Video Game Review: Pokemon Sword and Shield: The Isle of Armor

Details: Played through it in about five hours. Official site is https://swordshield.pokemon.com/en-us/

Score: 6.8/10

When Pokemon Sword and Shield were first released, there was some fan backlash because unlike past games, hundreds of Pokemon were left out. Now that I’ve played Isle of Armor, it seems clear to me that these Pokemon were deliberately left out so that Nintendo could charge players extra for them through these extra bits of downloadable content.

If you’ve purchased the $30 expansion pass, you can start the Isle of Armor DLC by going to the train station in Wedgehurst, which will unlock the isle as a fast travel point. There you enter a new trial at a new dojo and are given the legendary Pokemon Kubfu.

They story is short enough, charming enough, and insignificant enough. There’s just not a lot here so there’s not a lot to dislike. I enjoyed my time with the narrative parts. The biggest annoyance was that at one point, you need to level your Kubfu in order to progress in the story. The recommended level is 70 and you get your Kubfu at around level 10. They give you some items to help level faster, but it’s still annoying to have to do this. I think the main reason they force you to level is to encourage you to explore the island and capture Pokemon in order to level.

As for the island, its filled with Pokemon from prior games and not in Sword and Shield. It’s mostly empty with no characters or anything. It’s basically just another Wild Area for you to go around and catch Pokemon.

Overall, I enjoyed this short content. With that said, this definitely feels like one of those times where things were deliberately kept out of the main game in order to milk consumers out of their money. The new Pokemon could easily have been implemented in the main game and they were clearly left out for subsequent content. While the narrative portions are fun, they’re short. If you love Pokemon, then I’d say it’s worth paying thirty dollars for the expansions pass since another piece of downloadable content comes with it. If you only have a passing interest in catching all existing Pokemon in the game, then this may not be worth it.

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