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Videogame review: Pokémon Sword and Shield

November 30th, 2019 by Geralt of Australia Comments

Pokemon: Sword and Shield
Nintendo Switch
Out now

Oh boy, the Galar region, the first entirely new region for a brand new system, and it’s simply amazing… I honestly can’t give this game enough praise for what they’ve been able to do on a new engine. So let’s get into it shall we? Welcome to Pokémon Sword and Shield.

First off, I think I have to address just how big this game is; in most of the more recent games I’ve been able to get up to the first gym in an hour, maybe two if I’m taking my time. 10 hours – 10 fantastic amazing hours – it took me to get to the first gym, now you’ll have to take my word when I say that I’m a seasoned Pokémon trainer, but I’ve been playing the games since the release of yellow in 1998 and completed the Elite Four and Pokédex every time (better record than Ash), so when I got given a Pikachu since I played that version of Let’s Go and he came up as number 196 I knew there would be a lot to do.

So what makes this one different to the other versions so far?

Well let’s start off by talking about the gyms: this is the first one that recognises that it’s not just you and your rival going for the crown, instead there’s an opening ceremony which introduces you to 7 of the 8 leaders in the region with the first three gyms following the starter types.

Now, of course because the Galar region is meant to be the UK, it’s only fitting that the stadiums are in fact Football/Soccer stadiums. This is also the first time you’ve had to wear a uniform to do the gym challenges and pick your own number to go on the back of it, I love this little detail and eventually you’ll get to buy different uniforms that all go by different types eg steel and poison.

The other big selling point in the game is the free roam aspect.

You still have all the routes the same as any other game and you use them to get to SOME of the cities as after leaving your village via a train, it has to stop at a different station due to Pokémon on the track which leads you onto the Galar Planes, a wonderful place full of different ecosystems with different Pokémon to battle and capture, you start off battling level 6-8s and as you progress further through the Pokémon will also get stronger; on top of that, any that you see walking around that aren’t in the grass should be feared, these are high-level creatures and should only be challenged if you’re really up to the task.

And then for the last not so little change… Dynamax.

So, these aren’t like the mega-evolutions that we’ve seen in the previous games for a number of reasons.

Firstly, a Pokémon going Dynamax can only sustain it for a few turns before reverting back to its normal size. While they’re in this form however they get boosted HP and stats that they can use against others of this size. You can battle wild Dynamax Pokémon in the free-roam region that are basically down holes in the ground, you also get points from these which you can spent on various items people sell in the free roam region that can’t be bought in stores. Dynamax is also available in gym and elite four battles.

On top of all the new content and game engine is one other thing that just puts it above all the other games so far.

Don’t you just hate it when you’re leveling up a new Pokémon in a high level area and they go up ten levels and you have to keep pressing the button to go through each one? Well, not anymore. All the points get tallied up and get done at once, so no more waiting five minutes to get through all the levels and moves. Now, isn’t that just spectacular?

Pokémon Sword and Shield is the game that we’ve all been waiting for and if you don’t have it already I strongly urge you to get it and try it out… I promise you won’t be disappointed.

5 out of 5 Nerds

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Geralt of Australia, holder of the One Ring of Sauron, mechanic to the Millennium Falcon and council to the Avengers, has been diagnosed as a nerd since falling through the wardrobe and being crowned king in Narnia. While fighting Boggarts and watching Storm Troopers miss everything, he has made his way back into this world through the portal in 221B Baker Street just to bring you all the news and reviews of the games of this world.