Pokemon Sword and Shield: video game review

Nintendo takes on a nostalgic classic in a well crafted and enjoyable way

Pokemon Sword and Shield launched for the Nintendo switch on Nov. 15, making it the first actual Pokemon game to be prepared for a main-platform gaming system.

The game opens up the same as any of its predecessors, with the main character in a small town acquiring their first pokemon and setting off on a life-changing adventure, however with a catch.

Right off the bat, it is very different from previous games. Before even begging actual gameplay, you have a fair amount of choices when it comes to your character design.

One of the best points of this new generation of pokemon is that it skips over all the tedious and obnoxious parts of the beloved game, letting you get directly down to business with minimal running around, so you can get right down to catching and battling pokemon. 

A few changes have been made for the game, as well. One of the largest (both literally and figuratively) has been the ability to Dynamax your pokemon. This action grows your pokemon three times their actual size, doubling their health and giving them much more power. This makes the classic turn-style gameplay a tad more interesting, as you never know when the person you are battling against may use this feature against you.

Another new feature that was carried over from Lets Go Pikachu Pokemon where you can see wild pokemon running around in the tall grass and along the paths. Whereas longer cutscenes are nice, a lack of voice-acting detracts these better-created story elements leaving more to be desired.

The plot, however, follows the same beats. You work your way through seven different gym leaders. Now you might be wondering why there isn’t an eighth as there was in previous games.

The eighth “gym leader” changes styles into a tournament-style match, where you face the top three trainers, and if victory is achieved, you face three of the previous gym leaders. This leads to a match with the champion of the region — making the final battle much more complicated than in previous games.

There are your typical plot-twists designed for this specific region, however, the new formula introduces new players and veterans into a much more engaging

This is a great way to start the series off for the Switch. It has enough new features to make it fun, and enough of the old charm to keep it nostalgic. A great game for new, and old, pokemon players alike.

I give it four and a half Pikachus out of five.