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Gameplay: 7/10. Pretty good. Having wild Pokemon visible on the map is a massive sea change in terms of QOL playing these games. No more random encounters every five seconds walking through empty fields, and the way wild Pokemon can spot you in the field is pretty cool. The Dex limitations are frustrating and don't seem to have much thought behind them. Going through a cursory look of the 400 they included, it definitely gives me the impression that the game was rushed out and they simply ran out of time. Pretty much every aspect of this game is diminished by having only have as many Pokemon in it as exist in total. The Pokedex feels uncomfortably finite, team building feels mediocre, and the replay value of the game suffers because the main plot is both very short and very easy. Dynamaxing is also just plain boring, and the focus on it as a gimmick becomes tiresome. The Max Raids are a neat idea, and something like it should stay.
Story: 5/10. I was pretty baffled by it, to be honest, and spent every minute trying to catch hold of what was going on. And the emphasis on a Pokemon tournament and superstar trainers a la the anime feels overblown and obnoxious.
Graphics: 9/10. This game is beautiful, and makes the jump to 3D for Pokemon ably.
It's not a bad game, and there are good ideas here for the series to work on going forward, but this was also not the strongest effort put out by Game Freak.
You barely touched on the graphics and didn\'t even mention the soundtrack. Also, the only way the plot wouldn\'t make sense is if you\'re not paying attention. I can get why too much energy would be obnoxious, but I personally thought it was hype.
I think that this review is mostly good, but it needs to go into the ways in which the Dex limitations actively detracted from the game, rather than just saying they did over and over.
One sentence going into the nitty-gritty of how, exactly, having a smaller pallet of pokemon diminishes the experience for you would be much, much better than the three or four times you just say it does without further comment.
Mostly just commenting on the gameplay bit because it's the biggest part of the review.
For what it's worth, I've heard that some people prefer the story for going "back to basics" and focusing less on saving the world from apocalyptic disasters and more on the meat-and-potatoes of competitive pokemon battling and the gym quest, but if you liked the saving the world stuff more than the gym stuff, your opinion is no less valid than theirs.
I apologize for the brevity, I'll put more detailed thoughts down soon, but this was like my first impression of the game having played maybe 40 hours of it over the course of a week and I also wrote this at like 2 in the morning. Have mercy, lol.
Anyway, as for the Pokedex, the reason I say it doesn't have much thought there is that there are really obvious choices that are simply missing. For example, for a game set in a fantasy Britain, why are Pyroar, the lion Pokemon with red and gold "House of Plantagenet coloring" fur missing? What about Swanna, when the royal bird of the UK is the swan? I get why Charizard is in the dex, but why are Venusaur and Blastoise missing, and if Sonia was Leon's old rival, it's a lost opportunity not to give her a Blastoise. Moreover, there are Pokemon with absolutely atrocious typings — do we really need Bisharp, Galarian Linoone, etc. that get utterly blasted by an errant fighting type? Great Pokemon like Metagross, Dragonite, Mewtwo (but, for whatever reason, not Mew), Salamence, etc are missing. Like, there will be natural sets of Pokemon that go together like the original four trade evolutions from Gen I or Butterfree and Beedrill where only some of them are in, and there's really no logical reason for the exclusion of the others, aside from the fact that they simply used what they managed to code in to fit a deadline. I don't have to like it, but it's the only explanation for the butcher job of the Pokedex that I'll accept.
As for the story, I never really cared for it at any point in the series, but I felt that it was best when simplest. I simply wish the Gyms had the more low-key presentation of earlier games.
Except the things you list as bad points are considered good points in other games, like Colosseum. I believe the limited Dex means you have to experiment with Pokemon you wouldn\'t use normally. Also, Mewtwo isn\'t missing. I believe there\'ll be an event that distributes him. Also, neither lions nor swans are native to the UK, I think.
There is actually a case where the limited dex makes you less likely to use Pokemon you don\'t normally use. You know Nuzlockes? Some people take them a step further and make every Pokemon in the game randomized- starters are random, wild encounters are random, trainer Pokemon are random, even legendaries are random, based not on which Pokemon are in the region, but based on what Pokemon are coded into the game.
With the dex cut in half, this limits what sort of Pokemon can appear in one of these games, meaning that people are more likely to be stuck using the same Pokemon than using a variety of Pokemon.
Now obviously they didn\'t need to design the game around a niche of players who do this sort of challenge- it\'s just a fact that these players are more limited than before and don\'t get to do as much experimentation.
For the record, there\'s an incredibly obvious bit you haven\'t considered, Zephyr, and that\'s that Charizard is in there while his peers are not, not due to time constraints but because he\'s popular and marketable and moves merch.
\"Also, neither lions nor swans are native to the UK, I think.\"
Neither are cobras, yet Galar has Silicobra and Sandaconda. And swans very much are native to the UK.
\"For the record, there\'s an incredibly obvious bit you haven\'t considered, Zephyr, and that\'s that Charizard is in there while his peers are not, not due to time constraints but because he\'s popular and marketable and moves merch.\"
When I said, \"I get why Charizard is included,\" that\'s what I meant. And if we\'re talking marketability, there would be no reason to exclude any of the original 151. They\'re the ones with the greatest cultural penetration in the mainstream.
Cobras, no. But there are snakes in the UK, and Silicobra is not a cobra, for it is not venomous. It\'s a constrictor snake. Hell, it doesn\'t even learn any damage dealing poison moves unless it\'s bred with something else.
I think a big part of the dex issue that got drowned in the simplification of it is that right there. There\'s no reason or pattern and it does feel like it was due to time constrains. It\'s not for the competitive scene as Pokemon like Salamance and Skarmory are missing while Maractus staye; it\'s not a Brawl situation since they still have pokemon like Aegislash and Gengar; and despite Jokerzard\'s situation, it\'s not even about popularity as that was the case with mega-evolution and many of those also got left behind. If they wanted people to experiment with new pokemon, they already found a way in B&W.
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