Pokemon Sword and Shield Review

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Nathan Stierwalt, Review Writer

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield are the newest installments in the main series Pokémon games, released for the Nintendo Switch on November 15th of 2019. These games are some of the first Pokémon games to release on a home console in a long time, so the anticipation was high. Not to mention the Nintendo Switch offers much better graphics capabilities than the 3DS and other handhelds released by Nintendo. These games retained the same style as the last few Pokémon games on the 3DS, while making the scenery a lot prettier and more polished, not to mention there is more movement and interaction with minor characters. The animations for some attacks have been remade or polished up and look a lot more satisfying when used, though mostly only the more powerful attacks.  And like all Pokémon games, these ones have a new gimmick, which is dynamaxing. Dynamaxing allows you to make your Pokémon massive, give them more hit points, and replace all their attacks with stronger ones temporarily.

Before the games were released, it was announced that the games would not include every Pokémon, which caused a lot of backlash from the fans. Sword and Shield have only 400 Pokémon included in the Pokédex, even though there are 890 total Pokémon created. Previous games had all the Pokémon in them, so this was a shock to fans. Not only that but the Pokémon models remained the same other than adjustments to how they are shaded, as well as making the models smoother so they look better on a higher resolution screen. People actively complained about the games reusing the same models, animations, and everything else of the sort, and the games received a lot of hate. Some of these claims were a bit obscure or ridiculous while some were pretty valid arguments.

Though in the long-run, the games were a lot better than people anticipated. The games may be lacking when it comes to story as well as not including half the Pokémon made. But they ended up being very enjoyable regardless. One of my favorite things about these games was the new Pokémon. The designs of a lot of the new Pokémon are very likeable. From Dragapult, a cool and cute ghost dragon with little baby dragons it can launch, to Toxtricity, a poisonous frog that can also conduct electricity and play guitar with it’s chest flaps, the new Pokémon were great in terms of their designs. Not to mention the adorable Pokémon that is Snom, and the mini army of Pokemon called Falinks. It’s almost like a trade-off. Higher quality Pokémon but less of them, less work for the development team with having to animate so many Pokémon, and improved visuals. There is also the fact that old Pokémon who weren’t featured in Sword and Shield will be featured again in newer games, while different ones will be excluded from them, so there’s still hope that you’ll get to see your favorites. 

Overall, I had a lot of fun with these games and I’d still recommend playing them if you own a Nintendo Switch. I’d rate the games about an 8/10, it was fun and enjoyable, but still had its flaws. Though along with the flaws, we got some new features that made the games a lot more convenient to play, which is another reason why I’d recommend it to newcomers as well.