Published on November 28th, 2019 | by MinimalCat
REVIEW: Pokemon Sword
Pokémon Sword (and Shield) is the first full RPG from this series on Nintendo Switch in Full HD, and while you won’t be able to catch ALL the Pokémon, you at least gotta make all of the curries!
Concept/Story: Your rival is your best friend growing up, and the two of you go on an adventure to collect all of the gym badges so one of you can become the next champion. In this game they make the rival, more of a friend you occasionally battle for a skill check.
The main objectives in this game haven’t changed much since the original Pokémon games came out, which meant I was able to dive right in!
There is also no Team Rocket; instead there is Team Yell who are the crazed fans of Marnie. Marnie is another of the gym challengers like yourself , but Team Yell just show up randomly and battle you in honour of Marnie, who doesn’t seem to care either way about them and actually apologises for their behaviour when you first meet her after battling her fans.
Graphics: Absolutely stunning, the stylised characters and Pokémon blend perfectly with the world. They don’t look out of place in this realistic open world.
The game also transitions from handheld to docked mode without feeling too small on handheld or too blurry in docked mode. This game was definitely made from the ground up for the Switch, and is easily the best looking Pokémon game yet.
Small details like your character’s hair bouncing when they walk, or the expressions that make each individual character unique show this series has made massive leaps from the small screen to be bigger and better.
Gameplay: Exactly the kind of turned based RPG you would expect – which is great for both newcomers to the series and anyone starting over from scratch. However, I do enjoy that there are new ways to bond with your Pokémon and earn more EXP.
You can go camping to play with them, make curry for them and talk to them, or store them in a Pokéball Plus controller if you have one (and score yourself a free Pikachu or Eevee if you played Pokémon Let’s Go). All these new modes result in more EXP and heals them and revives them if they’ve fainted.
You can also take on Poke Jobs now which earn your Pokémon quite a bit of EXP if you can spare them for a whole day and if you can’t spare them for the whole day you do get other options of shorter periods, i.e. 8 hours, half day.
Sound: Pokémon has come a long way from its original handheld-only days, and whether you’re listening with headphones or with bigger sound via docked mode the music and sound effects are better than ever. Thankfully there’s no voice acting to drag the pace or break the immersion either, which is a choice I’m glad the developers stuck with to make sure this game didn’t take any longer to release. You can still scroll through dialogue if it doesn’t interest you, while both new and familiar tunes play depending on which area you’re in and because the game is turn-based you can still enjoy the game even with the sound turned down (or off entirely) but I still preferred hearing everything the game has to offer.
Awesomeness: This might sound weird, but I genuinely enjoyed collecting curry even more than the traditional Pokémon or new Gigantamax Pokémon. It’s fun to experience a game within a game, like the cooking elements of Zelda Breath of the Wild, with new interesting twists. The awesomeness of Pokémon comes in what’s new, so don’t be too worried about the size of your Pokédex since the game is paced perfectly without trying to load stuff from older games. It came as a surprise, but I’m so glad it’s here.
Final Word: I will definitely keep playing this game as I want to complete my Currydex, the rest of the story hasn’t captured me quite as well as making curry has but between the cute Pokémon and collecting ingredients, I will keep playing this game long after this review.
Out of 5 Bugs!