Review: Pokémon Sword makes its way to home consoles

A new world for Nintendo franchise


Pokemon Sword was released on Friday, Nov. 15, 2019. Courtesy of Game Freak.

The eighth generation of the Pokémon series, Pokémon Sword and Shield, released on Friday, Nov. 15. The game has been highly anticipated by fans since its announcement on Feb. 27, 2019. This is the first main series Pokémon game on a Nintendo home console. Developed by Game Freak, the company behind all previous installments of the Pokemon series, fans were eager to see what new aspects they would bring to the table.

All the previous features fans have come to love are back and brand new. Never before seen mechanics are introduced, such as the introduction of the Wild Area, which is an open-world style area in the game where players can encounter Pokémon roaming around. This open-world feeling is refreshing to fans because the Pokémon series is a mostly linear experience. This new sense of freedom is a breath of fresh air. 

With the latest generation of technological power, the animation quality is pushed to its max potential. The new level of animations makes the battles lively and immersive. In previous games the movement in battles used to be limited, but in Sword and Shield takes it to the next level.

Another exciting and fresh feature that was added to the game is the concept of Dynamax. When you Dynamax a Pokémon, it drastically increases its size and power, adding a layer of depth and strategy to Pokémon battles. The Dynamax feature makes battles feel legendary and memorable.

Long-time fans of the game were not amused with the removal of the National Pokédex, a feature which made Pokémon from previous generations available in the new ones. Removing this limits the amount of creativity you have when building a team of Pokémon in Sword and Shield, invalidating the work that fans put into the previous games.

The game has constant performance issues when connected to the internet, such as making the Wild Area slow and increased loading times when using other features. Graphics are also below what fans expected of a home console Pokémon game, with rendering issues and various pixelated models. The low visual performance ruins the immersive experience of the game.

With the positives of the game heavily outweighing the negatives, fans of the series are satisfied with the latest entry in the Pokémon franchise. This game earns 4 stars out of 5 due to the new features, quality animations and entertaining gameplay. With the quality seen in this game, fans are eager to see where Game Freak takes the Pokémon franchise from here.