PokeMon Shield Review (Finally!)

Introduction

I’m probably the last person in the world to write a Pokemon Shield Review. I did a first impressions article back before the game came out. Then, my son got the game (because he’s a huge Pokemon fan and always buys the games), but I never played it. Since this week has become Pokemon week, I figured why not play the game and write my review finally.

It could be worse, I suppose. I could be the literal last man on earth.

Besides, it’s not like the article isn’t topical. As I was trying to figure out how to load the game without screwing up Liam’s save file, I saw that they’re coming out with an expansion for the game. It’s releasing next month. So, you might get Pokemon week two months in a row! I mean, after the news I just got, we are going to do Minecraft twice this month, so anything’s possible!

The Great

Hot Keys – Since I only play the games once every other generation or so (though I have played the last two releases), I’m not sure when this became a thing. However, it is quite the quality of life improvement. I noticed as I was battling once that the Pokeball came up as a hotkey of the “X” button. Again, not a big deal, but that means that you can throw a Pokeball without having to navigate through the menu. Great addition. I will have to look to see if you can expand that capability to other things like potions.

Graphics! – That’s exactly how I wrote it in my notes. I knew there was a reason that they moved the Pokemon series to the Switch. I mean, besides the obvious of trying to sell more consoles. The graphics on this game are like nothing I’ve ever seen in a Pokemon game before. I mean, Sun and Moon were good, but this is great. It’s like you are playing a cartoon. I’m blown away.

I mean, I’m not usually a graphics guy, but it’s impressive what they can do these days.

The Good

Story – Those of you who know me at all know that about 90% of the reason that I play games is for the story. Pokemon games aren’t exactly know for their strong stories, but they are consistent, at least. Honestly, this one is pretty decent. Maybe not as fun as Sun and Moon, but it will keep me coming back to play the game.

So Many Pokemon: I’m also on record as being a grumpy old man gamer who wants all these Pokemon to get off my lawn. However, I’ve eased on that stance a bit and I quite enjoy there being so many pocket monsters. It means I’ll never in a lifetime “catch em all”. However, that was always the reality.

I mean, who has time to chase down all 151?

The Decent

Wild Area – Maybe I’m proceeding through the game too quickly, but it feels like this came very early. There is just little warning for what you will potentially face in the area. Sure, they tell you (more or less) to stay away from the glowing parts, but I could figure that out myself. The thing that really blew me away was the overpowered Pokemon wandering around. The first one I tried to fight and got destroyed. The second I ran into accidentally. I mean, they’re easily avoided, but that was a rude awakening.

The Music – There should be some nostalgia factor to this and I guess there is. What I should have said is the battle music. It’s loud and grating and repetitive. I mean, my youngest likes it and he’s the target audience, so they must be doing something right. I just have to mute the whole game because of it. Maybe it’s good that they haven’t gone to voice actors since people like me just mute the game.

Visual representation of the music.

The Verdict

Thanks for taking the time to read my Pokemon Shield review. Overall, the game is a lot of fun and I’ll be playing it quite a bit in between the new Mortal Kombat story and Minecraft dungeons over the next couple of weeks. Maybe I’ll revisit after that to see if it is still fun. However, both of my kids are still playing it 6 months later, so that seems like a rousing endorsement. Go catch em all!

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