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You can even send Pokémon from your box to do jobs in real time to earn experience. Game Freak has put a lot of focus on streamlining the overall experience with Pokémon Sword and Shield. Quality-of-life improvements such as an adaptive tutorial cut down on the prologue of the game, giving you the opportunity to skip the lengthy explanations as to how Pokémon Centers (etc.) work. You also have the ability to use your box anywhere and fast travel without having a Pokémon with “Fly” in your party. Arthurian legend and other facets of UK culture inspire Pokemon Sword and Shield‘s 81 new Pokémon, and they are ultimately more creative than Game Freak’s more recent efforts, with only a few oddballs here and there.
- With each generation the Pokémon universe gets bigger, but the games don’t scale up to meet that size.
- The graphics have improved, the gameplay has gotten deeper, but the scale has stayed the same.
- For two decades now,Pokémonhas done a great job of making a big world feel intimate.
- It makes the tallest peaks feel scalable, and there’s an undeniable thrill in that.
- It might get bigger, but it still feels like different paint on the same canvas.
- I can’t remember the last time this franchise had the thrill of revealing an entire new Kanto region in Gold and Silver; the world getting bigger around your tiny sprite.
You’ll still find a variety of encounters that keep things interesting, but not so much when it comes to discovering newly-added Pokémon. The Galar region has 80 different native species so to speak, but in my travels so far for this review, new Pokémon feel far less common in Sword and Shield than ever before. One of the biggest controversies leading up to this game’s release was that it wouldn’t include the entire roster of Pokémon released over the past two decades. With nearly 900 creatures overall, only 400 have made their way into this edition of the franchise. That’s all well and good for me, but I take issue with how the game chooses to fill the world with its roster of Pokémon.
To accomplish this, here you’ll find that the Pokémon world has been centered around Garlar, a region that heavily draws inspiration from Britain. Other titles have been set in areas mimicking a real-world location before, but things get taken to a whole new level here. Everything from the scenery to the way NPCs talk nail the desired aesthetic, which makes this game more immersive and just a blast to explore. Pokemon SwordandShieldare out now, exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.
Pokémon Sword and Shield refines all that has come before in the series. It has the various quality-of-life upgrades found in Let’s Go and new innovations of its own. Despite its lackluster story and absent Pokémon, it’s Game Freak’s most streamlined, polished, and entertaining entry since its transition to 3D. Having joined the team at the beginning of 2017, Blair has gone on to specialize in LEGO coverage and review, smart home tech and more.
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There’s also a more transparent IV stat system and items to perfect your team, the ability to see where captured Pokémon natively appear in the region, and even a built-in flying taxi service to quickly jump from town to town. All of this adds up to a game that’s far less tedious than before. It lets you really enjoy the open-world experience of Pokémon without having to jump through unneeded hoops.