Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansions – The ACTUAL Game

Ok so now that I have clocked several countless hours on my Switch playing Pokémon Shield, I will write about this which I have been meaning to do for a while. I am, like perhaps many of you, a gen 1 Pokefan. My favourite Pokémon is Psyduck (he is the best boy SHUT UP), I used to be able to sing the whole Pokémon rap in Spanish and English, I watched the series, I went to the movies to see the film with my mum and my aunty when it came out, i bought the trading card game, I have plushies…The Whole Deal. My first Pokémon game was Pokémon Yellow, although I had played Red before in a friends Gameboy Colour, but these things were super expensive by then and we didn’t have that kind of money so by the time I had behaved well enough my parents thought this was a reasonable expense, it was Yellow. I hate Pikachu following me around EVERYWHERE. I hated grinding in the bloody tunnels to level up and I hate that my stupid Nidorino was so strong it wouldn’t listen to me because I was like 10 and I didn’t fully understand how to play a game that was actually a lot more complex than it is these days. But the struggle made it worthwhile. That’s what made the task of catching all the Pokémon fun and interesting.

Like it or not, I have compared consecutive Pokémon games to the originals, and every single time it gets EASIER…to the point it stinks. I haven’t bought many of the latest ones – Lucky enough my sister has and I have borrowed and paid some attention to them – but when I bought the Switch right the Christmas before lockdown started, I have given a voucher from work I couldn’t spend anywhere else I could care about other than PC World, so I bought Zelda (OBVS!) and Pokémon – it was free money after all. I must say, I really like the aesthetic of the game, I love the customisation and the fact that the Pokémon are from different generations and what not. I also ADORE the fact that I can play with my pokefriends and make them curries (which I am awesome at btw, no bragging just a fact) and just have that different element to the game. What I don’t appreciate so much is the fact that I finished the game originally in a little less than a week…And then I find out there are supposed to be some expansions?! WTH? Surely the unfinished game business hasn’t caught up with Nintendo? I thought to myself.

I was very disappointed about the fact that I didn’t lose a single battle, and it was not due to my abundant use of max heals, hyper potions etc. It was just the fact that one of my Pokémon would battle, the other 5 would do nothing and they would still get experience. Sure, I love the fact that they can get XP from the camping and the pokejobs (really good idea to improve pokemon as you can only have a team of 6 at the time) but the extra xp just for turning up seemed a bit unnecessary as everything else is already helping you to win. Anyway, the invincible party of Pokémon was: Pumpkaboo (PUMKI!), Cherrim, Thievul, Bolton, Ninetails, Inteleon. I also noticed how picking up my water Pokémon (Water type is BETTER, give it up) my “frenemie” choose the fire type…Can someone told how many times when you picked Squirtle you’d bloody wish freaking Gary had a Charmander instead of Bulbasaur making your life miserable? What? Even this? This is not a challenge! I am grateful for being able to Skyrim teleport to like anywhere and having a bike almost from moment one which can also go across water? (I guess we do not need Surf anymore?)…But it just wasn’t that fun avoiding everything I didn’t want, following a story all too familiar, with still limited gameplay options – like seriously what’s the point of having these epic cities built and brought to life if there isn’t more to it? So I stopped playing Pokémon very quickly and I was very mad and i told myself i was not buying the expansions when they’d come out…

…And, I mean I didn’t…I bought them nearly half a year later? So that counts for something I am sure. However, let me tell you I am very happy that I actually bought the expansions, and let me tell you why. Not only am I happy that I can find a lot of the original Pokémon there, (like what is it with some of these new pokes that are like ordinary things but with eyes?! Teacups, swords and apples and vacuums?!wtttfff)  but, I like the little stories behind them. they are new and different, and they are a lor more worthwhile. The Isle of Armor is cool: you get the lil fella that you need to befriend after you become a member of this dojo, then you have the towers, and it gives me the impression you have to invest more time to actually play and know the map and the Pokémon than just “ok let’s go to gym abc”. I haven’t played this one as much as The Crown Tundra, but that’s because Crown tundra alone is fantastic: if this was the full Pokémon game, I’d be happy spending money on just this. Why? I mean for starters the abundance of legendary pokemons is bonkers and THAT makes challenges and capturing Pokémon a lot more fun. I actually losing for the first time ever in this expansion against the Crown legendary Pokémon. I must yet resolve the mystery of the Giants, because I haven’t figured out yet how to get into one of the chambers. I often get lost in the map because there is so much stuff: it is FUN. I did also change my whole team for the expansions just because the others were now way over 60 and I thought it would make it more fun. My current poketeam is: Sneasel, Roseraid, Psyduck (yeas!), Crustle, Haunter and Espeon. They are all at 70, and I am yet to capture any of the wild legendary pokemons, because it is actually harder this time. however, I really appreciate the little Dynamax dungeon crawl. It is a nice break in the pace of the game and something that you can do for a proper challenge or just to get some cool pokes like Mewtwo my most recent catch! I am genuinely enjoying this part of the game, so if any of you like me lost a little faith there, consider buying the pass now that it has gone down a little in price. I don’t think you will regret it.

Apologies if I made any big spoilers, I tried not to, but there is only so much I can see and make sense without giving some stuff away. Anyway peeps, I am off to finally catch that damned Articuno that keeps on eluding me no atter how hard I try!! :’(Catch ’em all, and you specifically in the next one 😉

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