Another pokémon game is here with Pokémon Sword and Shield for the Nintendo Switch, the first game in the core series to arrive on a home console, is it everything we want and come to expect, only after this review you will know my thoughts.
Now before we delve into the review, let me make this very clear I DO NOT CARE FOR CONTROVERSIES, I play a game for what it is, not what others expect, find out or want.
My first time playing a Pokémon game was in the late 90s with the release of Pokémon Red and Blue, followed by Yellow for the Gameboy colour. At the time I was only a young lad just left school and ready to take on my first job or head to college. I then skipped plenty of Pokémon game releases, just because I was very busy with sorting out a future for myself. I landed a job in Electronic Boutique which is now known as GAME as a sales assistant, a discount was available and my first big wage for me was ready to be spent on GAMES. I Kept with Nintendo and Purchased the DS to play Pokémon Black and White, followed by the 3DS with X & Y, there has been no other Pokémon game from the core franchise that I have purchased.
I have dabbled a bit in Pokémon Go on android but I skipped Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee. Through the years I have played the Trading Card version of the game, collected plenty of cards, made great friends and attended plenty of community events that bring like-minded Pokémon fans together.
It is now 2019, I own the Nintendo Switch and the core franchise for the first time comes to a home console, moving away from its mobile home. Developed by Game Freak and published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo we get a chance to role-play as an up and coming Pokémon trainer.
The game takes place in the region of Galar which I have heard is based on my home country the UK, now that was interesting. You start the game as either a female or male character, give him or her a name and start your adventure. I do not want to spoil too much for you as always, but the start is nothing major for you not to know about, so here goes. You along with your friend Hop are set on an adventure to become the next Pokémon League Champion, but before that, you need your first Pokémon, let me introduce Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble and to treat you here is a picture of them along with there first evolution.
I chose Scorbunny, as its more towards my star sign Leo and its element fire, it is true but really I just liked the look him Scorbunny and playing with Fire. You are given this pokémon from the current Pokémon League Champion Leon who is actually the big brother to Hop.
You are about to set off, but you come to find that a Mareep has entered a forbidden area known as the Slumbering Weald while searching you and Hop come across a very powerful Pokémon that simply could not be hit by any of the skills thrown at them by your Pokémon. After such an event and a few discussion with fellow villages, you collect your Pokedex and you set off on what can only be described as an incredible adventure, full of amazing encounters.
Now everything is pushed along by the story, and I found the story of Pokémon Sword to be, well not lacking, just not as engaging as the previous titles, I would have loved to have seen, no sorry heard, voice acting in the game, like in the Pokémon Anime. As this is the first game to hit home consoles, I just feel in my gut that Nintendo and Game Freak could have chosen some amazing voice actors to really suit all the voice parts in the game. Of course, nothing is as easy as you might think, there are twists in the story, so do not expect it to be that easy to get to the top.
Now I am going to admit, I enjoy Pokémon games not just for the story but the ability to collect every single Pokémon there is to be found and then level them up, learn about them, evolve them and battle all types of Pokémon to make me a better Pokémon Trainer. Collecting Pokémon has never been so much fun thanks to the games open-world aspect with a free-roam camera, it gives you total freedom to choose where to go and what to battle.
The wild areas are brimming with Pokémon to fight and collect, from ones that hide and you only know what they are once in a battle to ones that simple wonder around in the long grass and can be seen. Then we have more powerful Pokémon that hang around the paths and roads. I actually made the mistake of approaching one of these, after thinking to myself, I want, I ended up with all my Pokémon needing medical attention, never did that again.
The wild areas also come with Max Raid Battles which sees you and three other trainers tackle and try and defeat a Dynamaxed and sometimes Gigantamaxed Pokémon with the end goal capture in a Poké Ball. You can either make your own raid with other players, just have to wait, find a group already waiting, or go in with yourself and some AI-controlled, trainers.
If you want to join a group follow these instructions;
- Press the Y button to open the Y-Comm
- Make sure you are connected to the internet if you are not online press the + button to connect to online
- Then go down to Search Stamps, right at the bottom (The Looking Glass Icon)
- Select Max Raid Battles, find and join
Now the Wild Areas are not perfect in any way, they do have their issues. Pop-Ups, it does not matter where you are in the wild areas, things just pop up out of know where from Trainers to Pokémon, it does not look good for the game, and I think Game Freak needs to look at this and add a performance patch asap. Then there is the lack of animations, and I first saw this with my Scorbunny and double kick, there is literally no animation at all, Scorbunny just stands there and magically double kicks the other Pokémon. With the animation being somewhat lacking in battles, I did love how the game developers gave each Pokémon there own walking pattern, animation and reaction to trainers in the open world. This gave a sense of realism and fun, like Yamper, he slowly but surely walks to you, like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders and all you want to do it stroke the poor thing.
The wild areas also have their own weather patterns, and depending on the weather will depend on what Pokémon will come out to play, as you can imagine Pokémon have their own favoured or preferred weather like water Pokémon love the rain.
Collecting and battling with all these Pokémon, you will most likely end up with loads of the same type in your bag, so you can try out the online trading system, you can either trade with someone, trade with a friend or Surprise Trade and receive something that you have already got or something altogether brand new, that the best thing about the Surprise Trade system.
If you are feeling confident with your team, then you could try the battle system, single battle, double battle or multi battle, it is down to you, if feeling a bit skiddish, you can ask a friend to battle with their link code. Now even though I had defeated the gym leaders, became the Pokémon League Champion, I never felt strong enough to take on battles, then again I never really have with any online game. I tend to stay away from them, confrontation of any kind is not my forte and acts upon my Anxiety for some reason.
Keeping with the battle system, I must mention a new form of battle, a battle with light sabres, the Dark Side Vs the Light Side, may Force be you, Nah kidding. Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing, they both turn your lovable sweet Pokémon into a giant version of themselves, almost as if they had been nuked over and over, like GODZILLA. Both new forms offer new more powerful abilities, but they do not last forever, so be mindful of when you activate Dynamaxing or Gigantamaxing. Gigantamaxing offers a little extra, the ability still makes your Pokémon huge, but also changes there appearance and gives them access to a special G-Move that is unique to each Pokémon, but the thing is, not all Pokémon can Gigantamax.
Heading to battle within huge stadiums is breathtaking for any Pokémon fan, having your adoring fans cheering for you, actually, feels like you the centre of attention. Then the battle starts and everything hinges on your choices, it is palm-sweating, but the feeling you get when Dynamaxing or Gigantamaxing is mind-blowing. I actually called out, OK ***** take this and Dynamaxed, it feels so good. After winning and seeing your team standing there, makes you feel emotional and proud of each and everyone on them. If you lose, you feel sorry for your team, you work out what went wrong, work out a new strategy and try again, winning that time around feels like a weight has been lifted and you feel so proud of yourself and your adoring Pokémon.
After a battle why not set up camp, yes a campsite for you and your team to enjoy some quality time together, cook up a delicious meal and play a few games, it is a way of becoming closer to your new-found Pokémon friends. OK, this might seem like a childish, maybe even a stupid idea for some of you but don’t hate it till you try it and see what happens, you might be surprised.
The game can be completed in and around 14 to 16hrs, but that does not mean the game is over for you, that just means you have ripped through the game to a degree and have in no way got every Pokémon. As the game offers a staggering 400 Pokémon to collect, that is the most Pokémon to be included in any game to date, I am almost sure of this, so this game is going to take some time, to level them up, evolve them, and learn each one’s strengths and weaknesses and form that perfect team-up. Not to mention the elusive shine versions, which has a 1.5% chance of getting one to 33% based on a number of factors, so good luck.
Pokémon Sword has its issues, I am not going to lie there and these issues let down the game overall, but the game has so many charms and things to do, it just deserves to be played. I do believe that we shall see a Pokémon Sword Ultra/2 same for shield with more Pokémon added, makes a lot of sense for Game Freak to do this.
There is an adventure to be had here for Pokémon Fans and New gamers alike, with hours and hours available collecting, learning, evolving and falling in love with some adorable Pokémon. Give the game a go, do dis it just because of all its controversy, you might like it.
Pokémon Sword and Sheild are available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch through Retail and on the Nintendo eShop. Remember if purchasing through retail to obtain the gold points that give you money off your next purchase if you choose to use your coins.
You can purchase Pokemon Sword or shield here
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Another pokémon game is here with Pokémon Sword and Shield for the Nintendo Switch, the first game in the core series to arrive on a home console.
Product Currency: GBP
Product Price: 49.99
Product In Stock: SoldOut