Since its 1996 debut, the international phenomenon in Pokémon has always seemed to cater towards the handheld-gaming crowd. While there had been plenty of spin-offs and remakes for home consoles ranging from the N64 to the Wii U, having a portable system was a requirement if you wanted a piece of the core Pokémon lineup. But thanks to the Switch, that prerequisite has been axed. After three years of development, Pokémon Sword & Shield have arrived as the first main-series Pokémon games for home consoles. I know these games have been the butt of backlash for several reasons, but it’s a still good duo of games on their own merit. Let’s whip out our Pokédexes and converse about it.
Jolly ol’ Galar
The eighth generation of this heavily-revered franchise is set in the Galar region, which is based on the United Kingdom. The plot is mostly the same as previous gens — You receive your starter Pokémon, learn the ropes of being a Trainer, and go on a quest to become the regional Pokémon champion. Gym Battles are part of your journey again, except the lineup of Gym Leaders you face depends on which of these two versions you decide to play.
With tea or biscuits
Although features like Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves have been tossed and the Pokédex has been trimmed, there are plenty of new things to do in your latest Pokémon adventure. You can take part in raids similar to those in Pokémon Go, have your Pokémon partake in special tasks, and even spend some time socializing and cooking meals with your Pokémon. It should also be pointed out that the world now has a dynamic weather system, and the powerful critters can temporarily become larger in appearance thanks to Dynamax and Gigantamax forms. Lastly, if you have some Pokémon from previous adventures that you’d like to bring along with you for this ride, you’ll be able to transfer them via the upcoming Pokémon Home service.
No Game, No Watch, Just Galar-y
Despite seeming like a very polarizing duo of games in its franchise, Pokémon Sword & Shield do what they can to provide you with more of the great Pokémon fun that’s been had since its late-90’s launch. The new formula may seem a bit too streamlined to your liking at first; But once your adventure in the Galar region commences, you’ll have nothing to develop gripes about.