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Pokémon Sword and Shield review
by André R. S.

Had a lot of fun playing it.
Amazing effects, colorful landscapes, thought-out Cities, cool NPC's, interesting Storyline and a lot of "side-stuff".
Also playing with friends, doing raids and camping is a huge plus in this game.
I'm not even mad that they didn't include every Pokemon. 890 in one game would be way to much, so 400 is quite a good deal.

However, there are certain aspects I don't really like tho.
The new "Champion Cup" as replacement for the "Elite Four" sounds like a nice idea, but its way to easy to beat. In general, this game is to easy.
I get that Game Freak wanted to make the game playable for kids, but there should also be something like a alternative mode, so these things feel more like in the previous games.

So in short, the game has some weaknesses but it's a great game in general.
Keep in mind that the main target group are children and young adults.

Nevertheless, I'd recommend it to everyone who likes a nice story-driven adventure.

If you got any ideas or wanna discuss about something leave me a reply, always like new opinions ^^
«Can’t stop playing»
«Sit back and relax»
«Better with friends»

Other reviews12

After 5 hours, I'm bored. It has been a good reminder of why I stopped buying Nintendo consoles decades ago. Graphics that indie games put to shame, generic audio, no voice acting, and a boring, bordering on non-existent, story.

Date Dropped: 2022-03-14
Playtime: 5h
Enjoyment: 5/10
Recommendation: I'm sure the Nintendo fanboys love it. It's far too repetitive for me.
Gigantamax pokemon look cool, but as a mechanic I'm pretty whatever on it.  One of the best generations in terms of design of the new 'mons though.
Man, I've tried going back to playing this after the recent game announcements, but this is such a damn rough game. I didn't play Ultra Sun and Moon after the disappointment of Sun and Moon, but man did I get bamboozled by SwSh. Not again, though. 
Theres a lot of concepts here that are cool on the surface, but with how easy it is and how few improvements (with even a few downgrades) there are from the 3DS line, I'm stumped how this happened. 
«Waste of time»
8/10 - It's not the best Pokémon game, but its a good Pokémon game.
«Can’t stop playing»
«Sit back and relax»
This was my big disappointment of the year. Starting with the positives, I LOVE the new Pokémon and the music is rock-solid throughout. And really I didn't have too much of a problem with the graphics. My biggest issue with Shield was the lack or identity. The wild areas do provide an awesome and unique experience to Pokémon, but in the end it's just a bigger safari zone that really only exists for some side fun. No exploration and no fun places to see. When you're not exploring the wild area, you're on extremely linear paths that make me want to rip my hair out. Dynamax is kind of fun, but it's often limited which makes the mechanic feel pointless. In one gym, you can't even use it. The box legendaries are extremely dull and don't feel important while the hidden legendary is confusingly complex and silly. Team Yell is annoying and can't even compare to Rocket or other organizations. The gym battles are uninteresting and all blend together to the point where I had to force myself to complete the final tournament. Throughout my playthrough, I was disappointed at how bored I was and how little I cared about the places and scenarios around me. In the end, Pokémon is about the creatures and the designs this generation were fun and - in my opinion - the best we've seen in years.
Strong 5 to a light 6.
This is a very long review, with some thesis in the end, yep.

Don't get me wrong, I grew up with Pokemon Games, it's literally my childhood, so it hurts me to say that this game is by far the weakest and most disappointing one so far, story and quality wise. I will probably sound very picky and hateful, but I'm just sad and angry about the development of this game. Because it's literally a double-edged sword, with its shiny moments and bad decisions.

Since Sun and Moon, they started to include more and more half hearted things here and there. Currently this game is forcing the player to follow a planned route or story, which is ok, and it also kinda worked in Sun Moon (IM LOOKING AT YOU 2HOUR TUTORIAL). But I don't exaggerate when I say that literally the whole Sword Shield feels like a tutorial, with a lot of repetetive actions and missions. Half of the game has some (too easy but ok-ish) creative puzzles, the arenas are cool, but then suddenly, everything changes, they just scrap that puzzle/creative idea, you are now constantly forced to fight (well that's what you always do in arenas BUT). I MEAN CONSTANTLY, EVERYWHERE, with sometimes questionable and too stretched up logic and way too EASY copy paste rivals. You can't even choose. You dont even get a BREAK from it. You need to do it, to get the story done. Even a team rocket base was more fun, bc you could LOOSE a fight, by not paying attention. This game is really, just very very easy, and unnerving.

I finished this game in 23hours. A personal record, and a shameful time for a pokemon game. And all I had done was pressing a and run from A to B, bc that's what I was told here. It felt like work. (which is a bad sign in the game industry)
Even the epilogue is one of the lowest made piece of game story I ve ever seen in my entire life. It was laughable, its peak very awkward.. It felt out of place and rushed.

Despite the Dexit, just look at the most used Pokemon Pole in this game. There is literally Ditto in Top 5. And you know what that means? That fights are damn unbalanced, due to the dyanamax feature (which is kinda fun in the beginning, until you realize it's just a simplified junior version of the megaevolutions but with glitter on top), so people are spaming with those tier list pokemon in fights, and I mean spam, bc there is no variety of pokemon to choose from anymore to win against their broken dyna strategy (sprinkles salt). And don't get me started at that broken buggy online feature.

This game says constantly to "explore" the world, rather then giving us a chance to really "explore" this game.
And yeah It has his shiny moments, cool character designs, Ball guy, beautiful places and themes, the music, and some Pokemon are very well done, and the Wild Area is FREAKING AWESOME. But to be honest, it all feels very random. Like every idea that didn't made into a pokemon game was put together.

Almost like a test game, to see what works and what not. To recieve critism and feedback of what the player wants.
Because player feedback is expensive these days. So why not sell that game, and get even money for both?
I can just assume that this is Nintendo's intention behind this game. It had to be one of the games sooner or later, and since Switch is selling pretty great, it was THE chance, to test out these ideas. But why didn't they learn from the spin off games?? 
I myself work in a game company and when we work for a title, which is just a bridge for the actual main line, we also put a lot of things half heartly in, even tho they have great potential. Meanwhile we work on the main game, and also learn from our mistakes we put in the bridge games, listen to what people want, and bundle them up in the main. This is how it works. It's risky, but worth it. And since Pokemon has a big IP, they can effort it, right?

Well it still hurts.

So this is why I'm angry, but also confused. Because that means, Nintendo is hiding something. 
They had all the money and the resources, but decided to put it somewhere else.
So my conclusion is, this game is playable, you can enjoy it if you want to, but don't expect a diamond, because it's not the full game you would usually get. Because a bigger game would just need more time.
Trust me, when I say that there is definitely something big going on. I can hust hope it's with good intentions.
«Buggy as hell»
«Disappointment of the year»

It was a pretty fun play through, I enjoyed raising and building my team and I actually had some difficulty with a few battles where I needed to take a step back and strategize my way to victory, though often that was due to sub-optimal type match-ups and the like, since I built my team based on what I wanted and not to cover every option.

The main thing that killed this game's potential for going above a 5 is that I can't do Multi Battles in the post-game Battle Tower. My favorite part of Gen 7 was doing the Battle Tree with my wife. Oh, well. I still recommend playing this game, because the new Pokemon are great, but only pick it up if you really love Pokemon, or at a discount. 
I've been having an absolute blast playing Pokemon Sword.  So far, the difficulty is a little bit lower than Ultra Moon , which I do not consider to be a dealbreaker.  As I've grown up, the amount of time I can invest grinding a Pokemon team has gone way, way down... I don't have the time I had back in 1998 during Summer Break when Pokemon Red first released!

I feel like my time is respected in Sword and Shield;  doing raids can get XP candies that allow you to juice up your team faster than mindless grinding, as well as providing Technical Records, single use "vintage" Technical Machines from the pre-reusable days.

The Britain-inspired region is full of new critters to catch and the multiplayer Wild Regions give a fresh world exploration experience that I find fascinating.  Going back to gyms from the island challenges feels like a step back in innovation but the game is still fun and challenging enough to feel satisfying at the end.  The story is lacking, however, with the adults spending the whole game telling you to avoid getting mixed up in adult matters, i.e. the story... like they've never played a Pokemon game before!
«Can’t stop playing»
The visuals are amazing, as usual: UI, art style, NPC design, town design... In terms of gameplay, there's nearly nothing. The cutscenes that used to be only at the beginning of a Pokémon game, now they're all the time. The whole game feels like a tutorial. There's no challenge anymore because every situation that would be risky (like fighting many trainers in a row), has the risk removed by getting your team healed between each trainer, by telling you hints on how to win, etc. It's extremely handholding, which is the main issue. It lacks the freedom and sense of adventure that Pokémon has always had until gen 6. In a few words, it's "Press A to win". There also some improvements, like new items that are useful for the competitive scene, to facilitate having a pokémon with the perfect stats for battling. It's a shame that for every improvement, there are 10 downgrades. The game as a whole is deceiving, shameful considering where it comes from.
«Disappointment of the year»
«Waste of time»