Pokémon Sword and Shield Review
Pokémon has been captivating audiences of all ages for more than 20 years. The latest addition to the franchise – Sword and Shield – has revived the fascination with Pokémon. The video game, which was released for the Nintendo Switch on November 15, 2019, has appealed to loyal fans and has attracted a brand new audience of enthusiasts, and for good reason: it’s awesome!
Interested in finding out some details about Pokémon Sword and Shield? Keep on reading for our review of this amazing video game.
Sword and Shield introduces players to a new region in the world of Pokémon: Galar. This new region is just as exciting as Kanto, Oblivia, Alola, Kalos, and every other region. Inspired by the United Kingdom, Galar is bright, colorful, and loaded with personality.
The identity of the Galar region is based on Britain’s famed pop culture and the human characters even have delightful British accents, yet each of the cities and towns that the Galar region is comprised of has their own totally distinct look and personality, which results in a region that is the perfect blend of reality and fantasy.
Of course, there are new Pokémon, too, and they’re just as enchanting as their counterparts. As you would expect, the Pokémon of Galar draw on traditional British culture and legends. In fact, in our honest opinion (and not to knock any of the other Pokémon, but we think that these new characters are some of the best Pokémon designs to be seen in quite some time. Of course, we still love the standards, like Pikachu, Evee, Charizard, Umbreon, and the rest of the crew, but we just love how creative and just plain likeable the new Pokémon are. Seriously, you can’t help but feel drawn to them! Plus, they offers some really cool combinations that gives you a lot more variety so that you can build a team that has a good bit of variety, yet is nicely balanced at the same time.
With previous Pokémon video games, you kind of always knew what you were going to get: a collection of smaller challenges that lead to a larger gym-based battle against a skilled trainer who (for lack of a better word) was obsessed with a specific type of Pokémon – water, fire, electric, etc. While that same principal does apply to Sword and Shield, it also offers a new kind of scale that makes it even more exciting than previous games. Mage arenas are bursting with an audience of fans who are cheering on the holographic Pokémon as they battle against each other. In other words, Sword and Shield is similar to the Pokémon games of the past that you are familiar with, but a larger world and a greater sense of adventure really take things to the next level.
The foundation of the game is pretty much identical to past games. As always, you take on the role of an aspiring small town trainer, and your goal is to become the champion trainer of the region. You also have a best friend, who acts as your competition, and you traverse the world gathering gym badges along the way that will make you eligible to participate in the Pokémon League.
As the game unfolds, you learn secrets of Pokémon legends, and on quest to become the very best, you’ll reveal age-old mysteries that include ancient beings and dark predictions. The object of the game and the stories that are intertwined throughout it are pretty on par for the Pokémon series. Of course, you have the opportunity to really explore the Galar region and learn as much as you possibly can about this new and exciting world.
As mentioned, Galar is based on the UK and the setting really does look like England. You’ll travers rolling hills as you wonder through the countryside and encounter trek through the streets of a city that closely resemble London. Even the people that you meet up with along the way have stereotypical English accents and use famous British slang (you’ll be called “mate” by pretty much everyone.) While we do appreciate the tribute to the United Kingdom and how well the game incorporates all things British, to be frank, at times, it can seem to be a bit too much. However, with that said, the British flare definitely gives the Galar region its own unique flare and distinguishes it from the rest of the regions within the universe that is Pokemon.
Compared to other regions, everything in Galar just seems a lot grander. There’s a lot more detail in this world, and in our opinion, it is way more dynamic. While the goal remains the same, with Sword and Shield, it doesn’t feel like you’re as constricted as other games. Why? Because the characters, the adventures, and the battles don’t seem to be crammed onto a tiny screen; rather, even the biggest Pokémon, like Steelix and Gyarados, are appropriately sized and fit on the screen, as do the locations. Unlike other Pokémon games, you can really tell that there’s a distinct difference between smaller towns and larger cities as soon as you approach them. As a matter of fact, one of the areas that you’ll venture to toward the end of the game is so grand in size that transportation is offered so that you can travel around a lot faster.
Sword and Shield even offers a new feature: Dynamax. With this feature, you can turn your Pokémon into massive versions of themselves. While Dynamax only lasts for a short period of time, it’s really incredible and it definitely brings a new dimension and strategy to the significant battles. In short, the experience you’ll have with Sword and Shield is a lot grander than the experience you have with other Pokémon games on the 3DS. That’s partly due to the enhanced graphics and the cool new features, and partly due to the Switch’s larger screen. The new feature isn’t the only aspect that allows you to really experience Sword and Shield’s grander scale; you’ll also experience in in the Wild Area, a large open filed that is contains tons of wild Pokémon. You have the opportunity to explore and revisit this area several times throughout the game. Here, you’ll find an assortment of Pokémon of varying types and levels.
Summing it Up
While we’re definitely fans of past Pokémon games, we’re really impressed with Sword and Shield. The grander scale, the unique personality of the new Pokémon, the details of the region, and pretty much everything else about this game make you feel like you’re really on an adventure; much more so than any of the other games. There’s even a camping feature, which further enhances the sense of adventure. You get to pitch a tent, build a fire, cook curry, and play with your Pokémon.
To sum it up, if you haven’t yet played Pokémon Sword and Shield, you’re in store for a lot of action, adventure, and just plain fun.