Pokemon Sword and Shield Review

Taylor Aguilera, Staff Writer

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What needs addressing:
The largest thing to rock the Pokémon community this year was the Pokémon Sword and Shield controversy known as Dexit. Dexit, of course, is a play on words with U.Ks ongoing Brexit. Of course, it didn’t take long for me to find out why it was named after this situation. To put it all simply, Game Freak announced that they’d be taking out the National Pokédex, in addition, they wouldn’t be putting every Pokémon from past games, only a select amount would be included. Meaning that people wouldn’t be able to transfer all their Pokémon from previous games into the Sword & Shield, of course depending on the Pokémon. This as you would imagine causing the Pokémon community to feud with one another. Being a member of the community myself I have to say that we don’t typically feud this badly with one another.

People had a big problem with the removal of the ‘Pokédex’, where you register your caught Pokémon. The hashtag #bringbackthenationaldex or #nationaldex was spread around the Pokémon community like wildfire. The thing people were actually complaining about was the fact that we wouldn’t be able to bring every Pokémon with us to the new games. As silly as it may seem, people get attached to a Pokémon they’ve played with.

With one side being angered at the aforementioned Pokédex, and the other siding with the developer, Game Freak, it was easy to see how vicious the argument could get. However, at the end of the day, it died down and people went back to being mostly civil.

The Story:
In every Pokémon game, no matter how small, there always tends to be one. Two years before that we got the generation 3 remakes, Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. They gave me another reason besides just getting to the end & beating the Final Four (the typical final bosses of the Pokémon games.)

The story in this game though is far from what Sun and Moon (7th gen) had to offer, While Sword & Shield had some intriguing moments with its story. There wasn’t enough focus on it & there was no driving force besides Sonia (the granddaughter of the professor), wanting to know more about the Galar region’s darkest day.

The plot really picks up around the end of the game when you’re at the championship & are done with the finals. We only find out about the bad guy’s plans because we all of the sudden are worried about the Champion not showing up for hours & the Chairman’s assistant tells us that he’s fine. Which he was. I already figured earlier in the game that the chairman would most likely be the bad guy in the game but it just came way too late. I’m disappointed as it was better in the 7th gen I think. The lore might have been really interesting & might have caught my attention but this shows that there wasn’t time spent on the plot. This might have a wide demographic & needs to be able to reach them but that doesn’t mean it can’t have a good story. This is why things like Harry Potter are successful.

We also have what has been in Pokémon games since the 2nd gen, the post-game story. The story is part of the content & is always something nice to have after you’ve finished the game. The story I would say is in most regards better than the main one. As we are chasing down the threat & working against Swordword and Shieldbert, instead of them being shoehorned in at the end end of the game. You could see growth in characters as well. Sure small growth but it was something. The character growth in the main story only focused primarily on two characters. Though Bede still stays the same & acts like a donkey even in the end. At that, the character growth for some of the characters is a continuation of the main game. It almost feels as though they are the same game.

Game Play & Graphics:
I will start by saying that when I say gameplay I don’t completely mean graphics or frame rate, rather how fun it was to play & how it felt going through the game. How difficult the game was, or how many Pokémon you have the ability to choose from.

I think this is the game where I learned that I’d like a difficulty setting for the Pokémon games, due to how easy it was to get through this game. This is something I noticed the games have suffered from when they entered 3-D. This is something people have complained about that I didn’t notice until it was painfully obvious. I think that it would be simple to add difficulty settings, as many other games do it. Almost everyone and everything in the game was extremely easy to knock out. The Champion battle which normally is the toughest battle was easy. The post-game had a few challenging battles, and I would say that Dynamax Pokémon can be challenging. What causes the problem is that your Pokémon get over-leveled, this can happen even when you don’t battle every trainer in the game.

Battles being too easy ruins many important moments in the story & make some moments boring. When the only good battles in your game are few to come across & one of them is in a restaurant, then you need to think a little more about what you are doing with your game. The only other battle that’s difficult is with Eternatus and is in Eternamax form in which it’s the most powerful Pokémon ever. When that is one of the only challenging battles, the game has a serious problem.

I seem very critical about it but I love these games a lot. Regardless, there were plenty of fun things in this game. The main game climax was so fun as battling with the legendaries Zacian & Zamazenta was one of the best uses for the regions legendaries ever. The final battle with Hop was fun as he also catches the legendary that it opposite your game, using it in the battle. I think that the legendaries crowned forms mechanics was cool.

I thought that the game was beautiful & great, Pokémon looks cartoony as always & gives it a charm. Honestly I would give the graphics a 5/5.

For post game content there are many things to do. One is completing the Pokédex which if you do, you get the shiny charm. This item increases the odds of encountering a shiny Pokémon (a highly rare variant of a Pokémon with different coloring). Which also is another part of the fun post game things you can do. I do have to give it to the game for making the pokedex easier to complete by putting Pokémon evolutions into the Wild area. As there are many Pokémon evolutions that are tedious to accomplish.

The Battle Tower, a part of the game that you can unlock after completing the post game, has to be one of my more favorite features. This feature has had some of the more challenging battles in the game, this is because all Pokémon are set to the same level. Most of the challenging battles I’ve had in this game have come from The Battle Tower.

These new games prove that Game Freak hears the Pokémon community as there’s a few ways to get out of the tutorials in the game that they have. These tutorials aren’t skippable in past games & have bugged Pokémon fans for years. Another not so small thing but one I love is the look of the region. This game is no exception to the rule of having a fun region to explore. The many areas were fun to wander around and talk to people in.

Overall:
Game Freak, like any other company, still wants to make money but it’s very sad to see when a company turns on its fans & uses them as money machines. Even with 7th gen, there was plenty of heart in it, just because Game Freak isn’t the one bringing in the most profit for the Pokémon company, that doesn’t excuse them.The time & work that was needed to put in the other 400 something Pokémon was not spent on any of the reasons they gave. Not to mention with Pokémon being a money-making monster, they sure have money to hire more help to work on two games at the same time.

Everything aside I still loved the game as I do with most Pokémon games that are released. Well, it’s not my least favorite game from the series it’s far from my favorite as well. I enjoyed the new Pokémon, even the story, battles, & characters. Despite some of my negative opinions I still enjoyed the game, plowing through it in about three days. The music was still great. Overall I would say that I give the game a 710. I think that in many aspects the games could definitely improve & has the means of improving.