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Review: Pokémon Sword and Shield

Written by Gaming

The event many Pokémon fans have been eagerly awaiting has finally arrived on our screens. I must admit that the backlash that Game Freak and The Pokémon Company have faced seems massively unwarranted. Visually, the game is stunning; it’s very sleek, with vibrant colours akin to Breath of the Wild, and it all transfers between the portable screen and the TV remarkably well.

There’s been a key issue looming over these new entries in the franchise – the National Pokédex has been truncated, with hundreds of pokémon now missing. With regards to what the fanbase has dubbed as ‘Dexit’ it is hardly noticeable with the Galar region’s plethora of pokémon, both with the returning creatures and the new additions. The loss of certain beloved pocket monsters will always be a contentious topic, but this day was always going to happen.

Dynamaxing pokémon is a great replacement for mega evolution and Z-moves. It’s much less convoluted, while no additional items are needed.

Additionally, with Sword and Shield, there are plenty of new features added to give the gameplay more depth. Dynamaxing pokémon is a great replacement for mega evolution and Z-moves. It’s much less convoluted, while no additional items are needed.

Along with ‘Dexit’, there has been a major shakeup in the move pool of the Pokémon franchise, with Game Freak scrapping one hundred moves to streamline the game. Again, I have had little issue with this, and I believe that the competitive scene will not be adversely affected by these changes.

The inclusion of gym leaders provides welcome familiarity in the Galar region. However, the challenges you must undertake in each gym before facing its leader are interesting and give a renewed, unique take on this classic aspect of Pokémon. The link between the Galar gym challenge and the wider game world’s love of football make for a wholly new experience, highlighting how gym trainers are essentially entertainers for the public of the Galar region.

The Galar region lives up to its real-world counterpart: the architecture is stunningly reminiscent of British designs…

I have waited for a region based on Britain since I began playing Pokémon, with 2006’s Emerald. The Galar region lives up to its real-world counterpart: the architecture is stunningly reminiscent of British designs and the landscape evokes that homely feeling of the Northumbrian Coast, as well as the rolling hills of the Yorkshire Dales and the Cotswolds. Individually, I found that each pokémon is distinctly designed, with references to the game world incorporated smartly.

There is something for everyone in this game. I must say that any hate for Sword and Shield  is inconsequential when put up against the fun and sheer entertainment of the actual gameplay. In the end, it makes the lack of some of the more iconic pokémon in the Galarian Pokédex pretty difficult to notice. Whilst the introduction is pretty long, as seems to be standard with Pokémon, you will quickly become consumed with joy whilst not being able to put down this wonderful iteration of this global franchise.

Last modified: 24th November 2019

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