Pokémon is a franchise that I have adored since I was a child. The show, the movies, the cards, and of course the games have held a special place in my heart for as long as I can remember. Pokemon Sword is the first full fledged Pokémon release to appear on a home console and I can’t express how excited I was to get started.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the Pokémon series at the moment, but I am not really going to touch on that here because I would prefer to express my personal opinions of how I felt about this game specifically. I love Pokémon Sword and I’m having a blast. The game has its hooks in me in the same way that Pokémon games have always managed to. My urge to complete the Pokédex, trading with my friends, and competitive battling is here and I think that the game does these things better than Pokémon ever has before. I do believe the games could have innovated a bit more being on the Switch now rather than the 3DS but the Wild Area is a huge step in the right direction and there are some genuinely great quality of life improvements here that make the game feel much better to play.
I can honestly spend hours trekking through the wild area trying to find new Pokémon, setting up camp and making Curry, yea it’s fun for some reason. I am only about half way through the game at this point and the story and gyms are rather easy to get through. It might pick up in difficulty later but the first 4 gyms didn’t present too much of a challenge. If I could have it my way I would prefer the game’s be a bit more challenging, but I understand that these games are aimed at a younger audience. The real challenge will come when battling your friends, this is something I heaven’t done yet in Pokémon Sword but I can’t wait to dive in.
In terms of presentation, I feel that the graphics have been overhauled quite a bit and make a pretty solid debut on the Nintendo Switch. There are parts where the textures don’t look great and in the Wild Area there is some pop in here and there, but nothing that really breaks the game for me. I think the colors pop, and the Pokémon look great. The battle animations leave a bit to be desired for some moves, but there are also some moves that look really cool. Cinderace has one particular move that looks phenomenal. I do think more fleshed out animations on some of the moves could make the games battle sequences far more appealing but they are still really fun.
The story here is a bit weak in my opinion thus far. I feel as though it’s very predictable. The rival is quite annoying at times, always trying to Tell you exactly what to do and where to go and when to go there. Not to mention, Team Yell can’t hold a candle to Team Rocket or even Team Skull in Sun and Moon in my opinion. The characters are a bit underwhelming for the most part as a whole but I’m hoping things get a bit more fleshed out as I get through to the end.
I do want to give a huge shoutout to the customization in Pokémon Sword and Shield. It is better than ever, allowing you to truly get your character looking like you if you want. There is a ton of stuff to spend your in-game currency on. I have never found myself on the hunt for more cash in a Pokémon game in the same way I am here. I absolutely love seeing my friends’ characters and it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
Many of us here are playing the game right now, so I thought I would get some thoughts from some others here at The Game Fanatics.
Steph – “I cried of joy when I could feed my Pokémon and play with them.”
Joel – “Even though there wasn’t much evolution in the formula, I am enjoying the world of Sword and Shield. The new additions to the Pokémon family are great and I cannot wait to play more!” – Joel of the Scorbunny fam. #ShieldLife
Tyler – “Pokémon Sword and Shield is… basically more Pokemon. And I mean that in the best possible way.”
Overall, I think Pokémon Sword and Shield offer fans a game with plenty of new features never before seen in the series, and the Wild Area is clearly a great starting point or a bit of a template for GameFreak to build upon. I love the Wild Area and if the Pokémon games can use this to expand upon the future games and make the next generation even more interesting and unique then I am all for it. I love Pokémon Sword and Shield and can’t wait to see where the series goes from here.