A Pokémon without all Pokémon? Sword & Shield breaks with old traditions and pocket monsters – and still becomes the best game in the series. The popular series is more versatile than ever and shows that even an old Pokémon can learn new tricks.
We all know about Pokémon since we were little. These beautiful and amazing creatures have caught our attention and hearts over the years and they are still doing it. For sure, many of you not only watched and played the series, but have collections of Pokémon Nanoblocks, pokeballs, and all kinds of merchandise which represent your love for these joyful series.
What’s New in Sword & Shield?
- Dynamax mechanics in arena battles and raids
- Raids against dynamically maximized Pokémon
- Nature zone and camping
- Galar-exclusive Pokémon
- Personalization of your own figure
- more complex NPCs
- Comfort features such as Poké-Boxes that are always accessible and fast travel
- New camera perspective
Scissors, stone, Pikachu
Although the battles with the Dynamax feature have been turned upside down, nothing has changed in the basic principle of Pokémon: First we gather together a team of six strongest monsters in the wild. With them we then roam the world, prove ourselves in turn-based battles against arena leaders and eventually become the very best Pokémon trainer in the region.
But while the duels in the previous games were sometimes just too simple, especially for veterans, developer studio Game Freak turned a few screws for the Sword & Shield to make them more demanding in the latest part of the series.
The Dynamax feature is new for the series. Much like the mega-evolutions, it makes the Pokémon a huge version of itself. Dynamax monsters have more punch behind their attacks and thicker skin if they are attacked. Some Pokémon even change their appearance in so-called Giga Dynamaxing. However, a giant on the field is no guarantee of victory.
Giant cattle, huge progress
So that the giants do not become overpowering, their powers are limited. For one thing, the enlargement only lasts for three rounds and can only be used in arenas and Dynamax raids. On the other hand, high-rise monsters are just as sensitive to attacks of the right type as their normal sized versions. That is why the use of the feature needs to be carefully considered.
The Pokémon of the Wild stick to their habit of mostly hanging around in the area that suits their type. We can meet them in the tall grass or on the way on the routes where, like in Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee, they happily roam. In the Sword & Shield there are both Pokémon that we can see from afar, as well as chance encounters in the tall grass.
Conveniently, our Pokédex shows the Pokémon worth catching in every region. Also practical: We can now access our Poké-Box at any time, in which we keep the replacement monsters. This allows us to change our team much more comfortably.
The natural zone, the perfect practice area
The huge area with lake, ghost ruin and lush meadows is an area in which pocket monsters of all types run, fly, swim or dig freely. Most Pokémon level with our team here, so that they still pose a challenge if we come back later. In addition, a few real chunks roam the area, which are easily 15 levels above us.
The perfect dinner
If one of our group’s wild Pokémon did too much damage, we don’t necessarily have to draw a regiment of potions. We can also just set up our Pokécamp in the middle of the zone (or on the routes) and improve your health with home-made curries.
The better we choose the ingredients and the more skillfully we do in the mini cooking game, the tastier and EP-intensive our food will be. So instead of consuming one expensive potion or revitalizer after the other, we can simply sit around the campfire with Pikachu, fry a few sausages and save a lot of Pokédollars.
If we then play a little bit with our protégés, their trust increases. As a result, they land more hits in the fights to please us or neutralize poisoning so that we are not a burden. With a little curry and attention, the little ones sometimes gain even more experience points than through a fight.
Dyna raids with an extra kick
Fit Pokémon are important because only in the natural zone are the so-called Dynamax raids, in which we compete with three other trainers against a Pokémon that is in Dynamax mode and really angry all the way through the fight. This is where the multiplayer component comes into play, because the raids can be managed online together with other players.
If you prefer to play alone, you do not have to do without the raids, in solo mode we are assisted by AI trainers. Together it goes against the giant opponents who learn various tricks in parallel with our rising level. The aim of the raid is to defeat the Pokémon, catch it as needed and collect items, EP candies or watts – a bit like the raids in Pokémon Go.
Overall, Sword & Shield made a giant step forward in series history. Not only because we literally get a completely new view of things thanks to the camera. But also because many small and large innovations work together to make this Pokémon a game that combines the magic of the old parts with exactly the pinch of challenges that many have long wanted from the series.