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Things Sword/Shield Nailed

Spider-Phoenix

#ChespinGang
I miss triple battles
You can say that again. It was my favorite format. Its removal is one of the reasons why I'm stopped playing competitive on Gen 7.
 

Mr.Munchlax

Great Ball Rank Trainer
Gen 8 nailed the pokémon designs this generation. I personally like how pokémon has shifted more towards a stylized design since Gen 6, and while I’m not a fan of all the Galar pokémon, I can’t deny that every design works perfectly. They all have tons of charm & personality, and when looking into them they all feel more like natural British pokémon rather than ones based on a romanticized portrayal of the UK like Alice in Wonderland or something

Galarian forms were another great thing SWSH did. I loved the concept of regional variants in Pokémon Sun and Moon, but Sword & Shield improved the concept not only by giving them to non-Gen 1 pokémon, but combining them with cross-gen evolutions (another one ofmy favorite concepts that we haven’t seen since Gen 4). I immediately fell in love with Obstagon the minute I saw it in the trailer and the other evolutions like Perrserker, Runerigus, & Cursola are all great spins on classic pokémon

I also really liked Hop’s role in the game. He kind of has a similar problem to Silver since on the surface he comes off as an annoying side character without any real change, but if you look past the games’ limitations you can see that he’s a fleshed out character with his own arc that fits perfectly with SWSH’s themes & motif. He’s honestly become my new favorite rival of the entire series

Lastly, I mentioned this before in the general discussion thread, but the DLC has been making me love the Galar region as a whole since the two main areas (soon to be 3) of the mainland & the Isle of Armor each feel like their own sub-region with their own characters & stories. I still wish the routes and cities were a little more explorable, but after replaying Crystal I noticed that Galar’s areas aren’t that different from other pokémon games in terms of size. After returning to Johto (one of my favorite regions), a lot places like Ilex Forest & Ecruteak City are pretty similar to places like Glimwood Tangle or Hammerlocke, they just have different layouts or gimmicks. If anything, the only thing older pokémon areas have that SWSH doesn’t are more floors & roadblocks.
 
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Zadent

Well-Known Member
Things I felt they nailed?
  • Hard to argue with the QoLs. From training to the PC. One I’ll add is simplifying the Eevee evolutions. Glaceon and Leafeon requiring their specific stone is great, since you can get Glaceon earlier now, and they no longer have to force those rocks into specific areas. And the combining of friendship and affection makes things a little easier to remember, at least for me, for Sylveon
  • Max Raids, while having some implementation issues like the ally AI options, were a great addition. The accessibility they give to some pokemon, and the way the community seemed to come together to do them was cool to see.
  • The music is mostly great. The gym leader music is my default set for battles.
  • To go with the characters, how different characters had a little bit of personality show through their dynamax throws (and with that, getting to the champion battle and seeing just how much Hop tries to emulate Leon).
  • I really enjoyed the spin on Gym Battles and Finals, and the atmosphere of them. From the intro of walking out of the tunnel straight into the actual battle, the crowds, the stadium feel.
 

Sicksadpanda

Discord Helper
I do genuinely wonder what they'll do going forward though. Didn't they say that Dynamax was tied specifically to Galar, just as Z-Crystals and Z-Moves were tied specifically to Alola?
As a matter of fact, Mega Evolutions were stated to be only seen in Kalos, implying that it's a Kalos only thing. And now Mega evolution is seen in Hoenn, Alola and Kanto lol.

That being said, I do appreciate dynamax. Yes, it's very strong and singles struggled significantly (whereas doubles is much more balanced). However, I personally believe that dramatically changing the meta is the healthiest way of keeping the PvP format alive. Otherwise, if it's the same thing every game, people are bound to lose interest.

Unpopular opinion, but I think it's a good thing that Mega forms and Z-moves were benched. I personally felt that Z-moves were completely overshadowed by mega forms despite the fact that megas were postgame only, and also banned from official PvP format until the very end of USUM. Another issue is that I have always felt that having more than one gimmick makes the already complex game more complicated. Having Megas, Z-moves, and Dynamax all at once sounds like a disaster to me, even if you don't plan to PvP.
 

Spider-Phoenix

#ChespinGang
Honestly, not a fan of dynamax. I like the megas a lot more specially because it salvaged some pokémon.
 

Mr.Munchlax

Great Ball Rank Trainer
Honestly, not a fan of dynamax. I like the megas a lot more specially because it salvaged some pokémon.
Yeah, but the problem with megas was that it mostly catered towards pokemon that were already fan favorites or super strong. Some pokemon like Charizard, Mawile & Kangaskhan were a few exceptions, but megas made stuff that were already OP like Mewtwo, Blaziken, & Lucario even more impossible to beat. Plus the meta kind of made that you had to use those specific pokemon, making most non-legendary pokemon feel useless or obsolete

In my opinion, Dynamax works better since every pokemon is given the power of a mega, it doesn't last for the entire match, and it makes pokemon battles more unpredictable & leads to more variety in strategies (which to me makes them more fun). They also have Gigantamax forms to replace megas, but they're not that OP so it doesn't make other Dynamax forms obsolete like the Z-moves and signature Z-moves did, so everything balances out.
 

Ignition

Love when the mods can’t do their jobs properly
Honestly, not a fan of dynamax. I like the megas a lot more specially because it salvaged some pokémon.
Agreed. Almost every popular Pokémon that uses Dynamax/GMax was already good like Gyarados. As annoying as Mega Kanga was, it's nice to see a Pokémon go from obscurity to one of the most used. I just find it a boring mechanic that doesn't add anything worthwhile to the meta.

The one upside is that a lot of current gen Pokémon got a GMax form so they can make use of the generation's gimmick.
 

BulleDeChagrin

Lillie best girl
Things I felt they nailed?
  • Hard to argue with the QoLs. From training to the PC. One I’ll add is simplifying the Eevee evolutions. Glaceon and Leafeon requiring their specific stone is great, since you can get Glaceon earlier now, and they no longer have to force those rocks into specific areas. And the combining of friendship and affection makes things a little easier to remember, at least for me, for Sylveon
  • Max Raids, while having some implementation issues like the ally AI options, were a great addition. The accessibility they give to some pokemon, and the way the community seemed to come together to do them was cool to see.
  • The music is mostly great. The gym leader music is my default set for battles.
  • To go with the characters, how different characters had a little bit of personality show through their dynamax throws (and with that, getting to the champion battle and seeing just how much Hop tries to emulate Leon).
  • I really enjoyed the spin on Gym Battles and Finals, and the atmosphere of them. From the intro of walking out of the tunnel straight into the actual battle, the crowds, the stadium feel.
Apart from the music (I like the songs, I don't like the instrumentation at all) I agree with all of these.

And I'd add the Pokemon themselves, which I think are very original and rich in design and origin. Also, keeping regional forms and expanding that with evolutions is great too.

I really think in general Sword and Shield are great, but the finishing touches are terrible, like the graphics, the way the story unfolds and the missing Pokemon.
 

janejane6178

Kaleido Star FOREVER in my heart <3
Apart from the music (I like the songs, I don't like the instrumentation at all) I agree with all of these.

And I'd add the Pokemon themselves, which I think are very original and rich in design and origin. Also, keeping regional forms and expanding that with evolutions is great too.

I really think in general Sword and Shield are great, but the finishing touches are terrible, like the graphics, the way the story unfolds and the missing Pokemon.
I agree, it feels like they had a good directionand general idea, but just rushed it during the end. It could have been epic with some more work on it.
 

WishIhadaManafi5

To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before.
Staff member
Moderator
I agree, it feels like they had a good directionand general idea, but just rushed it during the end. It could have been epic with some more work on it.
Agreed. It has its good points, but some areas such as cities feel rather rushed.
 

Pokefan_1987

Well-Known Member
Box Link, i LOVE IT this thing is so handy in champion tournaments. The game has no restrictions on changing teams between battles allowing for team changes. It also saves time having to search for the nearest pokemon center just to change a team before training in the wild areas.
More livid world, the pokemon seen on the overworld makes everything feel alive and the and the 3D capabilities of the switch really bring out a really realistic world.
Many great new designs, same goes for unique moves and Dyna/G-Max forms.
Easier to pick-up and play through story in terms of difficulty.
Variety of outfits.
No HM slaves, just the Rotom-bike floating-tires for the water crossing and Corviknight Taxi.
Zacian designed like another certain sword wolf called Great Wolf Sif from Dark Souls.
The Pokemon Job Seminars that give you more base points.

And Dynamax as a being available for all pokemon compared to a mega evolution is a great way to encourage new strategies. The Gigantamax don't feel too overpowered in comparison. Just a new galar nickname for the unique mega evolution equivalent in this game
 

Sicksadpanda

Discord Helper
There are two more things that I feel are completely overlooked. They are Switch's multiple save profiles and Pokemon Home's profile management.

Ever since LGPE, we gained the ability to have multiple saved profiles, and we did not have to actually delete our current save. I'm the type of person that loves to do reruns and try out different pokemon, but I also did not like losing my saves just for a rerun. They could have easily prevented the 8 save system the same way Animal Crossing did as pokemon has always been a one save system game since gen 1.

Now we have Pokemon Home added during Pokemon Sword and Shield's era, and it came with a great feature that really eased a lot of worries (including mine). The biggest concern players had was that they did not buy the family online plan, so if they caught a shiny or any valuable pokemon on a separate save, they would not be able to transfer it to their main save easily. Fortunately for us, Pokemon Home solves this problem. We can actually move pokemon between profiles...and none of the online subscription is required, not even the Home subscription.
 

Auraninja

Try to understand.
I really think in general Sword and Shield are great, but the finishing touches are terrible, like the graphics, the way the story unfolds and the missing Pokemon.
I think Sword and Shield lack polish. There are rough edges in the graphical department for example.
 

Ophie

Salingerian Phony
I also really liked Hop’s role in the game. He kind of has a similar problem to Silver since on the surface he comes off as an annoying side character without any real change, but if you look past the games’ limitations you can see that he’s a fleshed out character with his own arc that fits perfectly with SWSH’s themes & motif. He’s honestly become my new favorite rival of the entire series
The characters also have subtle changes to their lineup depending on their mood, character growth or breakdown, and accumulated knowledge. Hop is the character you see the most, so you see the most changes to his team. For instance, when you battle him at Stow-on-Side, he's in a funk having lost to Bede and gotten mocked and berated. Consequently, Wooloo is gone from his team. When you see him again in Route 7, his entire lineup except for the starter has changed again. It's when you get to Circhester that Wooloo has returned and has evolved into Dubwool, and same with Corvisquire and evolving into Corviknight. He also keeps the Snorlax, perhaps as a memento of that period of his. Dubwool, Corviknight, Snorlax, and the fully-evolved starter would remain on his team all the way to the end, alongside Pincurchin which he got nearby, signifying his character growth is nearly finished, and the sixth slot would ultimately be filled by Zacian or Zamazenta.

Incidentally, it also shows his level of strength as a trainer in that he is tied with Leon with having the second-highest-leveled Pokémon of any NPC in the game except for Mustard. (And Isle of Armor provides a reason as to how he could find a Rookidee in the wild and have it eventually be able to Gigantamax.)

As a matter of fact, Mega Evolutions were stated to be only seen in Kalos, implying that it's a Kalos only thing. And now Mega evolution is seen in Hoenn, Alola and Kanto lol.

That being said, I do appreciate dynamax. Yes, it's very strong and singles struggled significantly (whereas doubles is much more balanced). However, I personally believe that dramatically changing the meta is the healthiest way of keeping the PvP format alive. Otherwise, if it's the same thing every game, people are bound to lose interest.

Unpopular opinion, but I think it's a good thing that Mega forms and Z-moves were benched. I personally felt that Z-moves were completely overshadowed by mega forms despite the fact that megas were postgame only, and also banned from official PvP format until the very end of USUM. Another issue is that I have always felt that having more than one gimmick makes the already complex game more complicated. Having Megas, Z-moves, and Dynamax all at once sounds like a disaster to me, even if you don't plan to PvP.
I have to wonder if Dynamax and Gigantamax were designed, in particular, for Ranked rules, which are different from the full-team single battles that are the standard for Pokémon Showdown. The fact that you don't need to pick every Pokémon on your team not only leads to different Pokémon being popular, but renders certain strategies impractical, or in cases like Galarian Darmanitan, an overpowered strategy brought down to a fair one. (Or in the case of entry hazards, brought from a must-have on every team to a niche strategy, as can be seen by the abundance of Focus Sash in Ranked and the near total absence of Heavy-Duty Boots.) From what I can gather, much of the accusations of overpoweredness from Dynamax/Gigantamax are due to causing a runaway snowball effect due to the Max Moves' and G-Max Moves' secondary effects, whereas if you only have 3 Pokémon for single battles and 4 Pokémon for double battles, it won't be quite as pronounced. Gyarados, in particular, is a Pokémon that handles Dynamax quite differently with a full team compared to just half a team, as Moxie can kick in at most only twice with the latter.
 

Aidoneus

Member
Might get some hate for this, but the graphics everywhere except the Wild Area were great. All the towns had a unique feel, as did all the routes- I just wish they were a little larger!

All the Pokémon look great as well, although again, animation leaves a lot to be desired.
 

WishIhadaManafi5

To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before.
Staff member
Moderator
Might get some hate for this, but the graphics everywhere except the Wild Area were great. All the towns had a unique feel, as did all the routes- I just wish they were a little larger!

All the Pokémon look great as well, although again, animation leaves a lot to be desired.
Yea some of it seems off, noticed it in battle that some of the backgrounds have rough edges.

That said, I still like the Wild Area, and I'm glad that they went in the more open world direction and wished they had more time to have worked on it.
 

Captain Jigglypuff

Leader of Jigglypuff Army
Gym battles not being excessively easy later on in the games. Melony can really catch you off guard with Galarian Darmanitan and while Raihan isn’t extremely difficult per say, the fact he only does double battles with damaging weather effects, you’re going to be facing him for awhile.
 

catzeye

Writer's Block
  • QoL changes: It's honestly made it hard for me to go back to some older games without the QoL
  • DLC: While I personally would have preferred a 3rd version to fix some story changes (Expand on Rose's reasonings, balance the development of Hop/Marnie/Bede, expand on Leon and Sonia's soured rivalry and development) I can't say I'm displeased with having the DLC at all
  • Cast: Easily my favorite cast topping my previous fave gen 5: Kabu, Leon, Raihan, Sonia, Nessa are easily my five favorite characters period. But pretty much everyone in SwSh is interesting with little quirks added in their animations. Not to mention the PoC representation was amazing this game
  • Pokemon Designs: I really like a lot of the designs in this region, the most I think since gen 5 honestly
  • Galarian forms: I think the galarian forms outclassed the alolan forms me
 
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