I will not miss the unpredictable punishments in the form of a neverending assault of Zubat. While previous generations already made the excellent decision to remove HMs, the systems that replaced them have been improved even more here.
Endless Running Game
The transition is reminiscent of an EDM drop, but it lacks the weight and satisfaction that usually comes after it. Some of Pokemon’s old music are the most memorable tunes in gaming history, and it’s disappointing gen 8’s doesn’t live up to those standards. The challenges each gym offered were wholly unique and memorable. You can go about your business after putting the request out in the aether and will be automatically linked once someone else puts the same request up.
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The Rotom Bike works across both land and water automatically, and the fast-travel system is unlocked right after the first gym. Using it is as easy as checking the map and choosing a point to go to, with no drawn-out animation involved – your destination is just a brief loading screen away. Plus, there are many more travel points to choose from than usual, as there are multiple Pokemon Centers in larger towns and spots to travel to, both in the middle of routes and the new open-world-ish Wild Area.
Battle music, on the other hand, isn’t very memorable at all. The gym theme doesn’t feel tense enough, though to its credit it is dynamic. When your opponent is down to their final Pokemon, the music changes to include a melody carried out by the fans shouting from the bleachers.
You can do any of these activities from anywhere in the world, too, not just the Wild Area. Of course, if you crave the thrill of a random encounter, an exclamation point will occasionally appear in the grass and present you with the option to initiate a surprise battle. Some Pokemon can only appear in this kind of encounter, so there’s still an incentive to roll the dice every so often. But the ability to pass them by if I wasn’t interested at the moment made getting through areas, exploring, and back-tracking significantly more fun and rewarding.
It doesn’t serve a whole lot of purpose beyond sharing with friends and others online, kind of like a Guild Card ccleaner.downloadsdb.com/ in Monster Hunter without the tiny gameplay benefits, but I still had fun making mine just how I wanted it. These Gym Battles were one of the few places I could experiment with Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing my Pokemon, and I’m glad for the limitation. Being able to play with these gimmicky new systems whenever would be too tempting, and I’m sure I’d get bored of the animation sequence fast. There’s only so many times you can see your character throw a giant ball and your Pokemon get big.
- The first problem is that, unlike Mega Evolutions, a past way to change a Pokémon’s appearance and strength, there is a three-turn limit on Gigantamax Pokémon staying in that form, and a location limit.
- However, Gigantamax Pokémon Max Raids feel nearly impossible to find.
- Only special Pokémon caught in Max Raid Battles or given as gifts can achieve this ultimate form.
- From a gameplay standpoint, however, I feel like these forms are honestly a bit unnecessary.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield are closer to my dream Pokemon RPGs than anything that’s come before. I’d still like better cutscenes, companion Pokemon, the complete Pokedex, and a more visually interesting Wild Area, but nitpicks are just not very effective when everything else was such a complete joy to play. The way they respect my time is wonderful, and the removal of monotony from random encounters and other odds and ends distills it down to only the pure and charming fun of capturing, training, and battling wonderful creatures. And hey, if I’m missing any tedious repetition, I can always get back into breeding. Once I fixed my hair, makeup, and wardrobe I edited my League Card to my liking – essentially a baseball card that trainers carry – which also had its own abundance of cosmetic options.