Pokémon Sword and Shield have been out for almost two months and although it’s selling well the criticism it received is very polarizing and there are still fans of the franchise still debating whether to purchase the game or not. With this in mind, I decided to write down my own pros and cons to try and help the undecided. So, should you buy Pokémon Sword and Shield? Let’s find out!
First, let’s start with the cons:
1. Linear experience
Pokémon has been like this for a while but I felt this even more in this game. It seemed like I was guided throughout my entire journey except for when I was in the Wild Area! Hopefully, we’re getting new DLC with more open areas to explore, I’m really excited about that.
2. Lackluster post-game
The post-game in Sword in Shield consists of clearing a short post-story, filling the dex, Raid Battles, battle online, hunting shinies and beating the Battle Tower. It seems like there’s a lot to do but if you don’t have an online subscription battling online will be impossible, filling the dex will be difficult if you don’t have someone near you to trade the version exclusives, and getting every single G-Max Pokémon with just the help of the NPC will be a terrible experience.
And then we have theBattle Tower, which I look forward to in every game, but it turned out to be a complete joke. I beat the Doubles Format without losing a single battle! After this, I didn’t even bother with the Singles format since it felt like it was a waste of time.
3. Cut Pokémon
This is a con that I was debating whether I should put here or not. Having the dex cut was a major let down but at the same time, I felt like it provided the game a fresh experience. However, two months have passed and I would like to have all of my favorite Pokémon on the big screen and battle with them! It’s true that the DLC will be adding 200 more Pokémon but this still means that almost 300 Pokémon will still be missing for this generation unless we can get a Season 2 DLC which I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it happened!
Now that I took all the negativity out of the way let’s talk about the pros:
1. The overall design
We could be nitpicky and complain about a badly designed tree but I can look past those flaws and see how beautiful this game is. Visually the game is very appealing and the new Pokémon are just amazing!
2. Wild Area
The Wild Area is probably the best thing that has happened to Pokémon in the last years and this concept should be improved and expanded on in the next games. When I first got Pokémon Sword I spent two whole days just in the Wild Area exploring, catching and evolving every Pokémon I could before reaching the next town and participating in Raid Battles. Who would’ve thought that teaming up with my friends online or a complete stranger to beat an oversized Caterpie could be so much fun! However, as I said before, not having an online subscription might ruin your experience with Raid Battles.
3. Dynamax and Gigantamax
What if we tried to combine Mega-Evolution and Z-Movesand make it well-balanced? Well, we’d get Dynamax the new gimmick/battle mechanic of this generation. You can only Dynamax one Pokémon for battle and choosing the right moment and the right Pokémon to do so can really change the flow of a battle! Plus there are a couple Pokémon that change form when dynamaxed and with the new DLC we’ll be able to get our hands on more of these Pokémon, like Blastoise and Venusaur!
4. DLC is coming!
As I have mentioned throughout this post we’ll be getting DLC for Pokémon Sword and Shield which is a first for the franchise. The DLC will include two separate expansions which will add a new story, new areas to explore and brand new Pokémon. All of this will cost you 30€ which I think is a fair price seeing how we’ve been purchasing full-priced enhanced versions for the last 20 years!
And there we go, these were my major pros and cons of Pokémon Sword and Shield. I could’ve been more nitpicky for both sides but that would’ve made this list too long and I hate long lists! Also, I know that right now the DLC is a very polarizing topic in the community and I’d like to give my thoughts about it if I can find the time.
So, should you buy Pokémon Sword and Shield? Honestly, I think that the game provides a pleasant experience overall and you don’t need to be a super fan to fully enjoy it! Just mind the cons that I’ve mentioned, if you’re okay with them you’ll definitely have fun!