Pokémon Sword and Shield Release (Including Some Gameplay Review)!

It’s been at least a week, but the new Pokémon games are finally out! And people have a lot to say about them. For starters, let’s talk about some of the importance of these games.


Image Courtesy of Pokemon Company/YouTube

Grant Raincsuk, Staff Writer


Since March 3rd, 2017, the newest Nintendo home console the Nintendo Switch has been out.  Up until this point, Pokémon has only been on the handheld consoles, which included the multiple types of GameBoys and DS’s, which means that the first true Pokémon games on the Switch had high demands from the start.  The following year, Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokémon Let’s Go Eevee released on November 16th, 2018.  These games are remakes of Pokémon Yellow, which is considered to be the second game in the series.  Unlike other games, however, these games took aspects of Pokémon Go into the games, so it’s difficult to say whether these are considered ‘mainseries’ or not.  If these are excluded, then Sword and Shield ARE the first true Pokémon games ever put on the Switch.


The Critics:

There’s a good amount of people who are rather displeased with some of the directions these games took.  The main one by far is the removal of a good amount of Pokémon from the games completely for the first time ever in the franchise’s history.  Essentially, their coding isn’t even in the game, so they can’t even be obtained or transferred from other games to these games.  This has been referred to names such as ‘the National Dex Cut’ and ‘Dexit,’ which is because practically half of all existing Pokémon are not in the game.  The reasoning behind this has been said to be that animating each and every Pokémon into the Switch would be time-consuming and they have been planning on doing this for a while now.  There has been some backlash to this, though, as there has been some potential evidence that models have been reused from the 3DS, but that’s a whole different topic.  


My Experience and Opinion:

I got both games on the release date, so I’ve put in some hours into the game already (but not as much progress as most other people have).  I’ve made it past the first Gym Challenge, so I figured I might as well list all the things I’ve noted about the games, being practically all positive.  First of all, the graphics of the game appear stunning to me.  As someone who has grown up with Pokémon, it’s amazing to see how far the franchise has come, going from black and white sprites to full 3D models on a home console.  The new Pokémon themselves have also been quite charming in their regards, and I’m definitely very open to the rest of them.  I expect some people to not like them at first, but everyone takes quite a bit of time to adjust to change. Gameplay-wise, I’ve liked the addition of the Wild Area, a humongous place where you can find many different types of Pokémon, as it also reminds me of Go a bit, and as a collector, it’s nice to find all sorts of old and new Pokémon all at once.  Max Raid Battles are also in the Wild Area, which take inspiration from raids from Go, which seem pretty well-done and give pretty great rewards.  Difficulty-wise, I’ll have to hold off my opinion for that for now as the beginning areas tend to be moderately easy and I also tend to train up too fast.  There are many new features that I’d like to talk more of, like the new encounter system and Pokémon Camp, but I’d like to get more experience into the game first, and then I’d likely write up a follow-up review.

It has also been revealed that they are currently the fastest-selling Switch games of all time, so they’re definitely not being ignored or strongly disliked.  Overall, I highly recommend these games to anyone who likes Pokémon whatsoever, as they have many aspects that would appeal to many different types of fans, from all the different games.