This game has created quite a bit of controversy over this past year for fans and pretty much splitting them down the middle. But I am not going to get into the main problems with this game yet, so I am going to break down the game into different parts and I have a special part for where I do have my problems with the game.
With this being a new region, this also brings in a large new pool Pokémon for use trainers to use and to mix with Pokémon we currently use and come up with new strategies. When I saw the images for the new starters, I wasn’t that sure with them, mainly for the fact that we didn’t know what their evolution could be (also the possibility that Scorbunny would be another Fire/Fighting type). But when I started playing the game, I was going with Scorbunny for my first play through (I bought the dual pack so Sword is going to be my replay game) and when I evolved it and found that it was just a pure fire type I was glad to see that it was a mono since most of the starts nowadays tends to be dual typing.
I also found that the designs for several Pokémon had really cool designs, such as Impidimp and its evolutionary line, Corviknight designs is my favourite bird design from any generation and of course, going of using it in battle quite a few time and helping me get through the Champions Cup is Duraludon, it looks so sharp and cool and it just looks like something that could just easily wreck anything that it comes in his way. Another Pokémon that I used that I thought was a cool from the game that I haven’t gotten yet (at the time of me writing this) is Dreepy and its evolution line, that and also that I think Dragapult sort of reminds me of a serpent like version of Mega Salamence.
Another thing that I enjoyed about this game, like with Gen 7 and the Alolan Forms, we got our own Galarian Forms in which not only did we get new designs for Pokémon such as Zigzagoon and Weezing but we also got for the first time new evolutions. The first that we saw was that of Obstagoon, which everybody pretty much made instant connections to Gene Simmons from Kiss. But there were some Pokémon that I didn’t know that had Galarian forms such as one that I used for most of the game before swapping out for the previously mentioned Duraludon and that was Meowth and its evolution of Perrserker. The design was something really out there and weirdly it reminded me a lot of a Digimon which I did rather like.
The Galar region is quite possibly my favourite region that there is to date, and that is not being the fact that I do come from England where the game is heavily based from, but it is a really wonderfully designed area. The opening village area is so quaint and peaceful it does remind me a lot of the countryside, which in real life England is really nice and it was nice to see it replicated into the game. We also then get a big cross into cities and then the larger cities with multiple districts. Motostoke, Hammerlocke and Wyndon are the three largest cities in the game and all three are important as well. I like Wyndon the most since that it does take a lot of inspiration from London and you can easily see it from several of the building as well as the replica of the London Eye.
The other new feature to the Galar region is the Wild Area where a lot of the new features to the game do come into play. The Wild Area is a large portion of the region in which Pokémon inhabit and they can range from pretty much anything that is there in game and also stronger Pokémon, and depending on your level and how many Gym Badges that you have can be a good addition for your team since they are several levels ahead of the regular overworld and encounterable Pokémon. For instance, the first Pokémon that I ended up encountering was an Onix that was about five levels higher than what my Scorbunny was and it pretty much got wiped out by it. Another cool thing about the area is that there are additional things that you can do in the area from gathering food resources to use to make curries in the Pokémon Camp, you can also get the Rotom bike and participate in Rallies around the area to earn Watts, a sub currency in the game that is rather similar to the Battle Points in which you can use to exchange for Technical Records, Poke Balls and Wishing Pieces which are used to help spawn Raid Pokémon. Overall, I love the Wild Area and found it a useful place to train and help for the final push of the main story.
The Gym Challenge:
One thing that I have missed over these past few years has been the Gym system since Sun/Moon opted for a new system. But when they announced the return to the Gyms, I was glad to see them return and with quite a big twist to it as well. The Gym challenge is a breath of fresh air from the precious instalments of the games for a few things. The first is that this game has a lot of pageantry. The only way that there are Gym Challengers is if they are endorsed by somebody in this case you and your rival are endorsed by the Champion, who happens to be your rivals’ brother. Then you head to the first main city and partake in an opening ceremony where you get your uniform and are introduced to seven of the eight Gym Leaders.
Next you make your way to the first gym and this is where you find out about Gym Challenge and this is something that I like. Like each gym has a specific typing, each Gym has their own challenge before you can go off and face the Leader. Just as an idea and not to get that much into spoiler territory for a game that’s been out for a week, the first Gym has a rather simple challenge to do. That is simply you need to guide the Wooloo from one side of the gym to the other and making sure that all of them get there. There are challenges along the way such as trainers wanting to battle you, in my playthrough I only had to face off against one trainer and there were also some Yamper’s there to split up the Wooloo to make it a more of a challenge to do.
The Gym Leaders are some of the rather best used in a while. The first three leaders are your usual Grass, Water and Fire types in which they have a lot of cool Pokémon that they use, which I might end up using when I do my playthrough on Sword. One cool thing about this game is that there are version exclusive Gym Leaders as well, with Shield getting Allister and Melony and Sword getting Bea and Gordie. Another cool thing about the game is when you get to the final city of Wyndon for the finals and it turns out that when you beat your rivals, you pretty much get put into a better take on a Elite Four and something more akin to the Anime in which your in a tournament to face off against The Champion and you have to defeat the Gym Leaders again. This is something that I like a lot more than having specialist trainers since it pretty much shows that all the Gym Leaders are on the same level as each other and the main character.
The other new feature of the game is that of Dynamax in which certain places in the game mainly Gym’s and Raid Battles in which you can fight super-sized Pokémon and for the ones in Raids the chance to also capture them.
There are certain Pokémon that can Gigantamax and they tend to be the more difficult ones to encounter in the Wild Areas with using NPC’s since they are a lot more difficult to battle with as well as not having the best move pool, however it does seem to be better to do it online with people online. But with the Gigantamax Pokémon they also come with some really awesome designs and one that always stands out to me is the one for Corviknight since that it appears that his form comes with smaller birds that surround it.
The moves though for Dynamax are rather resembling that to the Z-Moves of S/M in which they are an increased in power in comparison to the base move stats. Some of them are pretty cool since they also do additional things such as stat moves, either increasing or decreasing, weather changes and terrain changes. These can be rather useful in matches since when I fought the champion they used the Grass Max Move in which it lays down Grassy Terrain in which anybody that’s touching the field they regain health at the end of the turn and it also helped me get the win.
The story for the game is rather interesting since that it is rather similar in ways to that of both XY and ORAS. Basically, the villain is rather misguided and is having his endorsement going around gathering Wishing Stars to fuel his new powerplant to create a new energy source for the region and it turns out that he was using it to create a new Darkest Day event.
The Darkest Day is something that you discover throughout the course of the event with the thanks to Sonia, that Professors grand-daughter and assistant who was Leon’s friend and rival. She is the one that links you in a lot with the legends and the mythos of the region and also discovers that the legends that they have might not turn out to be fully true. Since the first part of the history in which you find a statue in a hotel of a warrior brandishing a Sword and Shield. Then later you find out that there was in fact two heroes and then finally you find another statue that was hidden behind a mural of the two heroes and what appears to be the two cover legends behind each of them.
The story continues through the Champions Cup and then into the post-game and I’m rather curious on to see where that is going to take me.
The Bad Points:
As I said in the beginning of this post there are things that I do find about this game.
The first thing that I had a problem with is was with the change in TM pool and the early TM’s that you get in the game. It is rather hard to get a rather good move pool together since a lot of the early TM’s don’t seem to be that good and it does make me feel like I’m playing Red and Blue in which I didn’t think that they were that good, but the TR’s do make up for them but they are harder to come across mainly because they cost Watts and not money.
The second problems that I had with the game pretty much had to do more with the community than it did with the actual game. The amount of people that were complaining about the game was rather overwhelming and it really annoyed me that the game wasn’t out yet and people were just making wild accusations and following other people instead of using their own thoughts. When it was revealed that there was not going to be a National Dex I wasn’t that really bothered about it for this one fact: THERE WASN’T A NATIONAL DEX IN SUN AND MOON. But there was also the rumbling that Game Freak wasn’t going to be adding more Pokémon into the game and more fans were furious about this and my reaction was that I really didn’t care. I preferred this for this fact, it gives me more of a chance to try new Pokémon and Pokémon that I normally don’t use. I also don’t know why people are complaining about the fact that they were also reusing models of Pokémon from last gen because here’s the thing, they look a lot better than what they did when they were on the 3DS, they have better colour and better shading than before. Also, I think the reason why people also forget is that they also must have did new models for the overworld Pokémon since they are models that move around and there were only a few that actually did that in the previous games.
Overall I think that this was one of the more strongest games from the series and that it has been something that is has been really enjoyable to play and I look forward to delve into the Post-Game content and to see what Gen 8 and onwards has on the Switch.
So, come back next week where there is going to be a bit of a change in what I DID have originally plan as I head back into the comic books and we look at Batman/Superman #1-3
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