Review: Pokemon Sword and Shield Games


photo by Mark Polin

Reviewing the new Pokemon Sword and Shield games.

After years of waiting, Pokemon Sword and Shield are finally here. These two new Nintendo Switch adventure games are a perfect addition to the beloved Pokemon franchise. 

Pokemon Sword and Shield are the eighth game duo in the Pokemon video game series. They take place in the Galar region, which is based on the United Kingdom, and have the same structure as the seven games prior, with the goal of becoming the Pokemon region champion. The new games add many new concepts to the Pokemon world, but they still feel like classic Pokemon games. 

Both games start with players watching an epic battle between the Galar Pokemon, Champion Leon and another trainer. In this battle a new battle option is introduced into the Pokemon world, called Dynamax, which makes a Pokemon gigantic and more powerful during a battle, putting a new spin on many of the classic Pokemon. 

There are many new Pokemon that are introduced in these games, but I was also ecstatic to see that many beloved Pokemon from the old games were still included, as it gives a sense of nostalgia to longtime fans of the Pokemon franchise. 

Every Pokemon has one or a multiple of 18 specific types, all related to the elements, that can provide advantages or disadvantages when battling Pokemon of different types. For example, Pokemon that look like fish would be a water type.

Pokemon Sword and Shield took many classic Pokemon and changed their design and original types. For example, Nintendo took one of the oldest Pokemon called Ponyta and gave it a new design. I was very happy to see this change as it is a very interesting concept because it takes old pokemon and recreates them.

However, the primary downfall of these games is that they contain an unnecessarily long introductory tutorial, which annoyed me as a long-time player.

Once you get the tedious steps out of the way, both games become interesting very quickly. Players have a whole new world to explore and work towards completing the goal of becoming the Galar Pokemon champion. This is achieved through a very similar way to other Pokemon games: You battle other trainers to level up your Pokemon, and you collect gym bags. Eventually, you will battle the current champion of the Galar region, a nonplayer character. If you win the battle, you beat either game. 

What I love about Pokemon is when you beat the game there is still more to do, such as catching legendary Pokemon and battle more trainers. 

There are three new pokemon legendary Pokemon that you can catch using both games. These Pokemon look really cool and relate to the theme of the Galar Region.

In terms of graphics, Pokemon Sword and Shield excel. There is so much detail that goes into each Pokemon their design is more clear and colorful. Also, due to great graphics, each area in the games resemble that of the real world. 

Pokemon Sword and Shield are very good video games and I suggest them to everyone. They are fun to play with friends, and you develop a special bond between you and your Pokemon. These games cost 60 dollars each and will each take about 21 hours to complete the main story mode. With the exception of the long introduction, the games are very enjoyable.

Pokemon Sword and Shield are the perfect games to buy for kids ages eight and up. They are challenging and complex, but once you overcome those challenges, you feel very accomplished. I give them four-and-a-half stars out of five.