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Sword and Shield Switch test for

Already approached our editorial less than a month ago, Pokémon Sword / Shield left us with more questions than answers. At the moment of its official release, now is the time to unveil the arrival of this first major episode of Switch. What about wild lands? Dynamax? New Pokémon?

Video Test Pokémon Sword and Shield

Let us first remember that this opus offers us a new generation of creatures, a new world and therefore new characters coming to dress up in a new adventure. Inspired by the UK, Gallar is the scene of a great tournament during which challengers from across the region come to challenge the 8 arena champions. A preliminary stage form for the Pokémon masters, the ultimate stage of adventure that is familiar with the regular rules of the saga.

The size of Pokédex?

You will probably notice that this test still does not cover the Gallar Pokédex question. This item will be canceled on the day the game is officially announced, in this appendix.

Welcome to Gallar-Swinda

Pokémon Sword and Shield: A pleasant adventure, but a bit exotic

Nabil, your rival.

Don't expect a real rebirth in structure as the Sword / Shield Pokémon / Shield follows in the footsteps of its elders. You will always have a choice of three Pokémon like water, fire or plant, a regular one coming regularly to confuse you, and your course is to gobble up victories in different arenas. Lack of structural renewal accompanied by a more or less sustained pace of 8-bit search, making this sequence very expedient. The advantage is that the charge rate is avoided, but the very high linearity of each area makes each phase of the research very short, except for the wild countries to which we will return later.

Pokémon Sword and Shield: A pleasant adventure, but a bit exotic

The main character gallery is successful.

On the other hand, the main adventure also has its share of success, with the character gallery being very neat visually neat., which are also regularly appealed as part of the main story. One thinks especially about the champions, more typical of the earlier and regularly used intrigues, but also of the fact that your rival and several repeat opponents are more interesting to follow because of the always very childish writing, but which avoids being too cliché (with the exception of clichés). Travis). We won't say too much about the Poker Masters events to avoid spoiling for them, but we still know that they were able to convince us by proposing a formula different from what is usually deployed in the main opus. This last part is over the top quite appealing, while remaining interesting from the script's point of view, not even offering a short paragraph-filling office, fortunately quickly evacuated by interest in the following sequences. Set a total of 20 to 25 hours to complete the adventure without making too many side effects.

The call of the wild lands

Pokémon Sword and Shield: A pleasant adventure, but a bit exotic

The capture system leaves no room for coincidence.

Side by side, there are only a few in this episode that particularly emphasized in their communication the existence of wild lands, a vast open area with some activities. The first is obviously Pokémon hunting: the region is divided into several zones, each with their own creatures, which may also vary according to time in force. Sand, fog or rain will come and the Pokémon species will be different to discover in each zone. Selection which is also accompanied by a the capture system that now goes from purely casual encounters : So, now you see all the Pokémon moving on the map, some come directly against you, while others try to run away, knowing that you can whistle by pressing the left stick to attract you. One exception, monsters hidden in tall grass signal their presence through an exclamation mark. Going to meet them, you activate the confrontation, but this is obviously the only case in which you will not know in advance who you will fall for. We are talking about confrontation, so you will understand that the capture returns to a formula closer to that of the classic episodes, with the possibility of weakening Pokémon before the ball is launched. Which is not a pleasure for us.

Pokémon Sword and Shield: A pleasant adventure, but a bit exotic

The Wildlands offer a more open playground than the rest of the adventure.

The second new wilderness, the Pokémon Camp (which also expands later in other areas), offers two series of mini-games. The first is to play with your Pokémon and talk to them to heal your relationships and offer a new happiness management system then. The latter is similar to the blocky Ruby and Sapphire Pokéblocks, as you will have to mix berries of different kinds with possible ingredients restored in the adventure and then create Curry of all kinds. Depending on the degree of success of this, you will then be able to benefit from experience bonuses as well as restoring your team's Pokémon PV and PP more or less consecutively. Restricted from a purely playful point of view, Camping in Poke is still useful when chasing wild fights.

Get out of the mega-evolution, healthy Dynamax

Pokémon Sword and Shield: A pleasant adventure, but a bit exotic

He's handsome, my Poohigon, he's handsome.

In addition to the classic Pokémon capture, the Wild also offers novelty with the presence of bugs that host a dynamic Pokémon. "Dynamax" is a phenomenon in the Gallar world that allows Pokémon in contact with star wishes to become bigger and stronger. The mega-evolution of the previous opus is left aside for the benefits of this new system, which allows you to energize one of your creatures once in a fight and in just three rounds: an advantage yet only available in certain places suitable for this transformation, such as arenas. There are some very specific Pokémon variants too, which do not rejoice as they grow, and may change their appearance during the phenomenon: we are talking about Gigamax here.

Pokémon Sword and Shield: A pleasant adventure, but a bit exotic

The game always asks if you want to capture Pokémon dynamics after the fight.

But let's go back to our shortcomings. These confront you with a dynamic Pokémon that has the luxury of being able to maintain this form during the fight. To get rid of it, you'll have to fight with several, especially being able to invite up to 3 players to take part in this confrontation or replace them with 3 bots. Despite the exact appearance of an enemy Pokémon defense system, these clashes remain very close to classic fighting.. However, they do offer a bit more of an ambitious pursuit as you regularly encounter an opponent stronger than your current level unless you plot the area completely after the main adventure. But if you manage to clear the whole bar of life, this kind of confrontation reveals a new nuance: the game then systematically offers you to launch a Poké Ball to capture it. And even by sending "basic" Pokémon balls to very tough opponents, we have never succeeded here in trying to capture these dynamic Pokémon.

There is only one mistake

Pokémon Sword and Shield: A pleasant adventure, but a bit exotic

The Poké service allows you to send your Pokémon on a mission.

Only open mistakes – emitting a ray of light in the sky – allow access to these struggles, and depending on when you go to these countries, you won't face the same shortcomings. Whenever you choose a flaw, you will recover depending on the opening of that larger or smaller amount of Watts, a kind of alternative currency that can be exchanged for items with trainers in the field, as well as another character that gives you access to fewer items. Among them, we especially notice the presence of greetings, which allow for the opening of closed errors, which avoid too often to find you with a playground of any interest at this point.

Pokémon Sword and Shield: A pleasant adventure, but a bit exotic

The Yell team will come to you regularly on the wheel.

Note also that in case you win the fight against guilt, you will receive special rewards as an object to improve the level of Dynamax on one of your Pokémon (and thus its statistics when in this form), but also items that directly experience your creatures, especially DT. If CT can be used without limits, the DTs are one-off, contain some very useful attacks (like Psycho, for example) and thus remind us of the saga's passing era as you discover interest in these fights that bring bonus experiences and imperceptible objects. Outside of the confrontation that brings a hint of collaboration in multiplayer (optional extra), it is therefore the ecosystem around bugs and wildlife that proves interesting by providing a proper playground. conducting events and a dose of randomness that suits the series very much. With even more content and ideas, you wouldn't be surprised if an even more successful version of Wild Lands returns in the series in a few years.

Accessibility of challenge damage

Pokémon Sword and Shield: A pleasant adventure, but a bit exotic

Pokémon centers include almost all useful services.

More paper anecdotes, some sword and shield novels deserve to be discussed here. First of all, we are thinking of the possibility to make visual modifications in the your coach card, which can also change the tempo depending on your coach's look, can be adjusted again thanks to clothing stores and other hairdressers available all over Gallar. This card system comes into play with online title features that we have not been able to test here for obvious reasons due to server shortages. Note that simply pressing the Y button allows you to access the COMM-Y menu at any time, offering several options: network swap, magic swap, card swap, network swap, profile and sticker. Overall, the title has sought to cure its accessibility through a few decisions, not always happy: having Pokémon missions is part of the cool idea because it allows you to send unused Pokémon from your mission boxes to return items, money and special experience for the monsters concerned.

Pokémon Sword and Shield: A pleasant adventure, but a bit exotic

You can now access Pokémon Boxes at any time to change your team.

This is obviously not the only happy choice. These include the ability to access computer boxes at any time, the quick access system always available, or centralize the storage and storage capacity system at Pokémon centers. But wanting to be available at all costs, Pokémon Sword and Shield also lose interest in other points.. For example, it is no longer possible to disable systematic sharing of experiences, the zones that link cities are very linear and can be explored quickly and easily, many characters regularly taking care of your team as soon as one or two more difficult battles are over. If all of these points do not necessarily date from these episodes, Sword and Shield miss many challenges, including end-of-game sequences. Younger audiences, or just neophytes, are likely to find their way, but for regulars, we will have to rely on other alternatives: the Hour, statistical optimization of creatures, and why not competition.

A beautiful island at sea

Pokémon Sword and Shield: A pleasant adventure, but a bit exotic

The surroundings are artistically very successful.

Switching to the Nintendo Switch is necessarily accompanied by important new graphics. At this point, The Pokémon Sword and Shield offers some nice surprises, while showing a real margin of improvement in terms of the technical potential of the switch. First, we must welcome the artistic part of the title: that it is the new Pokémon, restored to simpler and more natural designs and color combinations (even if the gallery versions of the old Pokémon didn't appeal to us), or urban and rural environments, all very recognizable and unique regardless of the biomes involved, we must admit that Game Freak has managed to offer us a successful visual framework. Supported by the arrival of some realization efforts on the one hand, offering a greater variation of plans according to the researched route or region – Wild Lands offers both them a camera to freely orient with the right foot – and new animations to cut the main characters, which participate in their successful characterization that we mentioned earlier in this test. A sober and modern interface also works very well, with only a small flat-out absence of a direct access key to the map, which we access by pressing X, followed by the + button. Incredible choice when playing, the – and + buttons serve as a shortcut to the bike. The ability to play a single joystick can explain this choice, except that the game does not play in this configuration.

Pokémon Sword and Shield: A pleasant adventure, but a bit exotic

The wild islands are technically less OK than the rest.

Some rough textures attack the wilderness, which when invited to explore through a wider field of vision, seems to be technically undermined by the machine. The cut, through the look of Pokémon and the characters, is also very present and shame is immersion, or occasional readability, by starting a makeshift struggle if you spend too much cycling in the desert. Finally, if the title is very readable and noticeable in portable mode, the aliasing is much more noticeable in nailed mode. The last word is needed for the animations, which have failed to stir up some fans' outrage in the weeks leading up to the game's release. The reuse of the old elements is actually noticeable and gives more character to the old-school animations, but among the colorful visuals effects and the range of cameras providing some dynamics, Game Freak regularly manages to hide this deficiency with certain fingers.


+Positive points

  • The new Pokémon, with simple and successful designs
  • The last part of the game, overall enjoyable
  • Hunting in the wild
  • More effort in realization
  • Convincing Chara design
  • Nice artistic success
  • Dynamax, a new well-exploited …

Negative points

  • … unlike Poke Camping, this game is limited
  • Clipping, very present and allied (in docking mode)
  • Lack of innovation in structure, all the same
  • There is no direct shortcut to the map
  • Absence of difficulty in the adventure

Sword / Shield Pokémon are offering some very grateful new ones. Its artistically beautiful world, its more prominent work of realization, but also its new generation of Pokémon, as well as a few additions such as the presence of the latter part slightly refined compared to precedents, make it a convincing opus. Its still very classic structure, its lack of difficulty and technical flaws – docking relief, clipping – still prevent it from claiming inevitable status. The wild model and the bugs present there, however, carry a really good idea of ​​some potential for the rest of the series, which we hope to return in the next Switch episodes.

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November 13, 2019 at 3:00 pm

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