Pokémon Sword and Shield are finally here, and quite fittingly for the variation's monikers this time around, their arrival has come with conflict.
Sword and Shield comprise the first mainline entries in the long-running series to debut on a home console (settle down, "Switch is actually a handheld/console hybrid" pedants), and as such there are elevated (and differing) expectations around it. Some players have been upset that it lacks the "National Pokédex" that let users import hundreds of Pokémon from previous games into new installments during the franchise's run as a portable exclusive franchise. Others simply expected the series to take a larger leap forward. Plenty of others seem perfectly happy with what Sword and Shield are offering.
Those varying expectations can be seen reflected in the first wave of reviews. In her 9.3 out of 10 review for IGN, Casey DeFreitas seems perfectly pleased with how the game turned out.
"With every new game in this 23-year-old series, changes big and small are always made, but I've never been willing to declare the latest entry the new gold standard for Pokémon because they've consistently been a balance of better and worse," DeFreitas said. "But the first mainline game on the Switch has changed that: though there is still no 'perfect Pokémon game,' the 40-plus hours I've spent with Sword and Shield have left me comfortable with calling them the best Pokémon games I have ever played - and I've played 'em all."
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