HeroLinik

To this day, he still can't beat Air Man...

Age 25
Male
UK, happy now?
Seen 42 Minutes Ago
Posted June 10th, 2022
918 posts
5.4 Years
We are under no illusion that the prerelease and release periods of SwSh have remained one of the most controversial there are in Pokemon history, outside of maybe RS. The reveal that the Pokedex was going to be cut has without a doubt caused heavy controversy among the fandom, to the point that other parts of the game were labelled as "lazy" and "unpolished" largely tying back to the cuts. When the game released, it was, of course, met with some disdain from fans, however other fans seemed to enjoy it. Various parts such as competitive being made easier to access has lowered the barrier to competitive for some fans, and the easy gameplay has allowed SwSh to work very well as a first Pokemon game.

Now that the generation is rolling to a close and most of the hate has subsided, let's have a retrospective of these games. What have been your final thoughts on Sword and Shield as games?

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IGNs: X: Bowser | AS: Bowser | Moon: Link | Ultra Moon: HeroLinik | Let's Go Eevee: HeroLinik | Sword: HeroLinik
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Seen 6 Days Ago
Posted 3 Weeks Ago
16,749 posts
11.3 Years
Hesitantly optimistic! :D I think the Max Raid mechanic is unique enough (and a pretty accessible way to get shinies) that it'll still have a presence in the wider Pokémon community.
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ReKoil

Male
Netherlands
Seen 9 Hours Ago
Posted 9 Hours Ago
22,041 posts
2.3 Years
They were good games imo
Lots of QoL improvements and a big variety of mons just catchable in the game. I don't mind the dex cut at all as long as they go for different missing mons in the next games.
Camp and Dynamax Adventures were great too.
Good selection of new mons too.

I replayed UM not long ago and severely missed not having box access wherever I am lol

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Koraidon

Motorcycle Dragon

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Seen 21 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
1,772 posts
9.1 Years
Enjoy camping as great way to replenish health while on the go. Pokedex seems to be wee shorter
Really good game with nice choice of pokmeons available to catch / train
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Age 35
Female
Infinite Insanity
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted August 13th, 2022
1,100 posts
5.6 Years
The only reason I still own my copy of Sword is cause of max raid battles, but I haven't picked up my Switch in a good few months (like since Feburary/March). Even though it is my most played Switch game according to my Switch profile, I am somewhat disappointed. Especially with dexit and Pokemon Home, smh.

I never bought BDSP or Legends btw.

I don't know if i'm going to cave and buy Scarlet or Violet but we'll see come November *sigh*
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This has been a very awkward generation, where it's clear that Game Freak have been trying to implement new ideas to the franchise well outside of their capabilities. Whilst that's not something to discourage and could bode well for the future, their ineptitude has really shown with this generation in particular. The saddest thing is that these are not new ideas, just new ideas to Pokemon. If they had chosen to take inspiration from better titles, worked with other studios who actually know what they're doing, and taken more time, they could have made some fantastic video games. As it is, we got games with entirely unnecessary cut content, unacceptable visual and performance quality, and a painful lack of understanding on how to correctly implement new features so that they best support the gameplay.

Oh, and we also got Pokemon Home.

It'll be interesting to see where the franchise goes from here, but I hold out very little hope that Game Freak will learn from the colossal mistakes they made with this one.

Sweet Serenity

Castelia City
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Posted 6 Hours Ago
461 posts
275 Days
My thoughts on Pokémon Sword and Shield are pretty good. The games had many positive aspects about them, but also a few negative aspects that I hope do not carry over to the next generation. For example, I loved the graphics, the presentation of the cities and towns, the wild areas with roaming Pokémon, caves and water that don’t have a random wild Pokémon attacking you every time you attempted to move, and the Exp. Candies to make grinding to level 100 much easier. In addition, I loved the really good competitive battling scene, Battle Tower with no Pokémon restrictions, character customization, great music, great legendary Pokémon, the concept of the Pokémon League challenge being like professional sports, large crowds watching the battles, the tournament style Pokemon League, the concept of Dynamaxing, and so on. However, the negative aspects were the weak storyline combined with too many cutscenes, a large amount of missing moves and Pokémon, the day-and-night cycle not existing during the main story, horrible main villain, and horrible villain team.

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Age 22
she/her
Hisui
Seen 9 Hours Ago
Posted 13 Hours Ago
2,512 posts
1.4 Years
I am assuming the question is related to SWSH and not on the remakes and PLA too.

On a general aspect, I liked gen 8 with the exception of the remakes, but you all know that. As for SWSH, I think I have my own personal experience because I came to play the games quite late. I started playing the games after the DLCs were released. I like the games and while I can agree they are far from perfect, I believe they are a bright light after some pokemon games that I didn't enjoy at all: basically the whole gen 7. With the exception of ORAS, even gen 6 is worse than SWSH in terms of story, characters and rhythm of the game.
DLCs were indeed the best part of these games, but even the main game wasn't too bad. Many things introduced in gen 8 were quite nice for me. First of all, the game mechanic: Dynamax/Gigantamax was pretty cool. I have said it several times, but I will repeat myself: it's a good mechanic that can be applied to all pokemon and, at the same time, thanks to Gigantamax, it gives some pokemon a special treatment. I think this is way better than mega evolutions, who were limited to only very few pokemon and also better than Z moves, because they didn't really give the idea of a new mechanic. The simple idea to make a pokemon bigger did it instead imo.
I can agree that competitively Dynamax/Gigantamax wasn't really good. I am not an expert so I won't discuss about it, but if many players say so, there must be something off with the mechanic. Anyway, conceptually, I love Dynamax/Gigantamax. But mostly, what I love about this mechanic are the Dynamax caves. It was fun, like a lot. I think it hadn't happened for me to have that fun since the gen 4 games. I have a lot of hours spent on SWSH because I genuinely enjoyed the game and exploring the wild areas.

Graphically and technically, there are objectively problems and this can't be denied. There's a lot of stuff I am ignoring, because in my personal experience I was pretty ok with the game and I had no particular thing that disturbed me, but obviously, if the game needs to be valuated in an objective way, then we all know the games aren't graphically and technically good.

As for the story and the characters, I am defending these games. Characters are just "ok", nothing so special, but I can't be too angry at that when we came out of gen 6 and gen 7 characters that lacked personality as well. To be frank. Hop is quite interesting and Mary too. As for the villain and the evil team, I can agree they aren't great, but I want to defend the idea Game Freak had, which was to make an evil team who isn't evil at all, but it's just a huge fan club that went too far. It's not the classic evil team formula, so I am very happy with that, the execution was meh indeed, but I am also not really angry about that because the game wasn't centered on the evil team. The main villain wasn't good and was probably one of the worst. I kinda agree with that.
About the story I will NEVER stop defending these games one. It's not like it's one of my fav stories, but I am just happy Game Freak didn't cross the line this time with crazy story ideas and concepts, because they couldn't handle the Multiverse stuff imo. So, the story in this game is simple and linear. Nothing much, but also somewhat interesting. It's based only in Galar and I liked that. I am happy they don't come out in every game with some legendary duo that rewrites the pokemon lore leaving empty spaces.

About the competitive part, I am also so glad it became extremely easy to make competitive pokemon or bringing them to level 100. Def one of the most interesting and cool things of gen 8.
Overall I really enjoyed the games and they are imo better than what many people may actually think, but it's subjective.



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Megan

Demon Princess

She/Her
Seen 24 Minutes Ago
Posted 1 Hour Ago
14,183 posts
9.7 Years
I think the games were ok. It's nice to see a main line game that doesn't focus as much on story as the previous entries. It felt a little bit too linear, though; especially for a game that made the wild area such a big feature. The difficulty was ok. I liked beating opposing Dynamax Pokemon with sightly underleveled Pokemon without having to use the mechanic myself. Imo it would have been a lot more fun if they gave the player access to that mechanic after the story just to add a little bit more drama.

I didn't really care much for the dexit thing. Then again, that's what having no access to internet services does, I suppose. In general, my main issues have less to do with the games themselves and more with the stuff around them. Trading is now a paid service and content can be packed into DLC that needs to be purchased separately. Now that they have made these practices a thing they are going to stay for all future games.
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Sheep

She/Her
Australia
Seen 2 Hours Ago
Posted 17 Hours Ago
Fairly optimistic. I realized pretty quickly Galar's characters and OST were among some of my favorites, so that places it higher on my list. Definitely way over BDSP at the very least. They're not perfect but I feel like there was a lot for me to like with these games and will miss them being the latest new region game when we move over to SV. Thanks for the memories, SwSh. <3
Seen August 16th, 2022
Posted August 3rd, 2022
28 posts
3.5 Years
I loved the Gen VIII mon designs, especially after the super disappointing (arguably the worst) Gen VII. Sw/Sh had loads of new pokes that I wanted on my team, something I haven't felt since Gen V - whoa that was a long time ago.

What I didn't enjoy: Dynamax - I'd rather we'd got new megas but oh well. I also though Galar's map design was pretty weak and unmemorable. Towns were fine but beyond that it felt like computer-generated terrain. Repetitive and dull. I hope the new gen rectifies that.
Seen 8 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
768 posts
2 Years
My opinion didn't change since then.

The positive: I welcomed the Pokémon variety and many of the new additions to the roster, as well as many new moves and Abilities that were cool additions. The free move relearner in every PC is also a great QoL, and the nature mints too. But there really wasn't much else for me.

The story presentation was the worst in the entire franchise. Literally no story for like 95% of the game, then the plot suddenly decides to start when you're halfway through the Champions Cup, horrendous timing. At that point the main story is already over in the rest of the games.

The dynamax mechanic is something I personally won't miss in the slightest. The Raids got repetitive and stale really quick, and I didn't like being forced to grind for certain TRs. Also, Gigantamax leans way too much on Kanto fan-service (as if we hadn't have enough with Alolan forms already)

I purposely avoided the Camp because I didn't want affection bonusses, and Exp. candies were pointless to me since I actually had to avoid quite a few trainers to prevent overlevelling... more Exp. wasn't precisely something I needed.

The rival (and certain other characters).... 😪

Wild Area seemed like an interesting idea, but ultimately didn't work for me. You have an "open world" catching area but if you go too far early on you won't be able to catch anyway because the game won't let you catch mons that are too above your levels, so... what's the point? There's no big difference between that and blocking the players' path so they just don't go there until they get more levels/badges.

The region was extremely dull and not interesting to explore at all.

Haddaway

Seen July 27th, 2022
Posted July 26th, 2022
15 posts
4.2 Years
Available in video form here

With Pokemon Scarlet and Violet just around the corner, now looked like a good time to look back on one of the most divisive games in the history of the franchise, Pokemon Sword and Shield.

Lets go back to the start, on the 27th of February 2019 we got our first glimpse of the titles, with them being announced in a Nintendo Direct. The initial hype was massive. This would be the first main-line pokemon title on a home console. The promise of the franchise taking that next step to true 3d was a massive draw to long time and new fans alike. Things quickly went downhill from here.

The more that information came out, the more hate the games got. From the graphics, the animations, and of course Dexit. In an Post E3 interview, it got confirmed that not all pokemon will be obtainable within the games. The backlash to this was huge. The internet exploded in anger as the possibility of not using their favourite pokemon became a massibe talking point. The franchise has always been about building relationships with your partner pokemon, fighting side by side as you overcome evil and attempt to become the champion. It felt like the franchise was ripping this away, after 25 years, and telling you that you could only do this with pokemon they decide. As more information came out, people stayed angry. A petition to boycott the franchise was even made. That petition went so well that the games became the fastest selling titles on the switch.... Okay maybe it didn't go that well.

So, was the game good? Well that's a complicated question and everyone will have a different answer. But let's look back at the games and see how it holds up.

The first thing I want to look at is the new Pokemon added to the game. Removing old ones is already controversial, but they could recover if the new ones are well received. The Starter pokemon didn't get off to a great start. Cinderace is like marmite, its either loved or hate it. Personally I'm not a fan because of its humanistion. However it is a strong Pokemon that sees a lot of competitive play. Inteleon... well the less said about it the better. Some people like it sure, every Pokemon has it's fans but it seems to be widely disliked. Rillaboom however, I love Rillaboom. Most people do. The general consensus is that it is the best designed starter this generation. My main issue is why does it have this drum? There is a theme in the Galar region of Pokemon being based on music, specifically rock. The two best examples of this are with Toxricity and Obstagoon. Toxtricity is a smart design, it has a guitar built into its body. The same is true for Obstagoon, this is the singer of the Pokemon band and that
is reflected in it's design. I get that Rilaboom is the drummer, so it has a drum. That being said it is also a gorilla, an animal that is known for beating it's chest, so why didn't the drum in it's chest as part of the design? This feels like a missed opportunity.

That's a phrase that can be used a lot when talking about Sword and Shield. Missed opportunity. The thought was there, you can see where they wanted to go with it, but not everything is done as well as it could have been. Another prime example of this is with the fossil Pokemon. The idea of the fossils being mismatched and thus put together and reborn wrong is a great one and something that does reflect what happens in real life.
Some critics say that the 4 fossil pokemon are ugly, which is the whole point, they are abominations of two pokemon put together. The missed opportunity here is not also giving us the pokemon if they were correctly placed together.
This would have made for not only amazing design, but also some great in world lore. Again though Gamefreak went 75% of the way with a great idea.

This 'almost there' design plagues the game in many ways, and its easiest to see in the actual routes/roads. So mant areas look nice, but just have nothing in them. The biggest culprit for this is the Glimwood Tangle. A fairy inhabited forest that's full of charm and wonder. So why is it so small? Viridian Forest is bigger and easier to get lost in, and that was designed for the gameboy. Every route in the game suffers from this, it is all just straight lines. The caves in Pokemon are known for their multi-levelled approaches that leave them full of secrets and gives you reasons to backtrack as you unlock new abilities such as surf or rock smash. In Sword and Sheild the entire route is unlocked from the first time you get there, but it doesn't take long to discover it all. You have one clearly laid out main path, and MAYBE a smaller path down one side that leads to a something like a TM. Thats it. The lack of exploration really kills that adventure feeling the previous games have provided.

It's not all bad though, we have to praise the Wild Area. it has it's flaws for sure. Pokemon popping in and out, and the graphical look of it compared to the rest of the game isn't great. But that's about all it has in terms of issues.
For me the Wild Area is the single biggest advancement pokemon has made since the Special/Physical split. The Wild Area allows for the first time for everyone to truly have a unique experience. Sure previous games people do have different teams. I might have a Pidgey, my friend a Spearow but both are available to us at the same time, all the time. That's not the case here. The wild area changes daily, in every section. When I first played the game and got here, the pokemon I came across was the likes of Snorunt. While my friends had Tyrogue. My brother sent me a picture of him having a Riolu as the first thing hes caught. While mine was a Duskull. This variety offers so much replayabilty and a level of team building that no pokemon game before has been able to offer. It served as a base of Legends:Arceus and hopefully Scarlet and Violet.

So what about the Story? Well to be honest, it wasn't very good. To be fair Pokemon rarely has good stories, that is saved for the spin offs. This one felt slow, with a constant stop start feel due to how many times Hop and co interrupt your progress for no reason a lot of the time. The game tried to add a twist in terms of the villain but it was easy to see coming. The evil team of the game, if you can call them that, are just fans of a rival trainer and offer nothing to the story. The lack of any side story happening is also a disappointment. In previous games the legendary trio/quad have had something happening in the background. Sword and Sheild doesn't offer any kind of side legendary which in turn weakens the story. This lack of a secondary legendary trio also adds onto the lack of exploration. Previous games allowed you to find them by going off the beaten track and solving puzzles. We have none of this here.

We should also look at the gimmick of the game, Dynamaxing. Pokemon become big for 3 turns, and get access to special moves, with some pokemon able to go another level and Gigantamax which is the same thing with a different sprite.
As a concept on it's own is weak. Better than Z-Moves, worse than Megas. The implementation to it was fantastic though, but not for the reasons you may be thinking. Dynamax allowed us to have raids. Raids are one of the most fun things to do in this game, and it's something that the other gimmicks wouldn't have been able to provide. They offer you a chance to play cooperatively with friends, which is something we will come back to soon.

Sword and Shield did a lot of firsts for the franchise, one of these was DLC. Previously we have received updated versions of the titles, or sequels. This time it was DLC and this is where the game shines. The base game has a distinct lack of post game content. While the DLC offers the most replayability of any pokemon game ever. First it added it more pokemon, over 100 of them brought back from the death of dexit. We got 2 new side legendaries in the form of regional bird legendaries and 2 new regis. We also got the swords of justice. On top of this there was a whole quest line based around another trio of Calyrix and its 2 horses. The game went form no side story or post game content, to having 4 new legendary groups that are huntable/in the story. Suddenly a lot of the issues were resolved.

To add to this, lets go back to what I said about raids being a coop feature and look at the Dynamax Adventures. In my opinion the single best thing in Pokemon history. You can team up with 3 friends and take down a wave of powerful pokemon in a dungeon crawler like mini game, and at the end fight and capture a legendary. The beauty of this game mode though is that you don't use your own Pokemon. It would be easy to come in with 4 Mewtwos and 1 hit kill everything.

Instead you get given a random pokemon. It's one thing having 4 Mewtwos to take out a Rayquaza. It's another when you have a Mr Mime, Tauros, Vikavolt and a Qwilfish. It's so much fun, me and my friends have put countless hours into it
alone. To top it all off, it also offers massive shiny odds. 1/100 with the shiny charm, making shiny hunting fun and easy, especially for legendaries.

Overall I think Sword and Shield are decent games. The hate it got before release was understandable, but the wild area's ability to make so many pokemon available really made Dexit not as big of an issue as it appeared to be. The DLC fixed a lot of the issues with the story and offered a lot of replayability. It's not a perfect game. The story is boring, the characters forgettable, some design choices are strange. But it's fun, its extremely fun. It sets a good foundation for Gamefreak to develop 3D pokemon from and in the future I think it will be looked back on as flawed but impactful.
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Devalue

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Posted 21 Minutes Ago
8,527 posts
1.6 Years
Moderator Post
Merged your thread with this thread in the Sword & Shield subforum. Covers the same topic.
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Figure

Age 28
Male
Moscow, Idaho
Seen August 22nd, 2022
Posted July 26th, 2022
1,427 posts
10.2 Years
I thought they were ok games. SwSh were way too hand holdy to have any replayability. I liked the Pokemon and character designs and the DLC was fun if a bit pricey. Didn't like PLA and REALLY didn't like BDSP, however. I thought PLA was so ugly that I never bothered finishing it. Catching mechanics were clunky and got boring pretty quickly. BDSP would have been a decent remaster and a pretty fun game if the friendship mechanic wasn't forced on you. That alone made them my least favorite of any Pokemon game. For me, the last Pokemon games a loved were ORAS and I have pretty much lost faith in them to make the games as good as they could easily be. Pretty sad that I won't be getting the game on release for the first time in over a decade but I'm sure shills will make sure that the games don't improve.

NipahRika

Age 31
Female
USA
Seen 1 Day Ago
Posted 1 Day Ago
339 posts
1.1 Years
I didn't care much for these games at all. I found the story not interesting whatsoever and found it boring. I don't think I have any favorite characters in this game at all. I liked PLA but disliked BDSP. I do agree that ORAS were fun games though. PLA is fun but still never did finish it for some reason.

Palamon

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Age 25
he/him
Snezhnaya, Teyvat.
Seen 3 Hours Ago
Posted 15 Hours Ago
7,410 posts
13.7 Years
Sword and Shield were the start of Pokemon changing directions in a way. Both good and bad. Sword/Shield was the start of attempting open world with an open world area. Also doing things they were originally against like DLC.

But, I understand that these games have problems. Exploiting raids is easy. Pokemon had to be removed (which I didn't have an issue with) for a reason that didn't make sense & some other thing.

But Sword/Shield I guess were the start of Pokemon changing in various ways. I don't think we'll ever return to how things were with open world being the expectations for everything going forward & not all Pokemon getting into a game.

The Foogle

Making a Good Future in every Zone

Age 20
Male
New Foog
Seen 6 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Hours Ago
259 posts
4.9 Years
I didn't like SW/SH at ALL. When i got it for Christmas in 2020, i was thinking maybe this would be a great experience, maybe something to shake up Pokemon!

...until i actually played it and realized what a bad gimmick Dynamax was. I couldn't bring myself to finish it after i noticed how linear the region map was, not to mention the mind-numbingly easy difficulty. The new Pokemon introduced were fine but mostly forgettable, and Zacian was a sin that Game Freak will never repent from.

Even to this day i still haven't completed Shield, and i never will. It was a poor excuse for a Pokemon game, and if there's anything i gained from it, it was a huge appreciation for fan-made ROM hacks. The reimaginings of old games will always be better than this modern era of Pokemon. I really am sorry for being so negative, but there's nothing about modern Pokemon that i'll ever be interested in.

Oh, and don't even get me STARTED on DLC...
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Age 19
He/him/they/them
Ohio
Seen 19 Hours Ago
Posted 1 Week Ago
63 posts
40 Days
I thought they were very good games. Not quite to the extent of DPPt, B2W2, or even PLA, but good nonetheless.

Devalue

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Posted 21 Minutes Ago
8,527 posts
1.6 Years
Environment: Initially felt too barebones at times. Might be more an issue of framing, though. Created plenty of linear routes before. Hid stuff in Sword/Shield and older games, although with more of a backtracking lean in older games.

Could be something unexpected: time spent. Blasts through Sword/Shield routes very quickly. Why? No random encounters in the grass (unless desired). Wastes way less time tangling with random encounters. Views that as a positive.

Quality of Life: Appreciates multiple save files and the massive Pokemon availability for replays. Does not mind the reduced Pokedex. Misses the easy Move Relearner in every other game now. Remained steady on these opinions.

Battles: Formed one newer opinion here. Made most of the gym battles and Champion Cup battles too easy (previously "kind of easy").

Identifies one unusual reason: heavily physical teams (in Sword, at least) towards the end. Faces very few special-based Pokemon from Gym 6 onwards. Favors physical tanks like Avalugg immensely, particularly with Body Press and Iron Defense. Needs to tamp down on boosting moves for future playthroughs.

Dynamax: Grades it slightly higher than the initial run. Actually allows the enemy Pokemon to survive a +6 attack sometimes. Feels very satisfying to bring down in one hit, on the flip side. Still remembers an Alolan Sandshrew demolishing Klara's Dynamaxed Galarian Slowbro with a +1 fifth turn Rollout. Stood out far more than flattening a normal Slowbro.

Characters: Feels a bit warmer about Hop. Came off as too much like Hau originally.

Dislikes everything about Macro Cosmos still, except Oleana. Combines a bad villain with a very drawn out section. Beats X/Y's Team Flare slog only for being shorter.
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ZeoStar

Seen 7 Hours Ago
Posted 8 Hours Ago
I like the early game variety and this is something I think the games are greatly improving with. I did also like how the wild area featured as a central hub connecting the region.

Dynamax does not interest me in the slightest and the towns of the region didn't stick out for me as memorable.

Shooting Star

breaking the mold ~

he, they
Seen 5 Hours Ago
Posted 6 Hours Ago
5,321 posts
1.8 Years
Here are my thoughts in no particular order:

What I liked
- I appreciate the focus on story telling and I do think SwSh had some of the richest character arcs in the franchise.

- I also appreciate that unlike Gen VII, there isn't one character that's the focus of the story and that the relevant characters are all active participants (I'm looking at you Lillie)

- I like Peony

- I liked the DLC system. I think it's a better way of getting more stuff out compared to the third version and Mystery Gifts. I wish they did more with it instead of just "Here's a side campaign" but I'm glad they've dabbled in it.

- I liked the visuals for the most part.

- The Wild Areas. I enjoyed the concept of 3D free exploration, I don't think we're quite there yet, but I think it was an interesting first try.

- Exp Candy and Pokéjobs. I've said before that I think a level system isn't great design in 2022 year of our lord and I stand by it, but if we're doing it for some reason, than giving ways to lessen the grind is good.

- Fast Travel from Day 1. Great decision, allows people to backtrack and explore other areas more thoroughly. I wouldn't even mind if they were paid.

What I didn't like
- The price. These are the most expensive games in the franchise and I don't think they had enough stuff to back the price up? Especially since DLC and Online were sold separatedly.

- Dynamax. Not only did I not care for Dynamax in general, it was intrinsically tied to the lore of Galar, which means that there's really no point in getting attached to it since it won't (and didn't) last. Terastalizing will probably be the same thing.

- The versioned Gym Leaders. I don't like version differences in general, but that's worse since it guarantees that those characters couldn't possibly have any importance to the story. The fact that the gym leader change didn't match with a terrain change only further cemented it.

- The route design. 3D has less SoD built in with it, because when things look more realistic, you expect more realistic behavior, so the combination of better graphics, less sidebranches (cuttable trees, breakable rocks, little alcoves, etc.) make the region feel a lot smaller and claustrophobic.

- The lack of puzzles. From what I can remember the only puzzles were the maze to get to Stow-on-Side, the Glimwood Tangle, the maze to Circhester and Lost Woods Slumbering Weald. All of those are mazes and most of them are one after the other. Different puzzles and a better spacing could do wonders.

- The roadblocks. Traditionally, the games were generally permissive and when they didn't want you to go somewhere they'd use environmental tactics to stop you (you don't have a way to swim, you don't have a way to cut trees, etc.) but these games had a lot of outright roadblocks in the form of League people and Team Yell. They make sense in the plot, but they're still annoying to a player.

- Chairman Rose. I still cannot believe someone was paid to write the way the Eternatus affair went down. That made no sense at all when you considered everything that was presented and Rose's power and status.

Summary
I liked some of the mechanical changes but I think that creatively the series took a bit of a back step. It's not a bad game, but it's not as good as it could be and I hope that SV don't fall into many of the traps that SwSh did.