I begin this review in a manner decidedly atypical: talking about Minecraft. At the time of its release, the now historic title developed by Mojang he immediately broke all kinds of records, whether they are related to the number of buyers, to online players and in general to buzz created throughout the internet. In addition to these laurels, Minecraft however, it was accompanied by a long list of critical and users ready to point it out as a game "from brats“Inconclusive and repetitive. Negative comments often come from people who play the game they hadn't even tried it, ready to join the right criticisms because "they were in fashion”Or for petty will of perpetuate these controversies. The title of Mojang is, however, recently experiencing a period Renaissance, which led him to be the protagonist of the thumbnails of thousands of YouTuber and seen with loving longing from users ready to consider it a "important part of their childhood". This long introduction proved to be essential for this review to better explain what the Pokémon brand, and specifically the eighth generation titles Sword and Shield Pokémon, they are living (and undergoing) already before theirs official release su Nintendo Switch. The criticisms leveled against the developers of Game Freak i am actually motivate yourself, or again it is theInternet effect that spoiled thechildhood di Minecraft?

History

Pokémon Sword and Shield succeed where the previous titles of the series always have e consistently failed: offer from the first moments of play crucial and important pieces of plot, to be reconstructed as it develops. Who is the mysterious wolf what do you show yourself after the first few minutes of play? Looks like the legendary cover page, but it's slightly different. A non-evolved form, or perhaps an alternative version?

Sword and Shield Pokémon
The Joy-Con's in the protagonist's Nintendo Switch have the same color as those on your console!

 The upheavals made by Nintendo Switch titles certainly do not end here. Thanks to Gym Leaders strongly characterized, secondary and relief characters e quest secondary that, although short, manage to render even theobtaining simple MT and tools of struggle a nice and different activity from the ordinary, Sword and Shield Pokémon constitute a growing of emotions until the clash with the Galar Champion. The latter it will not be preceded by a clash with the Elite Four, so far the pivotal element of the Pokémon series, but from a Championship with qualifiers that sees the main character face again old acquaintances, this time with much more teams tough to defeat.

Where the history of the Pokémon titles on Nintendo Switch sins is however in the post-game. Never more than now they seem distant the fausti of Emerald Pokémon, Bianco 2 e Black 2: no new route is unlocked after the main campaign e no new Pokémon made available. There is company, in addition to the historical one Torre Lotta where to earn the coveted BP useful to grab tools useful to the competitive (including the unpublished Mind able change Nature own Pokémon) one short secondary campaign who sees us accompanying our rival and the Gym Leaders in order to avert theumpteenth threat consisting of the Dynamax Pokémon, and the Raid that can be tackled during the explorations of the Wildland.

The Pokémon

Needless to turn around: the titles they lack the National Pokédex, and with it over 400 Pokémon "not survivors”To the generational shift (but destined for a return in the next titles of the series, as stated by the developers). The remaining 400 creatures that populate Galar manage to guarantee one great biodiversity to the region: one is never afflicted by the syndrome "Zubat wedge cave"As the routes abound with different species.

Sword and Shield Pokémon
Galar Dandel Champion during one of his legendary fights, 2019.

The 81 unpublished creatures are well characterized and similar to the "British spirit"Of Sword and Shield Pokémon: with Pokémon from the soul punk rock, Weezing from the top hat and prominent whisker e stormy Corgi, the titles transpire "UK"From all the pores. A special praise must be made for the Galar forms of the Pokémon already known: no more i old Pokémon in a new sauce, but monsters with one consistency it's a identity all its own, often even with new developments.

The region

The Galar region is undoubtedly the most ambitious of the Pokémon brand so far. Cities with great streets rich in details and references to English culture, paths that, although smaller in number, are so much memorable and detailed as the aforementioned cities, labyrinthine forests and mysterious and even inhabitants able to imitate common saying typically British.

Sword and Shield Pokémon
A glimpse of the city of Goalwick.

Special mention goes to the city of Goalwick, miniature reproduction of London with lots of Big Ben, Ferris wheel and square of Piccadilly Circus, and to that of Steamington, heart ofGalar industry from the settings steampunk. The immense area formed by the Wildland, although less rich in details, it does not lack key points very useful for finding your way around excursions inside them: menhirs, islands and suspended bridges enrich the screen acting from time to time even like useful places for evolutions of certain species of Pokémon.

Graphics and Sound

As already mentioned, the Galar region is undoubtedly the most ambitious of the Pokémon brand so far. For better or for worse. Although the entire adventure is playable at 30 fps stable, the graphics engine tends to find it hard when you are inside the Wildland, especially when connected to the Internet. Unjustifiable slowdowns if you compare Sword and Shield Pokémon all'inarrivabile The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild released on the same hybrid console now beyond 2 years ago, able to reach levels of detail in the environments and technical yields far more advanced.

Sword and Shield Pokémon
The Bewear have never been so troublesome.

On the contrary, the soundtrack is a impeccable work: rich in sounds typical of Great Britain, filled with bagpipes and inspired at times to the mythical English punk, makes the gaming experience incredibly immersive, especially during the advanced stages of the story, managing to mark how the twists are made.

Innovations

As mentioned several times, Sword and Shield Pokémon bring to the saga a fair number of innovations with respect to the twenty-year brand. Nothing more Elite Four, and Pokémon now visible in the overworld (in a way not unlike what we saw in Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee), but also and above all the introduction of Wildland. No longer therefore short tunnels of tall grass that serve as junction between two cities, but an immense land to explore as you want and when you want, alone or with friends. In them you can rotate the view to your liking using the right analogue, and it is even plausible to come across areas where wild Pokémon are 10 or 20 higher levels than their own, which pushes the player to intense training to traverse those areas or capture the Pokémon in them.

Not only wild Pokémon: the Wilds are the stage of the first real ones boss fight cooperative of the Pokémon series, i Dynamax Raid. be faced along with up to 3 friends each with its own Nintendo Switch and with a level ranging from 1 to 5, are characterized by a difficulty level never seen before: impossible to triumph in an 5 level Raid without a clear distribution of tasks between employeesattack, To care, To defense e damage collection. Together with your friends it is then possible cook curry able to restore health e increase happiness of their team, and finally access the Pokécampeggio, heir of the Poké me and you of the sixth generation games.

Eating is good, eating in the company of a punk guitarist Pokémon is better.

In terms of innovations in the struggles, if the sixth generation of Pokemon X and Y had the Megaevoluzioni and the seventh of Sun and moon le Moves Z, the eighth generation of Sword and Shield Pokémon has the forms Dynamax e Gigamax: projections of one's pocket creatures, capable of enormously amplify its size and sometimes even change its physical features. From a competitive point of view, they can be considered the top of the mechanics reached by the series: albeit not impossible to beat, often succeed in changing the outcomes of a battle, especially if one takes into account the fact that they, unlike the Megaevolution, remain for just 3 shifts. Choose the right timing with which to use them is therefore essential.

Understanding how to get this Pokémon will cause you nightmares.

conclusions

In essence, Sword and Shield Pokémon on Nintendo Switch are games so ugly as to justify the cancellation of your preorder, as the Internet ultimately wants you to believe? Definitely no. No doubt they are not perfect titles so much from the technical point of view, with often raw textures and occasional lag in multiplayer, as in the game experience due to a practically absent post-league and the just mentioned secondary missions. However, they manage to entertain although not being the revolution that Breath of the Wild was for the brand of The Legend of Zelda, and in my humble opinion they do not deserve all the hatred and indignation they are receiving in the last period. Sword and Shield Pokémon take many steps forward more than what the predecessors did towards Pokémon titles totally devoid of the ancient concepts of Routes and forests interspersed with cities in exchange for a open and fully explorable world, and should be appreciated precisely for this reason. We don't let Pokémon Sword and Shield become the new Minecraft.

Declarations

answers