Pokémon Sword and Shield review

Sophie Enloe , Copy Editor

Pokémon Sword and Shield was released on November 15, 2019, making it the newest Pokémon game on the Switch. It was developed by Shigeru Ohmori and developed by Game Freak. It’s the same as previous Pokémon games but it adds dynamaxing, camping, league cards, new characters, and a new region to explore.

 The game introduces the Galar region with all of its new Pokémon and characters. 

The game is about beating all of the gym leaders and going on to defeat the champion Leon, but before you get to battle Leon something bad happens. The chairman, Mr. Rose, releases a lot of dynamaxing energy in the world because he wants to prepare everyone for the darkest days. The creature summoned by all of the power starts to destroy stuff and then the legendary Pokémon Zaican and Zamazenta appear and help you and Hop defeat the evil Pokémon. After all of that, you get to finally battle Leon and become the Galar region’s new champion, but the story doesn’t end there. Two guys that claim to be the descendants of kings steal Zaican and Zamazenta’s sword and shield and professor Sonia’s wishing stars. You end up having to go from gym to gym battling dynamaxed Pokemon and then defeat the two guys. After retrieving the sword and shield you go into the woods to return them, but you end up catching Zaican if you have Pokémon Sword or Zamazenta if you have Pokémon Shield. The story ends after one last battle with Hop and Hop ends up becoming Sonia’s assistant because he wants to become a professor.

I feel like the battles weren’t as difficult as they should’ve been. I ended up beating all of the gym leaders on the first try and due to the lack of challenge, it was kind of boring. If the gym leaders weren’t so easy to beat the game would’ve been more thrilling. The battle with Leon was challenging but I felt like the most challenging battle I participated in was the one against the legendary Pokémon Zaican. The battle against Zamazenta was easy because all I had to do to catch him was throw the pokéball and it wasn’t even much of a battle. I think that there should’ve been a certain hp amount to catch him so it would’ve felt like you earned the right to catch him. 

 The graphics of the game were ok at some points but it looked like the game designers used the same design as the 3ds on the game. The Switch is a console that can run games with good graphics, but Pokémon Sword and Shield don’t have great graphics. The trees in the wild area look really lazily done and they look like they were stolen from an old Zelda game. Also, the moves in the game didn’t seem to get a lot of effort put into them and some of the attacks are just hops. The game designers promised good graphics in return that they wouldn’t put all of the Pokémon in the game, but that turned out to just be an excuse. 

While attempting to trade with a friend I have learned that the password part of the trade isn’t entirely effective. A random person guessed the code and it’s not so fun to have that happen. It’s good that it shows the name of the person that connects to trade with you and it allows you to cancel the trade. I think a better trading system would be to have your friend list show up and you could just select the friend that you want to trade with.

Camping is an aspect of the game that I do enjoy. You can get exp. points for your pokémon by playing with them in your camp, and you can heal your pokémon by making curry. The game keeps track of all the curry recipes you make and you can get new toys for your pokémon for having a certain number of curry recipes. There are berry trees in different areas all throughout the region and they are important if you want to make curry because they add flavor. If you’re playing with friends then you can make curry with them at your camp and play with each other’s pokémon.

One of my favorite places in the game was the woods near the fairy gym. It was dark, mysterious, neon, and I liked the use of mushrooms as lights. It was glowy and it definitely looked like a place that fairies would live in. Another cool place was the mines. I liked how the Carcoal ran on the tracks and the gems added some depth.