(Minor Spoilers for SW/SH and the Rivals up ahead)
Game Freak’s newest developed title Pokemon Sword & Shield has caused a lot of controversy over things like the National Dex being excluded and concerns about graphical issues and the quality of the game.
The Good: Sword and Shield innovates Pokemon in some aspects such as the new addition of Dynamax Raids where you and three other trainers (Either other people or AI) face off against a Dynamax Pokemon in its den. Sword and Shield also brings in Gym Missions where you must complete a task to face against the gym leader. it can be as simple as wrangling Wooloo to trying to navigate and solve a puzzle dealing with pipes. Sword and Shield also brings in Wild Areas while still keeping routes and caves like any other Pokemon title. Wild Areas hold a variety of pokemon ranging big bulky Steelix to sweet little Ralts and also feature Dynamax Dens where you do the raids at. The rivals of Sword & Shield are very interesting as you have three very memorable characters. Hop the players first rival is a surprisingly in-depth character despite appearing as a Hau clone. Hop wishes to beat his brother Leon the champion and impress him even going through a depression phase when hes beaten by Bebe another rival you come across. all of the rivals have their own goals in mind and are generally likable. And lastly the graphics are generally likable with some things that are generally eh and low quality majority of it especially in the towns are amazing looking and very pleasing.
The Bad: Sword and Shield features Team Yell a group of rowdy delinquents who just try to sabotage the entire league event by petty theft and trying to blockade the participants as much as possible for their Idol Marnie to win. that’s all they do throughout the story. Another issue is how exploitable Dynamax raids are early game, all of the raids give exp shards that vary in size from XS all the way to XL. These shards give a fixed amount of exp but can become quite the game changer if you farmed them for a hour or so giving your Pokemon a major boost and making them over leveled. Another issue with Dynamax raids are how difficult when they become max raids and you are playing with AI. I don’t know why the fuck Game Freak decided to do this but you can get basic evolution pokemon as partners during max Dynamax raids. which usually results in them being one shot and making it nearly impossible to complete.
The Ugly: Now we dig into the core of shit that this game holds. generally the game runs fine in single-player mode when you aren’t connected to internet. However as soon as you connect to the internet you unleash the equivalent of Pandora’s fucking box. Connecting to the internet yields other players appearing and their camps along with all the pokemon roaming around and any weather effects occurring this can be a serious problem to running the game. I noticed so much stuttering when I was in online mode and some other issues like peoples camps appearing and clipping through Pokemon. Which is extremely immersion breaking and genuinely makes the game less enjoyable to play.
Overall if you are wanting a good single player title I would suggest it as it can be genuinely pretty fun openly biking and seeing all the cool pokemon roam around. But I would HIGHLY avoid getting Sword & Shield if you are interested in the multiplayer aspect until optimization issues are fixed and it becomes less immersion breaking.