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Pokémon Sword Reviews & Ratings

90
Review by Vooks
November 25, 2019

Pokémon Sword and Shield are not without their problems. But beyond the rubbish online play and uninspired late-game routes, and beyond the controversy surrounding them, they’re simply the most fun I’ve ever had with Pokémon. The story is wonderful, the creatures themselves are all fantastic and adorable, and Max Raids will absolutely never not be great fun. And if you can overlook the fact that these games aren’t the generational leap that some expected, you’re sure to find something special in them.

88
Review by Game Informer
November 13, 2019

Pokémon Sword & Shield are strong first attempts for the series’ full transition to consoles. While some frustrations hold it back from true legendary status, this new generation proves the Pokémon franchise is still great more than two decades after its debut.

80
Review by Vandal
November 13, 2019

Sword and Shield are a lot of fun and, at the same time, it’s also a disappointing evolution of the series. The core gameplay still works great, but Game Freak needs to listen to the constructive feedback and live up to the expectations of the franchise.

80
Review by Potatonian [user]
July 11, 2020

When the trailers and announcements first started appearing rumoring the absence of a national Pokédex and the inclusion of only 400 of theWhen the trailers and announcements first started appearing rumoring the absence of a national Pokédex and the inclusion of only 400 of the 809+ Pokemon (now 893+), I didn't have the urge to buy it like I did for all other main line pokemon games. Especially with the exclusion of Mega evolution, and the poor cutscene animations, the game had needed much to be desirable. Despite gamefreaks promise of there being completely new pokemon animations and cutscene animations, both were still clearly present with many pokemon animations appearing as far back as 2 generations prior. This however I believe is not really that perplexing despite the developers' promises as old assets are often used in newer games naturally to save time, resources and production cost which should instead be used to improve upon other parts of a game.The wild area graphics such as the infamous tree textures and the stiff pokemon animations are obviously a big let down, I remember the many comparison made to it, most notably the open world of Zelda: Breath of the wild. Despite the wild area being a rather shoddily done job, and being it having much to be desired, I am not particularly displeased as it is the first open world experience, though limited, and the wild area itaelf is magnificent. It also seems that gamefreak has used some feedback on the open world of the Isle of Armor DLC. I bought it near launch regardless and found the story and gameplay to be great,. Contrary to popular opinion I believe dynamax is a great gameplay mechanic added to the game albeit being a less enticing combination of mega evolution and z-moves.It has many competitive benefits and are a great aid in any battle. I believe that the competitive scene can truly be cemented with the inclusion of dynamax, mega evoltion and z-moves, allowing for much more stretegic play and a lot less stalling due to an increase in wall-breaking.The story itself heavily differed from the traditional stories of old pokemon games as there was no villain team. It had some similarities with Sun and moon's story. The characters however were much more well thought out than in previous games such as the character development of Hop being similar to Wally but much more involved. Leon being made to appear as a great champion much more than any previous game's champion, even going as far as having a remix of the hall of fame being his battle music which perfectly encapsulates his persona and character arc.The music in this game was absolutely fantastic with some being nearly or as good as Zinnias's battle theme, PWT final battle theme, Ultra necrozma's theme etc. To name a few, we have Marnies's and Bede's battle themes, the battle tower battle theme made by the illustrious Toby Fox, the champion battle music, the wild area music, Mustard's final battle theme etc. I believe gen 8 music overall is nearly on par with gen 5.To name a few unmentioned but nice mechanics: the apparel and customisation in this game, camping and curries, trainer card customisation, pokejobs, max raids, enhanced experience training, nature mints, controllable pokemon league that makes much more sense, and pokebox system.One very important and much appreciated thing this game has that no other pokemon game has ever had is a DLC. To explain very briefly why this is the best thing to ever happen to mainline pokemon games: every other mainline pokemon game to come out has always either been a remake or a second version of the game, what concerns us however are the second versions (such as Yellow, Crystal, Emerald, Platinum, Black 2 and White 2, Ultra sun and Ultra moon) all of which had additions and improvements to their older counterparts but too miniscule to be considered worth buying, this is apparent in their sales also as these games have significantly less sales. What the DLC does to benefit us and game freak is rather obvious, it gives us new content for less money whilst guarenteeing a lot more sales than a second iteration would. If this is gamefreak's new formula for the mainline games, it will greatly benefit both parties long term.Overall, the absence of key battle mechanics from the past two generations including the absence of many many moves and pokemon definitely knocks off a few points from my rating of the game, as does some poor animations and clear laziness in some parts of the game's development. However, this game is great like any other mainline pokemon game, it has all the mechanics and quirks befitting its status as being part of one of the most illustrious, and important series of games to ever exist. I believe it is a great addition to gamefreak's collection and also an important learning curve for gamefreak. Despite how well-received the game wasn't, I personally still believe that it excelled in many ways and performed better than many of its predecessors in some aspects, and will be remembered as an important game for how great and how bad it was.

75
Review by DualShockers
November 26, 2019

Some aspects of Pokemon Sword do stand out as only being possible on a home console, but the general look and feel still seems stuck in the 3DS era of the series.

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Game Information

Release Date November 15, 2019
Publisher Game Freak, Nintendo
Content Rated E (Everyone)
Game Modes Single player, Multiplayer
Player Perspectives Third person, Bird view / Isometric
Genres Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Themes Fantasy, Open world
Platforms Nintendo Switch