponent and how they should develop throughout the game. The problem arises in the way they are presented. Bede and Marnie don't get enough time to show their individual development, and Hop ends up with a ton of easy fights that make him seem annoying. Combine that with Sword and Shield's many startup issues, such as the tendency to grab players' hands and bombard them with cutscenes involving Hop, and it's clear why this character suffers in his home games. A more open progression for Pokemon Scarlet and Violet would solve some of the problems, but would also put Hop in a more interesting setting.

Hop could have served as the player's neighbor and antagonist between Scarlet and Violet, but he could have played other roles as well. Mostly, he'll compete with the player while serving as Yavin's traveling companion, dragging the reclusive senior into other story paths. An antagonist who appears in all three storylines might run the risk of being overexposed, but Hop's interactions with many of the characters in a show of innocence and arrogance could add a new dimension to him. Reducing the number of his fights and giving some to Nemona will help, and he may be able to race the player at certain points in the Legendary Path story. The idea of having Hop remain the Galarian Champion's brother in Paldea is also intriguing, since he could see Champion Rank as a stepping stone to his home regional league.

Naturally, Hop would spend most of his screen time chasing his Victory Road evaluation. He could have completed each gym idea faster than the player, but watch out for his struggles with Nemona. The difference between Hop as a rival and Nemona as a champion-level trainer could have been enhanced through gameplay, as Hop's fights are still fairly easy. In contrast, Nemona's team will be upgraded to a smaller team focused on advanced strategy. This would have taught the player competitive tactics, while also emphasizing how strong Nemona is compared to both the player and the Hop.

Eventually, Hop would lose his Elite Four and would challenge players one last time outside the Pokemon League building, much like Gen 3's Wally. During the final scene in Zone Zero, Hope could have been inspired to try and take over as Paldea's Pokémon professor, possibly with the encouragement of his friend Arven.

Hop led to more meetings between the main characters, which could have firmly established him as the emotional core of the player's friend group, while subtly emphasizing his potential as a Pokemon professor through his observations in the travels. While he's still working in his original setting, Hop could have thrived and enhanced Pokemon Scarlet and Violet in surprising ways.

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