Video Game Review: Pokemon Sword and Shield: The Crown Tundra

Details: You need to own either Pokemon Sword or Shield in order to play this. Spent about five hours playing through it. This expansion is identical for Sword and Shield, but I played the Sword version. More information can be found at https://swordshield.pokemon.com/en-us/expansionpass/the-crown-tundra/

Score: 5.7/10

The Crown Tundra was mostly a disappointment to me. It lacks story, something the Isle of Armor downloadable content (DLC) had a lot more of. Crown Tundra is simply an excuse to send players out to catch more Pokemon, often times with little to no context. If that is appealing to you, then you’ll enjoy this.

Crown Tundra takes place south of the main continent in Pokemon Sword and Shield. You walk in and are instantly asked to go on an adventure.

There is a short bit of story involving a new legendary Pokemon. That takes about an hour at most. Other than that, you’re basically told to explore this new area and catch more Pokemon. Almost no other context is given, which just doesn’t work for me. If the main thing you like about Pokemon is simply catching more Pokemon, then you’ll love this DLC. If you need a little more story and motivation, this content will fall flat.

The biggest dissapointment to me are the visuals. You need to keep in mind that the Nintendo Switch is an objectively, technically inferior video game console when compared to the Playstation 4 or the XBOX One. And that was the truth years ago when the Switch first came out. Now, the Playstation 5 and XBOX Series X are coming out and the visuals for this game look even more inferior by comparison. This is not a good looking game. It looks like it was made for the Playstation 3, at best. This wouldn’t be so bad if the gameplay made up for it, but the gameplay doesn’t.

One of the biggest complaints most critics had of Pokemon Sword and Shield is that it did nothing new. It took the old Pokemon formula and copied and pasted it into this game in its entirety. This was a system of gameplay that was developed in the 1990’s. It’s old and boring. I wish they would’ve done some kind of overhaul or big upgrade, but they didn’t. With Crown Tundra, the monotony of this gameplay is exacerbated by the passage of even more time. This game just isn’t that fun.

The game does try to add a few new features like Dynamax Adventure, but that’s just a slightly altered rehash of the preexisting Max Raid battles.

To make matters worse, the music wasn’t that great. There’s still not voice acting also, which sucks.

Overall, this was a disappointment. I do not recommend The Crown Tundra to anyone but the most ardent Pokemon fans who love to do repetitive, monotonous tasks and enjoy bland, outdated visuals.

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.

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Video Game Review: Pokemon Sword

Details: Spent about twenty-five hours playing through it. More information can be found at https://swordshield.pokemon.com/en-us/

Score: 7/10

Pokemon Sword and Shield are the newest games in the Pokemon franchise. I’ve been a long time fan of the franchise and was hoping that this game would be a huge leap forward since it is the first time the game has graced a Nintendo home console. While not a bad game, Pokemon Sword is mostly more of the same. It makes many, minor improvements to the overall franchise (and some mistakes) while introducing some new ideas that mostly feel incomplete, redundant and half assed.

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