So I’ve done it… I’m the Champion! That’s not to say it’s the end of my game though… I still haven’t caught Zacian, there’s a whole post game arc for that… But I’ve made my way through all the Gyms, and beaten my rivals and Leon into the ground. So this is… Not quite my last impressions of Pokemon Sword, but just a little reflection on my journey to becoming Champion.

First as you can probably tell… I played the Sword version of this year’s Pokemon offering. There are a few differences between the two including different Gym leaders, and of course the different exclusive Pokemon. Now I made my choice on the game months ago based solely off of Zacian and Zamazenta’s designs – I just preferred the sword boi at the time, and made my decision based off that! That a basically how I chose which Pokemon game I pick every time.

So if you’ve played a Pokemon game before you know the drill; you wake up, have a little chat and a goodbye with your mum, and then crack on to get your starter Pokemon. In this game you get it from Leon, the older brother of your best friend and rival Hop, and also the current Champion. I picked Grookey in the end, which meant Hop got Sobble, and Leon took Scorbunny. I have to tell you though, when Scorbunny looked around and realised he hadn’t been picked, I was heartbroken at his little face… Until he got super excited to meet Leon.

I head off on my journey with my little Grookey and breezed through the grass, water and Gym battles like a dream, catching everything as I went. In fact all of the Gyms where pretty simple! The only one that really kicked me in the butt was the fighting Gym, which just seemed unbelievably hard. Perhaps because I suck at type match-ups!

Speaking of type match ups I like that the game tells you after you’ve fought another Mon once the moves that are most and least effective against said Mon. Means that if you suck at type matchups like me you slowly start to get the hang of it all.

Between Gym fights I would spend a lot of time levelling up in the Wild Area – This is an area that will keep me coming back to the game time and time again, especially as this is the first game that I feel like completing the ‘dex is achievable. I love how this area has been done! I love the Gigantamax fights, and I love discovering Pokemon with different forms! I also love how you can actually catch the Eeveelutions under different weather conditions; it’s great!

I also enjoy the Rotom Rallies that you can complete in the Wild Area, dodging Pokemon and zipping through the balloons to get to the end. I am however disappointed that there are no Pokemon mounts in this game; I really enjoyed that in the Let’s Go games.

Another thing I really enjoyed utilising to level my Pokemon were the Poke Jobs, which are generally type specific and allow you to feel as though your boxed Pokemon can be useful and not live forever, cooped in the box you banished them to after you caught them. Further throughout the game there’s opportunities for little some quests like delivering food for the seafood restaurant, granting you a lucky egg amongst other examples.

If you’re just starting out I would highly suggest utilising this area to level up between Gyms, because Gym challenges can get really really hard – To start each Gym challenge you have to complete a Gym mission; this is like a little puzzle with fights along the way. It’s important you stock up on potions before going in, because you will not be able to leave and heal up at a Poke Centre until you have faced the Gym Leader. My favourites of these were chasing Wooloos through the grass Gym and working my way through the waterfalls in the water Gym.

After all this, when you reach the final, you battle your way though all the leaders again (this time Bea was no match for me), only to be prevented from finally taking on Leon due to a little twisty corruption by the chairman. Plus side, you’ll have your first legendary before you take on Leon and gain his crown! Leon is a gracious loser, and that’s when the credits roll… Not when the game ends, though.

I haven’t started the post game yet, but my journey to Champion has been amazing; so much fun! I really love this game despite all the controversial things surrounding it… But I have to say, after finishing all this, I still think it a a solid:

9.0 / 10

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