Beastly Review: Pokemon Sword and Shield
Pokemon trainers all it is time yet again for us to venture off as underage kids to capture pocket monsters to be the best like no one ever was. Yea that is right Pokemon Sword and Shield is finally out after the much-anticipated game after Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee debut last year. Pokemon Sword and Shield have us venture off in the Galor Region with a different experience and new pokemon to train and master. For me, as an old school trainer, it has been a long time since I picked up Pokemon and so let’s see if this lives up to my expectations.
Pokemon Sword and Shield Story:
We begin our journey with the announcement of the grand pokemon tournament featuring long-time Champion Lee. The opening ceremony gives us a glimpse of our possible future as new trainers. This time around things go a bit different where we no longer go to a professor for our first pokemon, but instead, our friend Hop’s brother gifts us our first choice. As usually, your new best friend who becomes your rival Hop. Hop is an interesting rival who is trying to follow in his brother’s footsteps as a Champion.
After your first match with your rival which is your initial tutorial, you go on a small quest where you meet your first Legendary Pokemon. It doesn’t look fully powered up yet, but you can tell which Pokemon that is supposed to be and then it vanishes. This is where your journey truly begins with a mystery and quest to be the best trainer out there. That aside, Pokemon Sword and Shield starts with some money from your mom and a lovely bye.
This is where things are quite simple as Pokemon Sword and Shield sticks to the classic RPG style. The difference is that the animation is a lot better visually. I do wish that more moves had more animations outside of seeing your pokemon just slightly move or wiggle. However, with major moves like a Drednaw using Waterfall and swimming up the stream at a pokemon is appealing to the eye.
Going around the world has a different tactic wherein tall grass you can see pokemon running around visually as well as some that are hiding in the brush. This is a fun mechanic where you can walk softly to sneak up on pokemon or run through to cause the hidden ones to rustle the brush. Now if you do run through the tall grass with pokemon you can see. They will chase after you for an attack. So, you can tread softly to sneak up or pass pokemon and you have a whistling feature to just attract them all outright by clicking in the left analog stick.
Quoted from Kanon0h6,
“Every generation of Pokemon has some weird or strange-looking pokemon in their own unique way, so no complaints.”
Also as you go around the field pay attention to different poke balls and glitter items that you can pick up. You might have to go through some hazards in order to obtain them, but that’s the fun in Pokemon. Will you encounter other trainers, of course, you will. I wouldn’t say they are as challenging, but it is a great way to grind your pokemon. Another idea I would not mind is that it would be cool if some would refresh or in some way as you level up came back with better or higher level pokemon to challenge you.
Gym Battles Revamped:
Yes, gym battles have a new style with some eccentric trials not just battling a gauntlet of trainers. One, in particular, had you battle with trainers against other pokemon or herd Wooloo to open up a section. The biggest, grandiose, and dare I say Dynamic moment in this new series is the Dynamax mode. Frankly, I miss the Mega Evolution, but Dynamax mode gives us that Kaiju Pokemon experience which you have to be strategic on. It will only give you 3 turns so try to use your pokemon abilities properly. There will be Dynamax candies to replenish your boost, but you can’t use it in battle.
So, as a suggestion save it for the last resort if you can or wait to use it when your opponent does. Honestly, you can still have the advantage if in PVP and your opponent uses it too soon because the rules still apply to how powerful your pokemon is element-wise and levels. So, you can actually be a better trainer and flex by not using Dynamax mode in battles.
As usually, the badges will raise your level cap to capture and control pokemon.
The Wildlands and Camping are Essential:
I have not played Pokemon in a good while so forgive me if I called camping new. Either way, this feature is adorable and a great way to get to know all of your pokemon at once. You can play with them, have nice conversations and of course cook them meals. There love for you will grow and that gives you an advantage in battle. You can also meet other people and their pokemon by entering their camps which you can obtain their player cards.
Yes just like Monster Hunter guild cards, pokemon has their own version with these trading cards that you can obtain either through codes or going to camps. You will get cards from NPC’s as well too. There is an option to throw away cards that you do not want, so please choose wisely.
In the Wildlands area will be your best friend or worst nightmare. There is a different currency involve in this area with many helpers around to sell you certain items or improve your bike with better speed. This is where the open world of Pokemon comes to the light as you see beams of light will indicate a Poke Raid. Once you set off the raid you can either do them solo which you will be given NPC companions. But this is all about playing with others and you can switch your pokemon before the major battle in which said Pokemon you will fight will be in Dynamax mode. It will be stuck in Dynamax mode during this duration and if you are successful in depleting all of the health. You will have a chance to capture it, but please use the right Poke ball because you can fail.
The rewards will still be there with a TM, rare candy, candy experience and so much more. The Wild will also be broken down in different levels as you go through it, especially going under the bridge pass with the nursery area. As said earlier you will need particular badges in order to capture certain leveled pokemon.
Other Online Features:
The world of Pokemon Sword and Shield brings all trainers together with Link trade, swap cards, link battle, and my personal favorite surprise trade. Surprise trade is delightful which beings a Gatcha Game to Pokemon as you can send a pokemon and someone around the world will send you one back. You can get a bad trade or a good trade. So far I have gotten some surprising trades and some horrible ones. That is the beauty of it. Try not to be the jerk sending only the bedof of the game, because you don’t want a bad trade either right? I did get some good gems like a Vulpix for one. But it is the chance game that you can enjoy.
Of course, you can always trade with regular people that you know or trust and meetups in person for local battles or trades.
My legit gripe with the game comes in with the customization. This is always an issue with me and I know where I playing as an underage child. But in many Pokemon games where they show differently sized children. This also goes with hair does too, but yet again we get a boy or a girl slender size and different skin tone.
There have been some issues with the online features that Nintendo has not openly explained a fix, but come to find out you are just too slow to join a raid. So you can just refresh and try again and hopefully, you can get in a game with others. That’s pretty much it on how I feel is some issues.
The only other bad has been from some people in the community. There has been some weird haterade going on for Pokemon Sword and Shield talking about the graphics look horrible or one stating that they pulled a Fallout 76. That is a harsh and silly statement. Yea, you may not have all the pokemon you want from the jump, but who knows who will be added later on this is an online game which has possibilities of updates.
So in that, don’t be what we call, “That Guy!”.
Pokemon Sword and Shield do what I feel fun and a great job with this new region. I don’t feel much of an antagonist involved here, not much of evil influence like team rocket. There are the Punk Rockers called Team Yell, they are mostly fanboys to Marine, but mostly harmless. They are not trying to rule the world or steal pokemon, just a minor obstacle. There is the over-ambitious Bede. Other than that still a fun journey with crazy characters. The levels look amazing and I was told this is basically Europe which I can tell with some of the fields and areas. I just like riding around and taking in the sites as well as talking with the people.
The world of Pokemon Sword and Shield is alive and can get you hooked in many hours of grinding, leveling as well as you you get that Shiny hunter itch. A lot of people are peeved about Hop, but I like the character as a whole. He acts like a true friend and not much of a hateful rival which we had with Red, Gary and so many others. This was a change of pace where Hop acts like a goofy sidekick and even though he seems inexperienced, he is delightful to be around.
This Beast gives Pokemon Shield a definite BUY! Pick up either Sword or Shield up right now which is available on the Nintendo Switch and we can do some trades or battle together. Please share in the comments below your starting line up. – Beast Out –