Pokémon is one of the most popular gaming franchises to date, and its newest titles promise to provide new and exciting features for older and new players to enjoy. In November 2019, fans were treated to the new Pokémon Sword and Shield. In this new installment, players can explore the Galar Region to find and catch new Pokémons! So what does the new Galar Region have in store? Is this new Pokemon game even worth picking up? Let’s dive in!
Catch ’Em All and More
Pokémon Sword and Shield are the first main Pokémon games for the Nintendo Switch. This means that players would get to see their favorite Pokémon with new graphics on top of a new detailed environment.
For the most part, Pokémon Sword and Shield delivers in having over 400 Pokémon available in both base games. This number is divided into the two games, and it has the most available and acquirable roster to date, even without importing older Pokémon from previous generations.
As with new regions, players are introduced with new Galar Pokémon that include starters Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble. The further the game progresses, the more types of Pokémon are encountered. This includes new ones as well as old and familiar ones. Similar to the previous generation, Pokémon Sword and Shield has Galarian versions of certain Pokémon. These Galarian types have either different typing or ways for them to evolve.
Pokémon Sword and Shield: Great for Beginners or Old Players Only?
For new players who want to get into Pokémon, these games are a great starting point since this is the first game for the Nintendo Switch. For older players who want to import their Pokémon from the previous generations, they will have to wait for the Pokémon Home update. As of this writing, players cannot send Pokémon from older generations since the developers are still working on various DLCs that would hopefully include older Pokémon from the previous games.
Catching all Pokémon has been the main hook for the franchise, and Pokémon Sword and Shield delivers on this end. Players can complete their Pokédex by playing the game and trading with other players since there are some Pokémon that are exclusive to either Sword or Shield. Granted, there are still new Pokémon that are slated to be added as part of the DLC, but the base games themselves are quite enjoyable to play.
Exploring the Wild Area
One of the newest features in Pokémon Sword and Shield is the introduction of the Wild Area. Each area has its own weather condition, and certain Pokémon only appear in such areas depending on the weather.
Aside from that, players can camp out and play with their Pokémon. Players can cook food for them that gives various boosts to happiness and experience. Such features add another level of immersion for players who want to discover the world of Pokémon. The camping option makes players interact with their Pokémon and further strengthen their bond. There are also times when your Pokémon will interact with one another!
There are also Pokémon Dens littered across the Wild Area that contain strong Pokémon. Four players can team up and raid the Pokémon Den and try to defeat and capture any Pokémon inside. Players who engage the Dens by themselves will be accompanied by three AI teammates, but it is recommended to look for other players and plan out how to take the Pokémon down. This further adds to the inclusive and social nature that Pokémon espouses in its games.
Dynamax and Gigantimax
Perhaps one of the newest features in Pokémon Sword and Shield is the Dynamax and Gigantimax mechanic. Pokémon can be Dynamaxed or Gigantimaxed while battling in areas within the Galar Region. Doing so makes them grow significantly larger and have access to new moves for four turns.
This new gameplay mechanic is an interesting addition to the game since this replaces the Z-Moves from the previous generation and is also a key element in the games’ story. It’s a decent new addition, and the Gigantimax versions of some Pokémon drastically change the way they look. This is a fun new challenge, as you can also observe how they transform into their Gigantimax versions.
Pokémon Sword and Shield: Is it Worth It?
Overall, Pokémon Sword and Shield is worth buying whether you’re a new player or a veteran. As the first main Pokémon game for the Nintendo Switch, it is quite an enjoyable game. The new mechanics and Pokémon are well-designed, and the upcoming DLCs are shaping up to add even more content to an already massive game!