Forums - Nintendo Discussion - Be Honest With Me: How Bad is Sword & Shield?

What would you rate Sword & Shield?

1 5 7.46%
2 0 0.00%
3 1 1.49%
4 3 4.48%
5 6 8.96%
6 8 11.94%
7 10 14.93%
8 25 37.31%
9 6 8.96%
10 3 4.48%
JWeinCom said:
Slownenberg said:

Probably this. Though granted I have no idea how the other games were outside of the originals. I had Red back in the day, and Sword is my second Pokemon game. Red was very cool cuz Pokemon was brand new, but I imagine I would have roughly the above view (not stellar, but a solid 8) about the other gens cuz Pokemon seems to stick with what has always worked and not go outside the box too much.

So Sword has been fun, but I'd put most of the really good single player games on Switch that I've played through like Odyssey, Mario+Rabbids, Axiom Verge, and Celeste above Pokemon. It's a solid 8. It does offer plenty of play though. I'm not even half way into the game yet (have 3 gym badges) after almost 25 hours and I don't even feel like I've been trying to go slow or grind or anything (also certainly haven't been trying to go fast at all, just been taking my time as feels natural to the game). It'll probably be 60 hours before I beat it without going out of my way to "catch 'em all" and the like.

My main gripe would be that trainers and the gym battles should be harder, mostly they just don't have enough pokemon to fight with and they could easily be harder by giving them more than just the 1, 2, or 3 pokemon I've encountered in battles so far. Challenge makes games fun and rewarding and its really not challenging at all to beat the trainers or even gym leaders because you're fighting 6 pokemon against far fewer, and even if that changes later in the game, I would have expected by now to at least be facing people with like 5 pokemon instead of 3 at most.

So yeah, not stellar, but a solid 8 that offers plenty of play time.

Also, not being someone who has played every generation, I don't give a crap about the whole dex issue. Had no idea the other games even allowed that before I heard people were complaining about it. Though it is nice to hear they are adding in more pokemon now I guess. Graphics are fine, gameplay is fine, it's a fine game and I am enjoying it but I am in no way blown away by it. They didn't BotW or Odyssey it and really blow things away for the first console Pokemon game, they seem to have just stuck with the normal formula and given another solid Pokemon experience that Pokemon fans will enjoy as long as they aren't super nitpicky.

25 hours and you're three gyms in?  Pretty sure I was done at that point.  Guess that's why they call you SLOWnenberg :p

I don't get why people somewhat race through games. Seems like there is a competition to say how quickly you beat a game and then complain it wasn't very long. Like I said I'm not trying to play slow, just taking the game as is. I can easily see how I could play through the game way faster. For example, one small area I spent 2 hours in and afterwards I was like man if it just walked through it, fought a couple pokemon but mostly ignored them, and beat the trainers that woulda been like 30 minutes at most, but there were a bunch of new pokemon readily available in that area so I tried to capture them (doing my best to not fight the same ones over and over) and then would have to run back to the nearby town a few times to restore my pokemon since I'm out there battling pokemon and trainers, so just playing the game like it is meant to be played and not just quickly walking through takes a lot longer than 25 hours.

So I can absolutely tell its very possible to beat the game in 25 hours or less like you did, but that'd require me to just walk through the game and not explore things or talk to everyone or try to catch the pokemon I see. Racing through the game in 25 hours I'd feel like I barely got the experience. Even at this rate it feels like I am not properly experiencing parts of the game and I would have to slow down a bit to get the full experience. Like I've only bothered to go into one of the little energy dynamax things whatever they're called in the wild area - that's one in almost 25 hours, so I've basically completely ignored those so far. And I haven't done any online features, I don't even know what online multiplayer features there are. It just seems like a misrepresentation of the game when people say oh it only lasted 20-25 hours or whatever when that is only if you want to beat it fast and don't take your time to settle into the game. It's like saying BotW isn't a long game cuz you don't HAVE to explore most of the map. Or like Mario Odyssey I think I beat it in 25-30 hours, and I could have totally beat it faster, but there was no reason to do the bare minimum to get to the end, and I doubled my play length in Odyssey so far its at over 55 hours and there's still stuff I want to do in the game.

Basically you get what you put into Pokemon Sw/Sh in terms of game length. If you want to get through the game, sure its totally beatable in 25 hours or less, but if you want to get the full experience that is offered that could easily be 40, 50, 60, 70 hours or more. To me its looking like it'll be 50-60 hours to beat the game, knowing that I ignored some parts of the experience, which is fine cuz its not my favorite game ever and I've got lots of other games I want to play.

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seriously, I don't know why I still try. I played blue and silver then didn't touch a pokemon game until black. black was amazing, I skipped black 2, then the series gone downhill, x, sapphire remake, moon sucked, I forced myself through sapphire and moon. I stopped shield after the 4. badge, not sure if I will continue it. although I think it's better than the former 2 games. I think I might get diamond instead and enjoy a more old school pokemon game.

MasonADC said:
think-man said:
Pretty bad, it's Pokemon for toddlers. Not one bit challenging, i was mostly using 1 or 2 pokemon max for the duration of the play time

If we are judging Pokémon quality based on how difficult it is, what Pokémon game IS good? They all are so easy

Never this easy though, the game treats you like you're stupid. Always giving you hints and tips about what pokemon is weak against what, way to much hand holding. In older Pokemons if i rocked into a gym with the wrong Pokemon, I had to go train and return when i was strong enough. Here all your Pokemon auto level up with you, takes the fun right out of it. Not once did I ever feel like I wasn't strong enough. That's something I've only experienced with this Pokemon. I've played nearly every single generation, Sun/Moon is the only gen I skipped. 

This is the first Pokemon game I've actually put hours into. Usually I'll play a few hours and then get bored. Shield is legit fun

They're terrible. I wouldn't recommend it for anyone.

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I went in with low expectations, but the game exceeded my low expectations by quite alot. Sword and Shield actually does alot right:

  • Some of the best new Pokemon designs of any Pokemon generation. In fact, I'm not sure there has ever been a generation where I liked so many of the new designs.
  • Streamlining of many of the systems. Many redundant moves have been removed. The new exp share and Pokejob system reduce the need for grinding and makes it very easy to level up Pokemon in order to complete your Pokedex. Building a competitive team has never been easier.
  • One of the best Pokemon soundtracks ever
  • The full 3D wild area and visible pokemon on all routes are two big steps in the right direction for the series
  • The increased player customization is nice
  • The Pokemon camp is superior to the Pokemon Ami and Pokemon Refresh systems from the previous 2 generations
  • The story is pretty good, with a collection of 3 of the best rivals of any Pokemon generation. Bede, the doucheiest rival since Silver; Marnie, basically Lily and Gladion fused into a single character with a great end result; and Hop, one of the best friendly rivals ever. 

The problems mainly come in 2 areas:

  • Graphics and performance are not great. Textures look very dated. Pokemon draw distances in the overworld are horrible, with Pokemon sometimes appearing right in your path when you're on the bike, leaving you with no time to avoid them. Overworld Pokemon animations freeze during some actions like berry tree shaking or ladder climbing. Interior battles take place in a void because Gamefreak didn't design any interior battle spaces. The game is just a technical mess.
  • The cut Pokemon, with Gamefreak offering multiple bogus excuses for why they were cut, everything from a non-existent leap in model and animation quality to claims they were cut to improve competitive play.

If you compare Sword and Shield only against the previous games in the series, it is actually a very strong entry into the franchise. The problem begins when you compare it against what the expectations were for the first new Pokemon generation on a system with many, many times the graphical power of 3DS. Many fans were expecting a full-on AAA, home console quality experience for the first new Pokemon generation on the Switch, and that is not what Sword and Shield is, it is very much so a handheld game.

Bearing all of that in mind, I would say that it's an 8/10 game.

Last edited by shikamaru317 - on 10 January 2020

garretslarrity said:

... Plus, I felt that buying the game would just be rewarding the anti-consumer behavior Game Freak is known for. ...

Care to elaborate? I've been playing games since the 80's and playing Pokemon since Gen I and I just don't get this idea that gamefreak is anti-consumer. Generation 1 had a LOT more content and quality than pretty much anything else on Game Boy. Gen II was a huge improvement AND had all of Gen I in it as post game. they didn't have to make all 250 pokemon available, but they did. Gens III through VI all made small improvements on the gameplay and continued to make it so you could trade forward all the pokemon from the previous games, switching things out and making minor alterations as time went on. 

You know, like Sequels are supposed to do. 

Like, this is the opposite of anti-consumer. They didn't have to make it so that the Pokemon kept coming back, but they did. they could have coasted on the exact same gameplay and graphics of the first few gens, but they know, like Sequels are supposed to do. They always sacrificed graphics and other elements to ensure that all the pokemon were there and it was clearly the right decision for decades becuase these games have always and will always sell very well. 

The only 'anti-consumer' thing they did was stick to the 'you need two versions of the game to get all the pokemon' gimmick (Which people clearly are fine with since they keep buying it in record numbers and it's become a staple of the series so why change it out if people like it AND it makes them extra money; win-win all around), until Dexit. And you know what? Dexit is only 'anti-consumer' because we as gamers got so used to having it all, becuase GameFreak kept overdelivering on returning content and returning pokemon. They're not perfect, but to call them anti-consumer might be the single most unfair statement I've heard in all of gaming...and this is in a world where people still defend EA and Activision. 

Why are gamers such entitled brats all the time. You're not entitled to have every pokemon and every returning feature in a game any more than you deserve to have every fighter return in smash bros or Street fighter. You're no more entitled to it than you are to have retro games bundled as in-game bonuses on newer iterations of games. You're not entitled to any of it, but some developers give it to you anyway becuase that's awesome and people like it. Gamefreak, from what I can tell and my experiences over the last 20+ years, has always overdelivered; the one time they genuinely took away with Sword and Shield, people lost their goddamn minds. 

If you don't think the game is worth it by not having all the old Pokemon returning, that's fine. You're free to spend or not spend your money the way you want; don't push this narrative that GameFreak is somehow anti-consumer becuase you and other entitled internet brats don't get your way 100% of the time...only like 87% of the time. 

Personally, I felt the game was a huge leap forward in every other way. I loved the raid battles, I love the dens, I love the open world exploration, I liked the story (even if it was barebones), I felt the gyms/stadium battles and gigantimaxing really made the game pop for me, I liked the customization options and how it was streamlined for competitive play, I liked all the little stuff and the endgame content, even if there wasn't much. 

I got over 200 hours of play out of these games, making the 80 dollar (Canadian) Asking price more than fair. While it sucks that some features and many pokemon were cut, IF elt it just eliminated a lot of the redundancy and made the rest of the game more fun as a result. I do wish it had more endgame content and more side quests/legendaries, but a game not being a perfect encapsulation of all that came before it doesn't make it bad. It could be better - GameFreak and Nintendo have the resources to do so and probably could since they know it's going to continue to sell very well - but it's still really good. I have this one just behind gens V (My overall favorite) and I (For nostalgia). with the new DLC expansion coming out, I could see myself easily putting more time and love into this generation than any before it. I absolutely love this game, I think GameFreak made the right choice by sacrificing 'mon redundancy to make the game look and feel so much better, and I think you should try playing it one way or another before giving in to the internet hate machine. 

I got it all, baby! 

PS4, Switch, WiiU, XBO, PC
Vita, 3DS, Android

Top 6 this generation: 
Bloodborne, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, God of War, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Dark Souls III, Red Dead Redemption II

It's not terrible. It's just really streamlined in a way I don't particularly like. The game feels a bit rushed. 7/10

They should have waited a year and put out something special.

8/10 is my vote. I can see a 7/10 rating. Maybe a 6/10. Anybody putting it below a 6/10 is a whiny itch. The game is nowhere near as bad as some people make it out to be. It also isn't a 10/10 either. Good game, not great, far from bad.

Chrkeller said:
8/10 is my vote. I can see a 7/10 rating. Maybe a 6/10. Anybody putting it below a 6/10 is a whiny itch. The game is nowhere near as bad as some people make it out to be. It also isn't a 10/10 either. Good game, not great, far from bad.

You are back! Haven't heard from you in ages.

Legend11 correctly predicted that GTA IV (360+PS3) would outsell SSBB. I was wrong.

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