Wait, I don't have a general Pokemon thread on my own forum?! Well I better change that! So the new games are out, and I finished the story so here's a review of the game! Note: This review has spoilers! Read at your own risk!! I will add spoiler tags to the bits that have spoilers though, so you can just choose not to click to reveal it. xP If I forgot to add spoiler tags, just let me know and I will edit this post. Also the formatting might be weird, I typed it up in Notepad++. :V
So my journey into the Galar region started the same exact day the games were released, however I did get spoiled with some of the Pokemon leaked a week prior to the game's release. I decided to play as the opposite gender, so I picked Gloria but I named her Samantha, since she looks more like a Samantha to me. Anyways I started my journey with my trusted Scorbunny at my side. (I've always been Team Scorbunny since the starters were revealed actually!) I loved the scene with the three starters. The other two starters are Sobble, a timid, shy Chameleon Pokemon and Grookey, the grass starter which is a monkey that is a bit more mellow than the other two starters. Scorbunny, is a hyper active fire bunny. Anyways Leon, the current champion let's the player pick their starter after the cute scene when the Pokemon were released from their Pokeballs. The latest Pokemon games have had cutscenes when the player get's their starter pokemon, so this isn't something that's new. However, the scene in Sword feels much more real than previous titles. You actually get to see the Pokemon interact with each other, rather than the Pokemon just standing still, waiting for you to pick whichever one you want. Pretty much I'd say the games presentation is top notch, with very little cons. In fact, the only minor complaint I have with the presentation are the graphics and even then they're not horrible, just not the best the Switch can do though. The next thing I'll look at is the story, so this is where the spoilers will start to come in!
Alright the story overall was good, but there's just so many moments where the story could have been much better. This is where I think the game was rushed, you have moments especially later on in the game where there are some really intense things going on, but the player doesn't experience it themselves and instead the champion Leon and even in some cases Sonia, tell the player just to focus on their gym challenge and to let the adults handle things. [spoiler]The major part that this happens is after recieving the Dark Badge from Piers, there's some crazy stuff going on at Hammerlocke, the city right next to Spikemuth, and the tunnel that connects the two cities are filled with NPCs crowded around and once you reach the end of the tunnel and find Leon, he just tells you not to worry about it and to continue getting the last badge. In past games, there were much more that your character gets to experience. Now this isn't completely missing from the game, as the last part before you take on Leon involves you and Hop stopping Olena, and even Chairman Rose himself, but that's really the one time you get to really stop the antagonist and be part of the story besides just being on a gym challenge and helping Sonia with the legend of the two heroes. Also, Sword seems to have copied what Sun and Moon did, have the "main antagonist" group just be thugs, and the real threat comes from another source, however it's so damn obvious from the point that you find out that Bede is collecting the wishing stars for Rose that Rose himself is the true enemy of the game. At least Sun and Moon didn't make it so obvious that the Aether Foundation were the true villains, and not Team Skull.[/spoiler] I also get a huge Team Skull vibe from Team Yell, and honestly I hate their name. Team Scream could have been much better!
Alright time to get to my most favorite part of the game itself, the soundtrack! Nah I kid, but the music is absolutely phenomenal like every other Pokemon game prior to this one. Though this time around, the music really gets you pumped for each battle, and even the town music is nice too. In the major battle themes, there's always a crowd and it really expresses the moment very well! It sounds like you're actually in a stadium, with the crowd cheering for you at every moment in each battle! This is something that hasn't been done in previous titles in the main series, and boy did it make me happy! While there are a few songs I just personally don't care for, they still fit the situation they were composed for. I really don't have any complaints about the music at all!
Now let's look at the gameplay aspect. Well it plays like any other typical main series Pokemon game, it's a turned based RPG where you catch and raise monsters. Though Game Freak likes to introduce a new feature for each new Pokemon game, and never use that feature again in future titles. This game has Pokemon Camp, and it's definitely my overall favorite new feature to come from any of the Pokemon games! While Pokemon Aime was introduced in X and Y and allowed you to interact with one of your Pokemon, Pokemon Camp allows you to camp with all six of your Pokemon in your party and talk to each of them individually, or you can talk to two of them at the same time to see if they like each other. You can also play with them by using various toys such as balls that you can get from Hikers in the Wild Area. You can also make Curry for your Pokemon, using berries and other ingredients that you can also get from Hikers and these ingredients can be found all around the Wild Area as well. Your Pokemon also will interact with each other, and sometimes they can even start fighting, making them even more realistic than ever before! Because let's face it, if Pokemon were real, you'd have to break up a fight or two! Another feature added to the game are Max Raid Battles, sort of similar to the Raid Battles found in Pokemon Go, though you can only use one Pokemon and you team up with three other trainers. You can play with friends, or if you don't have the online service you can team up with NPCs. You take on Dynamax Pokemon, Dynamaxing makes the Pokemon huge and very powerful! There's another form of this called "Gigantamax", though only a few Pokemon have one of these forms. Similar to Dynamaxing, the Pokemon get's huge but it's overall appearance changes too! Not gonna lie, I enjoy this feature! Also the Wild Area is huge and I had a blast exploring this area and catching fully evolved Pokemon, including ones that you couldn't get out in the wild in previous games without cheating!
Alright finally I'm going to look at the cons of the game, then give you my final thoughts. First off, this game wasn't really optimized for the Switch Lite in at least one spot. On the menu that allows you to connect to the internet, it also gives players a look at what you last did. This tidbit gets cut off when you play on a Switch Lite. Now I only own a Switch Lite, so I'm not sure if this issue occurs in handheld mode on the original Switch. But seeing how the original Switch has a bigger screen, I don't think it happens there. I've also noticed that sometimes when you're teamed up with Hop in a double battle, he gets cut off and you can see his arm for a split second when he tells his Pokemon what move to use. I've also noticed some random pixels on the top of the screen in some cases. I can't really recall fully where exactly this happened, I think once it was in a Dynamax battle. This is another reason why I think the games were rushed, and I have yet another reason why I think this was the case. Voice acting would have made this game even better! Yes some Pokemon do say their name like in the Anime, but I think there should have been some voice acting during the cutscenes. Yes this would have mean we would have had to wait longer, so that the voices could possibly be translated. (Or they could have gone down the route that Monster Hunter Stories did, which btw is on the 3DS! They had voice acting here and there, nothing too big but it was only in Japanese but it's there.) Of course, they also could have added all the Pokemon too. I know so many fans have complained about the lack of Pokemon, and you know what this one doesn't bother me as much. I was used to only having the new Pokemon and a few older ones in Gen 3, back in 2003. Yes I know that's a GBA game and the game was incompatible with the original GB games, but still... GF could have easily added in every Pokemon. I've already mentioned my issues with some of the story, so I don't need to go over that. [spoiler]Oh and the badge names are absolutely lazy, this is literally the only generation where the badges were just named after the types that the leaders used...[/spoiler] So the final verdict is, this is a great game! It could have been better overall though, and now I think I can finally say where I place Gen 8 at. Overall it's probably my fourth favorite game in the series. Generation 3, Generation 5, and Generation 7 just did things better at the time that they were released IMO. It get's a 8 out of 10 from me! Also, I made a short preview video of my untitled Pokemon Red/Blue hack too that I'll show off. I changed the font, and most sprites are taken from the Space World Demo. Some sprites will be changed at a later date, such as your Rival sprites.
So unfortunately my original PSC got fried in a power surge back in July. I did buy another one though! And this time, I got a 128 gigabyte flash drive as well so I can get more games to play! I was religiously playing it after I got it too, which sucks since the flash drive that was connected to my original PSC got fried as well... So the saved games I had on the flash drive were gone.
I've been playing Pokemon Sword lately! I started with Scorbunny and just finally got my first badge. I'm enjoying it so far, the only things I don't like are the constant hand holding like seen in Sun and Moon, and the badge names. I'm already six hours into the game and caught 44 Pokemon!