Already approached by our editorial staff less than a month ago, Pokémon Sword Mobile had left us with more questions than answers. With the official launch, it’s now time to lift the veil on the arrival of this first main episode on Switch. What about the wilderness? Dynamax? New Pokémon Sword Mobile?
First of all, let’s remember that this opus offers us a new generation of creatures, a new world and therefore new characters to dress up a new adventure. Inspired by the United Kingdom, Galar is the scene of a big tournament during which challengers from all over the region come to challenge the 8 arena champions. A form of preliminary phase to the Poké Masters, the final stage of an adventure that proves familiar to regulars of the saga.
Welcome To Pokémon Sword Mobile Galar-swinda
Don’t expect a real revival in terms of structure as Pokémon Sword Mobile follows in the footsteps of its elders. You’ll always have a choice of three Pokémon of water, fire or plant type, a rival will regularly come and get you in trouble, and your journey will consist of a series of victories in different arenas. A lack of structural renewal, combined with an almost over-paced quest for the 8 badges, makes this sequence very expedient. The advantage is that it avoids the pitfall of filling up, but the very great linearity of each zone makes each phase of exploration very short, except in the wilderness, to which we will return later.
On the other hand, the main adventure also has its share of successes, first of all with the presence of a gallery of visually very neat characters, who are also regularly solicited as part of the main story. One thinks in particular of the champions, who are more characterised than before and regularly used in the plots, but also of the fact that your rival and the few recurring opponents prove more interesting to follow due to a writing that is always very childish, but which avoids being too clichéd (except for Travis). We won’t say too much about the events of the Poké Masters to avoid you being spoilt about them, but you should know that they convinced us by proposing a different formula than the one usually deployed in the main opus. This last part is rather copious while remaining interesting from a scriptwriting point of view, offering only a short passage that acts as a filling, fortunately quickly evacuated by the interest of the following sequences. Allow a total of 20 to 25 hours to complete the whole adventure without too many extras.
The Call Of The Wilderness
On the other hand, there are a few sides to this episode which particularly highlighted in its communication the existence of wild lands, a vast open area offering some activities. The first is obviously Pokémon hunting: the region is divided into several zones, each with its own creatures, which may also differ depending on the weather. Sandstorms, fog and rain will vary the species of Pokémon Sword Mobile to be discovered in each zone. And with this choice comes a capture system that eliminates the need for random encounters, so you can now see all the Pokémon moving around the map, with some coming directly to confront you while others try to escape, knowing that you can whistle by pressing the left stick to draw them to you. The only exception is monsters hidden in the tall grass that signal their presence with an exclamation mark. By going to meet them, you trigger the confrontation, but this is obviously the only case in which you will not know beforehand who you will run into. We’re talking about confrontation, so you’ll see for yourself that capturing is more like the classic episode, with the ability to weaken the Pokémon before throwing a ball. And we don’t mind that.
The second new feature of the wilderness is Poké Camping (which later expanded to other areas as well), which offers two series of mini-games. The first involves playing with your Pokémon and chatting (sic) with them in order to nurture your relationships. The second is based on a model similar to the Ruby and Sapphire Pokéblocks, as you’ll have to mix different kinds of berries with any ingredients you collect in the adventure and then create all kinds of Currys. Depending on how successful this one is, you’ll then be able to benefit from experience bonuses, as well as the restoration of the PVs and PPs of your team’s Pokémon to a greater or lesser extent. Although limited in scope, Poké Camping is still useful when you’re fighting in the wilderness.
Exit Mega-evolutions, Hello Dynamax
In addition to the classic capture of Pokémon Sword Mobile, the wilderness also offers a novelty with the presence of faults that house a dynamaxed Pokémon. Dynamax” is a phenomenon found in the Galar world that allows Pokémon in contact with wishing stars to grow larger and stronger. The mega-evolution of previous games has been dropped in favour of this new system, which allows you to dynamax one of your creatures once per battle for just three turns, but only in certain locations, such as arenas, where it’s possible to do so. There’s also a variation on this system for specific Pokémon that not only grows in size, but also changes its appearance during the process – this is called Gigamax.
But let’s get back to the basics. These pitfalls confront you with a Dynamax Pokémon that has the luxury of being able to maintain its shape throughout the battle. To get rid of it, you’ll have to fight it in a multiplayer battle, with up to 3 players invited to take part in the battle or by replacing them with 3 bots. Aside from the occasional appearance of a protection system for the opposing Pokémon, these battles are very similar to traditional fights. However, they are a little more challenging for aspiring adventurers, as you’ll often find yourself up against an opponent who’s tougher than your current level, unless you’ve completed the main adventure before you’ve fully explored the area. But if you manage to clear the entire life bar, this type of confrontation reveals a new nuance: the game then systematically offers you to throw a Poké Ball to capture him. And even by sending ‘basic’ Poké Balls at tough opponents, we’ve never failed to capture these dynamically blasted Pokémon.
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