Already covered by our editorial less than a month ago, Pokémon Sword / Shield left us with more questions than answers. At the time of its official release, now is the time to reveal the arrival of this first major episode on Switch. And the wild lands? Dynamax? New Pokémon?
The Pokemon Sword and Shield Video Test
Let us first remember that this work offers us a new generation of creatures, a new world and therefore new characters coming in to dress up a new adventure. Inspired by the United Kingdom, Galar is the scene of a major tournament during which challengers from across the region challenge the 8 champions of the arena. A preliminary stage form for Poké Masters, the final stage of an adventure that is familiar to saga goers.
The size of the Pokédex?
You will probably notice that this test does not yet address the issue of the Pokédex Gallar. This point will be raised on the day of the official release of the game in this brochure.
Welcome to Galar-swinda
Don't expect a real structure revival, as Pokémon Sword / Shield follows in the footsteps of its elders. You will always have the option to choose from three water, fire or plant type Pokémon, a rival will come regularly to mess up your life, and your way is to chain the victories in the different arenas. The lack of structural renewal that is accompanied by a pace more than almost sustained in the search for 8 emblems, which makes this sequence very fast.. The advantage is that it avoids the fill trap, but the very high linearity of each area makes each phase of exploration very short except the wild lands to which we will return later.
On the other hand, the main adventure also has its fair share of hits, with the presence of a visually cool character gallery, which are also regularly requested as part of the main story. In particular, one thinks of the champions, more characterized than before and regularly used in intrigue, but also in the fact that their rival and the few recurring opponents are more interesting to follow because of an always very childlike writing. , but that saves a lot to put in clichés (with the exception of Travis). We won't talk much about Poké Masters events to avoid being spoiled by them, but we still know that they were able to convince us by proposing a different formula than the one normally used in the main work. Moreover, this last part is quite abundant, remaining interesting from the point of view, not offering a short-fill office, fortunately quickly evacuated by the interest of the following sequences. Set a total of 20 to 25 hours to complete the adventure without causing many side effects..
The call of the wild lands
Side by side, there are few in this episode who particularly highlighted in their communication the existence of wild lands, a vast open area with some activities. The first is obviously the search for Pokémon: the region is divided into several zones, each with its own creatures, which may also differ according to the current weather. Sandstorm, fog or rain will come and will vary the species of Pokémon to be discovered in each zone. A choice that is also accompanied by a capture system now moving from purely random encounters : Now you see all the Pokémon moving on the map, some coming straight to confront you while others try to escape, knowing you can whistle by pressing the left stick to draw it to you. One exception: Monsters hidden in the tall grass signal their presence with an exclamation mark.. Finding them triggers the confrontation, but this is obviously the only case in which you will not know in advance who will be the fallen. We are talking about confrontation, so you must understand for yourself that the capture returns to a formula closer to the classic episodes, with the possibility of weakening the Pokémon before throwing a ball. Which is not unpleasant for us.
The second new desert, Poké Camping (which also extends to other areas later) offers two series of minigames. The first is to play with and talk to your Pokémon to heal their relationships and offer a new happiness management system. The second is similar to Pokéblocks Ruby and Sapphire, as you'll have to mix fruits of different types with the possible ingredients recovered in the adventure and create Currys of all types. Depending on how successful it is, you may benefit from experience bonuses, but also from restoring your team's Pokémon PV and PP to more or less consequent. Limited from a purely playful standpoint, Poké Camping is still useful when you pursue fighting in the wild..
Get out of mega evolutions, hello Dynamax
In addition to the classic Pokémon capture, Wilderness also offers new features with the presence of flaws that house a dynamized Pokémon. "Dynamax" is a phenomenon in the world of Galar that allows Pokémon in contact with wishing stars to become bigger and stronger.. The megaevolution of the previous work is set aside for the benefit of this new system, which allows once per fight and only three rounds to energize one of its creatures: one active, but only available in certain places conducive to this transformation, such as the arenas. There is also a variant with some very specific Pokémon, which do not like to grow, can also change their appearance during the phenomenon: here we talk about Gigamax.
But let's get back to our faults. They confront him with a streamlined Pokémon that has the luxury of being able to maintain that shape throughout the fight. To get rid of it, you will have to fight several, and you can invite up to 3 players to participate in this match or replace them with 3 bots. In addition to the timely appearance of a protection system for enemy Pokémon, these clashes remain very close to classic fights.. However, they offer a little more challenge for aspiring adventurers, as it so often happens that you regularly encounter an opponent that is more difficult than your current level, unless you fully scan the area after completing the main adventure. But if you can clear the whole bar of life, this kind of confrontation reveals a new nuance: the game systematically offers the release of a Poké Ball to capture it. And even sending "basic" Poké Balls against very difficult opponents, we never failed here in our attempts to capture these dynamic Pokémon.
There is only one fault
Only open faults – emitting a beam of light into the sky – allow you to access these fights and, depending on when you go to these lands, you will not face the same faults. Each time you select a fault, it recovers, depending on the opening, more or less Watts, a kind of alternate currency that can be exchanged for objects with trainers in the area, as well as another character that gives you access to rarer objects. Among them, we highlight, in particular, the presence of greetings, which allow open closed failures, which often avoid finding a playground of any interest at this point.
Also note that in the event of a win in a fight for failure, you will get specific rewards. as an object to improve the Dynamax level of one of your Pokémon (and thus your stats when in this form), but also objects that give your creatures direct experience, especially DT. If CTs can be used without limits, DTs are single-use, contain some very useful attacks (such as Psyko, for example) and thus resemble a bygone era of the saga while revealing their interest. fights that bring bonus experiences and non-negligible objects. In addition to the clash that brings a hint of cooperation in multiplayer mode (optional extra), it is therefore more the ecosystem around faults and wilderness that proves interesting by offering a suitable playground. the implementation of events and a dose of randomness that goes well with the series. With even more content and ideas, we wouldn't be surprised if an even more successful version of the wilderness returns to the series in a few years.
Accessibility at the expense of the challenge
More anecdotal on paper, some other news from Sword and Shield deserve to be discussed here. First, we considered the possibility of making visual modifications to the your coach card, which can also change pace depending on your coach's appearance, again customizable thanks to clothing shops and other affordable hairdressers all over Galar. This card system also comes into play with the title's online features, which we could not test here for obvious reasons related to server shortages. Note that a simple touch of the Y key gives you access to the COMM-Y menu at any time, offering you several possibilities: network exchange, magic exchange, card exchange, network fight, profile and sticker. Overall, the title has sought to cure its accessibility by a number of not always happy decisions: the existence of Poké Service missions is part of the interesting ideas as it allows you to send unused Pokémon out of their boxes on a quest to bring back. objects, money and mostly experience for the monsters involved.
Obviously, this is not the only happy option. This includes the ability to access PC boxes at any time, the always accessible quick access system or store centralization and the capacity recall system at Pokémon centers. But by wanting to be accessible at all costs, Pokémon Sword and Shield also loses some interest in other points.. For example, it is no longer possible to deactivate systematic sharing of experiences; the zones that connect cities are very linear and can be explored quickly and easily; Many characters regularly take care of their team as soon as one or two more difficult battles are over. If all these points do not necessarily date from these particular episodes, Sword and Shield miss many challenges, including the endgame sequences. A younger audience or just a neophyte will probably find your story, but for regulars, we'll have to rely on other alternatives again: "Shasse", the statistical optimization of creatures and why not competition.
Beautiful island in the sea
The move to the Nintendo Switch is necessarily accompanied by important new graphics. In this point, Pokémon Sword and Shield offers good surprises, showing a real margin of progress against Switch's technical potential.. First of all, we should welcome the artistic part of the title: it concerns the new Pokémon, returned to simpler, more natural designs and color combinations (even though the Gallarian versions of the old Pokémon did not appeal to us), or the urban environments. rural, all very recognizable and unique, regardless of the biomes involved, we must recognize that Game Freak was able to offer us a successful visual structure. A point supported by the arrival of some realization efforts, on the one hand, offering more variation of plans according to the road or region explored – the wilderness offers as a free camera to steer with the right stick – but also new animations in the scenes for the main characters, who participate in their successful characterization already mentioned earlier in this test. The sober, more modern interface also works very well, with just a small flat in the absence of a direct key to access the map, which we access by pressing X followed by the + key. An incredible choice when in play, the – and + keys serve as a shortcut to access the bike. The ability to play a single joystick could have explained this choice, except that the game does not run in this setting.
Some thicker textures invade the desert, which, by inviting exploration through a wider field of view, seems more technically tight on the machine. The clipping through the appearance of Pokémon and characters is also very present. and embarrassment is immersion, or, more occasionally, readability by starting an impromptu fight if you spend a lot of cycling in the desert. Finally, if in portable mode the title is very readable and appreciable, the alias is much more visible in docked mode. A final word is also needed in the animations, which some fans kept mumbling in the weeks leading up to the game's release. The reuse of old elements is really noticeable and gives more character to old school animations, but between the colorful visual effects and the variety of cameras that guarantee a certain dynamism, Game Freak can regularly hide this deficiency with a certain fingering.
- The new Pokémon, with simple and successful designs
- The last part of the game, overall enjoyable
- Hunting in the wild
- More effort in accomplishment
- Chara convincing design
- A beautiful artistic success
- Dynamax, a new and well explored …
- … unlike Poké Camping, playfully limited
- Clipping, very present and alias (in docked mode)
- Lack of structure innovation, all the same
- No direct shortcuts to map
- The absence of difficulty in adventure
Pokémon Sword / Shield is offered some very appreciable new ones. Its artistically beautiful world, its most pronounced work on achievement, but also its new generation of Pokémon, as well as various additions such as the presence of a slightly reworked last part compared to the previous ones, make it a convincing work. Its still very classic structure, its total lack of difficulty and its technical deficiencies – alias in anchored mode, clipping – however, prevent it from claiming the status of inevitable. The wild lands and faults model present there, however, brings a good idea to a certain potential for the rest of the series, which we hope to see comeback in the next Switch episodes.
November 13, 2019 at 3:00 pm
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