After finally completing the story’s end game content I thought it was time for me to write up my review for Pokemon Shield for the Nintendo Switch. Abit of background: my first Pokemon game ever was Pokemon Blue, yes back when first gen was the only gen of Pokemon, I am pretty old.
I loved the first and second gen of Pokemon a lot but after that I slowly started losing interest in the games and they just didn’t hook me like the originals did. I would always buy them, start them and then give up half way through and not pick them up again. With Pokemon Sun and Moon I don’t think I even made it past the first couple of hours before giving up, not for any particular reasons, I just wasn’t hooked.
I was excited when Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Eevee were announced and released in 2018, a remake of the original games. Along with much better graphics, but I got the game, played it for a few hours and never touched it again. It felt very watered down and too easy. So I was quite worried and sceptical about how the next mainline game would fair.
Well I obviously did end up completing it so it must have done something right to keep me playing, and enjoying it. Now that ramble is out of the way, here are some of the main points I liked and didn’t like while playing:
- Smaller pokedex, I know for many fans this was actually a con, but for me it wasn’t as overwhelming as having all of the exisiting Pokemon, plus the new gen in the game and it made the idea of completing the pokedex post-game more appealing and possible.
- Wild area, I feel like this is a given and is possibly my favourite part in these games. I hope for their future releases we get bigger areas like this or maybe even a completely open world Pokemon game.
- Character customisation, nearly every town you go to there are salon’s and clothes shops to visit with a pretty nice selection of hair styles, hair colours, eye colours, tops, jackets, bottoms, gloves, shoes, even backpacks.
- Camping, an unexpected addition to the game along with the ability to cook curry but can be quite fun messing around with your Pokemon in the camp, you also get exp. for doing it too which is nice but they could have expanded on what activities you can do in the camp, maybe some mini games.
- Shared exp. The fact that all of your Pokemon gain some exp per battle etc is a big plus for me even though it might make the game too easy, to me it’s just time saving.
- Paid DLC instead of a second game. The Pokemon company have recently revealed there will be atleast 2 paid DLC releasing this year instead of releasing an entirely second game (like ultra sun&moon) which turns out to be half the price plus you get to keep playing your current game. The new content will also bring atleast 200 more pokemon for your pokedex aswell as completely new zones and areas to explore with new storylines.
- Too easy, I mean the fact that I finished the game without much difficulty says a lot. I didn’t feel like any of the gym leaders were very challanging, and I didn’t do much level grinding along the way either. The only battles I felt were a bit of a challenge were the Champion and post-game battles, but still not that difficult.
- Story, was very basic and felt kind of short, yet at the same time it felt like there was too much pointless dialogue.
- Graphics and animations, considering this is a home console game and not a 3DS game, the graphics sometimes looked like they were from a 3DS game and I guess I just expected more. Also the battle animations were pretty terrible and in some cases just non existent.
- Iffy multiplayer. The idea of running around a huge wild area with a load of other players and joining them in raid battles against massive Pokemon is great, the execution not so much. Looking for players to join me in a raid, I have never had more than one other player join and I have never successfully been able to join other player’s raids. While running/biking around the wild area with other players, they are mostly just rubber banding all over the place making the game appear glitchy.
Overall I did really enjoy my experience playing Pokemon Shield and am at over 45 hours play time now being kept busy with the battle tower, raids and trying to fill out my pokedex. I’m excited for the DLC coming in the summer and hope they improve on what they built with Sword and Shield and don’t change the dynamtics too much. Just improve on the things that need improving like the graphics, story and wild area multiplayer.
My rating: 7/10