Some nostalgia before Arceus!

The game remains repetitive with a selection of new characters

author_img Anusha Ganapathi Published :  18th January 2022 06:19 PM   |   Published :   |  18th January 2022 06:19 PM
Some nostalgia before Arceus!

Some nostalgia before Arceus!

I take great comfort in stability. For example, water being wet, humidity in Chennai, and Pokémon games never evolving. When I played Pokémon Sword, I felt powerful. I was Galar region’s only untitled Seer. Playing the game was rhythmic, and I instinctively knew the things I should be doing. If you haven’t played Pokémon before, this is a quick glimpse of how the game goes.

I am in my bedroom, in a tiny town. I go out for a walk. I happen across tall grass erupting with cute creatures. I make a frenemy. I meet a Professor, who gives me Pokémon. I inevitably choose the water Pokémon - Sobble, in the case of Pokémon Sword. I catch my first Pokémon. I battle my first trainer. I meet my match at my first Gym tournament. I grow my party, optimising my combination of creatures, closely following an enhanced rock-paper-scissors strategy. Beyond this point, the game runs on a loop. One gym to the other, while the battle music hums at the back of my brain. The game is almost too repetitive. After a week of playing the game, my vocabulary is reduced to terms used in battle. I now say things like “super effective!” and “critical hit!” in normal conversations.

However, the problem with Pokémon Sword is not its humdrum gameplay. It’s the fact that the game reduces my role to a mere subplot till I defeat the 8 gym leaders. The main story progresses in my peripheral vision, and as much as I wanted to, I struggled to get a glimpse of life in the Galar region. I enjoy the gameplay. But I moved around, zombie-like, with no real interest in the story of the Sword and Shield, and the underlying impact of Dynamax in the Galar region.

Another, crucial point of contention with the game is the Generation VIII Pokémon naming convention. I must admit that I can no longer catch up with the sheer number of new Pokémon and cannot guess the type by its name. They all used to be simple, tongue-in-cheek puns. Now they’re just cute and confusing.

Sword and Shield are the last linear, non-remake Pokemon games before “Legends: Arceus” releases later this month. If you own a Nintendo Switch, it makes the games well-worth a nostalgic replay before a dive into a new era in the series!