Pokémon Sword and Shield gives a fresh new take on a well used formula

The Pokemon Company / Courtesy Photo

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, the newest members of the Pokémon video game franchise, are two fun, engaging games that will inspire both seasoned players, and curious newcomers to ‘catch em’ all’. These titles are the first ‘traditional’ Pokémon games being released exclusively on the Nintendo Switch, and fans of the series will be delighted with what the games have to bring.

For those who aren’t familiar with the popular franchise, Pokémon is set in a world where the massive wildlife population, collectively known as Pokémon, hence the series’ name, are traditionally caught and trained by individuals known as trainers. These trainers attempt to take their Pokémon team to the top, by means of battle between the creatures, in hopes of being the best of the best.

Pokémon Sword and Shield represents this well-worn formula well, while also adding its own new take on the traditional trainer’s journey. While players explore the newfound Galar region, they will not only encounter many Pokémon they know and love, but also an assortment of brand-new creatures native to the area.

Anyone who’s played previous Pokémon games will be relieved to know that Sword and Shield manages to maintain the traditional control and turn based battle schemes, unlike the Nintendo Switch’s first Pokémon title, “Pokémon Let’s Go”, which received much controversy upon its release.

Detail-wary players may notice the games’ newer art style, which differs slightly from the design in previous games. The graphics are presented in an attractive, colorful manga reminiscent style, seemingly blown up into the third dimension, but with much more clarity than previous games. This is perhaps due to the fact that the Nintendo Switch, the platform upon which the games are exclusive to, has a much better resolution than any previous hand-held consoles that housed older Pokémon games.

One of the most anticipated new features of Sword and Shield is the option to ‘dynamax’ one’s Pokémon during battle. This new feature allows Pokémon to grow to a massive size, greatly increasing both their power, and general awesomeness factor. During a battle where dynamaxing is permitted, a player may dynamax one Pokémon for the duration of three turns. This new tactic will certainly play a key role in players’ strategizing during battle, as Sword and Shield will soon be the newest official platform for competitive gameplay.

Pokémon Sword and Shield is a promising successor to the many other games in the franchise, with the perfect mix of both new and familiar content. Wandering the extensive Galar region, long-time fans of the franchise will be excited to see how the locals have refreshed the usual trainer’s journey, and players just picking up their first Pokéball will have a blast battling till they themselves become the champion.

Since this has been written, Nintendo has announced new DLCs to be released in June 2020 and in Autumn 2020.