So I’m about 6 gyms deep into Pokemon sword now – I know for a lot of Pokemon games in the past, that would be a large chunk of the game gone… But as I understand Sword and Shield have a pretty good amount of game left. Having not gotten there myself yet, this is just chatter from friends… However I feel like I’ve made enough headway in the game now to talk about it! If you still want to remain spoiler-free, please do not read on.
Firstly, I love how this game looks! I think it’s beautifully designed – I like all the different towns I’ve been to so far, and I love the very British names like Chichester and Spikemuth. This very much feels to me like a Pokemon game set in my home country, especially as all the areas I’ve been to so far remind me of somewhere local to myself.
Furthering the attention to detail, the dialogue is excellent! So British. Lots of use of the word “Mate”, even had “proper job”, and “fancy a scrap with a copper”, and a few more absolute gems that I’ll leave you to find yourself. All these little gems also fit into the regions of Britain that the game is attempting to represent. I think it’s a beautiful touch, and it has made me smile on so many occasions.
On to mechanics; wild battles happen as they always do, you know them, you love them, I’m not going to tell you about sucking eggs. In the Wild Area however – a big open area rife for exploration – you will find very strong Pokemon wandering around, and even stronger Dynamaxed Pokemon amongst them. Firstly the strong Pokemon… Try and avoid these at first until you have a few gym badges under your belt, or make sure you have Pokedolls on hand that allow you to run away if you bump into a very strong one by accident. Secondly, Dynamaxed Pokemon – You work as a team of four to defeat these Dynamaxed Pokemon, and you receive Watts and the chance to capture the powerful Pokemon as your reward. This team of four can be real players, or AI, and it’s actually a lot of fun! I love Dynamaxing my Pokemon. Watts can be spent on upgrading your bike and buying other things, so there’s always a slight incentive to go after Dynamaxed Pokemon, even if you’ve caught them before. You can do fun little bike rallies as well to increase your Watts, if you’re less of a fighter.
Gym battles also have Dynamax battles, however the gym leaders often have Gigantamax’ed Pokemon, who have a special Gigantamax Form (Similar to Mega Evolution) and G-Moves, which is how they differ from Dynamaxed Pokemon. You can receive a free Gigantamaxed Eevee or Pikachu if you owned either of the Let’s Go games – Gym battles in this game are hype.
Everything from the music to the look of the stadiums, to Dynamaxing your Pokemon is so much fun. The proceeding gym missions are a little different too, as they’re like the puzzles of older generations. You have to go on to the gym leader directly after completing them too; no sneaking to the Pokemon Centre..! So stock up on potions and cures; you got this.
Disclaimer, I haven’t even finished Let’s Go: Eevee yet, I’ve played a little of Pokemon Sun… Aaannd I completed Pokemon Pearl, but that’s my Pokemon experience to date, so I’m not a hardcore fan. I guess for this reason I am not so upset by the controversial Dexit situation, and just happy to see new Pokemon forms like Ponyta, Wheezing, Sirfetch’d and Meowth… So I can’t quite understand the disappointment of a hardcore, long term fan. However I am absolutely loving this game; I think it’s beautifully done, I think the new stuff is exciting enough to make me want to finally finish another Pokemon game, and I really really think it deserves a 9/10 at this point of time.