Yeah, it only took me about 18 hours.lol
I will play it some more though.
I'm taking my sweet-assed time. 20 hours in, haven't even gotten to the second gym. However, I HAVE been capturing, breeding, and evolving as many 'mons as I can, since i'm loving the return to "gotta catch em all" Mentality. Like I said before, this is the first time since Gen V I've felt I needed to start from scratch.
I tried getting every Pokemon in Black and White, failed. I started X/Y and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire and then I actually managed to completely fill the national dex, like 400 hours later. I carried all that over to Sun and Moon, then Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, and all I'm missing is Volcanion, Zeroara, and Meltan/Melmetal. I've decided to house all my Pokemon in Ultra Moon, and now I'm starting from scratch again in Sword and Shield. And you know what? doing so has really made me happy. Sure, it's a lot of tediousness, but you get so many small rewards (Capturing, breeding, or evolving Pokemon) so frequently that I always enjoy playing it.
Pokemon has always been about that. Catching 'em all has always been the focus from the tagline to the game design. Graphics, story, combat depth, all of that has come second. Sure, it's not as deep as a Final Fantasy or Dark Souls in terms of story or mechanics, but Pokemon has always known what it wanted to be and I think that Sword and Shield might do this better than the series has done it for a while now. Dexit mixed with the lack of any ability to carry old Pokemon over through Pokemon Home/Bank has put me in a position where the only way forward is to start over at th ebeginning with a whole new dex.
And you know what? I haven't had this much fun playing pokemon since Gens 1 or 5, the two times everything felt super fresh and new. Gen 1 introduced us to the games and it was unlike anything I'd played again. Gen 5 started us over with 150 new Pokemon so it felt almost like a reboot. Now, Gen 8 - though technically comprised of over 300 returning pokemon and less than 100 new ones - feels fresh again. And this is coming from someone who just finished getting 100% on Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon a few months ago.
It's still early to rank them, but of the eight gens, this is definitely in my top half. In order from favourite to least favourite (and keep in mind Nostalgia plays a huge part):
1 - Generation V (Black, White, Black 2, White 2)
2 - Generation I (Red, Blue, Yellow, Green)
3 - Generation VIII (Sword/Shield)
4 - Generation VI (X, Y, Omega Ruby, Alpha Sapphire)
5 - Generation III (Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, Fire Red, Leaf Green)
6 - Generation II (Gold, Silver, Crystal)
7 - Generation IV (Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, HeartGold, SoulSilver)
8 - Generation VII (Sun, Moon, Ultra Sun, Ultra Moon.)
And keep in mind this is just a personal list. The only generation I kinda disliked was VII, I didn't like the island trials replacing the gyms. and I kinda didn't play generations 2-4 until later. I basically played 1, dappled a bit in 2, came back with 4 but didn't take it seriously, and only really got into the series with 5 going forward. That's when I started getting both/all games and actually trying. I caught em all in gen 1, I felt overwhelmed with Gen 2, mostly skipped gen 3, played and beat gen 4 but never tried for completion.
I'm rambling. I'm just really happy with Sword and Shield. the gameplay and quality of life improvements mixed with the nostalgic delight of starting from scratch makes me happy and overrides the negatives for me by a wide margin. I'd never get away with giving Pokemon Sword and Shield my personal score of 9.6 on a review website, which is why I'm kinda glad I don't do reviews anymore. I don't believe in 'objective' reviews, and subjectively, I'm in Love.