Pokémon Sword and Shield

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Pokémon Sword and Shield

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Pokemon-Shield.jpg

A path to greatness should've been forged.
Protagonist: Victor/Gloria
Genre: Role-Playing
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
Release Date: November 15, 2019
November 6, 2020 (physical release bundled with the Expansion Pass)
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: The Pokémon Company
Nintendo
Made in: Japan
Franchise: Pokémon
Previous Game: Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!
Next Game: Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX (by release date)


"The best thing you can say about Pokémon Sword and Shield is that it's a Pokémon game. And the worst thing you can say about Pokémon Sword and Shield is that it's a Pokémon game."

Jim Sterling

Pokémon Sword and Shield are role-playing games developed by Game Freak and co-published by The Pokémon Company, and Nintendo. They were released worldwide simultaneously on November 15, 2019, as the 29th and 30th games in the franchise's main continuity and as the first games for Generation VIII, and the second in the series to be released on a home console, the first being Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!.

Plot

Pokémon Sword and Shield takes place in the Galar region, a region where Pokémon battling is so important that it's infused into the region's culture. In this region, the Pokémon League is based around a professional yearly competition where sponsored trainers battle Gym Leaders on massive stadiums in televised matches for the chance to battle the region's champion, Leon.

Victor/Gloria is a young resident and close friend of Hop, Leon's younger brother. The two are given sponsorship from Leon to participate in this year's league as well as a starter Pokémon. Right after becoming trainers, however, the two are attacked by a mysterious wolf-like Pokémon that cannot be harmed before being rescued by Leon.

Victor/Gloria and Hop embark on a journey across the Galar region to compete in the Pokémon League, explore the secrets behind the Dynamaxing ability where Pokémon become temporarily extremely powerful and gigantic and learn the truth behind the mysterious wolf Pokémon with the help of the regional professor's granddaughter Sonia. On their way, they also meet new rivals such as Bede, an arrogant trainer sponsored by the league's chairman Rose, and Marnie, a timid Punk girl who has an obnoxious obsessive fanbase calling themselves Team Yell that goes out of their way to sabotage other trainers participating in the league.

Bad Qualities

  1. The most infamous problem is that many Pokémon (like the Johto, Sinnoh, Unova and Kalos Starters) were cut from the game. While migration from previous Generations is still possible, only Pokémon existing in the initial in-game Pokédex or added via events or DLC expansions can be migrated.
    • It doesn´t help the fact that it was confirmed that this will continue to be the case for future games.
  2. In addition to the full Pokédex being unavailable, over a hundred moves (e.g. Hidden Power and Pursuit) are absent too while Mega Evolutions, Primal Reversions and Z Moves were replaced by Dynamaxing.
    • It should be noted that signature or trademark moves of Pokémon in the game are cut like Heal Order, and yet Light of Ruin, still attached to a Pokémon that's never been released, is still in the game and still usable.
  3. Despite being the first generation on a home console, which provides more opportunities for additions and changes than a handheld system, the game does little to make any innovating changes to the same formula the series has used for 20+ years. This can be seen as Game Freak playing it too safe.
  4. Although the Wild Area provides a more open area for exploration, it only makes up a portion of the overall map while routes outside the Wild Area remain linear like in previous games.
    • The camera can only be freely moved around in the Wild Area and the DLC areas, while it remains at a fixed angle in areas outside those areas.
  5. Speaking of map design, many routes, cities/towns, and dungeons are smaller than in previous games, which severely limits exploration.
    • Because of Dungeons being less common in addition to being small and linear, this results in the Escape Rope, which is now a key item, being rather unnecessary.
    • There are also less locations to explore compared to other regions.
    • Many of the town/cities offer little to do to have players come back to them.
    • Large sections of the Wild Area, as well as a bunch of areas outside the Wild Area can also feel rather empty, a problem plaguing most open-world games nowadays.
    • The routes are overly-linear and are also just a straight line, for the most part.
  6. Even though the story puts more focus on emphasizing the importance of the Pokémon League, it is still a predictable, bare-bones, and an overall low-stakes plot, especially when compared to the generation VII games.
    • The plot revolving the Legendary Pokémon Zacian and Zamazenta are, for the most part, an afterthought as most of the lore involving the two Legendaries is relegated to a side-story in the main plot that has little impact on the main plot and a rather brief post-game campaign.
    • When something interesting does happen in the story, the player will almost never witness the event, as they will have just missed it or simply get instructed to go to the next gym.
    • The post-game story is a poorly written mess riddled with illogical moments.
      • It is never explained how Sordward and Shielbert were able to forcefully Dynamax Pokémon.
      • What does forcefully Dynamaxing Pokémon have anything to do with destroying Zacian and Zamazenta's legacy?
      • The player had plenty of opportunities to easily stop Sordward and Shielbert, but never did so.
      • It is unclear how Sordward and Shielbert gathered a large and fiercely loyal following, especially when they weren't mentioned once prior to their introduction, and none of the major characters had any clue who they were.
  7. Although the graphics are better than in any other core-series Pokémon game, they are terrible by Switch standards, with a bunch of textures looking no better than that of a GameCube/Wii game, especially the infamous tree.
  8. The game suffers from numerous graphical issues due to bad coding.
    • The render distance is poor as NPCs and Pokémon will pop in out of thin air when you get close to them.
      • This gives players little time to react should an NPC or Pokémon pop-up in front of them, which can cause accidental battles if the player runs into the latter (E.G. the Wandering Steelix at Giant's Seat).
    • The game still has occasional framerate drops, though not as frequent as the 3DS games. This is most noticeable when other players (especially online) are in the Wild Area.
    • Weather transitions in the Wild Area look poor, with the weather changing within a few seconds, including the area the player was just at. This makes it look like the surrounding areas also have the same weather condition when they don't.
  9. False advertising: Adding on to BQ #1, Game Freak claimed that the reason why they removed so many Pokémon was to create "more expressive animations", but the animations saw little to no improvement. This results in the decision becoming not only a questionable reason to cut content, but also a lazy excuse to not have every Pokémon.
    • Another case of false advertising is that the models for the returning Pokémon are simply up-scaled versions of their 3DS models, despite Game Freak stating the models were made from scratch.
  10. A severe lack of difficulty, even more than Pokémon X and Y.
    • Trainers are less common than in previous games, and when they do appear, they usually have no more than two Pokémon.
    • The EXP Share is mandatory again. While this does reduce grinding, it can easily make your Pokémon over-leveled if you train too much. Game Freak even defends their decision to not add an option to turn off the built-in EXP Share by saying to put the rest of their Pokémon in the PC, which is ultimately nothing but a lazy excuse for this decision.
    • The lack of difficulty can render some activities pointless such as the Pokémon Camp.
    • The fifth and last two gyms also suffer from this, as they are just simply fighting one trainer after another with no other challenges to overcome.
  11. As mentioned above, the animations have not improved from past 3D Pokémon games and are hilariously bad and hurts some of the new moves that are animated nicely such as the new signature moves, the worst offender being the infamous scene where Zamazenta/Zacian just turns around and walks away in one post game cutscene.
    • A lot of animations from the 3DS games having been reused, and the animations for certain moves look very primitive for both 2019 and Switch standards, such as the notorious Double Kick animation. When Dubwool uses Headbutt though, it does a Double Kick animation instead.
      • For the Pokémon, the animations used in the Campsite feature were also reused from Pokémon Amie and Refresh from the Generations VI and VII games (including the walking and running animation that went unused in the data of the Generation VII games).
    • When a Dynamaxed/Gigantamaxed Pokémon is attacked by a normal size Pokémon, it shows a splash-like attack animation instead of the normal attack animation.
    • In the intro and credits cutscenes, a mouse cursor that was accidentally left in can be seen.
  12. In addition to reused animations, a lot of sound effects are reused from older games, including a few that were used in the first generation, which directly clashes with the game's HD 3D style.
    • In addition, some of the music from previous games were also reused which includes the caught Pokémon soundtrack from Generation VII.
  13. While it is an improvement from the Festival Plaza in the generation VII games, the Y-comm isn't that great and has several issues.
    • Players are unable to send invitations to each other, they instead have to search for them in the stamps, which can be a pain.
    • Because of the lack of invitations, the best way to get someone specific to join your session is complicated. The player will have to set up a passcode and then message the player outside of the game due to being unable to message them in-game.
    • Profile setting is also far more barebone with only being able to change in-game profile picture. You can't have personal messages anymore.
    • There is now a timer during online battles, which can encourage players to deliberately stall in order to gain a cheap victory.
  14. Like several other Nintendo games, online functionality has several issues such as lagging servers, trouble connecting to servers, or getting disconnected suddenly from the servers.
    • This makes looking for stamps more difficult than it already is, with refreshing usually not solving the issue.
  15. Doing Max Raid Battles without other players is frustrating as the Raid Pokémon often bring up shields that need to be attacked multiple times to break and the AI teammates tend to be uncooperative and often die in one hit.
    • To make matters worse, once the Raid Pokémon's health reaches a certain point, they will not lose any more health so they can use the shield, unnecessarily drawing out an otherwise short battle. This is a case of artificial difficulty.
    • Even with other players, Max Raid Battles still have their share of issues. If you successfully defeat a Dynamaxed/Gigantamaxed Pokémon, you only have one chance to successfully catch it (unless you are hosting since it's guaranteed capture except for event raids) regardless of how many stars the MRB was. This decision would have been understandable for one to two-star battles, but it is unreasonable for the rest of the levels. This stipulation also makes it easy to lose out on a shiny Pokémon should the Dynamaxed/Gigantamaxed Pokémon be shiny.
  16. Similarly to the opening hours in Sun and Moon, the player will get constantly interrupted by other characters throughout the game, most of who either state the obvious or tell you information that you'll likely already know.
  17. Numerous problems with the characters.
    • Throughout the story, many of characters have a tendency to constantly remind the player that Leon is the "unbeatable" champion, which gets old rather fast.
    • Hop has no characteristics that make him stand out from other rivals. He is also the worst offender of interrupting the player as mentioned above, which makes him come across as annoying to many.
    • Although well-written characters, both Bede and Marnie are underutilized in favor of Hop, resulting in them having little impact on most of the plot.
    • Team Yell is far too similar to Team Skull, as both teams are composed of hooligans who serve more as comic relief than they do an actual threat to the player. They both also have no serious goals other than to obscure trainers in their respective Region's challenges.
    • Chairman Rose's goal doesn't make much sense, as he wants to fix an energy crisis that will not happen until about a thousand years in the future. The revelation of him being the main antagonist also had no build-up whatsoever unlike Lusamine, making his role as an antagonist feel forced.
    • The post-game antagonists, Sordward and Shielbert, are two of the the worst villains in the Pokémon franchise. They are incredibly obnoxious in a bad way, and their goals are even more vague and nonsensical than Chairman Rose's.
      • Their designs are also very poor, especially for Sordward, whose hairstyle (which is supposed to be shaped like a sword) looks rather phallic.
  18. Very little post-game content, even for Pokémon standards. The only noteworthy post-game content is a short epilogue story-line, the Battle Tower, and rematches at the Pokémon League, all three of which are common post-game content in the series.
    • The Battle Tower is inferior to previous Battle Tower analogues, as it doesn't have super single nor super double battles, and only one tower boss.
  19. The GTS was removed, which makes looking for a specific Pokémon a player wants to obtain significantly more difficult unless they have the mobile version of Pokémon HOME.
  20. The game doesn't have any sound options until players acquires the Hi-tech Earbuds from a random NPC in Motostoke next to a record shop, which is an odd and pointless decision.
  21. Although having no voice acting isn't necessarily a bad quality, some cutscenes in the game were designed for voice acting, such as the infamous scene with Piers singing, this results in those cutscenes being awkward to watch. While this problem is present in some of the older games, it is ignorable as those type of cutscenes were less common, and had less dialogue.
  22. The game is arguably shorter than other games in the franchise, as the game can be completed within around 40 hours while the older games usually took 50+ hours.
  23. Players are unable to catch over-leveled Pokémon in the Wild Area, which is a pointless restriction.
  24. Shiny Pokémon don't appear shiny in the overworld unlike the Let's Go games and in the same fashion with Pokémon GO, which is a major problem for players trying to find shinies. On top of that, many Pokémon are shiny-locked, including the starters (when you start the game (you can still get them via breeding (both normal and Masuda Method)) and Legendaries.
  25. Story progression remains linear. While this is in previous games, the fact that the player can fight over-leveled Pokémon early on gives little to no reason for players to be unable to explore over-leveled areas outside the Wild Area earlier than they're supposed to.
  26. Unlike the Let's Go games, Repels have no effect on overworld Pokémon, especially the Sharpedos on the Isle of Armor. This, along with the fact that random encounters are now much easier to avoid, makes them completely useless.
  27. The ability to plant and grow Berries have been removed which not only makes shaking trees where Pokémon hoard their foods (at the risk of getting attacked by a wild Pokémon residing there which results in nearby offscreen Pokémon to steal some or in the worst case scenario all the items you harvested) and Max Raid Battles the only way to obtain them, but also makes filling the Curry Dex significantly more tedious and luck based than it needed to be.
  28. The DLC, while an improvement over the base game, feels like it should've been in the base game from day one.
    • While it is great to see the Walking Pokémon feature again (only on the DLC map though), it was poorly implemented as many of them (such as Mewtwo, Melmetal, or Dragapult) can't even keep up with the player's character (especially when the player is riding their bike). Even worse is if the player gets too far away, they'll simply just teleport behind the player.
      • Also to turn off this feature the player has to speak to an NPC in a specific area (Master Dojo on the Isle of Armor or a house in Freezington) instead of having the option to turn it off in the Pokémon menu. Like with the Hi-tech Earbuds, it was also a pointless decision.
    • Despite The Isle of Armor introduced some new Gigantamax forms, for some strange reason, the second DLC The Crown Tundra doesn't. There are plenty of Pokemon in the DLC that fans would love to see have a Gigantamax form and yet, there isn't a single new form.
  29. Despite that the game was in development for three years since the release of Sun and Moon, it doesn't help that Pokémon is still a yearly series and Game Freak was also developing Little Town Hero while developing Sword and Shield. In other words, the game was rushed, which might explain some of the problems listed above.
  30. With the missing features, the game is overpriced, costing $60 ($90 bundled with the expansion pass) while the older games with arguably more content costed $40 at most.

Good Qualities

  1. Since the new Galar region is based on Great Britain, the game often take cues from UK culture, such as the characters speaking in British slang, and some of the new Pokémon introduced, which include:
    • The starters Grookey, Scorbunny, and Sobble represent music, sports, and drama respectively.
    • Galarian Ponyta and Rapidash are based on unicorns.
    • The new Fossil Pokémon are based on the fact that UK archaeologists would often unknowingly mismatch bones from different fossils to make up skeletons.
    • Galarian Mr. Mime's evolution Mr. Rime resembles the famous British comedian Charlie Chaplin.
    • The Legendaries Zacian, Zamazenta, Urshifu, and Calyrex take inspiration from the legends of King Arthur, with the four being based off Arthur's sword, Excalibur, his shield, Prydwen, his armor, and his crown respectively.
  2. The concept of regional variants introduced in Sun and Moon is expanded, now it is no longer restricted to Generation I Pokémon and Galarian variants can even take completely new evolutions not available to the regular forms.
  3. Despite the outdated looking graphics, many areas are still decently detailed and good looking, especially Ballonlea.
  4. Several concepts introduced in the spinoff games Pokémon: Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee! have been introduced into the main series. Some examples include:
    • The ability to manage your team anywhere you want via the pause menu rather than having to return to a Pokémon Center to use a storage box.
    • Wild Pokémon are visible in the overworld, allowing you to pick which Pokémon you want to battle. At the same time however traditional tall grass encounters are still available.
    • Pokéball Plus is also compatible with these games, meaning that Mew can also be obtained, although you can't use it as a controller here.
    • If your Nintendo Switch has a save file data for either Let's Go, Pikachu! or Let's Go, Eevee! or both, you can get a special Pikachu or an Eevee that have Gigantamax forms.
  5. The process of raising Pokémon is streamlined to be less reliant on grinding and RNG with the addition of EXP. Candies and mints. The former allows Pokémon to be up-to-level with your current team easier than before, while the latter allows the player to change their Pokémon's natures to a better one.
    • You can now have 2 Pokémon of the same species gain new Egg moves after breeding, something that only their children can do in previous Generations.
  6. Dynamaxing is introduced, allows players to make their Pokemon gigantic and significantly more powerful in a similar fashion to Mega Evolutions. However, unlike Mega Evolutions, every Pokemon can be Dynamaxed and the transformation only lasts for 3 turns to balance it out. When Dynamaxed, Pokemon have their HP increased up to double the base HP and their Moves become stronger "Max Moves" that also activate secondary effects.
    • Certain Pokemon get special "Gigantamax" forms when they are Dynamaxed. These forms have access to "G-Max" moves and have pretty interesting designs, such as Gigantamax Alcremie being based off a cake, Gigantamax Sandaconda transforming into a tornado, and Gigantamax Pikachu resembling Pikachu's original design.
    • During the main story mode, Dynamaxing can only be done during specific battles to prevent the player from abusing it against regular opponents who themselves can't Dynamax.
  7. The Wild Area offers for the first time a more open-world experience, allowing the player to freely move the camera around. The player can also encounter over-leveled and fully evolved Pokémon in the area, which is another first in the franchise.
    • Players can participate in Max Raid Battles which are scattered throughout the Wild Area, where the player and three other trainers, whether they are NPCs or other players, work together to battle Dynamaxed Pokémon which are drastically more powerful than any other wild Pokémon and give out useful items as rewards for defeating them.
    • When doing a Max Raid Battles with other players, everyone gets a chance to catch the Dynamax Pokémon.
    • The Wild Area also introduces Watts as a new currency which can be used to obtain valuable items, upgrade the player's bicycle or buy curry ingredients.
    • The Wild Area allowing you to catch fully Evolved Pokémon that would normally be difficult to evolve and even including Trade evolutions also facilitates the process.
  8. As mentioned in BQ #6, the story puts more emphasis on the Pokémon League and the Gym Challenge, treating it as a competitive sports event and making it so the player has a more tangible reason to compete in the league similar to the anime while also being reminiscent of professional soccer as gym battles take place in large stadiums.
    • Most Gym challenges are reworked to be much more creative than previous gym challenges.
    • The Elite 4 is replaced with the Championship Cup, which has the player battle their main rivals throughout the story in final matches before facing the champion. In revisits, the player can then choose which opponents will participate in the cup. Which looks like a great step up from past Pokémon games.
  9. It is also the first game since Black and White to have version exclusive Gym Leaders.
  10. A great soundtrack that has more variety (including styles unique to this game) compared to any other previous generation while also fitting the theme of the Galar region. Some of the more notable examples include the Gym Leader battle theme or the northern half of the Wild Area.
    • The Battle Tower theme was composed by Toby Fox, the creator of Undertale and Deltarune. This, again, symbolizes the series going more worldwide.
  11. You can now finally skip cutscenes and tutorials if you've already played the game and want to do another playthrough.
  12. Technical Records (TR) are introduced, which are one-time use move tutors similar to TMs before Gen V, however unlike older TMs these can be found again infinitely by doing Max Raid Battles and often have better moves than TMs to compensate.
  13. Leon, Sonia, and the side characters such as the Ball Guy and the gym leaders (especially those such as Allister and Piers), who now have more personality, are likable.
    • While very similar to Team Skull, Team Yell still does a decent job at providing comic relief, and is also a jab at toxic fanbases.
  14. The camping mechanic replaces Pokémon Amie/Refresh as a more interactive way to build your Pokémon's friendliness values while also restore their health and PP. In the process, your Pokémon will be very happy and be more willing to listen to you.
    • Additionally, certain Pokémon have specific reactions when you play with them using a bell teaser or a rubber ball, which can be both charming and funny, or when they interact with other Pokémon present in the camping area.
    • While a bit repetitive, the cooking feature is pretty fun and makes decent use of the Switch's motion controls.
  15. Despite the Y-comm system not being that good, one good feature about it is that players are able to search for players to do Link Trades, Random Trades, or Battles without interrupting normal gameplay.
  16. The Pokémon that can only be captured in the DLC can be traded to the base version of the game without needing to buy the DLC, something that most other games with DLC wouldn't do.
  17. A couple of nice additions to the shiny animations, with there now being a new sparkling animation with squares that's rarer than the normal one with stars.
    • Shiny Pokémon that hatched from eggs now have the sparkling animation displayed. This can especially prove useful for shiny Pokémon that barely look any different.
  18. Character customization is further expanded upon from previous games, and with even more options with the DLC.
  19. As mentioned earlier, the DLC (The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra) is an improvement over the base game, and fixes several issues with the base game. Some examples include:
    • The Isle of Armor DLC introducing new features such as Max Soup, a potent stew that can allow certain Pokemon to Gigantamax when given to them. With it, you no longer need to hunt for Gigantamax Pokémon with good stats, you can simply give the Soup to any Pokémon that has a Gigantamax form. It requires three Max Mushrooms, which you can find in the forests and caves around the Isle of Armor.
    • For the first time in the series, you can reset a Pokémon's EVs! To reset EVs, find Lady Clear in the Workout Sea area in the Isle of Armor DLC and she will return your Pokémon to a blank slate in exchange for ten pieces of Armorite Ore.
    • Like the Wild Area, the Isle of Armor and The Crown of Tundra is now open-world and also allows camera control.
    • The ability patch is introduced as part of the Crown Tundra expansion which allow players to change a Pokémon's ability to it's hidden ability. This means players will no longer get frustrated when the shiny they hatch specifically via the Masuda Method didn't inherit the hidden ability from it's mother or non-ditto parent.
  20. The voice clips for Pikachu and Eevee are amazingly voiced thanks to Ikue Otani and Aoi Yuuki.

Tips

  1. The best starter to select here is the Scorbunny line, due to its accessibility to Fire-type and Fighting-type moves that allows it to defeat 2 out of 4 of Raihan's Pokémon, Marnie's entire team and Hop's Dubwool and Snorlax. It also has the added bonus of being able to sweep through Chairman Rose's entire team, due to his whole team being weak to Fire with two of his Pokémon being double weak to it. Despite not being able to hold itself in the Champion Cup, it is still able to hold its own against Champion Leon's Mr. Rime and Aegislash. In addition, its signature move, Pyro Ball, has 120 base Power and 90% accuracy, which are good enough for an extremely strong move.
    • It's hidden ability Libero makes it even stronger similar to the Froakie line's hidden ability since whenever it uses a move other than fire type moves, it changes the pokémon to that type allowing it to receive STAB from every attack.
  2. When doing trade evolutions online, you should make sure to trade for another copy of the same Pokémon as there's no guarantee that the other player will return you the traded Pokémon.
    • If you plan on completing the Curry Dex, you may optionally ask the trader if the Pokémon they are about to trade is holding the Bob's/Bach's food tin as those ingredient are only obtainable in either versions of the games.
  3. An easy way to make money is to buy Luxury Balls in the Wild Area for 100 Watts each then sell all of them in a store. Farming Watts is a very easy process so you'll be able to get lots of Luxury Balls quickly.
  4. Make sure you take some time to do Max Raid Battles during the early game, as lower ranking Raids don't get shields making them easy to defeat and you'll still get the useful rewards, mainly the EXP Candies and TRs.
  5. Certain Pokémon only spawn in the Wild Area and DLC map during specific weathers, you can manipulate the date in your Nintendo Switch to force a certain weather to occur so you can hunt what you want without having to wait. You can look up online lists for which specific date to set for which weather condition, and which Pokémon spawn during those weather conditions.
    • Keep in mind this will freeze daily events for 24 hours.
  6. A very easy method to evolve Galarian Farfetch'd into Sirftech'd is to battle a Wobbuffet, which are found in the same route where you can catch Farfetch'd as an overworld spawn. Continuously attack Wobbuffet with Rock Smash, it'll do very little damage so you'll have many turns to land those 3 Critical Hits and the low damage per attack makes it so Wobbuffet's Counter won't faint your Farfetch'd.
    • The Leek held item, the move Focus Energy, and using a Dire Hit all increase Farfetch'd chances of landing a Critical Hit, making the process significantly easier. Wild Farfetch'd have a 50% chance to be holding a Leek when caught.
    • Make sure you have healing items for each time Wobbuffet uses Counter.

Controversy

Prior to release, it was announced at E3 2019 that not all existing Pokémon would be available in the games. This decision was met with widespread criticism and spawned a controversy known as Dexit. This controversy proved to be very divisive within the Pokémon community, and a number of fans considered boycotting the game, and even review bombed the game when they released. Many fans even called for the games to be delayed until all the Pokémon could be added, unaware that it would also push back the Anime and the TCG. The announcement for the game's Expansion Pass caused further backlash from fans (despite improving upon the game's flaws), leading them to accuse Game Freak of cutting content just to sell it back.

Reception

Despite mostly positive reviews from critics, Pokémon Sword and Shield received mixed reception by fans and some critics, with many considering the games to be the weakest in the core series of Pokémon games. While both versions have a critic score of 80/100 on Metacritic, the user score is much lower, having a score of 4.6/10 for Pokémon Sword[1] and a 4.5/10 for Pokémon Shield [2], mainly due to review bombing. It became the most polarizing game in the Pokémon franchise, as well as the most polarizing game of 2019 (along with Death Stranding).

Despite the criticism, the games have sold very well (to the point that some people bought a Switch just because of either of the two), selling more than 6 million copies worldwide during its opening week, surpassing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as the fastest-selling Nintendo Switch game.[3] As of September 2020, the games have sold more than 19 million copies worldwide, making them the third best selling main series Pokémon games, the fifth best-selling Switch games and the 48th best-selling games of all time.

Trivia

  • Zacian and Zamazenta's names mean "the Cyan One" and "the Magenta One" respectively.
  • Gloria, the game's female player character, became an internet meme in the form of "Scottish Pokémon Trainer".
  • The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra are based on the Isle of Man and Scotland respectively.

Comments


avatar

Popzikles

7 months ago
Score 24
Hopefully the page won't cause flame wars, the game is extremely controversial and there are plenty of detractors fighting against defenders.
avatar

Masson Thief

7 months ago
Score 16
Game is in the average category, our claim is that it isn't a masterpiece and neither trash. This should be enough to prevent edit wars but even if they'll happen we have the tools to stop them.
avatar

Paprika

7 months ago
Score 7
This is one of the few admin locked pages for a reason.
avatar

Theworks84

5 months ago
Score -1
Masson Thief it is not an average game if it has 30 BQs and 19 GQs. Average games should have their amount of BQs and GQs close to each other (e.g 17 BQs and 15 GQs) and this game's amount of BQs and GQs isn't even close to each other.
avatar

Zeephare

5 months ago
Score 3
Theworks84 the number of BQs and GQs absolutely doesn't matter whether the game is average or not.
avatar

Theworks84

5 months ago
Score 0
Zeephare which doesn't make sense.
avatar

SpazJR61

5 months ago
Score 2

Theworks

It make sense because it not depends on the reason numbers. It depends to the reception.
avatar

Theworks84

5 months ago
Score 0
Okay, Spaz. And since it received divisive reviews, it is indeed an average game.
avatar

DarkMatterMan4500

7 months ago
Score 1
I actually own these 2 games.
avatar

DarkMatterMan4500

7 months ago
Score 7
And I'm actually surprised this game is on this very wiki.
avatar

Paprika

7 months ago
Score 5
I expected it to not be on either wiki due to how divisive it is but here we are now.
avatar

Mr. Dready

7 months ago
Score 3
So it's not Forbidden anymore?
avatar

Latiro

7 months ago
Score 3
I thought the similar thing, too.
avatar

Masson Thief

7 months ago
Score 11

It wasn't forbidden for a good reason if you think about it. Gamers fighting over a game must not prevent us from writing articles, we can say what we think about the game like everyone.

Also this article is high quality, with all the main pros and cons you can find on the internet and is no hater or fanboy written.
avatar

Latiro

7 months ago
Score 3

I finally brought myself to start playing Shield after a certain favorite Pokemon of mine was added along with the Isle of Armor DLC.

Graphics-wise, while SWSH do look a bit better than the 3DS games, they're (imho) not as impressive-looking as the Gen 5 and 4 entries on the DS (BW/B2W2 has the best-looking graphics in the pre-Gen 6 era and they'll look even better when remade, if not too rushed). I miss the good old pixel graphics.

I also agree with points #8 (being insultingly easy, even more so than X/Y) and #15 (character problems, especially Hop) in every way.

Hopefully, Game Freak would see their mistakes and not screw up in Gen 9 or so.
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Paprika

7 months ago
Score 5
I liked this game more but I wish the EXP share wasn't forced so I could have more challenge. Also I wish the end game content was longer. I'd like to see something else like Delta Episode from Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire.
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EdbertLikesAvatar

4 months ago
Score -1
If you play any of the Kalos games and you turn off the EXP Share, it's actually just as hard as any other Pokémon game. The second gym leader's also a bit hard as he uses Tyrunt, a Dragon/Rock type.
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GRAND-DUCHY

7 months ago
Score 6
Wasn't this page forbidden?
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Paprika

7 months ago
Score 9
It was at first but the original page on Awesome Games Wiki was sugar coating the game and we were afraid of edit wars because of the National Dex fanboys (yes it's still going the Pokémon community really is a shithole these days no offense) so it's admin locked.
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KalloFox34

2 months ago
Score 0
I think it still should be. The games aren't considered bad by the general public. It's just a very loud minority.
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Kringe

7 months ago
Score 10

Uh oh.......

Here comes the shitstorm.....
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SpazJR61

7 months ago
Score 6
Nah, stupid Dexit people are just whining to a single feature being gone.
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Theworks84

5 months ago
Score 1
SpazJR61 hopefully no one will say "Pokemon Sword and Shield is worse than Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!"
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Trevor807

7 months ago
Score 8
Alright, but I’d pray flame wars don’t happen all because of this one page.
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Sofaking we todd it

7 months ago
Score 5
I hate to sound optimistic with this game being average for a main Pokémon title, but the gen IX games will be a major improvement over this game if history repeats itself. I wasn't too fond of Pokémon X, but I really enjoyed Pokémon Sun. I hated the chibi look of the characters and the fact that you only moved in 8 directions unless you use the roller skates. The gen VII games fixed both of those issues.
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Latiro

7 months ago
Score 1

Not to mention my only favorite Trainer in X/Y, AZ, doesn't get very much screen time and his Floette wasn't distributed for no reason (maybe these would be fixed in Gen 9 or so).

Hopefully, the X/Y remakes would be an improvement over the 3DS originals and add more content.
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DeciduousWater534

7 months ago
Score 1
Hopefully your prediction will be right. This is most likely going to be the last Pokémon game I'll get unless the next game is a big-time step up from this game.
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Sofaking we todd it

6 months ago
Score 1
If the gen IX games will be made for the Switch, then I believe that, graphically speaking, it will be much better. Like the transition from gen IV to gen V and from gen VI to gen VII. Game Freak can't be oblivious to the criticisms that fans are giving the game (not the "professional reviewers" that are shilling for them). If not, then they lost buyers such as you and I.
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Hookuai

7 months ago
Score 5
It feels controversial to me in my perspective
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ZephanieDimaranan

7 months ago
Score 5
This one had enough bad qualities for it's CGW article, but it may need an AGW article if it has enough good qualities to deserve it AGW article.
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ZephanieDimaranan

7 months ago
Score 2
Also, it may need an Unfinished/Unreleased games just as it was a bit rushed.
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DeciduousWater534

7 months ago
Score 2
I don't think a game on both wikis is necessary unless there's an equal amount of BQs and GQs (including sub-pointers).
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Latiro

7 months ago
Score 3
Also, let's not forget about the poor sense of scaling of large, non-Dynamaxed Pokemon (yes, even Wailord and Eternatus are pathetically small despite being two of the largest Pokemon).
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TheShinyLucarioMaster

7 months ago
Score 8
I like Sword & Shield.
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Botbuster

7 months ago
Score 3
Ditto.
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Eric Cartman 2001

6 months ago
Score 3
Me too.
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XXSeph MySpaceXx

4 months ago
Score 2
Same tbh
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KalloFox34

3 months ago
Score 0
These games are very impressive.
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Rockman138

25 days ago
Score 0
Pikachu pikachu pi (Translation: I want to give Sword and Shield a chance myself).
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KalloFox34

20 days ago
Score 0
@Rockman138 Try it. You won't regret it.
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Superjothan

7 months ago
Score 3
One bad quality to mention is that repels are now near useless since it doesn't affect overworld spawns. Especially those annoying Sharpedo on the Isle of Armor!
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KalloFox34

3 months ago
Score 0
Tip: Rotate the Joy-Con 360 degrees to get away from the Sharpedo. If you're successful, they'll speed right past you.
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TheShinyLucarioMaster

6 months ago
Score -3
So GameFreak DID lie? This does not make me hate GameFreak, but if they did lie, I will not spam that fucking #GameFreakLied hashtag.
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LordSelrahc

5 months ago
Score 1
They did, as they hired professional translators, who confirmed that what they said was that they were cutting the pokemon for "more expressive animations" as well as "creating the models from the ground up"
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ACoolBlaze5

6 months ago
Score 4
Pray to god this page won't suffer from a-logging or flame wars inside or outside of Miraheze.
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Portrock1566

6 months ago
Score 2
It frightens me that how controversial this game is as in the opinion is exactly 50/50 similar to Sausage Party (I'm neutral with the former since I never played it but I despise the latter.).
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Mickey Mouse

6 months ago
Score 5

The ONLY THING I like about these games is Allister

Don't judge me but I really love him, he's just too cute and reminds me of Thomas the Tank Engine more than a Shy Guy
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Nihirichan

6 months ago
Score 5
I like Sword and Shield.
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ThighFish

6 months ago
Score 4
If this game is on CGW, then why is LGPE on AGW? Sure, SwSh was substandard for Pokemon games (it's still decent in the absolute sense though), when LGPE wasn't even necessary and was just nostalgia pandering, albeit not as disappointing.
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Eric Cartman 2001

6 months ago
Score 4
In my opinion, Let's Go games were actually the worst.
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TheShinyLucarioMaster

6 months ago
Score 3
My least favourite part about LGP&LGE was the Pokémon GO mechanics, the catching in GO was shite.
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SuperStreetKombat

6 months ago
Score 0
Can someone add this game to the "Overhyped Games" category, please?
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DarkMatterMan4500

5 months ago
Score 0
It's already in that category.
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TheShinyLucarioMaster

6 months ago
Score 2
I beat Sword yesterday.
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DarkMatterMan4500

6 months ago
Score 1
I've beaten Sword months ago.
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ACoolBlaze5

5 months ago
Score 2
I beat it in lockdown.
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LeroyManTheFirst

6 months ago
Score 2
Imagine if the NatDexers replace BQ and GQ with WISSB (Why It Sucks So Bad) and remove the RQ qualities
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ACoolBlaze5

5 months ago
Score 2
This page is protected so that only autoconfirmed users can edit it.
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Brownie the Quincy Elf

5 months ago
Score 4
Thank God Inster's gone
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DeciduousWater534

5 months ago
Score 1
Cheers I'll drink to that bro.
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Theworks84

4 months ago
Score 0
He's still here, an account named Demino is a sockpuppet of his.
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DeciduousWater534

4 months ago
Score 0
I blocked that sockpuppet account a while back.
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Theworks84

5 months ago
Score 1
Tip 6. While not required, it is recommended to buy the Isle of Armor DLC since it's better than the base one, which is just average while the DLC is actually great.
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ACoolBlaze5

5 months ago
Score 3
I liked this game.
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MeMeGuYWasLost

5 months ago
Score 0
Ok.
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Trashanimal

5 months ago
Score 6
Inkster will be mad when he sees this lol
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Lesther110

5 months ago
Score 3
Well he can´t cause he is banned
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DeciduousWater534

5 months ago
Score 0
I had to undo a lot of his edits due to him trying to butcher the page with his opinions.
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MeMeGuYWasLost

5 months ago
Score 0
Dickster: wHoEvEr MaDe ThIs PaGe Is A nAtDexEr!!!
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Lesther110

5 months ago
Score 4
The only page on this wiki i disagree with. But whatever. Opinions are Opinions.
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SpazJR61

5 months ago
Score -5
This game is literally Sonic Forces of Pokémon franchise.
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Theworks84

5 months ago
Score -1
More like Tri Force Heroes of the Pokemon franchise.
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KalloFox34

2 months ago
Score 0
Only they didn't lie about the content.
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Herogamer04

5 months ago
Score 0
And yet the let go games are on awesome games wiki i seen it and it was just boring and sword and shield that looks better is on crappy games yeah ok lol
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Zeephare

5 months ago
Score 0
Which games from AGW you mean?
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Theworks84

5 months ago
Score 0
They meant Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee.
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Herogamer04

5 months ago
Score 1
Least it ended up being better then sonic 06 and rise of lyric
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Theworks84

5 months ago
Score 0
And be mediocre as TLOZ: Tri Force Heroes.
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MeMeGuYWasLost

5 months ago
Score 4
#BringBackNationalDex
Give me downvotes.
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TheShinyLucarioMaster

5 months ago
Score -1
No downvotes for you.
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Theworks84

4 months ago
Score 0
Downvotes for you!
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MeMeGuYWasLost

4 months ago
Score 0
Ok?
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Theworks84

4 months ago
Score 0
I don't hate MeMeGuYWasLost, I just want to add one for some reason.
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Calulu~

5 months ago
Score 0
And this is why we shouldn't have deleted the Neutral Games Wiki.
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SpazJR61

5 months ago
Score 3
Still, that wiki is pointless.
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Zeephare

5 months ago
Score 1
Creating this Wiki about neutral games, is really pointless. That's why Average Games category exist, similiary like Decent Games category for sister wiki.
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Theworks84

5 months ago
Score 0
It might take a while for people to know it's average though. Sure average games have BQ and GQ instead of WIS and RQ but they might not know that BQ/GQ are different from WIS/RQ.
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Theworks84

5 months ago
Score 1

And if you disagree with me, maybe let's create new categories: Average Games from Good Franchises

Average Games from Good Companies
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AlvaroNovaes-BR

5 months ago
Score 0
I remember this game was released when i was strolling in Florianópolis in november of 2019, when this game was released, i looked the price and was around 900R$/BRL meaning 164 US dollars in 09/22 in this year of pandemic. it was too expensive for my wallet for a flawed game like this.
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TheShinyLucarioMaster

5 months ago
Score 1
3 critical hits in 1 battle is one of the weirdest methods of evolution.
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KalloFox34

5 months ago
Score 1
These games are fantastic.
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Theworks84

5 months ago
Score 2
Your opinion. I like this game too.
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TheShinyLucarioMaster

5 months ago
Score 2
I also like Sword and Shield.
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SporeShroom2007

5 months ago
Score 4
Whenever I see Bea, I get severe Vietnam flashbacks.
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Portrock1566

5 months ago
Score 1
I hate to make far-fetched comparisons but I understand what you're feeling.
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Masson Thief

5 months ago
Score 3
Was he that bad?
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DeciduousWater534

5 months ago
Score 3
Yes, he even got me to the point of nearly leaving the wikis a few times.
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Portrock1566

5 months ago
Score 3
He's less bad than Zenny (who's the worst person in my life) but not even he's a saint compared to her. I still have occasional trauma from his actions. I do feel sympathetic but at the same time resentful to Inkster. I didn't ruin his life for revealing the evidence about his behavior. He brought that upon himself for overstaying his welcome.
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Masson Thief

5 months ago
Score 3
Well, he made Vicious leave the wikis which is saying something, since the guy was really strong-willed.
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SpazJR61

5 months ago
Score 1

I never liked Inkster anyway, because he always act like he's the owner.

He also put questionable deletion markings to some of the pages in this wiki.
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Lesther110

5 months ago
Score 0
I will never comprehend why inkster has done the drama he caused. He was an amazing and funny person. But now he turned into a delusional tyrant. He is another reason why i haven´t made an account when first discovering this wiki. Because of the drama that he brought to people like shinytropius, treating bbnd like a satanic cult. Despite all of that he brought it all to himself.
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Mickey Mouse

4 months ago
Score 0
I'll never understand why he loved Bea while he hated Nessa
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AlvaroNovaes-BR

3 months ago
Score 0
Bea and Nessa are gym leaders, probably meant for huge difficulty spikes, IDK much.
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DeciduousWater534

3 months ago
Score 0
I don't know about that, I managed to take out both of their dynamaxed Pokémon with one hit.
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Portrock1566

5 months ago
Score -1
I honestly blame myself for originally intending to review this game until Inkster killed of my thoughts of that. Now I realize just how shitty Pokemon Sword and Shield is.
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Theworks84

5 months ago
Score -1
I'm sure AVGN would review this in 10 years' time.
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SpazJR61

5 months ago
Score -1
He reviewed a more modern game, so he can possibly review this game.
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DuckHuntChief

26 days ago
Score 0
In a way I would rather play Life of Black Tiger than Pokemon Sword and Shield. At least it's funny seeing how messed up LoBT is. But Pokemon SwSh jsut feel embarassing.
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AgentLocke

5 months ago
Score 0
I think Pokemon is gonna go the same way of call of duty being the same to the point where they reuse assets from their other games
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Μπέλα2006

5 months ago
Score 1
This game is a scam, Destiny 1 lacked a lot but DLC Fixed it, The Sims 4 was 60$ heavily lacking in content but further updates and Expansion packs improved it, This game is 60$ which is 100% unacceptable, this is lacking is content and the DLC Are not improving by a lot, This game is unacceptable for a AAA Game if this is not a beta. Why did this game even sell 20 million copies? A Game Lacking Content that doesn’t cost money, I can under because they are cheap games that anyone can get, But a game lacking content costing 60$, that’s where things get out of hand, for the sims 4, I can understand because the team didn’t was new to the sims and didn’t know how to make a sims game, but for games like This which is made by a Company with over 20 years of the brand, You start to lose me.
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Theworks84

5 months ago
Score -2
It sold like hotcakes mainly because of Pokemon GO. I got it because I was planning to buy the Switch Let's Go Pikachu/Eevee limited edition. Unfortunately, it was broken, so I ended up getting a grey Joy-Con Switch and this game. I liked it but sure was boring during the last gyms.
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Theworks84

5 months ago
Score -1
I'm planning to buy Breath of the Wild and some PS1 games since I completed this game.
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Theworks84

5 months ago
Score -2
Who made this page? If you say who did it, I will ask him/her why it's on this wiki instead of just bringing the AGW page.
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ACoolBlaze5

4 months ago
Score 2
As much as I liked these games, the original AGW page suffered from sugarcoating, and it was added by someone who liked these games. Trevor807 liked Star Wars: The Force Awakens, yet he created its page on Awful Movies Wiki. Stephenfisher2001 liked 2012 yet created its page on Awful Movies Wiki, because they understood its flaws.
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DeciduousWater534

4 months ago
Score 1
And that is the exact same case for me regarding this game. While I personally liked it, there's no denying it's mediocre.
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SpazJR61

4 months ago
Score 1
Yeah, TyrantUnderreactionRex crammed his personal opinions.
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Theworks84

4 months ago
Score 0
Okay, thanks. I liked it as well but it's still just an average game.
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Theworks84

4 months ago
Score 0
Anyway, if you have an archive of it, can you please send the original AGW page? Haven't read it yet.
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EdbertLikesAvatar

4 months ago
Score 0
What in blazes do i see?
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ItMeansNothing

4 months ago
Score 0
@ACoolBlaze5 And I created Hellboy (2004) on Awful Movies Wiki, despite me liking it.
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EdbertLikesAvatar

4 months ago
Score 2
Is it a joke page?
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Theworks84

4 months ago
Score 0
It's not, firstly the page doesn't say that it is anywhere (which the joke pages say) and secondly it is not on the Joke Pages category.
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EdbertLikesAvatar

4 months ago
Score 1

I see.

I thought this page stole content from an actual joke page!
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ItMeansNothing

4 months ago
Score 8

Inkster reviewing this page:

This page sucks. In fact, the entire Crappy Games Wiki community are NatDexers.
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TheShinyLucarioMaster

4 months ago
Score 1
This explains Inkster's undying praise of the games while ignoring their flaws and treating NatDexers like (Danny DeVito voice) TRASH!
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Fortdicted

4 months ago
Score 0
I thought this was forbidden!
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DarkMatterMan4500

4 months ago
Score 0
It was for a period of time, but nowadays, it's no longer forbidden.
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Portrock1566

4 months ago
Score 0
I think the whole Pokemon franchise is irredeemable.
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Theworks84

4 months ago
Score 0
Why is it irredeemable?
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Portrock1566

4 months ago
Score -1
This game is a major fuck up that I don't believe there'll ever be a good Pokemon game. Rest in piss.
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Theworks84

4 months ago
Score 0
I liked this game, but I do understand why some people don't like it. Also don't forget the multimedia status of the Pokémon franchise. If The Pokémon Company extended Game Freak's deadline so they can make an BOTW-level Pokémon there might be no new anime and all those stuff for a few years since they are adaptations of the game. And since TMC doesn't want to "lose money" they give GF a short development time so once the anime adaptation of the previous game is finished, there will be a new one right away.
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Theworks84

4 months ago
Score 1
For the ones that said "TMC" I meant The Pokémon Company.
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EdEddandEddyFan

2 months ago
Score -1
And this game is why I now feel nihilistic for Pokémon these days.
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RaymesisEvil

4 months ago
Score -1
I played this game but the sword and in my opinion I did not like it, it bored me after playing 45 minutes, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was my favorite quickly.
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Eric Cartman 2001

4 months ago
Score 2
A very unpopular opinion: I found this game better than Gen 1 and Gen 6 games.
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KalloFox34

3 months ago
Score 0
And particularly Gen 3 for me.
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Theworks84

4 months ago
Score 3
Plot twist: The reason why The Pokémon Company removed half of the Pokémon is because they wanna focus on the new ones. And it shows: Most Pokémon in the game are either decent or great.
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Theworks84

4 months ago
Score 2
Fact: This game was awarded a GOTY by none other than Famitsu (the Nintendo Power of Japan.
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KalloFox34

one month ago
Score 0
Well, it earned it.

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